Spring is almost here, and before you know it, you'll be firing up the barbecue, pouring the Pimms and getting comfortable on your garden furniture, ready for the sun to shine.
But before all that can happen, make sure your garden furniture set is in tip-top condition with these tips from Robert Fernandez, Rattan Direct’s outdoor furniture expert.
Before you take it outside
Once you have decided that the time is right to move your garden furniture outside for the warmer months, it's really important that you prepare it for the long hot summer months in the garden.
Use oil soap for wooden garden furniture
Over the winter months that it has spent undercover, either indoor or outdoor, your furniture will have probably accumulated a substantial amount of dust or dirt.
If you kept your garden furniture inside - dust it with a dry dusting cloth, then, wipe your furniture down with warm, soapy water or a mild dish detergent and rise thoroughly with clean water.
Top tip: Use an old toothbrush with dish detergent to get into any cracks and crevices. You'd be surprised at how much dust can get into places that you can't see!
If you kept your garden furniture outside – First step, unfold all patio chairs and tables, and start cleaning them using a dust cloth. Fill a bucket with warm water and mild soap, and, again, wipe off the dirt from materials like plastic, metal, or vinyl.
Top tip: Make sure you use oil soap if your garden furniture is made of wood.
Allow all furniture to dry in the sun and afterwards start checking the hardware. You might need to change some screws, nuts or blots, on your garden swings, chairs, or tables, especially if they show signs of corrosion.
Top tip: Grab a lubrication spray if you don’t want to replace anything, and fasten them tightly.
Once your furniture is outside
Once you have cleaned your furniture and moved into your garden, it will still need some simple care and attention to ensure that it stays in the best condition. It's really easy to take good care of your furniture if you remember to follow these five steps:
- During wet periods, always make sure that you remove all of the outdoor cushions and store them in a dry place.
- If your furniture does get rained on, or you have had to soak off a stain, then it is advisable to let it dry naturally out in the sun.
- Between uses it's best to store your garden furniture indoors, especially if it's rattan furniture. Rattan furniture looks great outside, but it isn't actually full-time outdoor furniture. Keeping it inside when not in use will ensure it looks better and lasts longer.
- If you notice a stain on your furniture, don't panic! Mix some mild detergent with water and scrub out the stain as soon as possible.
- Every now and again, try to ensure that your furniture is placed in direct sunlight. This will help to prevent any mould or mildew settling in.
- There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.