One of the main rites of spring is tree pollen and you will most likely notice as it collects in your outdoor spaces. Our screens and screen porches suffer greatly from pollen and need protection.
Keeping your Weather Queen Shades lowered when not using the porch protects screens, interior furnishings, and the floors of your porch. Or, keeping your Plexiglas inserts in until after the pollen season is over is another option. It helps to remember that spring is a time of change—including renewal for the trees and flowers. Renewal is always messy, but the result is new growth and a beautiful summer just around the corner.
Once the pollen season is over, it is time for spring cleaning your screen porch screens, shades, and furnishings.
A microfiber system is great for the first once-over of shades, furnishings, and floors. For outdoor furnishings, a cleaning solution that will work on most fabrics is to mix a quarter-cup of clear dish-washing liquid meant for hand washing, such as Dawn, in a gallon of warm, not hot water. In salt water areas, adding 1 cup of white vinegar to your warm, not hot, wash solution will help remove the salt buildup that collects dirt. Keeping track of cleaning instructions that come with your furnishings is important, as well as always testing in a hidden area before using any solution.
In 2012 we installed Weather Queen Shades on a carefully crafted home, in far northwestern Wisconsin, our homeowners where having built. They wanted to create the cozy peaceful look of the 1930’s. A time when many Chicago people where building beautifully crafted lake homes in Northern Wisconsin. Her taste was on the mark, and a large screen porch was one of the main arcitectual requirements. With sandy shorelines and large family gatherings, keeping the screen porch clean was one of her main concerns. The homeowner loves her lake home and is generously sharing the ways she keeps her porch looking good with the least amount of work. Here are a few of her tips:
We use the Sunbrella® Awning and Marine fabric for our shades. This 100% solution died acrylic fabric is designed for heavy duty awning and boat cover applications. Sunbrella® has a wonderful cleaning video on their web site page www.sunbrella.com/en_us/how/cleaning/ . This site also covers the cleaning of their upholstery fabrics. We include their complete cleaning instructions with every Weather Queen installation.
This spring one of our homeowners is going to let us help clean her shades of the heavy infestation of pine pollen she gets every spring in northwestern Wisconsin. This was her main reason for purchasing Weather Queen Shades in June 2012. This spring, as the owner of Weather Queen Shades, I plan to work closely with her and our local homeowners, gaining firsthand knowledge of the best cleaning methods for both our shades and the interior of their screen porches. We want to make sure the advice we give is real-world tested.
We would love to have you share your tips for outdoor furnishings and porch cleaning. Contact us today to share your ideas – they may appear in a future blog post!