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As the weather warms up, we all start to gravitate towards the outdoors. Whether it's for entertaining friends on relaxing by yourself, outdoor furniture is a must-have for those who like to spend their days in the nice weather. If you've found this article, it's because you want to know what type of outdoor furniture lasts the longest. Well, we've done the research and have an answer for you!
Wrought iron outdoor furniture lasts the longest. With minimal maintenance required, wrought iron furniture will last upwards of 60-years!
Though wrought iron furniture lasts the longest, there are still some things you can do to maximize the length of time it will last. Keep reading as we go over how to maintain your wrought iron furniture. Additionally, we'll answer some other questions you might have about outdoor furniture materials.
Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture
Wrought iron is a malleable type of iron that is mixed with a slag filament. It is worked by a blacksmith into furniture and becomes stronger the more it is worked. Wrought iron is durable and corrosion-resistant, which is what makes it a good material for outdoor furniture.
Wrought iron, though durable, does have its cons. The material will match the surrounding temperature. This means that in the summer months, you could burn yourself from the heat of the metal. Whilst in the winter months, it might be too cold to sit on comfortably. To solve this, try using outdoor fabric cushions or coverings.
How To Clean Wrought Iron Furniture
If properly maintained, wrought iron furniture can last upwards of 60 years. It should be frequently cleaned to help increase its longevity so dirt and debris do not build up. You can clean your furniture using a hose or a mixture of mild soap and water. Use a mild detergent like dish soap and avoid any cleaners that contain bleach.
If you have tough to reach areas on your furniture, you can use a toothbrush to get into the crevices. Make sure to rinse the soap off with water and allow it to dry.
Rust Removal & Prevention
Like all metals, wrought iron will rust. Due to the low amount of carbon in wrought iron, it will not rust as quickly as other metals. However, you should still take some steps to help maintain your furniture and prevent rust from occurring. As soon as you see any sign of rust, use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove the rust and restore your furniture.
Coating your wrought iron furniture in car wax at least twice a year or after cleaning will add a layer of protection. Use a soft cloth in a circular motion to apply and polish the wax.
What Should You Look For In Outdoor Furniture?
Though wrought iron furniture lasts the longest, there are other things to consider when it comes to deciding which outdoor furniture is best for you. It would be best if you also considered style, practicality, and how easy it is to maintain.
Wrought iron has a very specific look, so you need to decide whether it'll fit in with the design you want to achieve. Maybe the length it'll last is worth changing your visual design over. Several other materials can last for quite some time.
You need to look for outdoor furniture that will do well in the climate where you live. Furniture materials that are susceptible to rot are probably not a good choice for those who live in a cold and wet climate.
If you don't like the idea of covering your furniture, using fabric or seat cushions, outdoor furniture made from teak is a good alternative for those that live in dry, hot, and sunny climates. For those of you that live in wet or coastal climates, aluminum and teak are good choices. Aluminum is not going to rust the way wrought iron does. If you live in a mild climate, most outdoor furniture materials will work for you.
Some outdoor furniture will require more maintenance than others. Any metal furniture will need to be regularly cleaned and checked for rust. Even hardwoods, like teak furniture, should be cleaned regularly. You can clean teak with soapy water, and consider using sealant or oil for another layer of protection.
Plastic furniture is easy to clean but does oxidize over time, forming a cloudy appearance. You can restore the finish with minimal effort. Strong winds can also knock down this lightweight material, possibly damaging plastic furniture. Fortunately, plastic furniture is often stackable, so stack and store your furniture to keep it safe from the elements.
What Is The Most Durable Wood For Outdoor Furniture?
Wood is a popular choice for outdoor furniture. Its natural look can fit in with most designs. However, not all wood is equal. We've already talked about this wood, so you can probably guess which is the most durable for outdoor furniture. That's right; it's teak! Teak is the most durable and waterproof. It's also pretty resistant to sunlight, making it an ideal choice for any climate.
Other durable woods include cypress, cedar, and acacia. All of these woods will last even longer if you choose to seal or oil them periodically. For ways to waterproof wood furniture, check out our other blog post: "3 Methods To Waterproof Wood Furniture For Outdoors."
Which Is Better, Wicker Or Metal Patio Furniture?
Both wicker and metal patio furniture have their pros and cons, and either can be the best depending on your situation.
Wicker furniture isn't material but rather a style; it refers to the way the material is woven. Wicker furniture can be made from natural material or resin wicker. Natural wicker is not a better choice than metal patio furniture because it does not do well with moisture or wet conditions and can rot.
However, resin wicker is made to look like natural wicker but is weatherproof and long-lasting. There are very few downsides to resin wicker patio furniture. Resin wicker furniture is also more affordable than metal patio furniture, so if the cost is a big deciding factor for you, resin wicker will be the best option.
Metal patio furniture, though durable, requires more maintenance than resin wicker, and depending on the type of metal, it'll likely be susceptible to rust. Overall, there are more benefits to resin wicker furniture than metal patio furniture, but both are very durable materials. Choose the furniture you like best and research how to take care of it to extend its life.
What Is The Most Durable Outdoor Fabric?
Due to its durability, outdoor furniture isn't always very comfortable. A good solution for this is to purchase or make fabric cushions or coverings for your furniture. However, you can't just use any kind of fabric. Not all fabric is made to withstand being outside and left to the elements.
The most durable outdoor fabric is marine vinyl. Marine vinyl works great for boats. It's water, UV, and stain-resistant. Though the most durable, it's probably not the kind of material you want to use for cushions. There are some other fabrics, though less durable than marine vinyl, that will work well for outdoor furniture.
Solution-dyed acrylic or solution-dyed olefin is a great option. These can withstand multiple hours in the sun, meaning you can leave them outside on your furniture if you wish.
Other fabrics, like polyester-based fabrics, are suitable for outdoor use but will begin to fade if left in the sun too long. Polyester-based fabrics are the most affordable, so if you don't mind having to bring your cushions inside after you're done using them, it will work fine for you.
There are so many choices when it comes to choosing outdoor furniture that it can be overwhelming. Hopefully, our article has helped clear up some questions you might have about outdoor furniture.
Now you know what kind of materials outdoor furniture is made from, check out our other blog post for styling tips: "Should Outdoor Furniture Match?"