July 18, 2007 |
When two ribs of my favorite umbrella bent, I remembered there had been a little tag on it that read "lifetime warranty. " Even better, for once in my life I knew where to find the guarantee. I hadn't actually read the small print, but I hadn't read my car warranty either and every time I had a problem, the dealer fixed it. So I took the umbrella back to the store, thinking they'd replace it. I should have remembered that, unlike people, not all guarantees are created equal. While an umbrella isn't a major investment like a car, I buy a lot more umbrellas than I do cars.
September 3, 2010
Dear Martha: How should I prepare my patio furniture for winter storage? A: Although most outdoor furniture is built to withstand the elements, proper maintenance and storage in the offseason helps it last much longer. First, remove the cushions and umbrella, and clean them according to the directions on the label. If there are no instructions, wash them using a sponge and 1/4 cup mild dishwashing liquid, such as Ivory, mixed into 1 gallon of warm water. Rinse the fabric, and then stand the cushions on their sides.