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Maintenance tips for outdoor furniture

Any questions on how to maintain and protect your terrace, garden or balcony furniture? This article gives you some key points on caring for them, so that year after year you can continue to enjoy them like the first day. It also breaks down the best materials for outdoor furniture, if you're thinking of buying some.
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Outdoor, easy-care furniture

Aluminium, plastic, plastic rattan and steel are all materials for outdoor furniture that don't require lots of maintenance and are quite resilient. They are commonly used for furniture like outdoor wardrobes and shelves. Broadly speaking, these pieces of furniture are the most convenient and practical in terms of maintenance. See how easy it is!

To make them last season after season, just make sure to keep them clean. A little bit of water and soap is more than enough. Dry them well and when the season changes, store them in a cool, dry place (like a garage, carport or basement), especially if the furniture contains pieces of plastic and plastic rattan, which may break if they are subjected to very low temperatures.

Materials that require more maintenance

Acacia, eucalyptus and other solid woods generally require a little more maintenance from time to time. Even though caring from them may not be as simple as those in the previous section, outdoor furniture made with these materials are not terribly complicated to maintain and are worth it for their finish and appearance. They look great on any terrace or balcony.

To clean this type of furniture, again you can use a little water and gentle soap. Oh! And it's equally important to store them (if possible) or cover them with furniture covers or protectors.

Even though most outdoor wooden furniture comes pretreated with a varnish, we recommend that you give them a fresh coat every once in a while to prevent cracking and to extend their useful life. Don't forget to clean it well first and leave it dry for a full 24 hours.

How often do you need to do it? It depends on where the furniture is placed, how exposed to the sun they are and how you use the furniture. For example, furniture in the open air should be revarnished or stained when it no longer repels rain drops well, and instead absorbs them. If the painted furniture starts to peel or look worn, it's also a good time to sand and repaint it.

How to protect umbrellas

Umbrellas are another piece of outdoor furniture that require a minimum level of care to avoid them getting ruined. The first and most important tip, as obvious as it may seem, is to close the umbrella whenever it's not being used. That will prevent it from wear and tear.

Also, umbrellas generally need a deep clean once a year. Therefore, it's best to follow the washing instructions specified on the umbrella's label. If you want to give it extra protection against dirt, dust and rain, we recommend that you use a cover to protect it during the rest of the year or on the days that you're not using it (it's best to store it indoors in a cool, dry place). And never close and store it if it's wet!

Maintaining gazebos

With gazebos, take special care with the roofs. It's always recommended to remove them when there's bad weather, like wind or intense rain. For the correct maintenance of a gazebo, it must be cleaned regularly, both inside and out. These products usually come with cleaning instructions on the label, so take a look at yours and follow the steps.

As you know, some gazebos have wooden frames. So as with wooden furniture, you must stain and varnish these frames (with the help of paint brushes) to prevent cracks from forming. If that's not your case, and you have steel frames instead, for example, just use a wet cloth or sponge and a little bit of soap.

Before storing it, wash the cloth and let it dry completely. Store it in a cool, dry place. Don't be afraid to use protectors here. There are covers that can be perfectly adapted and which store the roof and curtains of the gazebo, if it has them.

Caring for cushions and pillows

Do you have special cushions or pillows for outside? You should also give them the care they deserve. To extend the lives of these outdoor textiles, you should wash them regularly. When you're not using them, you can store them in an outdoor wardrobe to protect them from heat and humidity. You could also add a protective cover, or if you prefer, put them inside your home. As always, it's best to store them in a cool, dry place.

In spite of all of these maintenance measures, we recommend that you always wash them (even if it's just for a short cycle) before putting them back in place, in order to remove the odour that has built up from being stored for the months that you've been hiding them away.

Was this article interesting? Enjoy more advice about how to maximise the outdoor areas of your home. Take a look at these ideas.

We love it when customers use our products in a creative way. Why not try to do something new with them yourself? But do remember, any modifications or changes that you make to IKEA products will prevent them from being resold or used for their original use, thus invalidating IKEA product warranties and your right to return.