Although outdoor dining may be an option for another month or so, there will come the dreaded day when it’s time to store away the patio furniture and accessories. Whether it’s headed to the shed, into the garage or down to the basement, washing off summer filth is a necessary step.

Ketchup, Mustard & Hot Sauce Stains

During the summer months, our homes seem bigger as we throw open the doors and set up outdoor furniture on decks and patios. Our outdoor furniture can take a beating! Not only is it exposed to the elements, summer fun itself can spill onto patio chairs and tables, leaving ketchup smears and mustard drips and all manner of spicy residue to dry unnoticed in the summer heat.

  • Most pieces can be washed with a simple dish soap and water solution. Warm water works best to loosen dried-on guck.
  • Having an old toothbrush on hand for wicker furniture will allow you to really get in between fibres where debris may get lodged.
  • Rinse well and let dry before storing.
  • Furniture covers are great for additional protection from the elements, even if you’re storing your pieces in a shed or garage. They come in all shapes and sizes so find the one that fits your personal needs.

Spritz and Spray until Sparkling

Outdoor umbrellas are essential for outdoor living.  Not only do they look great, they shade us from the strong rays of the summer sun. Most patio umbrellas are made from treated acrylic fabrics that help repel moisture, stains and mildew. But even the best fabrics can’t avoid airborne soil, sunscreen-coated hands and bird poop.

  • Much like outdoor furniture, reach for a simple dish soap and water solution to clean your patio umbrella. But, instead of dish soap, use laundry detergent because you’ll have fewer bubbles to rinse away and a good quality detergent will work best to break apart stains. Use ¼ cup liquid laundry detergent per gallon of lukewarm water.
  • Use a soft bristle brush to work the solution into the fabric using circular motions. Use a bit of extra elbow grease and pay special attention to the stained areas.
  • Use a hose sprayer and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Leaving it soapy will actually attract more soil.
  • Move the umbrella back to a sunny area and allow the fabric to air dry. Do not close the umbrella until it is completely dry.

Did You Know? Rain and humidity often leave outdoor furniture and patio umbrellas damp for days which can lead to mold and mildew. To deodorize and inhibit this growth, wait until the furniture or umbrella is dry and then scrub with a brush to remove surface mold. In a bucket of hot water, mix 2 cups white vinegar and 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap. With a soft brush, scrub furniture clean, working bristles into the grooves of the plastic. Using a hose on spray-mode, rinse until all soapy residue is gone.

 

 

Photo by rhyslud