Outdoor cushions can be a fantastic asset to your garden or patio. They are available in many different colours and textures and can be well suited to a set of rattan furniture or wrought iron chairs and tables.
However, we understand that keeping outdoor accessories in top condition can be challenging if you have never done so before. In this article, we will aim to explain how to clean and maintain your outdoor cushions and pillows.
What is the difference between outdoor cushions and pillows and ones which are indoor?
Outdoor cushions are weather resistant, utilise thick, good quality materials and are fairly long-lasting when looked after well. They are often used during the warmer summer months when it is pleasant to spend time outside, or all year round in states with year-round sunshine.
In contrast, indoor pillows are less suited to outdoor use. They are not waterproof, hence will absorb a large amount of water, and harbour hazardous fungi and mould if left damp for a long period of time.
What are the problems you can encounter with cushions and pillows?
There are several issues that can arise when you have your own cushions and pillows. Firstly, exposure to outdoor elements can make your cushions fade and lose their colour, and rainfall will make them damp, leaving them open to becoming a parasitic breeding ground.
Just some of the following instances might occur if you do not take care of your cushions or pillows:
- Mould growth on the exterior and interior of the cushion or pillow.
- Parasites breeding in the fibres.
- Defecation from insects and animals on the caing.
- Mildew and lichen formation.
- Bad odours coming from your cushion.
- Nibbled areas from animals.
To reduce the risk of your cushions becoming worn out quickly, you should bring them inside when you are not using them, which can help to reduce the levels of damage that they would otherwise have undergone outside.
How to clean outdoor cushions
There are times when your cushions inevitably get dirty, and you will be required to wash them. Here is how to do this effectively.
- For killing mould or mildew, use a vinegar mixture to soak down your cushion then wash it with hot, soapy water. The vinegar will kill anything alive on the cushion’s fabric, so there is no chance of it regrowing once you have used it. Just remember to make sure that you use more than one coat, or else you could miss some of the growth.
- To remove dirt, brush off all dried flakes, then surface wash with a damp cloth. You can remove stains using a soft stain removal, but do not use it in concentration as this could ruin the pattern.
- To remove spillages, soak your cushion in clean water, wring it out and leave it on a clear surface to dry. Leave it until your cushion is completely dry until you decide to store it again, or else it could begin to harbour mould.
How can I maintain my outdoor cushions and pillows?
To maintain your cushions and pillows, there are some steps you can undergo to give them the best and longest life possible. These include:
- Learning how to sew, so you can stitch together any broken seams on your cushion or pillow casing.
- Keeping your cushions covered with a cloth whilst storing them so that you can keep dust and dirt off them whilst they are kept indoors.
- Keeping a full stock of cleaning equipment on hand so that you can deal with any messes when they happen.
- Use a waterproof lining over your cushions when using them outdoors, if they are not already resistant to rain or spillages.
Having these techniques on hand will provide you with plenty of options for when things go wrong with your cushions.