HOW TO CLEAN OUTDOOR PATIO FURNITURE CUSHIONS

Patio furniture cushions may be waterproof, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get dirty!

Your outdoor patio -- and the furniture cushions especially -- are exposed to all the elements of the outdoors and therefore can collect dirt and dust that indoor furniture cushions are not exposed to. It's never a pretty sight when you're planning an outdoor party with family and friends, and you uncover your patio only to discover dirty patio furniture! By properly cleaning and maintaining your outdoor patio furniture cushions, your party will be a blast -- not a dud!

To clean your patio furniture cushions, there are very simple cleaning instructions that you can follow. You should be using a soapy mixture for cleaning patio furniture cushions that is mild so that you will not damage the fabric of the furniture cushions. So how do you clean patio furniture cushions? To keep your outdoor patio furniture cushions clean and usable for a long time, follow these instructions from DIYNetwork.com.

STEP 1: MIX THE CLEANING SOLUTION

Mix together 1 tsp. diswashing detergent and 1 tsp. Borax in 1 quart warm water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle.

STEP 2: SATURATE THE SURFACE

Generously saturate the cushions on both sides with the solution. Do not be frugal -- it will clean off the mold and mildew. Be sure to get all the crevices and creases. The more you put on now, the less you will have to do when you wash it off.

STEP 3: WAIT, WASH AND DRY

Let the cleaning solution sit for 15 minutes. Then with the garden hose on high, spray the cushions thoroughly to knock the dirt and cleaning solution off the cushions. Stand the cushions up on edge to let them dry to just damp.

STEP 4: ADD FABRIC PROTECTOR

Spray the cushions with a fabric protector. This will both protect them and make them easier to clean in the future.

STEP 5: CLEAN CANVAS

Most of the time, canvas can be machine washed and then put back on the furniture while it is damp to stretch the material back into shape. However, if you can't remove the canvas, use a scrub brush and rub it across the bar of Fels-Naptha soap and then rub the brush back and forth on the canvas. You may have to do this a few times — don't be afraid to really lather it up. Fels-Naptha soap works well for canvas awnings. It does a good job removing bird droppings and many stains.

Once you get the canvas nice and clean, take the hose or a spray bottle and rinse it off.

Remember that different materials respond differently to cleaning solutions. First, find out what your patio furniture cushions are made of by checking the tags. If you have removed the tags from your furniture cushions, check with the manufacturer to get their opinion -- either by phone, in person or through an online forum.

Before you mix the cleaning solution for your patio furniture cushions as suggested above, you should remove the patio furniture cushions from the furniture itself and take the cushions to a flat surface for cleaning. You should always clean your patio furniture cushions before you put them out for the summer and before storing them for the winter. Of course, as stains can occur frequently (especially with children around!), you will need to do touch-ups on your patio furniture cushions on a more regular basis. Stick to this method of cleaning, and your outdoor patio furniture cushions will look brand new for a long time!

Remember that different materials respond differently to cleaning solutions. First, find out what your patio furniture cushions are made of by checking the tags. If you have removed the tags from your furniture cushions, check with the manufacturer to get their opinion -- either by phone, in person or through an online forum.

Before you mix the cleaning solution for your patio furniture cushions as suggested above, you should remove the patio furniture cushions from the furniture itself and take the cushions to a flat surface for cleaning. You should always clean your patio furniture cushions before you put them out for the summer and before storing them for the winter. Of course, as stains can occur frequently (especially with children around!), you will need to do touch-ups on your patio furniture cushions on a more regular basis. Stick to this method of cleaning, and your outdoor patio furniture cushions will look brand new for a long time!