Properly caring for your patio furniture will extend its life and save you money in the long run. In this article, we’ll discuss several tips for protecting different types of patio furniture materials when storing them over the winter months. From cleaning to covering, these simple steps will keep your patio furniture looking its best season after season. The following steps are the basic steps that patio furniture owners can take to prevent damage:
- Cover Your Patio Furniture With Quality Covers
- Clean Your Patio Furniture
- Dry Your Patio Furniture
- Store Patio Furniture Properly
- Use Furniture Sealants and Protective Products
In this how-to guide, I’ll be highlighting in more detail the simple steps you can take to protect your patio furniture from damage, including the materials you’ll need to do so. Keep reading to learn how and get tips to help you along the way.
Protecting Patio Furniture, What You’re Going To Need
If you’re going to take my advice and try out these furniture protection methods, you’ll want to ensure that you have at least some of the following on hand:
- Outdoor, waterproof furniture covers
- A water hose
- A bucket with soapy water
- A clean and soft rag or cloth
- Paste wax safe for metal surfaces
- Polyurethane sealant for wood surfaces
Step 1 – Use Furniture Covers
One of the easiest and most foolproof ways to protect outdoor furniture from damage and wear is to keep it covered when you’re not using it. Everything from rain to wind, dust, pollen, bugs, bird excrement, mold, and rust can take a toll on patio furniture, depending on the material it’s made from.
This is especially true if you’ve opted for furniture made from a cheaper, less weatherproof material like wood or non-stainless metal.
But if you buy a decent set of furniture covers that fit the dimensions of your furniture, you can protect them from moisture, snow, dirt, and other elements that will ultimately take a toll on them over time. Many outdoor furniture covers – such as the KylinLucky Patio Chair Covers – are designed with waterproof materials and have features to secure them to your furniture.
Tips: Note that if you start using furniture covers as soon as you bring home your new patio furniture, you’ll get ahead of the game and hopefully prevent wear and tear. Otherwise, follow these tips when using covers:
- Only put furniture covers on completely dry patio furniture to avoid mold
- Clean dirt and debris off of furniture before covering it
- Secure furniture covers tightly so that they don’t blow away or let in the elements
Step 2 – Clean Your Patio Furniture
The next step, so to speak, is less preventative and more a response to extended use of your patio furniture. If you don’t have furniture covers – or even if you do – the least you could do is to make sure that you always clean off your chairs and other furniture after using it.
For example, if you’ve spent the day outside covered in suntan lotion or bug spray, those chemicals and greases are inevitably going to get on your patio furniture when you sit down.
To avoid the possibility of those substances damaging your furniture or leaving stains, wash your furniture down with the hose at the end of the day.
To get hard-to-clean stains off of your patio furniture, such as bird poop or grease stains, try using soapy water with your hose. You can gently scrub the furniture, as long as it’s water-resistant, with a soft cloth and water with dish soap. Once you’re done, spray it clean with your garden hose.
You’ll also find that regularly cleaning your patio furniture results in less buildup of debris, such as pollen, cobwebs, or the growth of fungus.
Step 3 – Dry Your Patio Furniture
The next step goes hand in hand with the previous step. If you’re going to clean your patio furniture with water, you need to also properly dry it out. This is because some patio furniture isn’t made with 100% weatherproof materials and may oxidize or get moldy if left wet for too long.
Letting the furniture dry naturally in the sun is the best way to do this, although it may not be possible if the weather is mostly gray and rainy. If you have a covered patio or deck, though, you can temporarily move the furniture beneath the shelter to allow it time to dry out.
Step 4 – Store Patio Furniture Properly
Our next tip has to do with the post-cleaning and drying process. Proper storage of your furniture will protect it further from damage. When a big storm is predicted, for example, you might consider moving your furniture into your garage or home temporarily.
This will protect it from inevitable damages that arise from strong wind gusts, fallen debris, and other unexpected occurrences. The more you keep your furniture out of the elements, the longer it should last.
Step 5 – Use Furniture Sealants and Protective Products
The last step, if you want to protect your patio furniture even more from the elements, is to apply protective products to it. Depending on the material of your patio furniture, you may or may not need this.
For example, if your outdoor furniture is made of wood, you’ll want a quality sealant product on it to lock out moisture and sunlight and prevent wood rot. Polyurethane sealants are great for this purpose.
Or, if you have patio furniture that’s made of metal that’s prone to rusting, you could protect it with paste wax products (but only if the oxidation hasn’t occurred yet).
Have you been wondering how to protect patio furniture that spends most of its time outdoors and in contact with the harsh elements? Hopefully, our guide has given you great insight into the steps you can take to make your outdoor furniture last longer and avoid damage from rust, mold, dirt, and other issues.
If you can’t protect your furniture from moisture using covers or shelters, you can always apply sealants and coatings to keep out the elements. You should also make sure that you are regularly cleaning and drying your patio furniture to prevent the buildup of debris that could cause damage.