Outdoor Furniture Blog | Casual Furniture World

Every time you walk into Casual Furniture World, our mission is to help you create the outdoor space of your dreams

Four Essential Steps to Outdoor Furniture Maintenance

When it comes to your outdoor furniture, it’s important to make an investment that will last for years to come. Not only will you enjoy your purchase while you have your furniture, but it keeps a significant amount of raw materials (mostly aluminum and HDPE plastic) out of landfills!  But, to protect that investment, it’s essential to keep up with basic preventative maintenance, and care for your furniture regularly. Even the most durable furniture needs help against extreme weather conditions. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot to keep high quality furniture in pristine condition.

Take a look at our essential outdoor furniture maintenance tips, so you can preserve your investment for years to come.

1. Purchase Protective Covers

The first and most important step in maintaining your outdoor furniture is purchasing protective covers. While that might seem like a simple solution, protective covers are one of those things that can slip through the cracks, and are forgotten about more often than not.

When you initially purchase your outdoor furniture, it’s important to get the proper covers as soon as possible. That way, you’re not unprepared the first time you experience heavy rains or storms. Here in the Carolinas, pollen and fall leaves are our biggest enemies. Good covers will not only keep your furniture dry, but will keep everything pollen and leaf free so you have clean furniture whenever you are ready to use it. Our featured collections of outdoor furniture are highly durable to almost any weather, but it’s a good idea to cover them from unnecessary exposure.

If you’re one to forget about your outdoor furniture covers, it’s a good idea to keep them close by for easy access. Store them in a bin or basket close to the backdoor, or laundry room. Or, if you’d rather be safe 24/7, place your protective covers over your furniture at the end of the day. This way, everything stays clean and dry until the next time you’re ready to sit out on your patio.


2. Watch Out for Standing Water and Dirt

You might not be able to control the weather, but keeping an eye out for standing water or accumulated dirt is important. Materials like teak, HDPE poly, and synthetic wicker are very tough and water-resistant, but allowing them to dry and keeping them somewhat clean helps them last a lifetime

If you forget to cover your furniture and experience heavy rains, no worries! Check your furniture once the weather clears. It’s best  to let your furniture dry completely before putting down patio cushions or other outdoor accessories, or the excessive moisture may stay trapped within the surface. If air drying isn’t enough, get a towel or old cloth and wipe down the more saturated areas, so they’re not wet for too long (this is especially important on natural materials such as teak, Ipe or natural wicker). After a heavy rain we recommend standing your cushions up with the zipper down.  Gravity will help your cushions drain through the zipper and they will be less likely to pick up water and dirt before the next rain.


3. Use An All Surface Cleaner

When you invest in your patio furniture, purchase a multipurpose cleaner that will remove dirt and other outdoor materials with ease. Lots of home remedies might recommend combinations of white vinegar, dish soap, and water, but it’s best to use something that is approved for a variety of materials. Gently spray the cleaner directly on a cotton cloth, and wipe down accordingly.

If there are any particular spots that are harder to clean, use a soft bristle brush to remove excessive build-up. Using a gentle brush or cloth on the surface ensures you won’t be removing the finish of your furniture, and it keeps everything looking brand new.


4. Use Material and Industry Specific Protectants

With every collection of outdoor furniture, maintenance is slightly different. In order to fully care for your furniture, you have to adjust the maintenance needs according to the material. Some of our more popular furniture sets are made from teak, wicker, and metal, so we rounded up a couple of essential facts for each, to help you maintain their beauty.



Caring for Teak Wood Furniture

As one of the most durable outdoor materials, teak furniture doesn’t require as much back breaking maintenance as you may think . Using a soft brush, and soap and water, as stated previously, is a great way to keep your teak furniture clean, without damaging the surface. Doing this every few months makes sure your furniture will stay in perfect shape, before cold weather takes over. However, there are some things to keep in mind once the temperature changes.

A change in weather can cause your furniture to experience natural weathering, which can alter the color of teak to a soft patina. Also, the weathering process means the structure of your furniture will expand - and contract which is very common when exposed for long periods of time. Because of this, you might notice a change in the grain pattern - but once your furniture has adjusted, the grain will resume its natural form. Using furniture covers, and a high quality sealer, will minimize your furniture’s exposure, and reduce the overall effects of weathering. Casual Furniture recommends sealing your teak furniture, and reapplying the sealer every other year. Contrary to belief, this is a fairly easy process.

One of the great parts of teak is its beautiful finish, but weathering over time can cause its color to change. If you want to bring back it’s original hue, we carry teak cleaner and sealer in all of our store locations. Aged teak can usually be brought back to life with a thorough cleaning using a teak cleaner and brightener, light sanding and a new coat of sealer.


Unique Ways to Clean Wicker Furniture

Caring for natural wicker (notable brands are Lloyd Flanders and slightly older Lane Venture furniture) is slightly more in-depth than other materials but overall is highly manageable. Because wicker furniture is known for its beautiful weave patterns, it’s important to keep those areas clean. Things like dirt and pollen are more likely to get trapped in these areas because they’re tighter and easy to miss during a routine cleaning.

One of the best ways to care for wicker is by vacuuming the surface or just giving it a good rinse. While vacuuming outdoors might seem unusual, it’s a great way to get rid of all the dirt, pollen, and excessive materials that collect within the crevices of wicker. Using a shop vac with a soft bristle brush attachment vacuum your chairs and sofas during highly pollinated months, to ensure everyone stays healthy all season.

If you furniture is an open environment such as deck or patio you might find just a quick spray down with the garden hose once a week will keep your furniture clean and looking like new.  Just remember the importance of your furniture being able to dry.

Synthetic wicker is one of the easiest products to maintain.  Every now and then give it a thorough washing, as you would your car, and allow it to air dry completely.  Watch out for leaves and debris that may be trapped between the wicker strands or behind and between seat cushions.  


Maintaining Metal Furniture

Our metal furniture is as durable as it gets but it also can need a little TLC from time to time. In order to protect the durability of the material, you first have to know what kind of metal your furniture is made from: aluminum, stainless steel, or a more traditional iron. Once you know the material, you can complete follow up maintenance with ease.

The must-know trick for these pieces - do not use harsh abrasives or stiff bristle brushes. Typically, high quality metal furniture has a powder-coated finish that seals in color and preserves the integrity of the piece...similar to your car.   The last thing you want is to damage or "swirl" that finish by using a harsh brush or cleaner. An all purpose soap such as “Dawn” and water can be used or you can use a cloth.

Most of our furniture is made with durable extruded or cast aluminum, that can withstand almost anything mother nature throws its way. You won’t have to worry about the elements damaging your furniture.

Almost all metal furniture can be brought back to life by using a clear spray-on car wax.  Only do this after a thorough cleaning and follow all of the instructions on the bottle.


Final Takeaways

In order to properly preserve your investment, the first step is buying quality outdoor furniture.  At Casual Furniture World, our featured furniture collections are made from high quality, durable, and beautiful materials. We have something for everyone - just tell us your vision, and together we can bring your dream outdoor space to life.

If you want to explore the possibilities of your outdoor space, stop by one of our stores to view our featured collections for yourself. In the meantime, for more information about specific furniture materials, take a look at 5 Surprising Facts about Wicker Furniture, and What Makes Grade A Teak.