12 Easy Tips for Taking Care of Outdoor Furniture

12 Easy Tips for Taking Care of Outdoor Furniture
Image credit: WickerCentral.com
Do you have a beautiful outdoor furniture set that you’re not sure how to take care of? Classic outdoor furniture materials like wicker and wrought iron demand some basic cleaning to keep away dust and scratches. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to care of your outdoor furniture and keep it stylish and beautiful for a long time.

Use these 12 easy cleaning and maintenance tips to help your outdoor furniture stay shiny and like new for years to come.

Regularly Clean Outdoor Furniture

Cleaning outdoor furniture on regular basis is really important and it’s more susceptible to dust particles and stains. Be sure to schedule at least one cleaning day both at the beginning and end of the season, or twice a year if you live in more patio-friendly climates. For different furniture materials, you’ll need to use different techniques depending on your outdoor furniture’s finish.

• A vacuum nozzle attachment will also be good option for removing dust gently and quickly out of your outdoor furniture.
• The most effective solution is to mix 1/4 cup of environmentally friendly dish soap in liquid form with two cups of warm water. Use this combination and wipe your chair with a soft damp sponge or any other soft cloth, then rinse with water.
• If stains are tough then use a soft brush, preferably an old toothbrush, to easily reach all of the nooks and crannies without damaging a delicate finish.

Save Time with Pressure Washing

One of the easiest and most effective ways to clean a sturdy set of outdoor furniture is to use a pressure washer. This type of cleaning saves time, but you must be careful that you don’t damage the material.
• If your furniture has a powder coating, don’t set the pressure too high—you don’t want the coating to flake.
• Consult any manufacturer warnings on your outdoor furniture before using this method.

Check Your Surfaces

Some outdoor furniture comes with decorative accents or glass tabletops. These features add more beauty to the furniture’s design but can be tricky to clean. Glass surfaces can take on a scratched or dirty appearance if not cleaned occasionally.
• Wipe your outdoor furniture glass tabletops with a soft damp sponge or cloth to remove dust and grime.
• Regularly check for mildew as well as mold on your outdoor furniture because these surfaces usually come in contact with food items or other organic materials. If you do find mold or mildew, mix 75% water in 25% vinegar and wipe the chair with a sponge dampened with this solution. Rinse with clear water.
• Replace outdoor cushions if they’re torn, stained, or mildewed. Be sure to find the right cushions for your set, or order a specially produced outdoor cushions that match your furniture’s measurements. Invest in mildew and stain resistant outdoor fabrics.

Repairing Outdoor Furniture 

If you do observe any damage to your outdoor furniture, take action to repair it as soon as possible. Damaged outdoor furniture left to the elements can quickly become more damaged. A small crack or tear can easily spread, and this can make your outdoor furniture unsafe or uncomfortable.
• Outdoor furniture is an investment; if you’re not handy, don’t attempt a home repair.
• Seek respected and highly rated outdoor furniture repair specialists in your area. Usually these repairs are minor if caught early, and won’t be too expensive.

Use Outdoor Furniture Covers

Make the habit of covering outdoor furniture with the appropriate furniture covers. This will keep it from inclement weather and keep it protected even if you put your furniture into storage.
• A good tip for finding the right furniture cover is to not measure too small. The material isn’t usually stretchy, as there might be a water resistant plastic lining.
• Allow a few inches for each dimension. For example, an outdoor sofa that is 80” wide, 36” deep, and 36” in height, you would want a cover that is 80-82” wide by 36-38” deep and 31-34” in height.

If you follow these easy tips, then you’ll find yourself enjoying your outdoor furniture set for much longer.

About: Anna Daugherty is the marketing manager for WickerCentral.com, an Elkhart, IN, based e-commerce company specializing in wicker furniture and patio accessories. Email her at thepatio@wickercentral.com.

Solar Hot Water System: What are its ‘Hard to Miss’ Benefits?

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Anyone with a fair amount of knowledge of hot water systems prices knows that solar hot water systems tend to cost more than their less environmentally friendly counterparts. However, their initial cost is nothing compared to their major benefits. For one, they will help you save money on monthly energy bills. This is especially true if your home has abundant access to sunshine.

Are Commercial-Grade Heat Cables Worth the Money?

Attic insulation and ventilation aside, heat cables—also known as snow melting cables or roof ice cables—are one of the most effective ways to deal with ice dams. If you’re considering having them installed this year, you’re on the right track. But before anything else, you need to know the difference between the different types of heat cables available on the market today. Generally speaking, if you want the best performance, you’ll have to be willing to invest in commercial-grade heat cables.

Small Office Space? Tips to Manage Layout Design and Storage Space

Tips to Manage Layout Design and Storage SpaceDo you run your own business and face the problem of space crunch? Do you fear that a day might come when your employees will start complaining of the limited space they have while at work. Then worry not because this post will help you to put all your problems in the washing machine and wash them clean. Managing a small space is a common problem and we tell you 5 great ways to act smart and create a layout where nobody would even think that a limited space issue ever existed. Stay tuned to see how it happens.

[Infographics] Storage Unlocked: How to Store Everything

Storage Unlocked: How to Store Everything

What’s the best way to keep beef fresh in the freezer? Where should you be keeping your pill bottles? How long will your beer really stay good? Should you pack up old clothes in a plastic container or a cardboard box?

As a parent, you need to be a bit of a jack of all trades, and one of the most overlooked skills that’s worth learning is how to store things (and how long you can do so safely). Proper storage not only protects your belongings, but the health of your family. Plus, becoming a storage guru is also a great way of getting organized and saving your oh-so-precious time.

Want to learn the best way to store just about everything around your house? Read on!

Medication. This one is first because it’s a matter of safety. Any parent with a lick of common sense knows that they have to keep medicines and other chemicals out of reach from tiny searching hands by locking them up or placing them somewhere high – maybe both if you’ve got a climber! And you know that you should throw bottles away when they expire. But what isn’t as well known is that medicines can go bad faster and lose their potency if you store them in a place where there’s a lot of heat and humidity… like, for example, a bathroom medicine cabinet. As an alternative, experts recommend keeping your medicine in a box or cabinet in your bedroom or kitchen, or on a high shelf in a closet.

Food storage. Next to medicines, this is probably the most important group of items you need to know how to store, and it may be even more important. Unfortunately, you could fill up a book just with food storage tips.

Here are some highlights by food type:

• Meats – Beef stays good for up to 5 days in the fridge and a year in the freezer. But if you’re freezing it outside of the original package, make sure to wrap it in airtight plastic wrap or foil and then place it in a plastic bag. Chicken also lasts a year in the freezer, but only 2 days in the fridge.

• Dairy – Your milk may have an expiration date on it, but trust it at your own risk. Experts say that it should be tossed after a week in the fridge – and don’t put it in the door! Soft cheeses last 5-10 days, yogurt 7-10 days, and hard cheeses 3-4 weeks – if you wrap them in tight plastic wrap.

• Fruits and Veggies – Depending on the item, it will go bad in the fridge anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks after you buy it, and that time is decreased for things kept at room temperature. For example, if you’re not going to use your lemons right away, toss them in the fridge or you’ll be buying new ones in 3 days. Yikes!

• Bread. Like your bread fresh? Hope you like to eat it fast, too, because it’s going to go bad in 2-3 days. Pre-sliced bread is a bit better at 7-10 days, and you can keep bread frozen for 6 months. The best way to keep it fresher longer is to put it in some kind of airtight container, but you can also wrap it in foil and a towel.

Who knew?

Facial creams. This probably isn’t an issue for most people, but if you’re the type who only uses your facial cream every once in a while (lucky!), you should know that they only stay good for 2 years after you open them. And if you’re the deal-seeking type who stocks up, don’t buy more than you can use in 3 years – even if it’s a great sale! Storage isn’t much of an issue for facial creams, but if you’re going to have them in the shower, make sure you keep them in something where the water can drain away.

Jewelry. Tired of your necklaces getting tangled together or finding scratches on beloved items? One way to go is to get a jewelry box lined in a soft fabric with individual compartments for each piece. But if that’s not your style, you can also protect them by wrapping each item in a separate piece of tissue paper.

These tips are just the beginning. Want more? Check out the new infographic from Next Door Storage.

Ways to Decorate Your Kid’s Room into Something Magical

Make sure that your kid remembers his or her childhood days as something speical and magical. Give your unique touch into his room, and keep him cheerful all the time. Here are some easy ways to get you started.

Photo credit: Wendy Copley via photopin

Is there any better way to welcome the newest member into your family than doing something extremely special? But your kid is so young that he or she will not probably understand your gesture unless it is something materialistic. I am obviously not talking about Barbie dolls or Teddy bears; I am suggesting something that will last longer and make a greater impression on a blossoming mind. And the very first idea that comes to mind is a wonderfully decorated room for your kid.

How to efficiently make Wood Burning Fireplace more Environmental Friendly?

Several reports claim that emissions from wood burning stoves can be harmful. However, unlike other domestic appliances, wood is sustainable, renewable and most importantly affordable. Most people often worry about carbon footprint created by using wood stove, but to add to their knowledge, burning wood is recognized as ‘carbon neutral’ by the Carbon Trust. Today, wood burning is possible in an environmentally friendly way to warm your home.

How to make your wood burning stove greener?

Following tips will help you to run your stove in a more environmentally friendly fashion-