Living Poolside

How Should I Clean My Outdoor Furniture?

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Tue, Mar 01, 2016

*Always check for the manufacturer's recommended care instructions on your furniture and on cushion tags.  Those instructions should always be followed first.  Your furniture company's website may also provide resources for cleaning and care.

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Spring is right around the corner and many of us find ourselves looking at our patio furniture as a project.  A refresh or at least a good cleaning may be in order.  With that said, we would like to share the following guidelines:

Cast Aluminum:

Cover the furniture pieces from top to bottom with all-purpose cleaner and rub with a soft, nylon scrub brush.  Next, wipe with a microfiber cloth removing all cleaner as well as debris.  For an added layer of protections, finish with a coat of car wax.

Cushions:

Combine 1 quart of warm water, 1 teaspoon of dish washing detergent and 1 tablespoon of Borax in a bucket.  Using a sponge, scrub the cushions on all sides.  Let the solution soak in for 15 minutes and rinse with a hose.  Stand each cushion on its side to dry.

Hammocks:

Hammocks collect a great deal of debris so washing a hammock several times a season is recommended.  Place the hammock on a clean tarp and spray with a hose.  Using a soft brush scrub with warm water and liquid dish washing soap.  Rinse and repeat on the other side.  Allow to dry in the sun.

Plastic:

Spray down plastic furniture with a hose then scrub with a warm water and baking soda solution.  Rinse with the hose and allow to dry in the sun.

Teak:

Whether your teak is natural or sealed with a protectant, the cleaning method for teak furniture is the same.  Combine a 50/50 mixture of dish or laundry detergent and warm water (boat owners swear by Wisk laundry detergent).  Apply using a soft bristle brush.  Allow the mixture to sit on the wood several minutes then rinse well with clean water using the brush to help push away detergent and dirt.  Towel dry.

*Although teak is highly durable, never use steel wool or  pressure hose on teak.  Steel wool can break off and become embedded in the wood and a power washer will strip away the wood's natural protectants.

Umbrellas:

Using a water hose rinse off the umbrella thoroughly.  Rub a wet, soft bristled brush across a bar of soap then, working from top to bottom, use the brush to scrub the umbrella going back and reapplying soap to the brush as needed.  Rinse with the hose and leave umbrella open to dry.

Wicker:

Use your vacuum's crevice attachment or a dry paint brush to dislodge any debris.  Next, wet a clean, microfiber cloth with a multipurpose cleaner and wipe over the entire surface.   Rinse with a clean, damp sponge.  Wipe with a dry fiber cloth to prevent any mildew.

Wrought Iron:

Mix warm water and mild dish detergent in a bucket.  Use the mixture to wipe down the entire surface.  Rinse with clean water from the hose.  Towel dry.

Here's to a bit of a refresh for us all!  We wish you and your family and friends many hours of time this spring, outdoors enjoying life poolside!  - your friends at the Master Pools Guild

Tags: Outdoor Furniture, Master Pools Guild, swimming pool opening, spring cleaning

What Is The Best Way To Clean My Outdoor Grill?

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Mon, Jul 27, 2015

Grilling Outdoors

There is no doubt that a major element of Living Poolside is our love of cooking and eating outdoors.  Here are a few tips from the Master Pools Guild for keeping gas & charcoal grills in great working order! 

Cleaning a Stainless Steel Grill – Easy Does It!

The key to properly cleaning a stainless steel grill is being gentle. Mix a mild dishwashing detergent with water and scrub the surface.  If needed, you can allow the mixture to sit a few minutes before you scrub it off.  Afterwards, rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth. There are numerous brands of Stainless Steel Grill cleaner but glass cleaner works great to remove fingerprints or minor stains.   When cleaning stainless steel, soft cloth or paper towels should be used – NO wool pads as they will harm the stainless steel surface. 

Routine Maintenance for all grill types:

Grates: Routine brushing of the grates will prevent food and bacterial buildup.  Follow each cooking session with a good grate brushing using a brass wire brush.  Once the grates have been cleaned wash and soak your brush in hot soapy water. Hang to dry with the brush upside down on a grill hanger. Drying the brush naturally will help the bristles last. After your brush is dry, storing it indoors will reduce weather exposure to the bristles and extend the life of your brush.

After you've brushed down your grill grates and they are at a cool temperature, spray them with some cooking oil. This will help prevent rusting and ensures a long life. If you don't have cooking spray, another option is to pour some cooking oil on a clean cloth and wipe down the grates.

Burners:  Cleaning burners is also important as burners accumulate grease and food which can lead to uneven cooking temperatures.

Grease Traps: Grease is highly flammable.  It can cause a fire or heat up all of the grill’s surfaces including the handles so make sure to cleaning out grease traps frequently.

Charcoal Ash: For charcoal grills, dump all used charcoal or ash after each use and clean the insides with a wire brush. Ash catchers should be cleaned after each use. Keeping the bed of your grill clean will reduce excess smoke and bad flavors. 

Semi-Annual Maintenance

It's smart to dismantle your grill and give it an extensive cleaning at least twice during the year. If you have a gas grill, disconnect the propane tank before you start the process. Then, soak the grates in soapy water and scrub (using steel wool if necessary). After cleaning your grill, turn it on and let it cook for 10 minutes. This allows burn off of any cleaning substances.

It's also a good idea to check the grill chassis for any rust. Rust will come off with a stiff wire brush or a steel wool pad. Inspect all joints, connectors and fasteners to ensure there is no corrosion.  Check or re-tighten fasteners, replacing any grill appendages as necessary (wheels, knobs and handles) and double check cover hinges. 

Polishing Your Charcoal Grill

Baking soda on a sponge can be used to polish your grill and to clean exterior surfaces. If you notice any missing paint, grill-safe paint is your best option for sprucing up the appearance. 

For all grills and outdoor appliances:  Always follow all manufacturers’ suggestions/instructions first & foremost! 

So fire up those grills and enjoy your time Living Poolside !

Tags: entertaining by the pool, Outdoor Furniture, grill maintenance