How to Protect Outdoor Cushions


Proper care of your outdoor cushions is necessary if you want to keep them year after year. The manufacturer normally treats its outdoor cushions with some type of chemical to protect them from the elements, but there are things you can do to protect your cushions on a regular basis. With very little effort, you can keep your outdoor cushions looking brand new even if you have children who spill food or drinks on them regularly or teenagers who lie on them to tan every year.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • 1/8 cup bleach
  • Stain remover
  • Old sheet or blanket
  • Storage area

Proper Care for Outdoor Cushions

  • Using your water hose, spray your cushions every weekend to rid them of any unwanted food particles or yard debris. Clean soiled areas with a mild cleanser such as dish soap. If your cushion has a stain, apply a stain remover, being sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Let the cushions dry completely.

  • If your cushions are not water resistant, cover them with plastic or store them indoors at night. Water resistant cushions can withstand the rain or snow, but put them on their sides to dry them more quickly.

  • Place a towel over your outdoor cushions if you are tanning. Suntan oil and creams have a tendency to stain, and the next person who sits down in that chair may not appreciate the greasy feel of suntan lotion. If your children spill something on your outdoor cushions, clean it up right away to prevent it from staining.

  • Deep clean your cushions once a year, immediately before you store them for the winter season. Use a solution of 1/8 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water with a dab of dish soap in it. This will kill any mildew that has built up on your cushions. Leave this solution on your cushions for a full half hour, and rinse thoroughly with your hose. Allow your cushions to dry completely before storing them.

  • Store your outdoor cushions in an airy place without covering them with plastic. Plastic will allow moisture to accumulate on your cushions, causing mold and mildew to envelop them. Cover them with an old sheet or blanket to protect them from dust and other irritants. Put them in an outdoor shed that is secure from the elements, or store them in your house or garage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the tag on your cushions so you can identify the material from which your cushion is made. It will usually give you the proper care instructions. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

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