Ahh, fall. The season of boots, pumpkin spice lattes, and bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. But, most importantly, routine, and in this case the routine of cleaning outdoor cushions!
The kids are back in school and you’re busy sorting through summer clothes and disparaging over last year’s fall clothing leftovers. You’re closing down the pool and smooshing all the air out of the kid’s favorite unicorn floatie.
The How-To Of Cleaning Outdoor Cushions
At the start of the summer season this year, I pinned posts, dog-eared magazine pages and determined to make an outdoor living area that Southern Living and Joanna Gaines would be proud to claim as theirs. I bought the table plus the cushions to match and then I decked out the campfire ring’s chairs with throw pillows and blankets.
But this wasn’t my living room and now the cushions are dusty and covered with mold and equal parts of smeared marshmallow and chocolate fingerprints. Honestly, these were an investment, and I had better be getting more than one season out of them! If you’re feeling my pain, here are some tips on how to get some longevity out of those outdoor cushions.
Wash The Cushion Or The Cover?
First off, if you’re cushion covers do not zip off and remove or if you have a cover that is as big as a couch, don’t try to wash it at home. Save your time, money and energy, take it to your local SPOT and let their big washers do what yours can’t. They will even come to pick them up for you. Just give them a call or stop by.
If, however, your cushion covers do zip off, continue with me from your outdoor living to your laundry room.
Get the Right Stuff
The number one rule of thumb for cleaning outdoor cushions is; don’t skimp on your laundry ingredients. Buy the name brands if you can. Get some Tide, some Clorox 2, and possibly some Oxiclean. It might seem expensive when you’re standing in Walmart comparing prices, but by the time you have washed them three times to get them clean, your fabrics, your washer, and your water bill will be thanking you. While you’re at it, buy a delicate garment bag too. It will protect your zippers and buttons from the machine and your machine from the zippers and buttons.
Assess The Situation
Do a quick inventory of your load. Do you have any mold in the areas that possibly didn’t see the sunshine? If so, you need to hit it with some bleach. Just make sure to use a Clorox 2 or a color-safe bleach on any colors. Do you have some pretty tough stains on it like those chocolatey fingerprints? Make sure to pretreat it with a stain remover like Oxiclean. If there are zippers or buttons, make sure to fasten or zip them up. Lastly, make sure to turn up the temperature on that water. Remember, invest in your first wash and one wash will be all you need.
Dry Them Carefully
Now don’t throw them in the dryer! You want them to be able to fit back on your cushions. Line dry them before you put them away for the winter.
Pack them in a dry place with your flip-flops and your hot dog sticks and go sip on a PSL. Embrace your fall Joanna Gaines and hang a leafy wreath on your door. Summer will be back again before you know it!