Give Outdoor Furniture a Facelift

As the summer stretches on, and your patio furnishings start to show the signs of use, you may want to try these simple ways of restoring them to their original luster.

Before trying any of these techniques, always test in an inconspicuous area first. For vinyl cushions and fabrics without specific instructions for upkeep, try a mixture of water and mild detergent with an "oxi-cleansing" additive for stains. Avoid chlorine bleach that can corrode stitching and cause discoloration. Rinse thoroughly and dry without direct sunlight.

Furniture frames require specific care, depending on the material. Wicker should be vacuumed and/or brushed before a gentle washing and rinsing with a garden hose (not a power washer). Aluminum frames will keep their appearance longer if you apply and buff a coating of car wax after wiping clean and drying. Natural woods fare well when scrubbed with commercial oil soap (not detergent), and can retain their integrity longer with a weather-resistant stain or urethane treatment. To help your outdoor furniture last from season to season, invest in weather-resistant slip-covers.

Happy Restoring!

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