Depending on your choice of fabric, your outdoor furniture cushions are meant to be more resistant to damage from weather conditions. But this constant exposure to UV rays and/or moisture as the weeks go by can take its toll on your beautiful cushions and have them looking faded in no time. Not to mention, the amount of stubborn stains that will be left behind after a few gatherings and BBQ parties will certainly leave your cushions looking quite dated. Here’s what you need to do to clean your outdoor cushions with just the right results:
How often should you clean for ideal results?
If you frequently use the pieces in your backyard, it would be ideal to clean out those cushions and pillows at least once or twice a week. Frequent vacuuming will help you get rid of any trapped dust and also keep in mind that you should check the labels of your cushions for any specific washing instructions to avoid unnecessary damage.
How to wash your outdoor cushions
Unfortunately you can’t just get away with the occasional vacuuming of your cushions. Washing is by far the most effective way to get rid of all the accumulated dirt.
· Washing Machine
We would recommend only placing smaller cushions in the machine only if there’s enough space for them to spin. It also depends on if the material is suitable for machine washing. Avoid stretching the fabric by setting a cool and gentle cycle and treat any stain prior to the wash by using a mild detergent. If the covers of your cushions come with a zipper and are removable, then you can take them off and place them in the washer as often as you wish.
· Hand washing
Scrubbing your cushions by hand, while a bit more time consuming, can also help clean the fabric better. Vacuum the covers first, then pre-treat any stains with powder detergent. You can use a soft brush to brush the cushions when washing them out. Using a gardening hose with high pressure will help wash away all the soapy suds.
Best Stain Removal Techniques
We’ve outlined some of the most common stains you’re likely to encounter and some tips on how to remove them:
Mould and mildew on your garden furniture is to be expected given these stains thrive in damp conditions. While chlorine bleach is the most powerful stain remover when it comes to mould, we recommend using this only for worst case scenarios and for light fabrics, as bleach takes its toll on fabrics. You can also put on gloves and use the below:
Vinegar and Water Spray Solution
Borax and Water Solution
Vinegar, Water and other Essential Oils such as a blend of Thyme, Tea Tree, Clove
· Bird Droppings Stains
This is the second most common type of stain you’re likely to encounter. While unpleasant and stubborn to clean, it’s not entirely impossible. You can start by scraping off any excess dirt with a plastic tool. Spray the stain with a “warm water + detergent solution” and scrub with a toothbrush to make sure the solution penetrates deep into the fabric. Rinse out the fabric and repeat the procedure if stains are still visible.
· Food Stains
Greasy stains can be quite hard to get rid of but the trick is to generously apply salt on the greasy stain for 5 to 10 minutes in order to have the crystals fully absorb the grease. Remove the salt and clean with warm water and soap. You can even add a mild detergent for stains. After washing, leave to dry.
· Tree Sap
Tree sap stains can get harder to remove with time so it’s best to act as early as possible. For your home solutions, a quick treatment is applying a small amount of hand sanitizer with high percentage of alcohol on to the affected area. Rub it in gently and leave for around 5 minutes. Wipe clean with water and repeat if the stain remains.
If these home solutions don’t work, you can always rely on Inhouse Connections Cleaning to make quick work of your outdoor furniture.