With the chill of winter safely behind us, it is time once again to break out the patio furniture and fire up the barbecue. Before inviting guests over for that first outdoor party, give your patio furniture some TLC. Outdoor furniture and accessories can come out of storage a little funky, even if you thoroughly cleaned them before stowing away. No matter the mess, we’ve got some cleaning tips that will have you dining al fresco in no time.
- Use baking soda and bleach to bring resin and plastic furniture back to life. Baking soda is a natural scouring agent with a neutral pH, making it ideal for scrubbing surface stains in resin and plastic outdoor furniture. Dip a wet sponge in baking soda and wipe the furniture down using circular motions, rinse well with the hose. To whiten old furniture, use a mix of mild detergent and bleach (about ¼ to ½ cup depending on the condition of your furniture) per gallon of water. Rinse and let dry.
- Vinegar safely cleans and deodorizes wood furniture. Vinegar is a milder alternative to bleach to rid your wood furniture of mold and mildew. Spray it straight on surfaces or dilute it with detergent and water. Not only will vinegar make short work of mold and mildew now but it will help inhibit tomorrow’s growth.
- Use steel wool and a wire brush to remove rust from metal furniture. A tuft of steel wool easily takes care of a little light rust; for more severe spots, a wire brush provides extra muscle. Adding a paste of vinegar and baking soda or salt and lemon will boost your scouring power or try a commercial product like WD-40 Rust Remover Soak.
- Pretreat stains lovingly left by mother nature. Grass, tree sap, bird poop and mildew all wreak havoc on outdoor fabrics. An enzyme stain remover or detergent will break apart those grass stains and tree sap. Spray a vinegar/detergent solution, or bleach solution if your fabric is white, to combat mildew. And, scrape off any dried bird droppings with a brush before treating with a heavy-duty detergent. If your area’s birds love dark berries, try an oxygen-based bleach to help remove the evidence.
- Wash outdoor fabrics … outside. Cushion covers that can go in the washer are easy to clean but those fabrics that can’t, like umbrellas or large cushions, need to be washed the old-fashioned way. Choose a warm, sunny day and spread the pieces out on a tarp or clean patio. Dip a soft scrub brush in heavy-duty detergent and water and scrub from top down, working in small sections. Rinse each section before moving on. Rinse again once the entire piece is clean and let air dry; a clothesline is ideal for letting water drip away and preventing mold.
Elbow grease mixed with a little know-how will get you sipping cocktails and flipping burgers before you know it. But before you invite guests over, give The Maids a call. We will make sure your indoor space is guest-friendly with a spotless entryway and sparkling guest bathroom. Our cleaning services also include same-day services for those impromptu gatherings.