How to Guide: Washing Your Outdoor Furniture Cushions

11th May 2018

How to wash your outdoor furniture cushions

In the past, we've talked a lot about maintaining your outdoor furniture. From how to clean rattan to repairing scratches, we've covered it all. However, we thought it was about time we focused on an often overlooked part of your outdoor furniture. The cushions, of course! You wouldn't neglect the cushions on the sofa in your living room, would you? So you shouldn't forget about the ones outdoors. Here's our quick and easy guide to washing your outdoor furniture cushions!

What you'll need:

  • Washing machine
  • Mild detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • Vanish Oxi-action or similar product
  • Outdoor fabric protector
  • Garden hose
  • Soft brush
  • Cloth
  • Towels

Whilst we've listed all the potential things you'll need, we recommend you take a look at the method before nipping out to the shops. There are a number of different ways to tackle dirty outdoor cushions and you may not require everything on our list. For ease of use, we've highlighted any items you need in bold below so you can quickly scan as you go along.

The Method

  1. For a basic clean, you should remove the cushion covers and place them in the washing machine. This should be done at least once a year, on a low cycle with a mild cleaning detergent. Do not wash the foam inner part of the cushion as this can lead to the build-up of mildew and mould. Once the cycle has finished, ensure your covers are entirely dry before replacing onto the foam inners. Using a radiator or airing cupboard is preferable.
  2. If your cushion covers are not removable you should make a solution of warm soapy water with the mild detergent. Use a soft brush to scrub the solution into the cushion and wipe away with a soft, wet cloth. Then, press the cushion in between two towels and squeeze any excess water out. Ensure that the cushions are completely dry by allowing them to air in the sunshine (if possible). Alternatively, place in the airing cupboard for a few hours.
  3. For a heavy duty clean, you'll need to soak your cushion covers. Create a solution of equal parts washing up liquid and Vanish Oxi-action powder with a litre of warm water. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and apply liberally to the cushion covers, focusing on any particularly dirty areas.
  4. Allow this solution to work away for 15 to 35 minutes but don't let it get dry! Re-spray if necessary. Once the time is up, use your garden hose to blast away the cleaning solution and dirt. It should easily fall away. Then, you can repeat the basic clean step 1 as shown above to ensure your cushions are as good as new.
  5. To prevent any dirt build-up in the first place, we suggest using an outdoor fabric protector which forms a protective barrier. It'll also make your cushions easier to clean in the future.

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