Winter is on the horizon, so it’s time to prepare your outdoor furniture for the cold months ahead. Whether you have a covered storage area or plan to leave your furniture outside, it’s important to cover your outdoor furniture to preserve your investment and the integrity of your furniture set. Here are some important steps to prepare your outdoor furniture for winter storage.
Step 1: Clean and Dry Before Storage
Cleaning and drying your outdoor furniture before putting it into winter storage is a simple yet effective way to ensure it remains in excellent condition and is immediately ready for the next season. A thorough cleaning prevents unpleasant orders, stains, and discoloration from settling in. It also minimizes the risk of pest infestations during the winter, particularly if you’re leaving your set outdoors. For all frame materials and cushions, it’s essential to let your outdoor furniture completely dry to reduce the risk of mold and mildew growing during storage.
How to Clean Wicker Outdoor Furniture
Before you cover your wicker outdoor furniture, use a soft brush or vacuum with a brush attachment to remove dirt from the wicker’s crevices. For a deeper clean, mix 2 ounces of mild soap (such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid) with one gallon of lukewarm water. This gentle solution can clean away accumulated dirt or debris. Rinse thoroughly and air dry completely before storing. If possible, dry your wicker set in filtered sunlight or partial shade rather than intense sun to preserve the wicker’s structural integrity.
How to Clean Aluminum Outdoor Furniture
To prep your aluminum outdoor furniture for winter storage, spray the frame with a garden hose to remove loose dirt and debris. (Outer does not recommend using a pressure washer on its Aluminum Frames as the force of water can chip the powder-coated finish.) Tougher stains can be cleaned away with mild detergent (like Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid) and warm water. Use a sponge or lint-free rag to gently wipe the entire surface, including underneath and in the corners. Rinse with water and allow the aluminum frame to dry completely before storing.
How to Clean Teak Outdoor Furniture
Teak outdoor furniture is relatively easy to care for thanks to its natural oils that protect it from rot. But the end of the season is a smart time for a routine cleaning. Dilute a mild detergent (like Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid) in warm water and use a bristled brush to clean away any dirt or debris. If you want to preserve the golden tone of your teak furniture, we recommend using a teak cleaner such as Star Brite’s Teak Cleaner and Losso’s Teak cleaner. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer for best practices.
How to Clean Outer Cushions
To avoid your cushions from turning “funky” in the off-season, give your cushions a full cleaning. If you do not have Outer cushions, we encourage you to follow the manufacturers’ directions as care instructions may vary.
Outer’s cushions are exceptionally easy to clean, even ahead of winter storage. Most stains can be hosed off completely, but if you have any stubborn or set-in stains, add two ounces of mild soap to one gallon of lukewarm water. Clean the fabrics with a soft bristle brush and rinse thoroughly with cold water and air dry. For a full clean, Outer’s cushion covers are machine washable. Use a gentle or delicate wash cycle with cold water and then air dry.
Regardless of which brand of cushions you have, allow the cushions to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. As with all outdoor furniture and fabrics, ensure they are completely dry to prevent mold or mildew growth during storage.
Step 2: Cover Your Outdoor Furniture
If your furniture will be outdoors through the winter, a proper outdoor furniture cover is an absolute must and essential to protect it from the harsh weather, preventing damage and extending its lifespan.
Outer offers a tight custom-fitting All-Weather Covers to protect your furniture from the rain, snow, sun, and winds up to 70 MPH thanks to its wind straps and buckles. The elegant sloped and vented design prevents moisture and debris from building up. Plus the colored zipper clearly indicates the right side up for quick and easy application.
For any outdoor furniture sets without a custom cover, you can use waterproof tarps or large, sturdy furniture covers to protect your outdoor furniture. Make sure that everything is securely fastened and extend all the way to the ground to keep your furniture dry and clean.
If you are storing your outdoor furniture in a garage, basement, or shed, it’s still a good idea to cover your furniture, even if it’s indoors. This extra layer of protection helps prevent dust, dirt, and potential scratches.
Step 3: Store Your Outdoor Furniture
Once your outdoor furniture is clean, dry, and covered, it’s ready for storage. As you move your furniture into a safe space, avoid piling the furniture. Storing each piece individually prevents misshaping and preserves the structural integrity of the set.
Whether you have an indoor storage space or will leave your furniture outdoors through the winter, if possible, elevate your outdoor furniture with wooden blocks or pallets. This helps prevent any moisture from seeping in. When elevating teak pieces, consider using rubber or plastic pads for added protection against moisture.
Outer highly recommends storing your cushions indoors, particularly if you live in regions prone to heavy winter rain or snow. Even if the frame has to remain outdoors throughout the winter, bringing your cushions inside will preserve your investment and extend their lifespan.
By taking a few extra steps to care and pre-treat your outdoor furniture, you’ll ensure that your outdoor furniture remains in peak condition and will be ready to enjoy when spring returns. If you have any additional questions about how to care or store your Outer furniture, our complete care and maintenance guide is here or you can connect with a product specialist here.