We’ve put together a no-nonsense guide of cleaning and care tips to ensure your outdoor suite will look its best and last beautifully for years to come. Our furniture is made with quality stress-tested materials to ensure the final product is as low-maintenance as possible for our customers. We want you to enjoy your time outdoors, not spend endless hours caring for your furniture. Following our simple set of instructions and guidelines will keep your furniture in great condition for years to come.
A glass table-top gives your furniture a sleek, refined finish that can be maintained quite easily.
Lavita Furniture uses only tempered safety glass in all its outdoor furniture. This glass is hardened to resist breakage however, this does not mean that it is unbreakable or scratch proof. In the event of breakage, the glass will shatter into small cubes rather than large jagged sheets to minimise the risk of injury. Common sense goes along way when caring for your glass, below we’ve outlined a few points that may be a little less obvious but are nonetheless very important.
Take care when placing items on the table surface. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a scratch proof glass top. Be mindful of how you place objects on the glass surface. Your local hardware store should stock a range of protective coatings to fill in existing scratches and prevent further scratches from occurring. Follow the instructions on the product of your choice regarding application and upkeep.
DO Always use heat mats when placing hot pots or plates on the table.
DO Use coasters for glasses.
DON’T place heavy or sharp objects on the glass.
DON’T drop hard or heavy items onto the table. This can stress your glass even when dropped from a short distance.
DON’T use your glass tabletop as a food preparation surface. Always use a chopping board when cutting food items as a knife can cause damage to your glass surface.
Place your glass in an appropriate area and take necessary precautions. If possible, situate undercover to provide protection. If your table is completely exposed outdoors, be mindful of placement. Situating your setting under a tree for instances renders your glass top vulnerable to falling branches and debris, or objects being dropped by birds or hurled by possums.
DO cover your glass top with a cloth, tarp or one of our fitted protective covers when not in use for extended periods.
DON’T place your furniture in an area that experiences substantial leaf-fall or intense sunlight.
Clean regularly and carefully. You should not need to remove the glass for cleaning, our tables are designed to be wiped down with the glass in place. If you absolutely must move the glass, please ensure you have read our article “How to move your furniture” to limit the chance of damage occurring.
DO dust regularly and apply a specially formulated glass cleaner to the glass surface only.
DON’T apply glass cleaner to painted or frosted undersides of glass. This can cause peeling or discolouration.
DON’T allow pools of water to sit on the glass on sunny days. This creates a lens effect which may cause the coloured coating on the underside of the glass to peel or fade due to “hot spots”.
DON’T hose down your furniture during periods of extreme heat. Glass is vulnerable to sudden temperature changes. Rapid cooling of a hot surface may create stress on the glass that can weaken it long-term.
Please note that as glass is a naturally derived product it may contain waves and bubbles due to the manufacturing process.
Lavita Furniture uses our specially formulated resin wicker on all its furniture. We’ve developed this material to cope with full outdoor use in the Australian climate. Unlike many of our competitors, our resin wicker is UV treated to a higher standard able to cope beautifully with the harsh sun in Australia. Most resin wicker begins as a clear or white material with a colour coated surface - our wicker is also coloured through to the core. This means unsightly fading and abrasions that quickly age a cheap setting are not a problem for our furniture. We build our furniture to last so you can have peace of mind for years.
Think about where you are placing your furniture. Depending on where your furniture makes its new home, you may need to clean more regularly. A poolside setting will need more frequent cleaning to prevent chlorine build-up while furniture placed under a tree may be prone to sap or leaf mulch. There are also a few precautions to take to ensure your furniture is not damaged by its placement in an unsuitable area.
DON’T place your furniture near a heat source. This includes firepits, gas burners, barbecues and outdoor ovens. Glass balustrading and other reflective surfaces may create intense spots of heat in your area. When placing your furniture, looks for intense spots of light on the ground, this can indicate that light is being magnified through a lens to a much higher temperature than is safe. See this cautionary video for an idea of how dangerous light can be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fonS2gj_QPc
DON’T allow your pets to become overly familiar with your furniture. Dog-owners in particular have found their faithful pet turned into a furniture-mauler the moment their back is turned.
To properly care for your resin wicker:
DO clean regularly. Simply hose away dust or wipe down with a soft, damp cloth for easy cleaning. This stops the build up of airborne pollutants, which may react with our UV protectant and diminish its effect.
DO use a diluted detergent solution on any sticky spots. Simply wipe away tough sticky spots with a soft cloth dipped in a very weak solution of warm water and dish detergent.
DON’T use a scourer on your furniture. This can cause small nicks on the wicker, dulling its finish, creating crevices for dust to catch in and may snag on clothing.
Lavita uses a high density outdoor grade foam that won’t deteriorate through constant wetting and drying. Our 100% polyester cushion covers are designed for full outdoor use and in a light shower, will repel water. Prolonged exposure to rain will wet your fabrics and cushions, but will not harm them. Our cushions are enclosed in a Dacron wrapper. This material creates a barrier to water, oxygen and carbon dioxide and will help your cushions last longer and more readily resist mould. The Dacron lining will also improve the longevity of your fabric covers by softening the abrasive effect between the fabric and foam.
To care for your foam and fabric:
DO apply a protective treatment to your covers before use. This will create a barrier layer which further repels stains and moisture. This will reduce the risk of staining and degrading caused by sunscreens, tanning lotions, chlorine and salt exposure. Scotchgard is the most well-known brand, however any DIY kit from the supermarket or hardware store will work, provided you follow the instructions.
DO consider covering your cushions or putting them away during periods when they are seldom used. Lavita Furniture stocks a range of fitted waterproof protective covers and storage boxes.
DO place your cushions in the sun to dry and ensure they are fully dried before returning them for use. This will help your cushions stay fresh for longer and prevent mould from taking hold.
DO regularly clean your fabric covers. Turn covers inside out to protect the zippers while cleaning. Fabric can be hand washed in lukewarm water and detergent or in a cold-water, gentle cycle in your washing machine.
DO clean your foam in a sink or bathtub by soaking it in lukewarm water with a small amount of gentle detergent added. Rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear. Press gently to remove water.
DON’T tumble dry your covers or foam. The heat and spin cycle can damage zippers, fabric and foam.
DON’T dry-clean your covers or foam. This can leave chemical residues that can weaken the fabric and foam.
DON’T remove the Dacron wrapper from the foam. This will reduce mould-resistant properties and cushion longevity.
DON’T wring your foam cushions to dry. This can deform their shape., leaving you with lumpy cushions.
Take care when removing your fabric covers. Lavita Furniture manufactures it’s covers for a perfect fit. This can make them difficult to remove.
To remove your fabric covers, unzip the cover fully to the end of the zip, fold the cushion in half to allow the opening some slack and gently pull out. Please be mindful that zippers are fragile and may catch on Dacron lining, resulting in a jammed zipper.
If you're having trouble getting the zipper to move, particularly if this is your first time removing the covers, do not force it. This can result in breakage. Stiff zippers may require that you lubricate the teeth to ensure a smooth pull. Simply dip a cotton bud in WD-40 and apply along the teeth of the zipper, paying special attention to just around the zipper tab.
When putting the covers back on, do not immediately zip them up. Instead, leave them unzipped and take a seat. Give the foam time to work it's way back into its cover before zipping them closed. This will help ensure the edges and corners line up correctly and prevent deforming the cushion.
Anodising is the process by which a metal is electrolysed to add a protective coating. Superior to raw aluminium, our range of anodised aluminium furniture is hardened, protected and finished in a beautiful coating that prevents tea stains and further enhances aluminium’s anti-corrosive properties.
To care for your Aluminium furniture:
DO regularly coat the frame with a fine mist of WD40. This will help your aluminium retain it’s natural finish and provide added resistance to discolouration.
DO apply a thin layer of clear nail polish to any deep or obvious scratches. This will ensure that an unbroken layer of protection coats the natural aluminium.
DO Regularly clean your setting. If your home has a pool or is by the ocean, this is especially important to rinse of built up residue of chlorine and salt. Use water or a diluted detergent solution and a soft cloth. If using detergent, rinse thoroughly to ensure a residue does not remain
DON’T clean or wet on days of extreme heat. Rapid cooling of the hot metal may cause fissures in the anodised coating.
DON’T use an abrasive cloth or cleaner. This will strip the coating and can cause unsightly scratch marks.
Brushed Aluminium is simply raw natural Aluminium that has been abraded with a fine steel wool or sandpaper in order to give it a textured finish. To care for your brushed Aluminium:
DO apply a fine mist of WD40 regularly to create a protective coating on the surface of the aluminium. This will help prevent tea staining.
DO regularly rinse or clean your furniture to avoid the build-up of salts, chlorine and other residues from use.
If your Brushed Aluminium finish begins to discolour, first clean with a damp cloth. If you’re not satisfied with the result, escalate your cleaning by using a mild abrasive such as a scourer, fine steel wool, or fine sandpaper. Ensure you brush in the same direction as the existing grain to maintain the look of your furniture. The advantage of brushed aluminium is that the finish can always be restored simply by brushing it!
Polywood is a lightweight faux wood created out of polyethylene. It’s extremely hard wearing and with proper care will not crack, peel, splinter or fade. Lavita Furniture’s specification for polywood results in an outstanding finish that has the very convincing appearance of wood. The advantage of using polywood is that it does not require the same extensive maintenance as natural wood.
To properly care for your polywood surfaces:
DO cover the top using a tablecloth, tarp or other protective cover when not in use for extended periods, or when extreme weather is anticipated.
DO use heat mats before placing hot plates or pots on the surface. This will prevent damage and discolouration.
DO use coasters and placemats to prevent unsightly watermarks or stains.
DO attend to spills immediately. Paints, dyes, red wine and some sauces (like tomato based sauces) can cause staining.
DON’T use detergent on the surface in most cases. This can often lead to what seems like discolouration, but is instead caked on detergent. If there is a sticky spot that cannot be removed with warm water and a soft cloth, use a mild detergent solution and rinse thoroughly after application.
DON’T apply oil, varnish, paint, wood glue, strippers or any other solvent not rated for use with polyethylene. Polywood is not compatible with products designed for natural timber.
Be aware that magnified sunlight can cause heat spots that will damage your polywood furniture. Avoid placing near reflective glass surfaces that can concentrate heat onto your furniture. Glass vases, bowls and drinking vessels can all have this unintended magnifying effect, do not leave them unattended on table surfaces on hot days.