The sun is finally shining here on the East Coast, and Memorial Day will be here before we know it. That means it’s time to haul out your outdoor furniture, and get it looking spiffy before company comes calling. Just remember: You’re not aiming for perfectly clean. Pretty clean is just fine when you’re tidying up in the outdoors! Here are easy directions to follow:
Cast aluminum chairs and tables: Cover them from top to bottom with all-purpose cleaner and rub with a nylon scrub brush. Next, wipe with a microfiber cloth. For extra protection, finish with a coat of car wax.
All-weather cushions. Combine 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon borax in a bucket. Dip a sponge in the solution, then use it to scrub the cushions on all sides. Let the solution soak in for 15 minutes. Rinse with a hose. Stand each cushion on an edge until dry.
Umbrella. Hose down the umbrella. Rub a wet soft-bristle brush across a bar of laundry soap. Run it over the open canopy, working from bottom to top. Rinse with a hose. Leave the umbrella open until dry. In between cleanings, wipe off bird droppings as soon as you spot them; the high acid content damages fabric.
Wicker tables and chairs. Use your vacuum’s crevice attachment to dislodge leaves and bugs from the cracks. (A paintbrush works well, too.) Next, wet a microfiber cloth with all-purpose cleaner and glide it over the wicker. Rinse with a damp sponge. Dry with a cloth to prevent mildew.
Need a few new pieces to add a little pop to your patio? Check out our outdoor furniture buying guide .