Although patio cushions are designed to be more durable than indoor cushions, they aren’t immune to wear and tear from mold, mildew, moisture, and pests.
Cleaning and storing your cushions and cushion covers correctly can ensure they stay as good as new for years to come. Follow our quick guide below.
Cleaning Cushion Covers
You should start with your removable cushion covers, as cleaning them is less involved than cleaning your cushions.
Remove the cushions and sweep off any loose dirt or leaves with a broom. Then, you can wash them. Machine wash whenever possible — check the tag and follow all manufacturer instructions.
Air dry your cushion covers after washing them.
Non Removable Cushions and Covers
For non- removable covers, use a soft brush and some mild detergent to scrub them clean. To make your cleaning solution, mix about a tablespoon of detergent with a bucket of warm water. If mildew is present, add ¼ cup of borax to the solution as well.
You can also use white vinegar or bleach+water (test on a small area first) to fight mold and mildew, as well as to release stubborn stains.
Let the cushions soak for about 15 minutes. Then, spray down the covers with a hose, towel dry as best as you can, and let them air dry after. Make sure the covers and cushions are completely dry — never store a damp cushion cover or cushion.
While your removable covers are washing, you can clean their respective cushions. To do so, the first vacuum and/or sweep the cushions so they are clear of any dirt or debris. Take extra care with tufted cushions.
From there, you can clean these cushions using the same method as you did for the non- removable covers and cushions.
Before storing any cushions, make sure to waterproof them. Many come with water-resistant materials, but those wear down after a few years. By waterproofing them before storing, you can ensure they last a long time.
Where Should I Store Cushions?
Patio cushions are designed to hold up to the outdoors, so storing them outside is ok. With that said, you need to ensure you store them in a cool, dry environment because humidity can damage your cushions.
A garage works, but temperature and humidity are always changing.
A better choice might be a finished basement, as temperature and humidity are both more stable in this environment. You also minimize potential sunlight exposure, preventing UV rays from fading the fabric.
Wherever you choose to store your cushions, make sure they’re kept at least half a foot off the ground. Putting them on or near the ground puts them at risk of pests. Also, basement and garage floors contain moisture — moisture that can transfer to your cushions.
What Storage Containers Should I Use?
You have a few options for storage containers.
Airtight containers are great for shorter storage periods. They protect your cushions against moths and other pests.
Ideally, you want your cushions to be able to breathe — storing them too long in an airtight box, especially in humid conditions, is detrimental to your cushions.
In a similar vein, make extra sure the cushions are dry. Use moisture-absorbing packets for good measure.
Breathable Storage Bags
Again, humidity is not good for cushions. Humidity can transfer from outside an airtight container to the inside, leading to potential damage.
If you live in a humid area, use breathable fabric storage bags instead. These ensure that air can circulate through the cushion. Use a humidifier for additional protection.
Blankets, Tarps, or Sheets
Blankets, tarps, and sheets can keep your cushions safe from rodents if you store them in your garage or another rodent-favored area.
Humidity is a factor once again, though. Use sheets instead of tarp if you live in a humid location — sheets will allow more air circulation than a tarp.
When you take your cushions out of storage, you may consider spraying your cushions and covers with a fabric protector. This will help protect against dirt and stains from spills.