How to Clean Patio Cushions?

How to Clean Patio Cushions?

Patio cushions are bound to carry dirt because they stay outdoors most of the year. Being in the open skies, they face the wrath of rain, snow, sunshine, and other natural elements. 

Having that in mind, not cleaning them regularly is out of question. We often forget them a little and concentrate on maintaining the furniture frames.  

It is an awful habit if we genuinely want to enjoy the comfort of the patio for a long time. Change is now; this article will teach you how to keep your patio cushions clean and fresh.

Knowing Patio Cushion Fabrics

The type of outdoor cushion fabric influences the cleaning method. All fabrics cannot be handled haphazardly in the same manner. Therefore, inspect and be aware of the patio cushion fabric before cleaning it. 

Going with an ineffective cleaning method might be pointless when your cushions don’t turn out clean. Or you may expose them to a harsh cleaning technique that fades or thins the fabric material. That’s how important it is to consider the cushion fabric besides the stain type. 

Synthetic fabrics dominate outdoor living upholstery. Most cushion covers are made of polyester, acrylic, or olefin. Such fabrics are wear-resistant and can withstand unbearable outdoor conditions. 

Environmentally conscious people may choose canvas fabric, which is equally durable yet natural. But then, how do you tell the type of fabric on your patio cushion covers? You might have gone for the aesthetics and not checked the fabric type when buying your patio cushions. 

Manufacturer's Care Label

You can identify the fabric by sense of touch, rubbing the fabric between your hands. However, the surest and easiest way is to check the manufacturer’s care label sewn onto the patio cushion cover. The label shows the fabric type and, in addition, care instructions. 

Some of the care guidelines are care symbols. Make an effort to decipher their meaning. They provide an insight into the do’s and don’ts of your cushion’s cleaning routine. 

Of most importance is following all instructions to the latter.  If you put them into action, you’d be content with the outcome and thank yourself for being a keen student. The care label ensures you maintain the appearance and texture of the cushion’s fabric. 

If the care tag is missing, contact the manufacturer through their website or make a call. You better be certain of what you’re doing to avoid spoiling your patio cushions. 

How to Clean Patio Cushions?

Setting Yourself Ready Prior

After understanding the outdoor cushion’s fabric, embark on preparation. So, have the following necessary tools and supplies in place. 

Cross-check our list against the items in your pantry or laundry room. Then, go to the nearest store to replenish the finished cleaning products and purchase the missing equipment.

Tools and Cleaning Supplies

  • Vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
  • Soft-bristled scrubbing brush
  • Gentle liquid detergent or dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Bleach, e.g., borax (If necessary)
  • Garden hose with a sprayer spout

With your equipment at the cleaning location, carry out these preparation steps afterward.

Remove Cushions

This means taking the patio cushions off the outdoor furniture frames. Isolating them eases the cleaning process so you don’t tamper with the furniture, giving you more work. 

Then you spread them over a plastic sheet or on a clean surface under a shade. This will be your working surface, where you will clean your cushions. And to avoid doing repetitive work, ensure the surface is clean and dirt-free. 

Also, choose a cleaning area with electric sockets nearby. Your vacuum cleaner relies on a power supply to function.

Conduct Inspection

Refrain from running mindlessly to start cleaning the cushions without inspecting their status. Examine them on both sides. Check for torn areas, unraveling seams, or hidden patches of stains. 

In some cases, the cushions have removable cushion covers. If they’re dressed in covers, scrutinize the zip. Upon recognizing the mishaps, make repairs to restore them to their original flawless condition. 

At this point, you’d be ready to kick off the cleaning activity.

How to Clean Patio Cushions?

Cleaning Methods

Cleaning patio cushions is not anything out of this world. It doesn’t require professional or unique methods. High chance, the procedures to be discussed you’ve done them before. 

So prepare your hands, and let’s get right into it. You’ll have done an awesome job in the end. 

General Cleaning Steps

These steps apply to most fabric types. Whatever the fabric, perform the following without considering the fabric material. 

Vacuuming the Patio Cushions

Work with a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, which scrubs lightly and loosens the dirt in your cushions. That helps suck out more loose dirt and debris from the cushions. Vacuuming also removes allergens, mitigating discomfort in occupants with sensitive skin.

Pay more attention to the edges and points where the fabric is held together with stitches. Dirt tends to accumulate more in these spots over time. 

Spot-treating Stains

Spot stains can be nerve-wracking as scrubbing alone with the cleaning solution may not eliminate them. Therefore, spot treatment will be necessary, regardless of the fabric material. Use appropriate stain removers according to the stain type, whether food, pet, or grease stains.

Take a clean microfiber cloth and dip it in the bleach solution of choice. Then, gently blot the stain spot and repeat the procedure until the stain fades away completely.  

Hand-washing or Machine-washing

Luckily, most patio cushions can be encased in cushion covers. Depending on the fabric, some cushion covers are machine washable. But always check the care tag to confirm the method to use between handwashing and machine washing. 

Whatever the method, be gentle on the cushion covers to prevent damage. Zip the cushions and turn them inside out before throwing them in the washing machine. Then, wash them on a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water. 

For the non-removable cushion covers, dip the brush into the cleaning solution in the bucket. Scrub the surface starting from the top, pushing the suds downwards. Toss to scrub the other sides and rinse thoroughly using a high-pressure hose spray setting. 

Cleaning Techniques Specific to a Fabric

Here are techniques specifically for a particular fabric. It’s advisable to adhere to them meticulously when handling the different fabrics.

  • Polyester cushions: Wash using cool or warm water with a mild detergent and air dry. They thrive in low to mild settings to look best after cleaning. If wrinkles show up, iron at a low-temperature setting. 
  • Acrylic cushions: Wash them with a solution of warm water and a mild laundry detergent. Flip them inside out, as they like to form tiny lint balls that deteriorate their appearance. 
  • Canvas cushions: Handwash them with a gentle detergent or machine wash on a gentle cycle. Wash using warm or cold water and hang them in the open to dry. 
  • Olefin cushions:  Use lukewarm water and mild detergent. Line drying is the best drying method for olefin cushions. 

Removing Mildew and Mold Stains

Any mildew or mold stains should be pretreated for a minimum of 15 minutes before cleaning. Mildew and mold pose respiratory health risks and form due to much exposure to humid outdoors.

Use a vinegar solution to remove light mildew and mold stains. Mix warm water with white vinegar. The mixing parts or ratios depend on the intensity of the stain. 

If the stain lingers, switch to using bleach products, but proceed with caution. Toxic fumes are released in the process, and the cushions may fade easily. However, carry out a patch test in an unnoticeable area on the cushion prior to applying bleach to the cushion stains. 

How to Clean Patio Cushions?

Drying and Replacing the Patio Cushions 

Once done cleaning the patio cushions,  dry them completely to prevent mold and mildew growth. If they’re removable cushion covers, hang them on the cloth line or machine dry them. Use a dryer on a low heat setting for specific fabrics, but remember the cushion label is your best guide. 

Non-removable cushions should be air-dried in a well-ventilated area. Lean them against a supporting surface so they dry fast, and keep turning the sides so all spots dry. 

When they are super dry, place them back on the outdoor furniture. For future maintenance, you can put fabric protectors on the cushions. 

How to Clean Patio Cushions?

Maintenance Tips for Extending Lifespan

Aim to keep the patio cushions cleaner for a longer time with these maintenance hacks. Maintaining their pristine is important to enjoying their longevity and comfort.

  • Adopt the habit of cleaning the patio cushions regularly to prevent buildup. In fact, immediately you notice dirt, clean it right away before it's irreversible.
  • When the patio furniture is not in use during off-seasons, store them in a cool, dry place. Keep them protected indoors from the winter elements that contribute to dampness and mold stains.
  • Use protective weatherproof covers to protect them from outdoor dirt-causing agents. 
  • Treat stains as soon as they form. Act promptly to prevent them from being permanent on the cushions, which distorts their appearance.
  • Rotate and spin the patio cushions from time to time. This prevents flattening and fading on one side more than the rest. 
How to Clean Patio Cushions?

In a Nutshell

Cleaning your patio cushions regularly is one crucial way of caring for them. Occasionally, brush off light dust from the cushions in between the cleaning rounds. Do everything possible to make the next cleaning activity a breeze. 

Above all, reaching perfection is your responsibility. Hopefully, our guide helps you keep the patio cushions clean and well-maintained at all times. If you have any enquiries, contact us at Jardina for additional assistance.

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