We might get very hit and miss weather even during our long awaited Summer months but when the rain finally takes a break and the warm weather does decide to make an appearance, we love to make the most of it. Long lazy lunches outside, putting our feet up after work with a cold drink and weekend barbeques with our family and friends. We love to soak up the sunshine and we love to be comfortable whilst we are doing it.
After a long grey winter you might now be looking at your Whitestores rattan furniture set and thinking it looks a little worse for wear but with a little bit of tender loving care and bi weekly maintenance you will be able to enjoy your garden in comfortable style for many years to come. Rattan furniture can last for years under heavy use, if it is maintained properly, by taking these few simple steps.
Although you could keep the furniture frame outside all year round this isn’t advisable. Make sure to store the cushions inside during the winter months and also during the wet days in the summer. As much as we don’t like to think about rain in August, it does unfortunately happen and our cushions don’t take very kindly to getting wet. If you have a garage with some spare space then think about popping the frame inside there during the winter months to stop it from encountering any unnecessary damage during any storms or extreme temperature changes. It is advisable to put the cushions inside the house though rather than the garage to avoid them becoming damp with the cold which in turn could lead to mildew and mold. You might be tempted to wash the cushion covers regularly to keep them looking their best but avoid this and only wash when absolutely necessary to keep the fabric from getting too worn or frayed. During your bi weekly cleans just run the hoover nozzle with the brush attachment over them to keep them looking clean and tidy. If you do have any sudden accidental spills on the covers then wipe immediately with a damp cloth and hang out in the sun to dry.
You will want to do a big clean at the beginning of Summer. Pull it all out of the garage and give the frame a thorough cleaning. Make a mixture of water with a drop of washing up liquid and using a soft cloth, wash the frame of your furniture, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. To get to the most hard to reach areas use a natural bristle brush. This will ensure that any dirt and dust is removed and have your furniture looking as good as new. Do be careful not to use too much washing up liquid as this could cause the colour to fade. Just a drop will do! Do not be tempted to clean it with your pressure washer as this could cause lots of damage to the material. Also do not use bleach as this would cause significant colour damage. Next ensure you dry the furniture as quickly as possible. If it is a particularly warm day then you can let the sun do all the hard work but if not then feel free to blast the hairdryer! Finally you will want to apply a layer of lacquer to treat and seal the wood. It is also advisable to place rubber stoppers underneath all the legs of your furniture. This will help minimize any damage that could occur from contact with the ground and help to prevent cracking or splitting in the wood.
For the rest of the time that your garden set is outside then a monthly or bi weekly clean is necessary. You will not want to get the frame as wet as you do with the once a year clean but the same principles will apply. With your soft cloth and brush, either using the water and washing up liquid mixture or with a furniture polish remove any dust and dirt, once again ensuring that it is dried off quickly. Using a furniture polish instead of water and washing up liquid will add a lovely shine to the wood. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt from the cushion covers and a give them a quick hoover. During these bi weekly cleans, check for any damage that may have occurred and treat it as quickly as possible. If you notice any cracking or splitting in the wood then apply some linseed oil to help put some moisture back into it. Little things like this really will ensure that your furniture stays looking its best.
It is best not to keep your furniture in direct sunlight throughout the whole of Summer as this could cause the colours to fade. A shady spot on the patio will keep it looking fresh and as good as the day you purchased it. There are also many garden furniture covers on the market. These are made from polyester with a PVC backing and water taped seams and are not only waterproof but also breathable so are an ideal investment to use at night in case of surprise middle of the night thunderstorms.
As much as we all love our animals and children, they do not care about our furniture the way we do. Try to keep your pets away as much as possible. The last thing anyone wants is their cat to use the chair leg as a scratching post. If you allow your dogs onto the chairs then give them a weekly hoover to remove any fur that they kindly leave behind them. Ensure your children know not to sit on the arms of the chairs as this could damage them. Try to get them involved in the bi weekly cleaning to not only teach them how to look after the furniture but they will probably have lots of fun with the water and learn something in the process.
Now you’ve done all of the hard work, grab that cold drink and pop your feet up on your newly cleaned, fresh as a daisy furniture!