During the winter months, even if you live in a warm climate with mild winters, there are days you will want to protect your outdoor furniture. By following our care and maintenance tips, you can preserve your patio furniture and ensure that you will enjoy it for many years to come.
Here's how you can protect your patio furniture this winter:
Clean Your Patio Furniture Before You Store It
If you plan on covering your patio furniture or storing it away, a best practice is to clean it thoroughly. Deep cleaning your patio furniture will remove any dirt or dust that has collected on it. The type of patio furniture that you have and the material that it is made with will impact your cleaning plan.
These cleaning tips will help you remove stains and wash away any lingering dirt from all types of patio furniture:
- Wicker Furniture — Paddy O’ Furniture’s wicker furniture is composed of HDPE material, and it is an ideal option for outdoor patio furniture. Use a mixture of mild dish detergent and water to clean. Rinse and dry thoroughly. If excessive water accumulates on cushions, stand upright with zipper side down and let dry. To extend the longevity of the furniture, it is recommended to store it in a cool and dry place and cover with protective covers.
- Worry-Free Wood Furniture — Worry-free wood (highly durable all weather high-density polyethylene material) is virtually maintenance-free due to the fact that it has exceptional resistance to fading, moisture, insects, splintering and other common environmental stresses that one observes with treated lumber or wood fiber composite products. It just needs occasional washing with a mixture of dish soap and water to remove dirt and debris if desired.
- Aluminum Furniture — Maintaining your aluminum metal frames can keep your furniture looking like new for years. There are a few things you can do to clean off the dirt and grime and bring back the beautiful finish of your outdoor furniture. Typically if you use a mild dish soap and water most of the dirt will come off. If you have some oxidation or hard water, mix a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water, apply onto the frames and wipe off. To really bring back the shine, every 6 months treat with the product Paddy O’ Furniture Protectant. This will renew frames and protect with a UV inhibitor.
- Stone Surfaces — Stone and tile will last for years when properly maintained. To clean the table top, use a soft, clean cloth or sponge with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Rinse with clean water to remove any soap residue. Dry thoroughly and seal the table top once every 4-6 months to prevent or reduce any damage that may be caused by the top’s exposure to intense sunlight, extreme temperatures, and other harsh outdoor elements. Sealer will penetrate the stone and also protect it from absorption of moisture and stains. If your table will not be in use for a long period of time, we recommend utilizing protective covers.
- Engineered Stone Surfaces — Bliss Table surfaces are among the easiest to maintain. The tops are better than stone because they are made with nonporous Dekton, which requires no sealing. Simply wipe the Dekton surface on a regular basis with a sponge, using a mixture of dish soap and warm water. A PH-balanced general-purpose cleaner may also be used. Your Bliss Tables will maintain their beauty and shine for years to come.
- Paddy O’ Furniture Exclusive Bliss Cushions/Bliss Padded Slings — Bliss Cushions require minimal care and maintenance. Every so often, and prior to storing or covering, we recommend cleaning your Bliss Cushions. Simply use a vacuum or soft brush to remove any surface level dust and debris. Mix a half cup of dish soap, a few tablespoons of white vinegar into a bucket of warm water for a more thorough cleaning. A soft brush won’t disturb the fabric texture. Leave the solution on for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Allow to air dry. Cover with protective covers or store away.
- Other Leading Brand Cushions — Non-Bliss outdoor cushions require cleaning every so often, and always prior to storing or covering. Simply remove any surface level dust and debris using a soft brush or vacuum. Add a solution of ¼ of a cup of mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a brush to clean and allow the solution to soak into the fabric. Rinse thoroughly and allow cushions to air dry. Ensure cushions are completely dry before covering or storing away.
Storing Cushions Separately From Your Furniture
Non-Bliss cushions should be removed from your patio furniture and stored in a climate-controlled, indoor environment for the duration of the winter. A minimal exposure to moisture can occur underneath a cover and result in mold, mildew or stains that cannot be removed. For some brands, the cold temperature can break down the fabric of the cushions. However, if you’ve invested in our Bliss Cushions, this will not be the case. Our revolutionary fabric is waterproof, stain resistant and mildew resistant, which protects the entire cushion from the elements.
Purchase Furniture Covers for Extra Protection
One of the best ways to preserve your outdoor furniture is to purchase furniture covers that you can place over each piece for the winter. Depending on where you live, you can put furniture covers over your patio furniture and leave your furniture outdoors all season. However, you also may want to purchase furniture covers that you will use even if you store your furniture in a shed, garage or indoor storage facility.
Some furniture covers to consider include:
- Table Covers — Table covers are available in a variety of shapes and dimensions. Find a cover that fits snugly and securely over your outdoor tables.
- Chair Covers — Chair covers should fit over the entirety of the chair — including the back, seat and legs. It should cinch tight along the bottom to prevent moisture from getting onto the chair itself. Chair covers are available in many different shapes and sizes, allowing you to select the covers that best fit your furniture pieces. If you have an ottoman, you may be able to place the ottoman upside down on the seat of a club chair, allowing you to cover both pieces!
- Umbrella Covers — If you have a patio umbrella, whether it's a table umbrella or a freestanding umbrella, it should be closed and stored for the season. You can purchase an umbrella cover that will fit tightly over the closed umbrella and protect the fabric of the umbrella from the elements throughout the cold, wet winter season.
In some cases, specialty furniture covers will be sized for the specific furniture pieces that you purchase. There also are larger covers that can go over multiple items, such as two chairs stacked together (our Mission sling chairs do this) or an entire table and chairs set. Paddy O’ offers dozens of universal protective covers that can work on all sizes of outdoor furniture, including other makes and brands.
Your patio furniture is an investment – not only in your home but also in your quality of life. Most people take the time to purchase high-quality furniture that they know will be comfortable, enjoyable and durable. That being said, it can be a lot of work each year to protect, preserve and store your patio furniture. It's important to recognize that you do have options to help you reduce the amount of time spent cleaning, sealing and storing your patio furniture.
Paddy O’ Furniture has been innovating and refining its outdoor furniture designs for more than 35 years. We develop and build furniture that will withstand the harshest weather elements, as well as life's day-to-day wear. We are proud to offer Bliss Cushions, Bliss Tables, and Bliss EcoLumber – products that will last you for years, while requiring minimal maintenance. Let us help in guiding you to your patio bliss. Shop online or visit one of our eight convenient showrooms today!