Most outdoor furniture these days comes with a weatherproof seal of approval, but this doesn’t give them a free pass when it comes to cleaning and caring for them! Your precious backyard centrepieces go through a lot of wear and tear whilst spending a lot of time out in the sun, rain and even hail, so it’s important that they get the love and care they deserve from time to time. Follow these tips to on how to clean and care for your beloved patio cushions, and keep them looking as good as ever.
For general stains and cleaning, leading outdoor fabric manufacturer Sunbrella recommends that you blot liquid spills (as opposed to rubbing) with a clean, dry cloth. For oil based stains, most commonly caused by sunscreens, tanning oil and spillage of food, it’s best to apply an absorbent such as cornstarch before removing with a straight edge. Once this is done, you can spray on a mild cleaning solution of soap and water before thoroughly rinsing the fabric to remove all residue. Leave to air dry.
If you’ve had a busy day and night of entertaining on your patio and the above just won’t suffice, you might need to put in a little more elbow grease and go for a deeper clean. As above, spray on a mild cleaning solution and use a soft-bristled brush to work through the stain with a brushing motion (avoid scrubbing or using a hard-bristled brush). Allow the solution to temporarily soak into the stained area before rinsing off all residue and leaving to air dry.
MOLD AND MILDEW STAINS
Some outdoor fabrics may be resistant to mold and mildew however this does not deter it from growing on other foreign substances (such as dirt) or when there is a lot of moisture. Mix up a cleaning solution of one cup of bleach, a quarter cup of detergent and a gallon of water and spray across the entire surface of the cushion. Take extra caution when spraying bleach and wear gloves or goggles as necessary. Allow the solution to soak into the fabric for 15 minutes before cleaning surface with a soft-bristled brush, clean towel or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all residue and leave to air dry.
PREVENTING WATER STAINS & FADING
Outdoor furniture placement is key but when it comes to poolside furniture, there’s only so much you can do to avoid your cushions from getting wet, from time to time. Although some products are made with quick-dry foam, this does not mean they are waterproof, so it’s best to unzip covers (if possible) and place any saturated cushions on its side (along the seam) to let the water drain out properly. Even the most fade-resistant covers will eventually fade over time, so try to keep cushions covered, inside or packed away when not in use. This will ensure your outdoor furniture will continue looking great for seasons to come, and of course save you lots of $$$ in the long run.
Pictured above: June Outdoor L Shape Lounge
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