Outdoor garden furniture, whether located on a patio or deck offers challenges when it comes to keeping it looking in good shape. Even if it is positioned under an awning or canopy the patio furniture is exposed to the elements, so the care differs considerably from indoor furniture and needs to be treated as such.
These few simple steps will keep your outdoor patio furniture looking good for many seasons.
Keep it covered! A no brainer, but definitely top of the list. Invest in a high quality patio furniture cover, this will protect the cushions from moisture, dust and help with fading issues. Outdoor Furniture Covers
If it is in your budget, a fade resistant fabric brand (like Sunbrella) is always the way to go. It is easier to care for and will maintain its appearance for many years.
Unless the fabric is Sunbrella (or some other fade resistant brand) be prepared for the fact that your cushions will fade. You can control the degree of fading and lengthen the life of your cushion covers by rotating the cushions regularly from one side of your sectional or sofa to the other to allow for an even fade. This way you will eliminate dark and light patches and keep your cushions looking their best.
We can't get away from the fact that there are dirt and pollutants in the air that can affect the appearance of patio furniture. A windy day, or dust from a garden blower can litter the cushions with debris.
Use a soft brush or dry white towel to dust off the cushions before use
No matter how much we want to believe that our pets don't jump on the furniture when we are not home, the reality is that the family pet probably spends more of his time relaxing on the patio furniture that you do. Pet fur can be stubborn to eliminate, as it can make its way into the fibers of the fabric. Ensure that part of your maintenance regimen includes using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to help eliminate pet fur.
If you are not able to bring the cushions inside when it rains, stand them on their edge after the rain has passed so that the water can drain out quickly. This will help prevent mold and mildew from forming and prolong the life of the foam and fabric.
Spills and stains on your patio cushions are bound to happen. The best plan of attack is to deal with them immediately. Spot clean using a damp cloth with a mild detergent before they set. Some stains like blood and grass may require a different treatment; refer to a stain removal guide before you embark on cleaning any type of stain.
Most patio furniture cushion covers are removable. If they are you can periodically wash the cushion covers in cold water using a mild detergent.
Care must be taken when drying the cushion covers. Never tumble dry; allow the cushion covers to dry flat to avoid shrinkage. Any wrinkles will smooth out when replaced on the foam insert.
Mentioned once, but worth reinforcing. Invest in a high quality patio furniture cover which will not only protect the furniture, but will prolong its life and your investment. Outdoor Furniture Covers