Beat the Winter Blues
Well, even though Punxsutawney Phil said there will be six more weeks of winter weather, it doesn’t seem to apply here in Oklahoma, so as you get the fever for getting your outdoor area ready for spring living, let’s remove those covers and jump in to the task at hand.
Start With the Basics
First take a leaf blower to your cushions (and your slings) to remove as much dirt and particles as possible. If more cleaning than a rinse is necessary, remove your cushions, and using a sponge, towel or soft, bristled brush and mild detergent (Dove or Ivory) in a bucket of water, scrub easily, rinse thoroughly and place the cushions on their side to air dry. For more stubborn stains, and if your fabrics are indeed woven, solution dyed acrylics or PVCand acrylics, bleach can be added to the detergent/water mixture, and then scrub and rinse in the same manner. After the cushions have completely dried, you can protect your fabrics with 303 Fabric Protectant Spray, which is very similar to Scotchguard, and a solution Sunbrella applies to their fabric prior to leaving the mill. Please take note to NOT clean printed fabrics with the bleach mixture as the color will quickly fade, and do NOT machine wash or dry your cushions’ covers or dry clean them.
Wash Your Frames
For minimal cleaning of your aluminum, iron or woven vinyl furniture, rinse off your frames and dry with a towel so that no hard water stains from our lime-ridden soil are left behind. If your frames need a little more TLC, with a sponge or soft, bristled brush, wash the furniture with a solution of mild detergent (Dove or Ivory suds), rinse, and again dry with a towel. For all metal frames, applying a clear automobile wax, a little Pledge or 303 Furniture Protectant Spray can keep your frames looking great year after year and can be applied as often as necessary. And after cleaning should you see any scratches or scrapes on your frames, come in for some touch-up paint in the form of a pen or spray in your color to reseal the exposed areas and minimize any oxidation of the metal.
Give Your Loom Wicker Some Love
Next, turn your attention to your painted, loom wicker furniture. Again get that leaf blower out, remove all the dirt and debris then rinse and dry so that no hard water stains remain. Should any of the finish become worn, scratched or chipped, cover with touch-up spray in your color available through us here at Swanson’s.
For your teak, if your furniture is new or if a teak cleaner has already been used, a color guard solution will help maintain that beautiful, golden hue. If dirt has accumulated on your teak furniture, or if your furniture has naturally weathered from the golden brown to a silver grey, a teak cleaner will aid in removing that debris and bringing back the original color. Follow that cleaning exercise with a stain guard solution which helps protect your teak from everyday stains, and in turn it will make future clean ups a breeze. All of these products are available through us from our teak supplier, Barlow Tyrie.
Cleaning Stone Tops
Clean the surface of your stone tops with a mild detergent, rinse and wipe off any remaining water, and after the table top has had an opportunity to thoroughly dry, apply a quality stone sealer. These steps will be required a few times a year and especially prior to inclement weather. If at all possible, natural stone table tops, especially with grout, should minimally be covered during the winter season and better yet, moved to indoors. Avoid any ammonia-based cleaners.
In regard to stainless steel furniture, clean with mild detergent and rinse, and dry with a towel to remove the excess water. A commercial stainless steel cleaner can be used, or a stainless steel, clean and guard solution can be obtained here through us at Swanson’s.
After all of your hard work, give yourself permission to sit back and relax. Enjoy, and contact us should you have any questions.