Patio furniture cushions accumulate a lot of grime over weeks and months. And even though these cushions are made to be durable enough to hold up to the elements outside, they're usually not made to be machine-washable. Cleaning patio furniture cushions is something you have to do regularly to keep your outdoor spaces looking inviting. When you know how to tackle this job, it's much easier to maintain your cushions.
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions
Some patio furniture cushions are designed with removable slipcovers that are secured with buttons or zippers. These can be easily removed and thrown in the washing machine on the gentle cycle. If you stain-treat problem areas beforehand, this should do the job of cleaning your cushions. But for many designs, you'll have to work a little harder than this.
Step 1 - Detatch
Remove the cushions from the furniture when possible. It makes it much easier to clean your cushions if they're separate from the furniture. So if you can, undo any lacing or snaps holding these cushions in place and remove them. If you can't, get all your materials together and assemble them outside on a nice day.
Step 2 - Vacuum
Vacuum the cushions thoroughly, getting in all the nooks and crannies. This will remove loose debris, hair, and dirt from the cushions. You need to get rid of any loose materials before you start cleaning in earnest or your job will be much harder. If you just can't get a vacuum to the cushions, thoroughly lint-roll them to remove this debris, shake the cushions out or pound them thoroughly to remove any other loose dirt.
Step 3 - Mix a Cleaner
Mix about one tablespoon of ordinary dishwashing liquid in a bucket with about a gallon of warm water. If you notice any mildew on the cushions, add a quarter cup of borax. Mix the solution.
Step 4 - Handwash
Wear gloves to thoroughly wash down the cushions everywhere. If you can use a scrub brush without damaging the fabric, this is a good way to remove stubborn stains. You can also soak the cushions in the solution for about 15 minutes. Do this will all cushions.
Step 5 - Spot Check
Examine your cushions for any lingering grimy spots. Use the cleaning solution to tackle these areas. Sometimes, a little extra elbow grease is all you need.
Step 6 - Rinse
Thoroughly and completely rinse the cushions using a garden hose. You don't want to use high-pressure water, as this can damage cushions. However, you do want to thoroughly douse your cushions to rinse away the soap. Remember, patio furniture cushions are made to be outside so ordinary water definitely can't hurt them.
Step 7 - Dry
Towel-dry the cushions to remove as much water as you can and then allow the cushions to air dry. You want air to be able to get to every part of every cushion, so rotate them if needed.
Step 8 - Apply Protectants
Once the cushions are dry, you can apply special fabric treatments and stain protectants if desired. Stainguards and weatherproofing sprays will help these cushions resist stains and make them much easier to clean in the future.
Follow the instructions on the bottle to apply the sprays properly. Wait until your cushions are completely dry before placing them back on the furniture and/or sitting on the cushions.
Cleaning Your Patio Cushions
It may take many cleaning solutions and a lot of scrubbing to get your outdoor patio cushions clean. The more often you clean your cushions, the less work you'll have to do. Try to get into the habit of cleaning your cushions once a month instead of once or twice a year.
You'll find that this greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to clean your cushions and that they look inviting more often than not.
Outdoor living spaces are an important part of any home, and it's the patio furniture that truly makes or breaks that space.