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Extend the Life of Your Outdoor Furniture

“Nature abhors a vacuum…and so do I. –  Ann Gibbons
Now that the snows have receded it’s time to spruce up the patio for seasonal fun. But, before the party can start, sometimes a little housekeeping is in order. For a little instant gratification, start your list of chores with the cleaning and caring for your outdoor furniture upholstery—then move on to the weeding, mowing, trimming and pool cleaning. It’s quick work, and at the end of the day, you’ll have a nice place to sit and relax with a cool beverage as you enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Caring for outdoor furniture upholstery is relatively easy, as most outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand the elements. Maximize your outdoor furniture’s lifespan with regular cleaning, and you’re sure to enjoy your outdoor room for years to come.
Stowed Away
Did you store your cushions indoors over the winter? That’s good – but hopefully they’re not in an airtight container. When not in use, we recommend storing your outdoor furniture cushions and other upholstered pieces in breathable storage bins, or stacked on shelves and covered with a dust protecting cloth.
Here are some tried-and-true cleaning tips for cleaning outdoor furniture upholstery:
The Ol’ Brush-Off
Take a whisk broom to your outdoor furniture upholstery to brush off any loose dirt and dust from storage. This helps prevent topical dust and dirt from embedding in the fabric. Be sure to get down along seams and zippers where dirt tends to get trapped.
Next, you’ll want to do a deeper cleaning of your outdoor furniture upholstery. Here’s our perfect “sudsy solution:

  • Mix ¼ cup mild soap – such as Woolite or Dawn dish washing liquid – with one gallon of lukewarm water
  • Using a soft bristle brush, apply solution to cushions and scrub gently, allowing the cleaning solution to soak into your pillows
  • Scrub lightly, being sure to get down into the seams and zipper pull areas
  • Rinse thoroughly until water runs clean, and allow to air-dry

Next, you’ll want to give your frame sets a good cleaning with the same sudsy solution and soft brush. Rinse thoroughly, then let dry. Don’t forget to squeeze a little lubricant on moving parts, like rollers, hinges and swivels, to loosen up the joints and to keep them from oxidizing.
Made in the Shade
Don’t forget to give your market or patio umbrellas a good cleaning, too. It’s a two-person job, and somebody will get wet, so have some fun with it! Use the same soap solution mentioned above and give the umbrella a good scrub. Rinse with cool water and put back in place to dry – you’ll be made in the shade for the summer.
Don’t forget about your umbrella – keep it clean and you’ll be made in the shade.
Got You Covered
If you own furniture covers for your outdoor upholstered furnishings, terrific! They could use a wash too, at least twice a year. Please see the manufacturer’s recommendation for cleaning your covers.
Caring for your outdoor furniture upholstery is easy.
Now, where’s that cold bevvie?
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