Outdoor Furniture Maintenance: Our Comprehensive Guide
When it comes to outdoor furniture, focusing on the finer details such as the quality of the componentry is essential if you’re after longevity. Equally as important is the ongoing care needed and ensuring that your furniture continues to perform and maintain its beauty comes down to understanding its materiality.
16 July, 2019
Outdoor Furniture Maintenance
Here is our comprehensive guide to outdoor furniture maintenance. Learn how to care for your furniture, whether it’s made from teakwood, weave or stainless steel. Before we delve into the specific maintenance practice for each outdoor material, read the top line ways in which you can maintain your outdoor furniture.
How do you care for outdoor wood?
The best way to care for your outdoor wood furniture is simply brush off and then wipe with a damp cloth, with water or a mild soapy solution. Simply wipe clean with a cloth. As Teak is durable hardwood, the resins within the timber contain oils that are both water resistant and repellent to insect attacks. We therefore do not recommend staining you timber, instead clean regular and allow the timber to age naturally.
How do you waterproof outdoor furniture?
Furniture at Eco Outdoor is weather resistant and waterproof and we therefore do not recommend spraying or coating any of the pieces with waterproofing products. To help waterproof your pieces, keep in an under-covered area or bring cushions inside when wet weather is predicted.
Aluminium and steel
These materials are highly suitable for outdoor use due to their resistance to rust and great strength. To maintain steel and aluminium furniture like our Arc chairs or Darwin dining range, simply wash with a soap and water solution, before rinsing off with clean water.
Basics, Broadcloth, Botanicals and Canvas
An important factor of outdoor furniture maintenance is the fabric that covers the cushions on sofas and lounge chairs.
Made from solution-dyed Sunbrella yarn, these outdoor acrylic fabrics are colour fast and hard-wearing. While they will not crack or become hard with weather exposure, they should be cleaned regularly with a mild soap and lukewarm water solution at under 38°C. For stubborn stains, a solution of 1 cup (236ml) of bleach and 1/4 cup (59 ml) of mild soap per 3.8 litres of water should be used. Simply rinse the fabrics to remove soap and leave to air dry.
It is important that the fabrics are not left in a soaked state. Rotate the cushion and leave to air dry in a well-ventilated space.
Batyline is a high-performance exterior fabric (see our Tulloch range and Marillo dining chair) that provides great comfort without sagging during use. Cleaning this material only requires the application of a mild soap and water mixture with a soft brush. Rinse the fabric with clean water before drying with a cloth. This will avoid water stains on stainless steel frames.
Traditionally known for its malleability and durability, brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It also develops a beautiful patina as it ages. Brass furniture, like our Kotti dining armchair, simply needs to be washed with a soap and water solution and rinsed off with clean water to maintain its appearance. Above all, don’t polish the brass, as this will remove the beautiful natural patina.
Compact laminate is an incredibly durable material that offers a contemporary and clean aesthetic (our Porto dining range is a great example). Furthermore, this material requires minimal maintenance and cleaning with a damp cloth is usually all that’s required. Streaking can be avoided by rinsing and wiping the furniture dry, and if there is any buildup of grease and grime, a non-abrasive cleaning agent or soap solution should be used.
Woven in Belgium, our linens are tough, stain-repellent and showerproof. To ensure the longevity of the linen, regular care is important due to the natural fibres of the product. To remove any loose debris or dirt, simply vacuum the linen on a low suction regularly. While the fabric can be washed using a machine, this should be at a maximum temperature of 40°C and with a mild, natural detergent free of any chlorinated bleach or bleach-like chemicals. Regular linen can be tumble dried on the lowest temperature, however our raw or slub linens must be allowed to line dry in a well-ventilated area.
It’s important not to allow dirt to remain on the fabric for a long time or leave your cushions in a water-logged state, as this encourages mould growth. Instead, position the cushion on its side, allowing water to run off. Overall, linen covers are most suitable for sheltered outdoor areas such as balconies and verandas.
304 stainless steel is a corrosion and rust-resistant material, requiring low maintenance. Tea staining may occur on flat horizontal surfaces or where the furniture is located close to coastal environments. However, this does not affect its structural integrity and longevity.
To keep the material’s natural sheen, wash the furniture down regularly and apply a stainless-steel cleaner (available at hardware stores). Maintain the polished appearance with extra cleaning, especially in coastal areas with a high saline level.
Outdoor furniture maintenance is critical for your teakwood pieces. Teakwood is a highly durable hardwood, known for its stability. The resins within the timber contain oils that are both water resistant and repellent to insect attacks. Therefore allowing it to last for many years outdoors with little to no structural deterioration.
The natural colour change from golden brown colour tones to a silvery grey patina does not affect the timber’s durability or strength. Therefore to get the best out of your teak furniture, we recommend that the teakwood is left in its natural state, without the application of oils or varnishes. These are difficult to maintain and may encourage mould growth.
As with indoor furniture, regular cleaning is a must to keep teakwood free from pollens and dirt. Brush off and use a damp cloth to clean teak furniture, pay attention to the horizontal surfaces, where dust and debris can settle. Remember that the timber is a natural, organic material and may be subject to mould growth in certain conditions.
Teak can be refreshed periodically by using an appropriate teak or deck-cleaning solution such as Organoil and sanding lightly using 400 grit sandpaper.
Weave and strapping
Both of these synthetic materials which you’ll find on furniture such as our Balsa, Claybourne® and Hayfield ranges are highly fade-resistant, also drying easily after rain. Clean with a mild soap and water solution and apply with a soft brush. Avoid using an abrasive agent or scouring pad, for the reason that they can leave scratches on the surface.
Understanding the materiality and performance of your pieces is an important factor in outdoor furniture maintenance.
Visit our Learning Library to find more tips for refreshing your furniture across the seasons.