Florida’s warm, sunny weather makes it a perfect environment for spending time outdoors. As a result, many Floridians have front or back porches and patios attached to their homes and research shows that they spend millions of dollars each year on outdoor furnishings such as patio sets, sun chairs and umbrellas and bases. After all, what is more relaxing than kicking back on the porch with friends, family and some cold drinks on a beautiful Florida afternoon?
The only problem with decking out your porch or patio with comfortable, attractive outdoor furniture is that the hot climate can make it a real pain to keep such furnishings clean, dry and in good condition. As every Florida resident knows, our weather tends to be rainy, hot and humid for much of the year, making it an ideal setting for mold and rust growth. Luckily, the team at Mini Maid did our homework and are here to provide the following useful tips for caring for your outdoor furniture. We hope this helps you enjoy more outdoor lounging this summer!
Tip #1 – Removing Mildew
Mildew is an unsightly form of mold that grows in warm areas that are dark and damp. Mildew can cause staining and a musty smell in fabrics. To remove mildew from fabric or acrylic outdoor cushions, simply combine a cup or so of bleach with two gallons of warm water. Use gloves, a sponge and a spray bottle to lightly coat the cushions, then let them sit for a moment before rinsing. Once you have removed the mildew, rinse the surface of the cushions thoroughly with clean water and dry them with dishtowels.
Tip #2 – Removing Rust
Rust is another form of mold that forms in particularly moist environments. Rust primarily affects metals such as iron and steel, which also happen to be materials commonly used in outdoor furnishings. An excellent way to remove rust is to break out the limes and salt (no, not for margaritas!) and give your furniture a simple scrub. This method is a good option because it provides both the acidity and abrasion needed to remove rust without the use of harsh chemicals that may damage your furniture. Just wet down the rusty areas on your furniture with water, coat liberally with salt, let the salt sit for a couple hours and then use a halved lime to scrub the rust right off! When you’re done, rinse the furniture with water, dry with a dishtowel and you are all set.
Tip #3 – Invest in Furniture Covers
Most patio furniture designed for outdoor use is built to be at least somewhat resistant towards harsh weather. However, because Florida is a state with particularly extreme heat and a larger than average amount of rainfall, it’s not a bad idea to invest in furniture covers for items that will be used outside. Applying these covers when furniture is not being used will significantly extend the life of your outdoor seating and dining pieces, especially if the furniture is regularly exposed to wet or salty air.
For more helpful tips from Mini Maid, check out our list of video tutorials! If you have questions or would like to schedule a housecleaning, call us at (352) 371-4141.