Although your outdoor furniture may be built and designed to weather the elements, it is still not indestructible and will feel the effect of time if not cared for properly. Here are some do's and don'ts about maintaining your outdoor furniture.
Outdoor furniture pieces are constantly being subjected to the elements and are actually getting repeated torture and blows from the sun and rain. That's besides the fact that it also gets scratched or scraped with occasional bumps and gusts of wind which carries sand or grit particles that can dull a chrome metal finish and cause discoloration of any paint finish.
Necessary steps can be taken to protect outdoor furniture from the elements such as covering it. When storing it away indoors during bad weather or winter months, it does not require as much care as it normally would if left to the elements.
Outdoor furniture can be similar to cars, especially when it comes to protection from the weather. Basically, it is subjected to as much pressure and wear as a car does under the heat of the sun.
Essentially, outdoor furniture is designed for durability, but prices can have a way of providing that extra heavy-duty protection. Relatively the more expensive the outdoor furniture, under standard conditions and quality, the more protection it will have compared to its less expensive counterparts.
Take for example outdoor furniture made of metal. Except for wrought iron and stainless steel, metal based outdoor furniture, especially the more expensive ones, are painted with an epoxy based primer that protects the metal from coming in contact with heat or water that could cause it to corrode and get damaged in time. Eventually, the finish will wear. So it is best to remember that even if your outdoor furniture is made of metal, make sure to protect as well by either covering it when not in use. It also requires hosing down with soapy water once every two weeks to prevent spills or substances that cling to metal and eventually seep through the metal's protective covering.
Avoid using cleaning agents that are not made for your outdoor furniture, unless it is specified in the product label or information. Cleaning products designed for cleaning outdoor furniture are formulated to make your outdoor furniture last longer and will provide protection as well, compared to regular household cleaners. However, if a standard cleaning formula is also compatible or suitable for materials that make up your outdoor furniture, then you can rest assure that it is safe for use. Always make it a point to read the product labels or specifications first before using one on your outdoor furniture.
Those that are likely difficult or a bit more challenging to maintain are the fabric cushions that are usually added to accessorize most outdoor furniture. Although most fabric material used for outdoor furniture cushions tends to resist dust from clinging to the fabric material itself, moisture and water could still get absorbed into fabric, causing mildew to form in the padding. It is best to always keep cushions covered or indoors when not in use.
During winter time, make sure to either cover your outdoor furniture or if possible, you can stow away your furniture into the garage until the season passes.