Caring For Your Hammock And Outdoor Furniture
Hammocks made nowadays are usually easy to clean, making them even more appealing. Some hammocks are washable, but ensure that you tie the two ends together prior to putting it in the washing machine. Tie each arm at equal intervals with pieces of cord and leave to soak in lukewarm water with shampoo and a handful of salt. The reason for this is to prevent the rings from getting snarled in the hammock string, or the tying string. You should also enclose it in a pillowcase before washing and use a mild detergent.
If you are going to hand wash your hammock, tie it as instructed above, but rather than placing it in a pillowcase wash it by hand in a large sink or bathtub using mild detergent or hammock cleaner with no bleach, and rinse well. Carefully untie the hammock, and hang it up to dry.
If the spreader bars on your hammock are not removable, your only option for cleaning is to place it on your driveway and hose it down. Use mild detergent mixed with water and a soft bristle brush to lightly scrub each side of the hammock. Once clean, hang your hammock outside and allow it to dry completely. Keep the hammock properly dry because you would not want it to mildew. The best method is to buy a storage bag made from weather resistant material that is sturdy and breathable.
To store your hammock, hang both end loops on a single nail or hook in your closet. For longer life, your hammock should not be left out in the weather, especially extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms, etc. Take time to clean your hammock before you put it away. Never store until the hammock is completely dry.
Your hammock will last for years if you take good care of it. Keep in mind that cotton loses color over the years if left outside so bring cotton hammocks indoors when it rains, snows, etc. If left outside year round it will fade during the first year and begin to rot during the second. Man made fabrics such as nylon and polyester are much more resistant to degradation from the elements than cotton is.
Be careful with buttons…they will catch on your hammock and may break a thread when pulled. Take off your shoes and any other items that can snag on your hammock. If a snag occurs gently ease the thread back into the weave and shake the hammock to even things out. When the hammock is not in use avoid tangling the end-strings.
Outdoor Furniture Care
Outdoor furniture is an asset that you wouldn’t want to replace every spring. Wicker, wood, fabric, aluminum, wrought iron, steel and resin are some of the materials outdoor furniture is available in. You can clean most outdoor furniture with soap and water. Ask salespeople what care is necessary for the pieces you’re keen on if you want to minimize maintenance – some materials need more care than others.
Woods – your wood garden furniture needs very little attention. Left alone, wood will weather to a warm silver-gray. If your wood furniture needs cleaning this can be done with a regular household bristle brush and some tepid, slightly soapy water. We do not advocate the use of high-pressure hoses, and steel wool or steel wire brushes should not be used by any means as any residue left in the grain will rust and discolor the wood. If the furniture has stubborn or heavily ingrained stains these can be removed by sanding with a fine grain of sandpaper, being sure to work only in the direction of the timber grain.
Teak is a tropical hardwood with high natural oil content. Use a teak cleaner to bring the wood back to its natural beauty. For a less weather-beaten look, it is possible to bring back some of the original color of the timber through a three-stage method which entails applying teak cleaner followed by teak brightener and finishing off with a sealer or teak oil. Teak holds up against the elements, but it’s wise to cover it or tuck it away for the winter. Cleaning before throwing on a weather cover for winter is particularly important if your furniture has cushions.
American Oak – you can stain your oak if you like, but we suggest that you coat your wood once a year with polyurethane to keep it as fine-looking as the day you bought it. Indonesian Hardwood – like oak, coat Indonesian hardwood yearly with polyurethane to keep it strong and beautiful.
Wicker outdoor furniture can be cleaned using a hose or pressure washer.
Aluminum, wrought iron and steel frames require cleaning with water and mild soap. Care for these materials like you would your car – wash and wax. Wrought iron requires some touch up, as it’s prone to rusting eventually. It holds up very well unless you have a salt/ocean environment – if you live inland you won’t have many problems.
Resin – use a solution made of: ¾ cup standard household bleach, 1 tablespoon powdered or liquid laundry detergent and one gallon of water. Combine well, and before you use this solution test a small amount on a concealed area of the resin furniture to confirm that it does not discolor or alter the appearance. If the test goes well, rub on the cleaning solution one small area at a time and let sit for five minutes. Follow by scrubbing the area, then rinse well.
The right patio furniture cushions can fill you with a sense of comfortable living. The drainable quality of your cushions, in addition to the density and quality of the foam itself, are keys to having long lasting patio furniture. A further way to keep the wetness out is to have the correct material on the outside. Look for solution dyed acrylic – it is specifically designed to be all weather, comfortable and soft. Wash with mild soap and water once at the beginning and once at the end of the season to get rid of mildew.
Wash dingy umbrellas or cushions with a mild hand dish washing soap using a nylon bristle brush, then rinse carefully and air dry. The brown spots that appear on chaise lounges are a chemical reaction to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and they are easy to remove with soap and hot water if you catch them when they first show up.
About The Author:
Astrid Bullen is a successful author and regular contributor to Affordable Hammocks. A great online source for affordable hammocks, hammock chairs and swings and hammock accessories.