How to Tell if Manufacturers Care

This Is Not Well-Known for Those of us Outside the Industry

A quick way to check if the manufacturer likes to cut corners is to take a peek at the zipper. If the brand is YKK, it’s a good indicator that the manufacturer cares about quality, knows what they’re doing and didn’t pinch costs. If you’re anything like me, quality matters to consumers, we expect our products to be durable and long lasting.

While there are other quality zipper manufacturers, great outdoor furniture companies specify all of their suppliers and YKK is consistently great quality. That’s how to tell if manufacturers care about quality and pass it onto you. 

YKK Zippers Are On Everything
YKK Zippers Are On Everything


Take a look at your clothes, you might notice that 50% of the zippers say Ykk, that’s pretty amazing. What makes them so dominant in a field that doesn’t seem particulary technical or complex? The answer is their dependability, quality, and their innovation. Ykk does it better than most and as good as the best, everytime.

Some Tips To Identifying Quality

If You Care About the Longevity of Your Outdoor Furniture

A quick and easy tip to identify high quality outdoor furniture to ensure that you are only bringing the best to your backyard, steel rusts unless thay are treated, there are many variables to consider;

Most outdoor furniture have metal frames, frequently it is living under all-weather outdoor wicker or it’s been painted. Either way, you’ll want to consider that aluminum is not steel. Manufacturers often use steel as a less expensive option in the manufacturing process. The problem is, steel rusts and leaves long-lasting stains on your outdoor area as aluminum never rusts.

Fabric is the “STAR”

 Fabric is the Star of your creation and usually overlooked. Consumers want soft but durable and fade resistant outdoor furniture. The majority of outdoor fabrics fall into 3 different materials:

Polyester – while soft to the touch, polyester has a difficult time holding its color when exposed to direct sunlight. If you’re going this route, make sure you are choosing a light color as the fading will be less noticeable.

Olefin – stain resistance is good with olefin, but it has a very rough feel and often falls apart after a year or two outside.

Acrylic – While it is more expensive, acrylic is the best option for outdoor furniture. It is extremely soft to the touch, highly fade resistant and incredible with stains. A smart choice would be to use a brand of acrylic called Sunbrella, which prides itself on its stain resistance and will insure your backyard is vibrant for years to come!

How to Care for Your Outdoor Aluminum Furniture Frames 

Frames that are made with commercial-grade, rust and maintenance free aluminum

Bromic Patio Heaters
Bromic Patio Heaters and Aluminum Chair Frames

Most care needs will be met with mild soap and water, applied with a non-abrasive cloth and rinsed with water. For tougher spills or buildup, it’s recommended that you use a mixture of white vinegar and lukewarm water.

Cleaning Wicker

If your patio furniture is made from 100% high-density polyethylene (HDPE) wicker. HDPE possesses antimicrobial properties that inhibit fungus and mildew growth. That being said, even the most durable wicker should be cleaned periodically.

  1.  Remove all cusions from slip cover.
  2. Use a garden hose to completely wash down your furniture.
  3. Mix together a cleaning solution using a mild soap and lukewarm water.
  4. Using a soft bristle brush or sponge, gently clean the wicker. Try to get into the cracks between the weaves, as it helps immensely in loosening up dirt and grime.
  5. Once you are done brushing or sponging the furniture, wash it down again with your garden hose or bucket of water until all soap residue is gone.

Let your patio set air dry. Kick back, relax and enjoy superior outdoor comfort!

Outdoor High Quality Wicker
Outdoor High Quality Wicker

Cleaning Your Outdoor Fabric

While your Sunbrella cushions are resilient to many things, they must be cleaned with care to avoid damaging the special fabric. Mild soap and warm water with a soft bristled brush will typically take care of most issues. A few additional techniques can be used to get rid of stains and mildew. Check for a manufacturers label to find instructions..

All Sunbrella fabrics are highly-resistant to water.  However, heavy or consistent rainfall will still get your cushions wet.  If your cushions do get wet, it’s recommended that you unzip the cushions and prop them up to dry. 

Cushions will typically require 1-3 days in the sun to completely dry – though humidity and other weather conditions can extend this timeframe.  Properly drying your cushions is essential for the longevity of the foam.

Sunbrella Fabric

Outdoor-Patio-Decor Cushions

Caring for Teak Furniture

Teak wood is a natural product, and thus each piece will have a unique and varied appearance.  Aging will vary based on climate and exposure, but over a period of roughly 8-12 months teak wood will age to a natural silver-gray color.  This is a purely aesthetic quality and has no impact on the longevity or integrity of the furniture.

New teak furniture will experience surfacing of natural oils, especially following the first few periods of rain.  This surfacing is unavoidable and can cause staining on cushions.  To avoid staining, store cushions separately from the wooden frame during rain.                                                                                          Stains can be removed by cleaning with a laundry oil and stain remover. 

Should you want to maintain a golden color rather than the natural gray

There are two ways to maintain this golden color – teak oil or sealer

Bayview Patio 11 Pc Indonesian Grade A Teak
Bayview Patio 11 Pc Indonesian Grade A Teak


Teak oils are known to cause mildew to grow on your set and need to be applied more frequently since they do not provide the UV protection of a sealant.  It is highly recommend protecting teak furniture with a sealer. Suggestion is Golden Care Teak Protector, which will prevent graying of the exterior wood for roughly one year.

Sealant can be applied at any time during the aging process.  Once applied, your furniture will hold the color it has at the time of sealing.  Before using teak sealant, clean any dirt or residue from your furniture and then allow it to dry completely.  Rub sealant onto the wood with a lint-free cloth, applying in the direction of the grain will yield best results

Should your furniture weather to a patina, it can be restored to a golden color by sanding with fine grain sandpaper (320 grit). Sand in the direction of the wood grain, and wipe dust from the wood when finished.  This method will also help smooth out ridges that develop, or stains that occur on the surface of the wood.  Be sure to seal the wood again after sanding.

Prepare Your Outdoor Furniture for Winter

If you don’t have the indoor space to store your patio furniture and you have to leave it outside in the elements, follow these steps to help protect your investment

  1. Clean all the furniture with mild soap and water
  2. Dry completely with a soft cloth.
  3. Consolidate pieces into the smallest possible space.
  4. Remove all cushions and store indoors.

Cover your set with a high-quality outdoor furniture cover.

This will avoid extended periods of direct sunlight and minimize fading.

Cover Seal Outdoor Furniture Cover
Cover Seal Outdoor Furniture Cover

If your cushions have faded, and you’re thinking about replacing your patio cushion fabric for a new look or style,

There are so many new products out on the market, Ottertex Canvas Fabric is waterproof for your outdoor furniture. Ottertex is from 100% plyester, it’s a heavyweight fabric which makes it extremely versatile. This fabric is backed with plastic PVC and has a weterproof coating.

The Ottertex brand surpasses all expectations when it comes to outdoor fabric. The canvas waterproof fabric has exceptional features that are great for both outdoor and indoor use.

Waterproof fabrics are most often fabrics that have been treated, coated or laminated with materials that repel water. PVC, polyurethane, wax, and other materials can all be used to treat fabrics. Fabric might be natural or synthetic before they even receive treatments to make them waterproof, this makes for a great choice for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Cleaning and Caring for Your Outdoor Fabric

Most outdoor fabric’s are resistant to water, However, heavy or consistent rainfall will still get your cushions wet. If that happens it is recommended that you unzip the cushions and prop them up to dry 1-3 days. Properly drying your cushions is essential for the longevity of the foam.

The best thing you can do for your outdoor furniture in the winter is bring them indoors and place a high quality cover over it.

Tips to Identifying Quality Outdoor Furniture

Below are some ideas to ponder if you need a stylish setting and don’t know how to get there.

It’s basically as simple as getting your visual on, choosing your colors, putting a large rug down to showcase your beautiful set and adding accents such as pillows and your favorite flowers or plants.

I always like to toss a throw blanket in just in case you get a cool breeze. Keeping it simple is key plus adding spots of color. I hope this helps, good luck and remember, have fun with it and make it your own!

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