Rain or shine, the unpredictable weather conditions in the country can have adverse effects on your expensive garden furniture.
With a heat wave one minute and hail the next, it is important to know how to freshen up your garden furniture and protect it from the heat.
From cleaning barbecues and fire pits to preventing colors from fading in the sun, Paul McFadyen, Managing Director at metals4U and Ryan Schwarze, Head of Luxury Rattan showed us how to get the most out of our outdoor furniture.
Some of the best tips include using white vinegar to prevent rusting of metal furniture, baking soda to remove barbecue grime, and olive oil to reduce cracking on rattan chairs.
RUST REMOVING METAL OUTDOOR FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES
Experts recommend spreading white vinegar evenly over the surface of metal furniture to help remove rust. Pictured, stock image
Many garden items such as French patio furniture sets, fire pits and barbecues that are made of steel can easily rust because they are left outside for a long time.
Rust can tend to thrive in hot and dry environments but can also build up in a mix of rainy and humid conditions so it’s important to be aware of rust prevention and understand how to keep it clean and also how to place or store it in your garden.
“Rust is generally a stubborn form of corrosion that must be removed from metal surfaces, so it must be handled with proper care so as not to damage your furniture,” says metal4U general manager Paul McFadyen.
‘Active corrosion spray can be a very useful product to have in your cupboards, especially in the summer when there is more moisture and heat outside. Also available in colors such as white, this style of spray offers high coverage and excellent adhesion, even on rust.
The Best Way to Remove Rust If you’ve already spotted it on your furniture, it’s very easy. Simply pour white vinegar evenly over the surface of the furniture and give it some time to settle. An hour should be enough.
“Once you’ve done this, just wipe it off with a gloved cloth and repeat again if necessary.”
PREVENTING COLOR REPLACEMENT
Paul advises to use a metal lacquer with a new product, so that you are optimally protected against outdoor weather conditions. Pictured, stock image
Do you have an egg chair? Lucky you! This is the talk of the town in the great outdoors, but now it means making sure paint colors don’t flake, rattan materials stay bright, and pillows look fresh while out in the sun.
This also applies to other exterior decoration materials, which can lose their color due to the rapidly changing weather conditions in the UK.
“There are several things you can do to maintain the vibrancy of paint on surfaces, so that corrosion is slowed down,” says Paul. ‘The use of a metal lacquer is always recommended when you have a new product, so that you are maximally protected against the weather outside from the start and the metal furniture color lasts longer.
“It’s inevitable that paint will start to flake off, especially when the moisture from the rain regularly hits furniture. Therefore, we recommend peeling off the paint from the affected area and starting over.
‘Once the surface is exposed, you can treat it with an etching liquid, which can be used on all types of metal furniture made of stainless steel, copper and aluminum. After this has dried, you can paint the area over and reapply the metallic paint so it’s sealed again.”
Don’t forget the pillows! With all the summer fun in the great outdoors, chances are your patio cushions and furniture will fall victim to some spills and stains here and there, but don’t worry…
To keep upholstery alive, Ryan Schwarze, Head of Luxury Rattan, suggests: ‘We recommend removing cushions from furniture when not in use but in the sun all day, such as when you are on holiday.
‘The sun can fade colors very easily on a hot day and to maintain that new, vibrant look, store them indoors when not in use.
“When it comes to keeping pillows clean, use warm water with a mild detergent of your choice to spot clean, non-removable pillow covers.”
‘A soft scrubber is preferable to remove the stain before cleaning with a damp cloth. Excess moisture can be absorbed with towels to ensure that as much moisture as possible is absorbed before drying.’
CLEANING BARBEQUES AND FIREPLACES
Baking soda is an easy cleaning solution for stainless steel barbecue grills. Pictured, stock image
There are plenty of specialist cleaners for barbecues and fire pits. However, you may want to consider using baking soda instead, as this is an easy cleaning solution for stainless steel barbecue grills.
Paul adds: ‘Stainless steel is used for barbecue grills because it is wear resistant and does not rust like most other metals. When you clean it, you really have to be careful not to use anything too abrasive that could damage the metal coating.
‘We recommend using baking soda mixed with water to form a paste to remove dirt or grime as it is non-toxic. Avoid using metal grill brushes as the bristles can come loose and be incredibly harmful if swallowed.
‘Let the paste soak for 10 minutes and wipe it clean – rinse the area well after the treatment. To prevent food from sticking to your grill, apply oil before cooking.’
TAKE CARE OF OUTDOOR FURNITURE
Ryan recommends using a soft cloth and rubbing some olive oil on old rattan furniture to clean it. Pictured, stock image
Both hard and soft furniture require regular cleaning and care when stored outdoors. This ensures that you have a product that will last longer and look as good as new as the seasons come and go.
If you have metal patio furniture, a gazebo or any other type of metal sun lounger, Paul will tell you how to keep it in top condition.
“If you have exposed metal in your outdoor furniture or structures, it’s important to maintain its quality through cleaning methods,” he explains. ‘Metal is of course more wear-resistant than furniture, but it does require maintenance to prevent rust, otherwise it can become difficult to maintain the quality of the product over time and fall into disrepair.
“We recommend that you spray your metal with a heavy-duty cleaner that is safe for metals, paints and most plastics. This is a solvent designed to remove dirt, grime and any stubborn grease that will adhere to your furniture if left outside for long periods of time. ‘
When it comes to cleaning rattan furniture, it is important to use caution and avoid harsh cleaning agents or chemicals.
For the best cleaning practices, Ryan says, “Fill a bowl of warm, soapy water with some dish soap and gently wipe your furniture with a soft cloth. Wipe off any soap residue from your furniture before letting it dry outside.
‘If you have an old rattan piece of furniture that looks worse with wear, I recommend using a soft cloth and rubbing some olive oil on the product. This reduces cracking and gives your rattan a shine, making it look as good as new.’