When the final snows of winter melt away and the temperature heats up you may be tempted to declare your patio or outdoor space open for business. But before you invite the neighbors over for a barbecue or a dip in the pool you probably want to freshen up your space, and then bust out the grill.
Whether you’ve covered your POLYWOOD® outdoor furniture, left it out in the elements, or stored it in a shed the good news is that the cleaning process will only take a few minutes! Below are a few tips on refreshing both your furniture and your outdoor space.
Cleaning POLYWOOD Furniture
We recommend three basic types of cleaning depending on the condition of your outdoor furniture.
The Quick Clean
Think before/after meals or a quick cleanup here and there throughout the season.
- Mix a mild dish soap and warm water in a bucket
- Use a clean cloth and/or soft bristle brush to wipe the surfaces of your furniture.
The Spring Clean
Try this method if you spot any stubborn stains or you have some dirt build-up from the winter months.
- Create a mixture of 2/3 water and 1/3 bleach in a bucket.
- Use a clean cloth to wipe the solution on your lumber (don’t forget to wear gloves!) and allow the solution to sit for a few minutes.
- Loosen any debris or dirt caught in surface grooves with a soft-bristle brush.
- Rinse your furniture with a hose to finish.
The High-Power Clean
If you haven’t cleaned your furniture in a year it’s time to go big.
- First, use a pressure power washer (not exceeding 1,500 psi) to do an initial deep clean.
- Then follow the steps of the Spring Clean above and treat your furniture with a bleach solution before working on any persistent spots with a soft-bristle brush.
- Rinse with a hose and you’re all set!
A few of us did some spring cleaning ourselves — check out the Before/Afters below:
Treating Your Grill
- First, attack the grates. Combine water and a degreasing agent to wash the grates, using a wire brush for best results.
- Replace your drip pans if they’re disposable. If you’re stuck with the ones you have scrape as much debris out of the pan as possible before cleaning it with soap and water.
- Sand the surface of your grill and wash it down to remove all grease if you’re going to add a coat of paint. Do your homework and purchase the correct high heat spray paint before applying it – the incorrect paint will render your grill worthless!
Maintaining Your Cushions, Pillows & Umbrellas
Cushions add color and comfort to your outdoor space while protecting furniture from direct sunlight. Umbrellas are a must for any family dining in the blazing sun during the summers. All of our cushions, pillows, and umbrellas are made with UV resistant Sunbrella® fabric, and with a few simple steps you can keep your fabric accessories looking their best.
- Notice any spots on your cushions or pillows? Use a mixture of one-gallon lukewarm water and 1/4 cup of soap to spot clean, then thoroughly rinse with water. Once washed stand the cushions on their side to air dry. Do not dry clean!
- We recommend applying a fabric guard such as 303® after you have cleaned and dried your cushions and pillows to extend their life. Pro-tip: flip your cushions periodically to even out the wear on each side!
- Stand your umbrella on its side (fully open) and rinse once with a hose. Then, use a soap and water mixture and clean any noticeable spots with a clean cloth. Give your umbrella another rinse with your hose and allow it to fully air dry.
Washing Your Porch or Patio Surfaces
Wooden Patios & Decks
First, inspect the wood for signs of decay or rot. If repairs aren’t needed first sweep your patio to remove larger debris. Still see some spots? Use a mixture of water and oxalic acid to scrub away grime. If the wood is fading it may be time to do some restaining.
If your outdoor space is concrete you can follow the same basic steps outlined above, but use a solution of 10 parts water and one part cleaning solution. Let the mixture soak the concrete for 15 minutes before rinsing off with a hose. If you see any dark spots, add a cup of bleach to your solution (for a 10’ by 10’ space) before cleaning. As always, use gloves when cleaning with bleach.
Stone patios will look spotless if you first sweep and do a preliminary wash with the hose. Grease stains on stone are best handled with normal detergent and a brush scrub. For moss or mildew move to the bleach mixture we described above, mopping up excess solution with clean rags before using the hose.
Refreshing Your Windows and Home Exterior
- Before addressing your windows focus on the siding of your home. Wash the sides and back of your home with a pressure power washer, starting from the top of your home and working your way down so you don’t make extra work for yourself!
- To clean your windows use a cleaning solution of two cups of warm water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar mixed in a spray bottle. You can choose a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to wipe down the windows once sprayed.
- If the dirt and grime is really caked on you can rent a steam machine from a home improvement store in your area.
If this is your first spring in your new home, or you’re looking to replace your weathered outdoor furniture, consider all-weather POLYWOOD furniture. It’s built to handle anything mother nature can throw its way (and backed by a 20-year warranty)!
You can search for furniture based on your space or browse by collection in order to find the right match for your home. If you still have questions about our products or the best methods to clean them simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.