Summer is long past and autumn is ending, so it’s time to put away your patio furniture until next season. But patio furniture—particularly if it’s made of wood—needs a little TLC before it gets shoved in your shed or other storage facility. Take time to properly prepare your pieces so they survive their winter hibernation. Here are three tips on storing patio furniture during the winter.
Clean It Up
Even if your patio furniture looks clean, don’t put it away until you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. Whether your pieces are made of wood, metal, or plastic, cleaning them ensures they’ll live longer, and it’ll also prevent things like mold and rust. Solid wood outdoor furniture needs various kinds of care. Non-teak wood can be scrubbed down with a water-and-detergent solution, with a small amount of bleach to kill mold and bugs. Rinse off solid wood outdoor furniture with a hose—preferably before the temperature drops to freezing. Add a layer of wood paste finishing wax to natural wood, or, if you have painted or stained wood, touch up any faded patches with stain or paint and let it dry. Teak and cedar need a bleach-and-water mixture to kill mold and mildew. Sanding them and applying tung oil would also be beneficial.
Wash the Fabric
The next of our three tips on storing patio furniture during the winter is this: clean the cloth! If your patio furniture has any fabric elements such as cushion slipcovers, remove and run them through the washer (check to ensure there’s no threat of shrinkage). Wipe down plastic cushions and covers with a disinfectant. Ensure everything is dry before putting it away to prevent fight mold and mildew.
Keep It Covered
Some patio furniture—such as treated wood and aluminum metal furniture—is perfectly fine being left outdoors all year round. Make sure yours is strong and hardy enough to survive everything the seasons throw at it.
Outdoor furniture made of cloth, steel, iron, wicker, and rattan should be kept indoors to prevent rot. If you don’t have the storage space, invest in tarps designed to breathe without letting in too much moisture. Cover the furniture with these tarps and tack them over the furniture.
It’s always best to bring all your patio furniture inside so sunlight, precipitation, and extreme temperature don’t make them warped, broken, or discolored. Take care of your patio furniture before it settles down for its long winter nap!