Patio cushions are an important part of your outdoor living space.
They improve your comfort whilst sitting on patio furniture, and they can also greatly improve the look of your outdoor lounge area, creating softness and warmth, and adding color.
However, these outdoor cushions can also quickly gather dirt, grime, dust, and sweat, especially when they are regularly used.
If you have a lot of kids and pets, you may want to invest in some protective covers for the cushions on your patio chairs and sofas.
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Little feet and paws can wear out and stain fabrics easily and cause them to look less than attractive.
You can find protective covers at most home improvement stores or online retailers like Amazon.com. We love these patio cushion covers.
However, the best way to keep your outdoor furniture in top shape is by cleaning it regularly, especially if you live in an area with high humidity or extreme weather conditions.
In this article, we explain the tips and tricks that will enable you to keep your outdoor cushions looking as good as new all year round.
You may also like: How to clean couch cushions
What Material Are Your Patio Cushions Made From?
The first thing you need to know about keeping your outdoor cushions looking their best is to make sure that they are made from durable materials.
The main material that patio cushions are usually made from is polyester, which is a synthetic fabric.
Polyester is very popular because it’s strong, lightweight, and easy to maintain. It doesn’t attract stains, and it dries fast.
It does, on occasion, shrink, however, so if you wash your outdoor cushions too often, they might lose their shape.
If you don’t want to use polyester cushions, then you could always opt for cotton cushions instead.
Cotton is more absorbent than polyester, which means that it won’t dry out as quickly. It’s also softer and warmer, making it a great choice for summertime lounging.
- Vacuum cleaner (I love this one for upholstery and carpets)
- White vinegar
- Laundry detergent or mild cleaning solution
- Soft brush (this one is great for laundry and fabric)
A great idea is to make sure that your patio cushions have removable covers, as this will make the cleaning process so much easier.
Covers with zipper fastenings are often the most well-fitted and durable option, however, toggles and buttons work well too.
Removable covers can be machine washed. Grass stains, food stains, tree sap stains, and other marks can be lifted using a mild detergent on a medium cycle.
Warm water (not hot) will prevent these covers from shrinking, and they can be air dried on the line.
Always check the fabric label on your covers to ensure that the cushion fabric is machine washable.
Delicate fabrics may need to be hand washed in a warm water solution with a mild cleaning product.
To get rid of tough stains, add some white vinegar to hot water and soak the patio furniture cushions.
You can use a soft brush and some elbow grease to work out loose dirt and stubborn stains. Then let the cushions air dry.
If your outdoor patio cushions are not removable, it does not mean that you can't keep your cushions clean.
Follow these simple steps to ensure that your outdoor space looks picture perfect.
- Scrape any bird droppings or loose dirt off the cushion cover with a knife or spatula.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to such up any dry dust particles, grit, and loose dirt.
- Make up a cleaning solution using lukewarm water and white vinegar. Alternatively, you could use laundry detergent, chlorine bleach, enzyme-based stain remover, or regular cleaning fluid.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to work the cleaning solution into the fabric to scrub greasy stains, fresh stains, and all other types of stains away.
- You will now want to get rid of the soap residue, or it will leave marks on the outdoor patio cushions when it dries.
- Use a garden hose or power washer to blast the cushion with water. Make sure that you do this in an area where excess water can drain away easily.
- Having scrubbed and rinsed your outdoor furniture cushions, now you should leave them to air dry. Outdoor fabrics are usually pretty fast drying, so choose a sunny day, and it shouldn't take more than a few hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should only wash your outdoor cushions once every two months or whenever they start to get dirty.
This is because washing them too frequently can actually damage the fabric. When you wash your cushions, gently brush off any loose debris using a soft bristle brush.
Use white vinegar and hot water to soak away stains. Then rinse the soap residue away using a garden hose. Don't forget to dry them well afterwards.
Yes, you can add fabric softener to your outdoor cushion cleaner. Just follow the instructions carefully.
Some people prefer to use a spray bottle filled with fabric softener solution instead of mixing it up themselves.
Either way, make sure that you mix the fabric softener with the other ingredients before you apply the mixture to the cushions.
If you use a vacuum cleaner to clean your outdoor cushions, you shouldn't need to wipe down the surfaces after doing so.
However, if you use a traditional broom and dustpan, then you may find that you have to sweep up some dirt and debris.
You can remove this by brushing it away with a stiff bristle brush, or you can use a damp cloth to soak up excess moisture.
Outdoor furniture needs sun protection in order to keep it looking good. Most outdoor cushions come with UV-resistant covers, although these aren't 100% effective.
They will fade when exposed to sunlight, particularly during hot weather. In addition, they can become brittle and crack if left outside all year round.
To avoid this, you should protect your outdoor furniture by applying a clear plastic cover.
These are available at most garden centers. Alternatively, you could use one of the many commercial outdoor furniture covers on the market.
Keeping your patio cushions fresh and clean shouldn't be a burden. Most outdoor fabrics are designed to be durable and weather resistant, and they can withstand rigorous cleaning.
Regular cleaning will mean that you have to perform deep cleans less often. Where possible, use hot water and soap to lift stains early, so that they don't become too embedded.