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How to clean your garden furniture for spring

Gardens chairs need love too
Gardens chairs need love too
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Those of you who are familiar with my gardening pursuits already know that one of my favorite gardening activities is sitting in my garden chair at the end of the day and watching the garden grow. I’ll be honest with you. My favorite garden chair is an old resin chair that stays outside all winter, in case we get some nice weather and I want to spend some time outside. It’s like an old pair of jeans. It fits perfectly even though it’s a bit frayed around the edges. This year I intend to scrub it down, sand off the rough edges and give it a fresh coat of paint.

In honor of my garden chair, I’d like to offer you some tips on preparing your garden furniture for spring.

Aluminum or Metal Chairs: These chairs typically have an aluminum frame with sling seat, but may be solid metal. Ideally, you have moved them inside out of the elements for winter, but if they have been outside there is still hope. Wash them down with mild soap and water and rinse away the grime. The Chicago winter gear and home furniture shop, Williams Ski and Patio Store, recommends using vinegar and water to remove calcium buildup on the chairs. The acids in the vinegar dissolve calcium and other hard water deposits making it easy to scrub the residue away with a soft brush.

Wicker Furniture: Wipe down wicker furniture with a soft, damp cloth to remove any dust that has accumulated during the winter. You can also use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean the wicker. Clean the cushions according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Wrought Iron: Nothing says rustic garden quite like wrought iron chairs or benches. Wash these down in the spring with mild soap and water. Check for rusted areas and sand lightly with steel wool. Touch up the area with the appropriate color paint and your wrought chairs are as good as new.

Cushions: Although the cushions for outdoor furniture are designed to withstand summer weather, they are not intended to spend the winter outside – especially if you live in northern climates. Wash down the cushions with mild soap and water and place them on their sides to dry. This allows all areas of the cushion to dry and prevents wet edges or creases.

Resin Chairs: Resin chairs have the tendency to mildew if let out in the elements, but there is a solution for that. Scrub the chairs with bleach and water to remove stains. Rinse them thoroughly to wash away and traces of bleach and allow them to dry completely before using them. Badly stained resin chairs can be repainted with paints deigned for plastics.