It’s not always easy to keep outdoor furniture pristine and ready for guests. All it takes is one spilled glass of red wine, a hot dog dropped ketchup-side down, or too much greasy sunblock, and suddenly your once-beautiful patio furniture is loaded with stains. Add in the humidity that comes from the occasional shower or thunderstorm, and it’s a recipe for mold and mildew on top of everything else. That’s why we’ve created this guide to show you how to clean outdoor furniture fabric quickly and easily.
How To Clean Patio Cushions Step-By-Step
Step 1: Don’t wait to tackle stains and spills.
The less time something has to seep into fabric the better and, if you can catch it before it dries, you’ll get
Step 2: Brush off excess dirt first.
Any dried, caked-on mess should be removed before you start scrubbing to ensure it isn’t ground further into the fabric.
Step 3: Don’t pour cleaning solution directly on fabric.
Applying a cleaning solution on a soft cloth or scrubbing device allows you to use just as much as you need directly on the fabric, without excess moisture soaking into the cushion itself.
Step 4: Give your cleaning solution time to sink in.
You want to be sure that your product has thoroughly soaked into the fabric so that it has time to work its
magic and lift the stain.
Step 5: Scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush.
Small, circular motions will help to loosen stains that cling to fabric fibers. Avoid scrubbing too hard to avoid wear and tear on the fabric.
Step 6: Rinse with plain water after washing.
It’s important to make sure that you rinse your fabric thoroughly. Any soap, bleach, or cleaning product
Residue that’s left behind has the potential to make things worse, causing streaking or discoloration.
Step 7: Give your furniture ample airflow while it dries.
Fabric that remains damp for long periods of time is more likely to suffer from mold and mildew. Stand
cushions on their side and turn them as necessary to allow them to dry out evenly and completely.
How To Remove Mold & Mildew From Cushions
Here’s how to get mold out of outdoor cushions:
- First, brush off mold and mildew spots with a dry scrub brush or broom, removing as much dusty
residue as possible.
- Combine 1/4 cup (60 mL) dishwashing liquid and 1 cup (236.6 mL) bleach per gallon (3.8 L) of water.
- Spray onto affected areas with a spray bottle, saturating the fabric.
- If possible, allow to sit in the sun for 15 minutes, and then scrub gently with a soft-bristle brush until
the spots disappear.
When purchasing new cushions, be sure to look for those treated with Microban®, anti-microbial protection which works continuously to slow the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew on outdoor furniture– even in damp conditions. Less cleaning time is involved!
How To Treat Common Stains
Some stains require special treatment. Here are some recommended approaches to the usual stain suspects.
For tips and tricks on cleaning your beautiful outdoor fabrics, check out our video that will show you how to clean outdoor furniture, cushions and pillows.
Best Cleaning Solutions For Outdoor Fabric
Most recommended stain solutions simply use common household ingredients such as vinegar and water, which is a great alternative to chemical-heavy commercial cleaning products. By substituting an organic dishwashing soap (look for the USDA certified organic label) you can easily clean most stains.
When Cushions Need Replacing, Recover With Phifer Outdoor Fabric
Regularly spot-cleaning and wiping down your outdoor fabric, and jumping right on stains as they happen can extend its life by many years. When the time comes to replace your outdoor fabric, our Outdoor Fabric Visualizer allows you to mix and match, play with color and texture, and see how your favorites combine with sample images.
Ready to shop? Browse outdoor fabric swatches from Phifer today! If you have more questions, please get in touch with us! We’d love to talk with you over email, online chat or phone.