That chill in the air means winter is just around the corner—bringing with it some nasty weather that can wreak havoc on your patio or deck furniture. Storing all of it indoors is the ideal solution, but not everyone has the space. If your outdoor furniture is staying, well, outdoors in the coming chilly months, here’s how to keep it sitting pretty come spring.
Start by giving all pieces of furniture a light cleaning with a soft-bristle brush or broom. Then, steal this tip from domestic know-it-all Martha Stewart: Combine one-quarter cup of mild dishwashing liquid with one gallon of warm water, and use that soft-bristle brush or a sponge to scrub the furniture’s surface thoroughly. Rinse and pat dry. When the weather warms up again, maintain a regular cleaning schedule—shoot for at least once every other week—to avoid a buildup of grime and/or mold.
Your furniture is now sparkling—and it should stay that way even though it’s not being used. The solution: a protective finish. Per this guide from She Knows, aluminum and plastic pieces, including hard resin, can be covered with a thin coat of car wax; paste wax works well on wicker. Remove any rust from metal furniture with a wire brush and then spray with a silicone sealant. Hard woods, including teak, can get a polyurethane coating as well.
Finally, consider investing in covers, especially for furniture with glass and fabric components like cushions. Vinyl covers are popular because they’re waterproof and budget-friendly; look for thicker ones to protect against rain, snow, and damaging UV rays. Make sure they have vents—moisture and humidity will build underneath the cover and create a breeding ground for mildew—and tie-downs so they don’t tumble away with the wind.
Make sure the world’s weather doesn’t ruin your furniture during the winter months by taking the proper precautions to protect it!