Your friends suddenly arrived at your house on a Sunday and brought food with them to enjoy out on the patio. As you place the dishes and cutlery outside on the table, you notice that the patio furniture is quite dirty, especially the cushions.
There are grass stains and bird droppings on the cushions, the entire surface of the sofa has this yellow and grey hue to it and as you touch the cushions, you feel oil on your fingers. Embarrassed you make up some excuse and try to convince your friends indoor.
Has this ever happened to you? Summer is in full swing and while the patio furniture will be used less, it will still be exposed to various outside elements.
There are plenty of maintenance tips we can give you such as covering the furniture with a sheet when not in use, regular brushings using a whiskbroom and more.
However, when you see a stain on a cushion, you need to act fast. While a few cushion fabrics are treated with a coating to prevent the UV rays from destroying them, others need protection and regular washing.
Read Instructions and Tags
Before creating a DIY solution for cleaning outdoor cushions, look at the label and read the instructions. Depending on the material of the cushion (vinyl, PVC-coated polyesters, solution-dyed acrylics), you might need to wash the fabric a different way. If there are no instructions on the label, you can use DIY solutions for specific stains.
There are 3 different ways to wash outdoor cushions:
1. Simple Solution and Scrubbing
If you want to simply clean the cushions because they look dirty due to dust, then a DIY solution of mild dish soap (1 tsp), warm water and Borax (1 tsp) will work great.
Add all the ingredients in a spray bottle and cover both sides of the cushion and crevices. If the cushions cannot be removed, then heavily saturate them with the solution.
Let the DIY solution sit for 15 minutes and then use a garden hose to wash the soap. Leave in the sun to dry.
2. Washing Machine
If the cushion covers can be removed easily, the best way to wash them is in the washing machine. You can even use the dryer to dry them.
We wouldn’t recommend power-washing as a regular form of cleaning the cushions. It’s possible that the fabric’s seams might break. If the cushions really seem dirty, then you can use this washing technique once every season.
Specific Stain Treatments
When washing outdoor cushions, you need to treat the fabric for stains first before cleaning the entire cushion. Following are different stains that can be cleaned with DIY solutions:
1. Bird Droppings
Use a microfiber cloth to remove the bird droppings. For the DIY solution, mix mild dish soap (1tsp) such as Dawn, warm water and Borax (1tsp).
Spray it over the stain and then scrub using a brush. Keep scrubbing for a few minutes so that the solution penetrates the fabric.
Finally, use a cloth dipped in warm water to remove the bird dropping residue and soap.
2. Mold Stains
Use a nylon brush to remove the mold stains. For the DIY solution, mix four parts warm water and one-part Borax. Mold stains are a little stubborn but that doesn’t mean you should scrub harshly. Gently blot the stain and rinse the cushion with clean water.
3. Grass Stains
You can use the same Borax solution as mentioned above to clean grass stains. If that doesn’t work, use liquid detergent that has stain removing enzymes such as Persil or Tide.
Soak the fabric with the solution, rub gently and then rinse with clean water. If the heavy duty detergent doesn’t work, then use oxygen-based bleach such as All Natural Oxygen Brightener by Nellie’s, OxiClean or OXO Brite.
4. Tree Sap
Tree sap often leaves a waxy/oily stain, which can only be removed by a harsh enzyme-based remover. Pour the liquid on the stain, sprinkle some detergent on top and make a paste.
Use a sot brush to clean the stain and then wash with hot water. If there’s any discoloration, you can use oxygen bleach to restore the color.
5. Oil Stains
Oil stains must be cleaned quickly or they will leave behind a permanent stain. Once the excess oil has been soaked up, sprinkle cornstarch on top and let the powder sit for 15 minutes. Scrape away the cornstarch and then use the simple cleaning solution. Finally wash the cushion with warm water.
And this concludes are blog on how to wash outdoor cushions. It’s simple, right? If you keep up with the maintenance tips that we mentioned briefly, then you won’t have to put so much effort into the washing.
Make sure to use accurate measurements of the ingredients for the DIY solutions.
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