Patio chair cushions

By: Roger Hutchison

The ideal outdoor sanctuary is a place where you feel happy, comfortable, and you're proud to share it with others. However, being outside and exposed to weather, sunlight, dirt, wind and well...people, it must be durable. Fortunately durability and beauty can go hand in hand. You can have patio furniture that lasts and you can have beautiful patio chair cushions that hold their color, stay in place, keep their form, and last years and years. Here are some simple tips to keep your outdoor space as beautiful as it was when you first created it.

Cleaning Patio Chair Cushions:

Keeping your patio chair cushions looking as great as they looked the day you bought them takes a little work. Fortunately, many cushions are now made from strong durable fabrics and often coated with stain repellents. This helps to keep your cushions looking great and lasting a long time however, it doesn't take care of everything.

Here are a few simple steps to keep your cushions looking excellent:

At the end of each season, or in the event of a spill, hand wash your patio chair cushions with a mild detergent and rinse. This annual cleaning is made significantly easier if you have cushions that allow you to remove the inner foam core. If you do have cushions that allow you to remove the cushion insert, then you can simply drop them in your washing machine on gentle cycle and air dry.

Take extra care to keep inner foam core dry because mildew can develop.

This is especially important if you store your cushions during the winter months. In fact, if you can keep your cushions from getting rain soaked take those measures. This may involve removing them during inclement weather or positioning your furniture under a cover.

When storing your cushions, never wrap them in plastic because this will prevent circulation and encourage mold and mildew growth. Take measures to store them in a cool and dry place.

Cleaning teak furniture:

Beautiful teak requires a different level of care. Fortunately, cleaning is simple and straightforward. To clean your teak patio furniture, skip the steel wool and high pressured hoses and stick with a soft brush or cleaning pad. Simple soapy water should get 90% of the dirt off and don't forget to rinse. Commercial cleaners are best used for deep stains, mineral deposits and mildew stains. Another quick way to get rid of stains is to use fine grade sandpaper. Sand in the direction of the grain and finish with teak oil for a clean finish.

Cleaning your resin lawn chairs:

Resin is easy to care for and fairly inexpensive but it can get dirty and dingy quickly. To brighten resin furniture, remove your patio chair cushions and set aside. Gather rubber gloves and a scour sponge or soft brush and a bucket. Combine 3/4 cup bleach and 1 tablespoon powdered or liquid laundry detergent mixed with 1 gallon warm water. Leave the mixture on the furniture for five to 15 minutes and then rinse well.

Note: Always test cleaning solutions on a hidden area to make sure material won't discolor.

Cleaning your patio umbrella:

Open your umbrella on your deck or patio lay it on its side. Combine a gallon of warm water, a squeeze of mild dishwashing soap and 3/4 cup of bleach. Acrylic prints should not be cleaned with this mixture as it will ruin the fabric. If you have an acrylic print, follow your manufacturer's label for cleaning instructions. Protect your hands with rubber gloves and, using a soft-bristle brush, scrub one section at a time. Rinse fabric with your hose or clean buckets of water and dry metal hardware with a clean dry towel to prevent rusting.

Normal wear and tear of patio furniture and patio chair cushions is expected, after all your outdoor space is a room that you want to live in. However, dirt, mildew, and mineral deposits can cause your patio furniture to wear more quickly than you'd like. Annual cleaning of your patio furniture and patio chair cushions will not only help keep them looking their best, it will help them last. Follow these few simple cleaning steps once a year and your outdoor space will shine.

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