The Houston Effect
November 11, 2020
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How to Clean Patio Furniture Cushions

Author: Administrator
Quality patio furniture needs occasional maintenance to keep the cushions looking like new. It's easier to clean patio furniture cushions than you think and with the right products and a little elbow grease, you can keep your cushions in top form year round.

Unlike cheap patio furniture, quality pieces are made to last. And while they are made of top quality materials, they still need to be cared for. While a lot of information is out there about taking care of the wood or metal frames, there's not a lot of information about how to care for the cushions that come with them. And these can add up to big money if you need to replace them.

First you want to figure out what your cushions are made of. That's easy enough to do. Check the product tag that hangs off of it. It should not only tell you what the cover and the stuffing is made of, but also have some basic instructions about how to clean it.

Most of the new cushions on the market are treated to keep them from fading in the sun. The covers are usually made of acrylics that simulate the feel of canvas, vinyl or woven polyester. The filling is typically polyester, so it doesn't hold on to the water.

If the tags don't mention that your cushions have been treated with water repellent you will want to keep them stored indoors. They will take an occasional soaking from a rainstorm but if they are exposed to continual heavy rain, the may not perform as well in the long run.

No cushion can resist suntan lotions and oils. If you're going to lotion up, make sure you use a towel on the chair. Some lotions can even stain the fabrics and over time they can weaken vinyl cushions or those covered with PVC.

Follow the manufacturers recommended for normal cleaning. During the summer you should clean the cushions monthly so that any dirt is loosened and removed. Any spots can be cleaned with a mild detergent and sponge. To make cleaning easy, consider adding a quarter cup of detergent to a gallon of water and store it in a container in the garage. If stains are particularly tough to remove, use a brush.

At the end of the season you'll probably want to store your cushions indoors. Before you do, give them a deep cleaning. Depending on the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations, you can use a diluted bleach and laundry detergent solution to keep the cushions from getting mildew in the off season. If you deep clean fabrics remember that you may need to reapply a coat of water repellent when you're done.

If there is mildew, put a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Spot test an area before cleaning the whole cushion. Allow the area to soak about 10 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly. Let it dry completely.

Even if your cushions are treated with a water repellant, it doesn't last forever. You'll need to reapply it every once in a while. You can get a fabric guard at most home improvement centers. Once your fabric is clean and dry, spray a light coat of sealant over the entire surface. A second coat is usually a good idea. If you want to be sure your cushions are ready for the first sunny day, do your cleaning and sealing at the end of each season.

When it comes time to put the cushions away for the season, you want to make sure they are completely dry before putting them in your garage or storage shed. While it may be tempting to wrap the cushions in a plastic bag, don't do it. This may trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew.

If you follow these simple tips your cushions should look like new for many years to come. Weather is the biggest enemy of your patio furniture and leaving your cushions out to fend for themselves in the elements will drastically shorten their lifespan.


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