Why do you live in the Arizona desert? It is a rhetorical question, I know. With an average daily temperature in Phoenix at 73oF and a rainfall of less than 8” a year, it is pretty obvious. That wonderful climate allows you the freedom to spend more time outdoors and that means some R&R on your patio. For you to enjoy the patio, though, it needs to be clean and maintained. With all of the dust and dirt, leaves, bird crap, and other stuff that floats around keeping patios clean can be a time consuming task. We have compiled some tips and information that will help you.
Most outdoor furniture is waterproof and durable. Whether the frames are steel, plastic, or wrought iron they can simply be wiped down with a soapy damp rag (depending on their dirtiness of course). Chemicals typically aren’t necessary and are often even discouraged. From time to time it is a good idea for cushions to be removed and the frames sprayed and brushed down thoroughly. This removes any insects, webs, and dirt that may have nested in the nooks and crannies of the furniture. Some materials like natural woods and wicker are more suitable for covered patios and may have there own unique ways to care for them. Please check with your manufacturer if you are unsure.
Cushions can be cared for just as easily. Most times just wiping down with a damp rag will remove most surface dirt and stains. If there are stubborn spots and/or mildew issues a mixture of a quart of warm water, 1 tsp. borax or bleach, and a 1 tsp. of mild detergent soap can be used (read all labels to verify for your fabrics). Rinsing is the most critical part of cushion cleaning especially if soap was used because soap attracts more dirt and dirt attracts mildew faster. If cushions were saturated while cleaning then remove and stand up on end until damp and ready for reinstallation.
We recommend if patio furniture is not in use for a long time that the cushions be removed and stored somewhere clean and dry. An alternative would be purchasing patio furniture covers. With this option verify that the covers will survive our harsh Arizona summers. We have witnessed covers actually melting to metal frames which become a mess unto itself.
Keeping your outdoor furniture clean and maintained will improve the life, look, and your use of the furniture. These tips will help you to keep your outdoor furniture going strong and ready when you want it on those gorgeous Arizona days.