How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers: Quick & Easy Tips

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers: Quick & Easy Tips

Cleaning outdoor furniture covers is essential to keep your patio furniture looking its best and prolonging its lifespan. Outdoor furniture covers are exposed to various weather conditions like rain, wind, and sun, leading to the accumulation of dirt and stains over time. Luckily, with the proper cleaning techniques, you can keep your furniture covers looking fresh and new.

Before you start, it's important to assess the type of fabric your outdoor furniture covers are made of, as different materials require different cleaning solutions. Once you identify the fabric, you can gather the necessary tools and cleaning solutions to effectively tackle stains and dirt. Keep in mind that some covers can be machine washed, while others need to be cleaned by hand.

Preparing to Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers

Remove Debris and Dust

Before you get started on cleaning your outdoor furniture covers, make sure to give them a thorough inspection. Remove any leaves, twigs, and other loose debris from the covers. You can use a soft brush or your hands to gently brush off the dirt. It's important to remove debris before proceeding because it will help you avoid unnecessary damage to the covers and ensure a more effective cleaning process.

Check Label for Cleaning Instructions

Now that your patio furniture covers are free from debris, it's time to look for any specific cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Check the labels on your outdoor furniture covers for any guidelines or warnings. Some materials may require special care or a specific cleaning solution. Following the manufacturer's instructions will help ensure that your patio furniture covers remain in good condition and last for many years to come.

If there are no specific cleaning instructions or if the label is missing, don't worry. As a general rule, you can use mild detergent and warm water to clean your patio furniture covers. Prepare a bucket of soapy water, grab a sponge or a soft cloth, and you'll be ready to tackle the cleaning process. But before you do, remember to have a garden hose handy to rinse off the soap solution after you finish washing the covers.

Cleaning Different Types of Furniture Covers

Vinyl and Polyester Covers

To clean your vinyl and polyester patio furniture covers, start by preparing a gentle cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a mild dish soap. Use a soft scrub brush, sponge, or an old piece of towel to apply the solution to the covers, paying special attention to seams and any tough stains. When you're done scrubbing, rinse the covers thoroughly with a garden hose and make sure to let them dry completely before folding or storing to prevent the growth of mildew.

Nylon Covers

For nylon patio furniture covers, you'll want to use a similar cleaning process as for vinyl and polyester covers. Start by mixing warm water with a mild dishwashing detergent and use a soft-bristle brush or cloth to apply the solution to the covers. Gently scrub any dirty spots, focusing on seams and corners. After washing, rinse the covers with clean water and allow them to air dry completely before folding or storing to avoid mold and mildew.

Plastic and Aluminum Covers

When it comes to plastic and aluminum patio furniture covers, the cleaning process is quite simple. Begin by filling a bucket with soapy water; you can use mild dish soap. Next, use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe down the entire surface of the cover. For stubborn spots, you can use a soft-bristle brush to gently remove them. Once the covers have been cleaned, rinse them with a garden hose to remove any remaining soap residue, and allow them to dry thoroughly before storage.

Remember, maintaining your patio furniture covers is essential for prolonging their lifespan and keeping your outdoor furniture clean and protected. By using these gentle cleaning methods, you'll keep these covers looking like new for years to come.

Effective Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning outdoor furniture covers can be a breeze when using the right cleaning solutions. In this section, we will cover three simple and effective methods to get your covers looking like new.

Using Dish Soap and Water

For a cost-effective and gentle cleaning method, simply mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a bucket. Dip a soft scrub brush into the solution and gently scrub your furniture covers in small sections, working from the top to the bottom. Rinse each section thoroughly with a hose to remove any residue and avoid detergent buildup. Remember to always follow care instructions on the label when using soap and water.

Applying Oil Soap for Wood

Wooden outdoor furniture can benefit from oil-based soap, like Murphy Oil Soap, as a gentle and nourishing cleaning solution. Mix a small amount of soap with warm water and clean your wooden furniture covers using a soft cloth or brush. This method can help to remove grime and dirt while preserving the wood's finish.

Utilizing Mild Soap for Hand Washing

In cases where the care tag indicates that your covers should not be machine washed, you can hand wash your furniture covers using a mild soap. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of gentle detergent. Agitate the water to create suds, then submerge the covers and gently rub them together to clean. Rinse thoroughly with clean water, squeeze out any excess moisture, and air dry the covers in the sun.

By choosing the appropriate cleaning solution for your outdoor furniture covers, you can ensure they stay clean and well-maintained throughout the year. Keep these methods in mind and your furniture covers will continue to look fresh and welcoming in your outdoor living space.

Addressing Tough Stains and Issues

Handling Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew stains can be particularly stubborn on your outdoor furniture covers. To tackle these stains, use a solution of 1 cup bleach and ½ cup mild dish detergent mixed into 1 gallon of water1. Spray the stained areas thoroughly with the solution, wait for several minutes, and then rinse with clean water. Make sure to let the covers dry completely in the sun, as sunlight helps to kill mold and mildew spores.

Removing Rust and Bird Droppings

Rust and bird droppings can be unsightly and potentially damaging to your furniture covers. To remove these stains, mix about a half-cup of baking soda to a gallon of water with your soapy solution2. Gently scrub the affected areas with a soft brush or sponge, then rinse with clean water. Be sure to dry the covers thoroughly in the sun to prevent further staining or damage.

Treating Grass, Tree Sap, and Sunscreen Stains

Grass, tree sap, and sunscreen stains can leave stubborn marks on your outdoor furniture covers. To treat these stains:

  • For grass stains, first try scrubbing gently with a soft brush and a mix of water with a mild soapy solution or a dishwasher detergent3. If the stain remains, you can use a stain remover specifically designed for grass stains and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • For tree sap stains, apply rubbing alcohol to a cloth and dab the stained area4. Be sure to test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the rubbing alcohol does not damage the cover's fabric.

  • For sunscreen stains, pre-treat the area with a stain remover, then wash the covers according to their care instructions5. If the stain persists, you may need to try a different stain remover or consult with a professional cleaner.

Keeping your outdoor furniture covers clean and free of tough stains ensures they will protect your furniture for years to come. It will also maintain the appearance and functionality of your outdoor space.

Rinsing and Drying the Covers

Rinsing off Cleaning Solutions

Once you've cleaned your outdoor furniture covers, it's important to thoroughly rinse off any cleaning solution. Using a garden hose, spray water onto the covers to remove all traces of detergent. Be sure to reach all areas, especially seams and creases, where cleaning solution might get trapped. If preferred, you can also use a damp cloth to gently wipe away any remaining solution.

Drying Methods and Tips

After rinsing, allow the covers to air dry. Choose a spot with good airflow and sunlight to help speed up the drying process. If possible, leave them in direct sunlight, as it helps disinfect and brighten the fabric. While the covers are drying, periodically turn them to ensure they dry evenly. Avoid placing the covers back on your outdoor furniture until they're completely dry, as any moisture can cause mildew and mold to grow.

  • Lay the covers flat on a clean surface or drape them over a clothesline to air dry.
  • Gently press a clean, dry towel against the covers to remove excess water before air drying.
  • If the covers are still damp after being in the sun, bring them indoors and continue air drying to avoid dew or overnight moisture.

Additional Care and Maintenance

Protection Against UV Rays and Staining

To keep your outdoor furniture covers looking good and functioning well, it's important to protect them from UV rays and staining. To do this, consider treating your fabric furniture covers with a UV-resistant spray. This will help maintain the color, strength, and durability of your covers. Also, use a stain-resistant spray to make the cleaning process easier. Remember always to spot test any spray on an inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire cover.

Furniture Covers Storage Tips

Proper storage is essential to prolonging the life of your outdoor furniture covers. Here are some friendly tips for storing your covers:

  • Clean before storing: Always clean your furniture covers before storing them away. Make sure they are free from dirt or debris that could lead to mildew growth.

  • Dry thoroughly: Ensure your covers are completely dry before storing them as dampness can cause mold or mildew. You can dry your covers in a well-ventilated area or outside on a sunny day.

  • Fold carefully: Fold your covers neatly to prevent creases and wrinkles. This will also help you save storage space.

  • Choose the right storage place: Store your covers in a cool and dry place, preferably indoors. Keep them away from direct sunlight or damp places, as these conditions can weaken the fabric and reduce their durability.

Following these guidelines for additional care and maintenance will help you maintain the appearance and functionality of your outdoor furniture covers, ensuring they last for many seasons to come.

Detailed Cleaning of Specific Items

In this section, we'll cover step-by-step techniques for cleaning different types of outdoor furniture covers. Let's dive into the specific items and the best way to maintain them.

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions

To clean your outdoor cushions, first, remove any loose dirt or debris with a soft-bristled brush. Mix a warm soapy solution in a large bucket, large enough to accommodate the cushion covers. Soak the covers for 20 to 30 minutes, allowing the soap to penetrate and break down the dirt. After soaking, gently scrub the seams and folds with the soft-bristled brush to ensure thorough cleaning. Rinse the covers well with clean water and air dry them for best results.

Maintaining Patio Umbrellas

Patio umbrellas require regular maintenance, especially during the outdoor season. To give your umbrella a deep clean, follow these steps:

  1. Open the umbrella and use a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or debris from the canopy.
  2. Mix a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. Preferably, use a detergent that is suitable for the umbrella fabric.
  3. Use a sponge or clean cloth to gently scrub the canopy following its seams and folds. Be sure to clean both the inside and outside of the umbrella.
  4. Rinse the soapy solution off the umbrella with a garden hose.
  5. Leave the umbrella open while it air dries to prevent any mold or mildew buildup.

By following these steps, you can keep your patio umbrella looking new and ready to provide you with shade all season long.

Special Care for Pet-Stained Covers

Accidents happen, and if your outdoor furniture covers are stained with pet accidents, you'll want to tackle these stains as soon as possible. Hand washing is recommended for pet-stained covers. Use a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and a small amount of white vinegar to create a cleaning solution. Apply the solution directly to the stained areas and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse well with water and air dry the covers. If the pet stains are particularly stubborn, you can try using a pet-specific stain and odor removal product following the manufacturer's instructions.

By giving these specific items special care and attention, you'll be able to enjoy your outdoor space with clean, well-maintained furniture covers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I wash outdoor furniture covers?

To wash outdoor furniture covers, first shake or brush off any loose dirt and debris. Then, spot clean with soap and water, rinse thoroughly, and allow to air dry.

How do you get mildew off outdoor furniture covers?

To remove mildew from outdoor furniture covers, create a solution of bleach and water. Apply it to the affected areas, scrub with a brush, and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Make sure to wear protective gear while working with bleach.

Can I put patio furniture covers in the washing machine?

Before washing patio furniture covers in the machine, check the care tags to ensure they are machine washable. If so, use a mild detergent and gentle cycle, then air dry them. If the tag indicates it's not machine washable, hand wash the covers with a mild soap and water mixture.

How do you wash outdoor cushion covers?

To wash outdoor cushion covers, remove the covers from the cushions, then spot clean with a mild soap and water solution, scrubbing gently with a brush. Rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry.

What is the best way to clean canvas furniture covers?

To clean canvas furniture covers, first remove any dirt or debris. Then, use a mild soap and water solution to scrub the surface gently, making sure to remove any stains. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry.

How can I clean patio furniture mesh?

To clean patio furniture mesh, mix a solution of mild soap and water. Gently scrub the mesh using a soft-bristle brush, paying attention to any stained areas. Rinse thoroughly and let the furniture air dry.