I loathe cleaning fold-able outdoor furniture, after a bit of travel and a lot of use it just gets really nasty. If you tailgate like my family and I do, you know what I am talking about. Those unidentifiable food bits (at least I think it is food) stuck to the seats and in the cracks between the metal and nylon. Yuck! Or worse, something sticky stuck in the mesh of the cup holders. At least I think it was gum, I am still not too sure what it was and I wasn’t going to get my microscope out to identify it. I don’t have time for that and I don’t want my children touching it even if they probably put it there.
At the end of the season, all the fold-able chairs and tables were put away without being cleaned. It turned out to be an ultimate mess of epic unidentifiable proportions, but all was not lost. Every spring and fall I pull all the area rugs out of my home and wash them with my husband’s electric pressure washer. I am a mom that likes power tools, and the electric pressure washer is a must have on the family tool list. You can use the electric pressure washer to wash your car mats, car, boat, ATV’s, kid’s outdoor toys, siding of your house, and folding furniture. Here is how I solved my problem and cleaned our outdoor furniture for the upcoming tailgating season.
Step one involves getting your cleaning product together, setting up your furniture, and the electric pressure washer. I non-toxic clean both inside and outside my home. White vinegar has strong properties that I know will break down mold and mildew. A spray bottle full of vinegar also cuts through grease, stains, and hard water. Set up all of your furniture on to a tarp or the patio. Place a heavy item such as a brick or a rock on the seats of the fold-able furniture, and on top of the tables. Spray down your furniture with the vinegar solution so it can do its job while you set up your pressure washer. If you’re not sure how to do this look in the manual that came with the washer. Your pressure washer should be set at a 1500-1900 psi for outdoor furniture. In a gallon bucket I add 1/3 cup of Castile soap to a gallon of water then fill the detergent tank on the machine.
Step two involves washing your furniture. Safety first, wear those glasses! Nothing is worse than getting soapy water in the eye. Start with the crevices and stained areas first simply wash down the furniture with the spray. This should get all the furniture nice and clean. If there are a few tough areas spray again then let the soap sit for a few minutes and spray again.
When you are satisfied that everything is as clean as you want it to be. Step three is rinsing your furniture down, then applying the vinegar solution again and let dry. This keeps mold and mildew from settling in to your furniture. Be sure to use it on those turf rugs too!
The pressure washer saves a lot of time and energy. When our gas pressure washer finally broke, we were so happy because we had been wanting to buy an electric one. Catherine Galvan’s site TBEPW made it really easy to pick out the perfect model. Electric pressure washers are much more economical than the gas powered version and easier to maintain. To my delight it got that strange mess out of the mesh cup holder without having to identify what it was and hours of scrubbing. At the same time I am doing the to-go-tailgating furniture, I take the time to do the children’s outdoor play toys, and the dogs indoor crate since the psi must be the same for all.
When you’re a busy mom the pressure washer is a must have, especially for my busy household.