It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, the flowers are blooming, and your patio is calling. Wait…you haven’t cleaned up your outdoor furniture yet? Well, here’s how to get it cleaned up without a lot of hassle, so you can stop putting it off and start getting out there.
1. For the Canvas
If you have seats, umbrellas, or barbecue covers with canvas, you’re in luck, if the canvas parts are removable and washable. Most removable canvas can be washed in your machine, but you must remember to put it back in place while it’s still damp, or you risk losing the shape. If you have canvas that can’t be taken off, grab a bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap (inexpensive, goes a long way, and easy to find in the laundry isle). With a scrub brush, rub the bar of soap and then scrub the canvas and rinse.
2. The White Plastic
Most of us have those heavy-duty plastic chairs or tables on the porch or patio. These aren’t difficult to clean, and will be safe for sitting after you use this method. For white plastic, take a gallon of warm water and 3 Tablespoons of your dishwasher detergent (it has a bleaching agent). Mix the solution and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then take a sponge and clean up those white chairs.
3. Colored Plastic and Resin
You’ll need a slightly different approach if your plastic furniture has color to it. Just make a similar solution with all-purpose cleaner instead of dishwasher soap, with a gallon of warm water. You can also use 1/4 cup vinegar with a quart of water. Make sure to rinse well after cleaning though, because sunlight with cleaners can accelerate fading. You can use the same method on lawn chairs with plastic webbing.
4. For the Cushions
If dust is your main problem, you can try shaking or beating your cushions first. If they’re still dirty, combine 1 teaspoon of regular dish soap (not the stuff for your dishwasher), 1 Tablespoon borax, and 1 quart of warm water. Mix it up and use a sponge to scrub your cushions. You can also put the cleaning solution in a spray bottle and saturate both sides of pillows and cushions, paying attention to the cracks around seams or zippers. Let the solution stay on the cushions for about 15 minutes, then spray off with your hose attachment. Stand your cushions up on their edges to dry.