With summer just around the corner, you’ve probably already lugged your patio furniture out of storage and gotten it all set up in your outdoor space. At this point, you just want to think about kicking back on your furniture and enjoying summer cookouts, outdoor games and general relaxation. Nobody wants to think about how they’ll pack the furniture away quite yet. But, being prepared to successfully store your patio furniture during the colder months is crucial for maintaining the appearance of your furniture and protecting it from rust and other damage. Read on for some tips on how to properly pack away your patio furniture, and then head outside and enjoy a glass of lemonade while you can!
1. Remove Cushions
If your patio chairs have outdoor cushions, you’ll want to remove these before storing your furniture for the winter. Take the cushion off each chair and use a dry cloth to wipe away any pollen or other dirt and grime. Then, check for any cleaning instructions from the manufacturer. Most cushions have a removable cover that you can unzip and wash by hand with a gentle detergent. Once the covers are completely dry, reassemble your cushions and pack them into a plastic bin or airtight bag. Store your cushions in a clean, dry space, such as your basement or storage unit, to preserve their quality.
2. Clean Thoroughly
Making sure that you clean your patio furniture before storing is extremely important for extending the life of your furniture, as well as preventing any mold or other issues. Regardless of the material of your patio furniture, use a completely dry cloth to wipe away dirt and other residue. Then, follow up with a combination of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Use a soft brush to work out any difficult stains, so that you don’t need to deal with those come spring.
3. Apply Wax or Protective Coating
Before storing your furniture, you may want to apply some sort of wax or protective coating to preserve its appearance. What sort of coating you use depends on the material of your furniture. If your patio furniture is made from metal or aluminum, apply a coat of automotive wax after you’ve cleaned it. Wrought iron is pretty resistant, but it doesn’t hurt to coat it with a layer of exterior spray paint meant for wrought iron before storing. Your painted wood furniture could use a new layer of acrylic paint every year to stay looking great. Finally, if your furniture is teak, apply a coat of specialty oil, especially if you want to maintain the original color.
4. Determine Your Storage Space
Determining where you’ll be storing your patio furniture is important for deciding whether your furniture should be covered. If your furniture will be staying outside all winter, invest in a tarp or quality cover to protect your furniture from the elements. Keeping the feet of your furniture off the ground will also help to preserve its quality. So, get a few 2 x 4’s to elevate your furniture a bit. If you’ll be storing your furniture in a dry space, such as a garage, basement or storage unit, it should be fine left uncovered. However, you may want to stack your chairs together to save space.
Perhaps you don’t want to even begin thinking of storing your beloved patio furniture yet. But, having a plan and process in place will make storing easier and help to maintain your furniture for years to come!
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