We all hate to make the move indoors after enjoying our outdoor furniture all summer, but as sad as is it, taking a little extra time to care for your patio furniture now will have you up and running in no time when spring returns. With outdoor living more popular than ever, most of us have at least a few pieces that need to be stored. And even those products that are manufactured to remain outside for the winter require some precaution for harsher weather conditions. Spend a bit of time now with these winter storage tips—and your furniture will stay in top shape.
Your Winter Storage Tips Checklist
Clean your outdoor furniture
Cleaning outdoor furniture is the most important of the winter storage tips. Mold and mildew can infest your patio furniture when exposed to the moisture and dirt of the winter months. Any products made of wicker, mesh, wrought iron or plastic can be cleaned simply with some dish soap and water. Have wood patio furniture? Use a Murphy Oil Soap and water solution, rinse and then let it air dry. If you find there are any stains that are hard to remove, mix a cup of ammonia with a quarter-cup baking soda, half-cup of vinegar and a gallon of water. Use a soft brush, then rinse and air dry.
Clean your patio furniture cushions.
When it comes to cleaning your outdoor furniture, don’t forget about the patio furniture cushions. Make sure they’re clean and dry before storing them for the winter. Patio furniture cushions made of canvas or fabric typically respond well to a scrubbing with a solution of a half-cup of Lysol and a gallon of very hot water, then rinsed thoroughly and air dried. A solution of half a cup of bleach and a gallon of water may work on tougher stains, but test a small area first.
Treat any teak patio furniture
Teak patio furniture is the most durable of wood used to make outdoor furniture. You’ll find it turns a brilliant silver with time and exposure to the elements. If you want teak patio furniture to maintain its original color during the winter months, apply specialty oil.
Cover it up.
Another of the great winter storage tips is to use outdoor furniture covers. Perfect for protection from the winter conditions, these should be used even if you’re storing your stuff in a garage. You’ll find them in a variety of weights and sizes, depending where you choose to store them. Try to stack chairs to save space. Tying the covers down will keep them in place and avoid water and snow from blowing onto the surface of the patio furniture.
In or out?
Carry the chairs to your garage or other indoor storage space. Don’t have indoor space available? Just make sure you use those furniture covers. Carry your lighter tables to your storage area and stack things up when possible.
Make sure you brush off snow and leaves on your outdoor furniture throughout the winter. You’ll find that water from melted snow can find its way to the patio furniture, causing damage when it freezes again. Stick to these winter storage tips for your furniture and you’ll be more than set for the start of spring!