Clean Green Living spring/summer 2016

Page 29

Power washer


Stiff bristled broom Microfiber cloths Hose with adjustable nozzle Petite rake Blower Scraper Touch up paint Stiff bristle scrub brush Hair dryer Spray paint Gentle dish soap Bucket

can affect the protective coating on these fabrics. If the fabrics come out of the wash with mold or mildew stains, you can treat them with a solution of oxygen bleach and water, scrub them with a stiff brush, then run them back through the washing machine. Avoid using chlorine bleach as it can break down the protective coating and fade the colors in the fabric. Metal furniture can be power washed - if it is extremely dirty or you can wash it with a gentle soap and a microfiber cloth. Rust spots can be brushed with a metal brush or sandpaper, then wiped clean and treated with a rust preventive paint to treat the damaged areas on the metal. Make sure the metal is clean and dry before painting. It’s best to wait for a warm, dry day before trying to paint the metal as humidity can affect the paint. Wood furniture is usually made from a wood that naturally resists decay. You can use a sealant to protect the furniture, but it will affect that “worn” look that most people love in wooden outdoor furniture. Instead of sealing it, just wash it with a mixture of soap and oxygen bleach to remove stains and mildew. Tough areas can be scrubbed with a scrub brush and rinsed with a gentle setting on your hose. Extreme stains from metal screws in the wood can be sanded and then rinsed. The areas will have a different hue to them for a while but will weather just like the rest of the piece. Wicker furniture tends to need attention every season. Because it is made from an expandable fiber, paint or coatings tends to crack during freezing and thawing periods. Start by brushing off any large debris with a stiff bristled brush. Then using a metal brush, scrape off loose paint. Use your blower or even a hair dryer to get into tight spots in the wicker. Once the loose paint is removed, use spray paint to spot treat the bare fibers. If it was a very bad winter you may need to repaint the entire piece. For more cleaning tips, visit