• CLEANING YOUR PATIO FURNITURE
  • This entry was posted in Patio on July 21, 2016

  • Routine and proper cleaning is vital to keeping your outdoor patio furniture in top condition.  For best results, clean your outdoor furniture once at the beginning of summer, once at the end, and once more in-between depending on how much it is used. Additional products such as water sealers and varnishes are available for added protection from UV rays, moisture, chipping, and fading. The material your patio furniture is made of will determine the best way to clean and protect it.

    Aluminum

    To clean, mix together mild dish detergent and water and wipe down with a dampened cloth. Rinse with clean water afterwards. Avoid using any abrasive cleaners and rough brushers that will scratch and damage the furniture.  Washing aluminum outdoor furniture frequently is important to maintain its natural sheen.

    Wicker

    Use a soft bristle brush dampened with water and a mild oil-based soap to remove any dirt. Afterwards, rinse off with clean water and re-rinse every few weeks to prevent dirt and dust from building up in the crevasses.

    Wrought Iron

    Wipe down wrought iron tables and chairs with a clean cloth dampened with a mixture of water and a mild dish detergent. Rinse with clean water after wipe down. Avoid using chemicals such as ammonia and trisodium phosphate these alkaline cleaners will cause the furniture to rust. Apply a coat of automotive wax for added protection.

    Resin

    Rub auto paste wax on new resin furniture to keep off dust and dirt. To clean, rub with soapy water and rinse with clean water. For white resin furniture avoid bleach and chlorine, these will deteriorate the material.

    Remember to remove upholstery and cushions before cleaning and let furniture dry completely before use. And avoid pressure washing and using chemically-harsh treatments. Enjoy your patio furniture for years to come by taking good care of it with a few simple cleanings!

     




  • 4 BEST ACCESSORIES FOR LONG SUMMER BIKE RIDES
  • This entry was posted in Bikes on July 06, 2016

  • What’s more exciting than setting out on the road with a blank slate of a day ahead of you? With possibly only a vague idea of where you’ll head, the possibilities seem endless underneath the bright summer sun on your bike. You’re off to take on and explore the world.

    But a few elements of adventures should never be left to chance – especially when your adventure involves sharing the road with cars, walkers, and other cyclists! Lucky for you, there are all kinds of gadgets that can make your long summer bike rides a breeze, and ensure you’re safe while charting new territory.

    Water bottle cage kit. Hydrating while riding your bike couldn’t be more important. This easy to install water bottle cage kit makes it simple, and the cage will fit any standard water bottle. A tool like this is essential for long bike rides, unless you want to end up feeling dizzy and awful.

    Bike commuter kit. Getting ready to set out on the road and realizing you need way more than your pockets can carry? This bike commuter kit includes a messenger bag full of tools you might need while biking (8 function bike computer, bike chain and lock, etc.), but leaves plenty of room for you to store maps, snacks, sunscreen, and anything else you might need.

    Bike basket. Want easier access to your stuff while biking? A bike basket is a great way to store items that don’t need to be kept secure in your bag. There are options for front or back rattan construction baskets, front classic black baskets, and rear bike baskets.

    A safety flag. You can’t be too careful when traveling on a bike! This safety flag fits most bikes, and offers high visibility with its florescent orange color. You can use this flag to make drivers aware of your presence anytime, but it’s especially useful during evening rides.

    Biking is one of the most satisfying summer activities there is. With a group or flying solo, you can explore new areas, and work up a sweat and new appreciation for the beauty of natural lush landscapes and city streets. And with helpful tools at your side (or in your basket!), biking is all the more easy and safe.

    What are your favorite biking tools that help take your journeys to the next level?

     




  • 4TH OF JULY SAFETY TIPS
  • This entry was posted in Patio on June 28, 2016

  • At KETTLER USA, we love celebrating the 4th of July. It’s vibrant, fun, loud, and an excuse to raise our voices in joy and appreciation for all we have. 4th of July is all about being thankful – for freedom, family, friends, and all of the wonderful things life has to offer.

    But rambunctious holidays like the 4th of July often have dangers associated with them. In fact, the 4th of July was once named “the most dangerous holiday of the year.” Alcohol-fueled fests and fireworks are a risky combination.

    Below are a few tips for being safe and still having fun this holiday. Have a good time, but keep this advice in mind.

    Pay attention. Yes, you can enjoy a few beers and the company of your best friends, but don’t drink so many beers that you’re no longer aware of your surroundings and the actions of yourself and those around you. And watch out for you friends too. One foolish decision can ruin everyone’s night and possibly cause injuries.

    Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Setting off fireworks is extremely dangerous, and it’s a task best left to those who know what they’re doing. Over 8,600 injuries are caused by fireworks every year. The best and safest way to experience fireworks this 4th of July is to go to one of many free celebrations held in cities across the country. You can witness breath-taking fireworks without the risk.

    Have a driving plan. If you’re planning on sipping on more than two beers, make sure your partner or friend is staying sober, and vice versa. If you’re both planning on heavily drinking, leave the car at home, and walk or take a cab to your party destination. Driving on the 4th of July can be incredibly stressful. Have a game plan in mind, or a friend’s couch to sleep on.

    Don’t leave your grill unattended. If you’re grilling up food for an outdoor gathering, don’t get distracted by drinking or chatting with your guests. While grilling, keep your focus on the grill! Your friends won’t mind once they taste the scrumptious burgers and hot dogs.

    Wear sunscreen. Apply at least SPF 30 around 20 minutes before heading outside and reapply every two years. Wearing sunscreen significantly reduces your risk for skin cancer. Plus, painful red skin after a party is no fun!

    We hope your 4th of July is filled with fun and festive activities, but that you also keep safety in mind while celebrating. Above all: kick back and relax, but stay alert. Although it’s always a great time, 4th of July comes with many dangers that you need to stay smart to navigate.




  • PATIO MAINTENANCE TIPS
  • This entry was posted in Patio on June 20, 2016

  • Decorating your patio is an opportunity to show your personality, and create a special place to host gatherings, games, and solo sessions with a glass of wine and a best seller.

    Studies show spending time outdoors makes you a happier person. With a carefully decorated and planned patio, you can create a space to cater to any activity you love.

    Once you have your space just the way you want it, you need to start thinking about how to maintain it! Prone to dust, dirt and other outdoor debris, patios get dirtier than any other area in our homes. Below are a few tips for keeping your patio space in top-notch shape so you can enjoy it all summer long.

    Sweep, then soak. When doing a thorough clean of your patio (which you should do at least once a year at the beginning of the summer season), sweep off everything you can first. Then hose down the patio flooring with mild detergent (or another cleaning solution of your choice) and water.

    Know your patio well. Different patio materials require different maintenance and methods of cleaning. When purchasing patio flooring, make sure to ask the sales associate what tips they have for keeping it clean and making it last as long as it can. Search online for your patio material as well, and you can find numerous guides for how to take care of the flooring.

    Schedule a weekly cleaning. Make sure you have a small weekly cleaning session on the calendar – and stick to it. Use this time to clear off outdoor debris like leaves, dirt, stray flowers, etc.

    Take care of your furniture too. Make sure you’re washing patio cushions every few weeks. Always bring them inside when you’re expecting rain. Cushions develop mold easily, and once they do, you won’t be able to reuse them. Another often-neglected patio item is umbrellas. These need to be cleaned thoroughly with detergent and water once or twice during the summer.

    Patio maintenance is much easier than most people think. If you take the time to do a deep clean of your space at the beginning of the summer and then schedule weekly smaller cleanup sessions, you can keep your patio looking as new as the first day you designed it. Don’t let your dream space become a home for leaves, soil, and animal droppings. With these simple tips, you’ll have a lovely place to hang out in all summer long.




  • BEST FITNESS APPS FOR BIKERS
  • This entry was posted in Bikes on June 16, 2016

  • Tracking how far you’ve gone, helping you find the best routes, and enabling you to meet other bike-loving people in your area, who would have thought our phones could help improve our health?

    But it’s true. 90% of adults have smart phones, which has given rise to a huge increase in health-related apps that can help you take small steps toward improving your wellness on the go.

    From where it’s safest to ride, to how to find cool new routes, bikers can benefit from this rise in health apps more than anyone. Below are a few of the best apps around specifically for bike lovers.

    Map My Ride. Keep track of where you’ve gone and how far you’ve ridden with Map My Ride. This is much easier than scribbling your stats down in a notebook, and you’ll have the information with you wherever you go! There’s also the option to share your ride information on your social media channels. Available on both iOS and Android.

    Strava. This tracking app not only records when and where you’ve gone, but how your speed has compared to other cyclists. Strava also lets you join cycling groups and network with other bike enthusiasts. Available on both iOS and Android.

    Bikemap. Bored with the same old routes? Bikemap can help you discover new areas to explore – and you can share your tried and true routes with other users. The app holds more than 2.8 million paths – you’ll never get bored again. Available on both iOS and Android.

    Rise. Devoted bikers need the fuel to match the intensity of their workouts. Rise pairs users with a registered dietician to monitor their eating on a daily basis. Instagram devotees will find the app especially easy to use – you simply upload photos of everything you eat, and record your water intake and physical activity. Currently only available on iOS.

    Often viewed as a “lone wolf” activity, biking can be an incredibly social activity if you use your smart phone, health-related apps and other social media sites to share your favorite routes, best times, and yummy fuel. These four apps are a great start to all of the resources available on your phone to improve your biking experience – and there are many more bike-related health apps to be found.

    Use this summer to explore your favorite cities and routes with some of the best health apps around. It can take your cycling experience to the next level!