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How to Clean & Maintain Wood or Poly Outdoor Furniture

Once you have acquired a beautiful set of wooden or polyresin outdoor furniture, you want it to last as long as possible. You also want it to look its best, of course.

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor wooden furniture will keep it looking great and help it last a long time. Properly cared for teak furniture, in fact, can last up to 75 years if you treat it right. If you purchase high-quality polyresin outdoor furniture, and clean and maintain it regularly, it can outlast wooden outdoor furniture. Here are some tips from Outdoor Furniture Plus for keeping your wooden outdoor furniture beautiful and comfortable.

For cleaning all types of outdoor furniture, gentleness should be your watchword. Use gentle cleansers that won't harm the furniture's surface and rinse gently to avoid chipping and cracking. Whether you have wooden or resin outdoor furniture, start the process by brushing or vacuuming off loose dirt and debris. Then spray the surface with a garden hose. Do not power wash, which can open up cracks in the furniture. Power washing can even damage tough teak furniture and reduce its life significantly.

After you have removed dust, grit and debris, it's time to clean up your outdoor furniture. Use a mild mixture of soap and water or dish detergent and water and scrub the surface with a sponge or soft brush. Specialty teak cleaners are also available, such as our Three Birds Teak Cleaner.

For hardwood outdoor furniture such as shorea and teak, you will probably want to apply hardwood or teak oil once a season to keep the wood's rich natural color intact. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying. Alternatively, you may apply a fresh coat of finish or paint each season. If your hardwood outdoor furniture still doesn't look good, you may have to sand and refinish it. You can do this yourself or pay a pro.

For softwood outdoor furniture such as cedar, pine and redwood, the cleaning process is much the same. Use a mild solution of soap and water to clean, rinse with a garden hose and let the furniture dry. Repeat the process if dirt remains.

Another easy way to extend the life of your softwood outdoor furniture is to store it inside during prolonged periods when you won't be using it. Moving it indoors will shield it from the elements and insects it would be exposed to outdoors. This is a particularly smart move in many areas during winter, when you likely won't be using outdoor furniture anyway.

Tough and durable, high-quality resin outdoor furniture can outlast many types of wooden outdoor furniture if properly cared for. The care is so basic and simple that you won't mind doing it. All you need to do is occasionally clean your polyresin furniture.

The process is similar to cleaning wood outdoor furniture. First, brush of dirt, dust and debris. Then clean with a mild solution of soap and water. Finally, rinse with a garden hose and let dry. Avoid harsh, abrasive cleansers, which can aggravate the brittleness that high heat and sun can cause in outdoor plastic furniture. The only exception comes if your outdoor plastic furnish is yellowing. In that case, a mild abrasive may help whiten it. If that approach fails, consider special paint.


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