What can make your luxury backyard oasis look old and dingy? Dirty patio cushions. If you are not quite ready to replace the cushions on your outdoor furniture, it is important to take steps to get the existing cushions clean by removing dirt, dust, stains, mold and mildew. Here is the ultimate guide to cleaning patio cushions and refreshing your outdoor living space.
Brushing and Vacuuming
Just like your indoor sofa, outdoor patio cushions benefit from brushing the surface free of dust that has settled on the surface. An occasional vacuum with a crevice tool helps to draw out dirt beneath the surface and remove debris from crevices.
Although patio cushions are made from weather-resistant and fade-resistant fabric, that does not mean it will hold up well to harsh chemicals, stiff scrub brushes or power washing. Start cleaning patio cushions by using a diluted solution consisting of one gallon of plain water plus a quarter cup of dish detergent. Apply this mixture to your furniture cushions using a sponge or soft bristled brush, then rinse thoroughly with a good spray of water. Since most cushions are made from reticulated foam, allow them to air dry outside; hang them up to allow warm air to flow through, if possible.
After you’ve given your patio cushions a thorough cleaning, be sure to keep them looking good by staying on top of small stains. Try to deal with stains as quickly as possible by blotting with a dry cloth then spraying it with the gentle cleaning solution described in the preceding paragraph. Always be sure to rinse the solution off the cushion; be sure to hit the entire surface with water so that there is no water ring left behind. Finish with a protectant, such as Hauser’s Patio proprietary patio furniture cleaning solution.
Oil-Based and Deep Stains
Loungers and chairs located poolside tend to get dirty from suntan lotions and oils. They may also be targets for bird excrement, beverage spills and food stains. Cleaning patio cushions with these types of stains require a bit more work.
As soon as you see an oil-based stain, sprinkle on an absorbent such as cornstarch or baking soda, then scrape it off with a plastic spatula.
For deep stains, use the same gentle cleaning solution of water and dish detergent and scrub it with a soft brush, letting the cleanser soak into the cushion. Follow with a good rinse and air dry.
Mold and Mildew
If your patio furniture cushions show signs of mold and mildew (typically black spots), add a cup of bleach to the cleaning solution – but do test a small section of the upholstery fabric first to ensure it won’t cause the dye to lighten. Spray the surface of the cushion and let it sink in for several minutes, then follow with cleaning patio cushions as described above under gentle cleansing. It is best to do this on a warm, sunny day so the cushions can thoroughly air-dry outside. Lean the cushions on their side in order to let the reticulated foam insides slough off the rinsing water.
With this ultimate guide to cleaning patio cushions, your backyard oasis will look fresh and new in no time.