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Patio Furniture Care

To insure longevity of your outdoor furniture, it's best to understand your environment before cleaning your cushions and frames. It's best to take outdoor cushions inside or under cover when you're not using them. (We know that's not always feasible.)

ALWAYS keep umbrellas tied down if you're not using them. Summer storms are powerful and swift!


Cleaning

  • For DIY general cleaning, sponge cushions with a light solution of liquid laundry detergent and water. 
  • For tougher grime, use a light solution of Dawn Dish soap or liquid laundry detergent with a soft bristle brush.  
  • **If you have solution-dyed acrylic fabrics (like Sunbrella fabrics), you may try a small capful of Colorox mixed with a gallon of water on tougher stains.  Test it on the back of your furniture in a small area before dousing your entire cushion. If you do not have solution-dyed acrylic fabrics, Clorox has a much higher chance of bleaching your fabrics.  
  • We carry many cleaners in store that are fabric safe. 
  • If birds are a big problem, try one of our protectants. It's best to do a full cleaning in the spring and before you put your furniture away for the winter, and protectants make spot cleaning much easier.

Caution!

  • Do not use a pressure washer on your furniture. We know it's so easy to take a pressure washer to the whole patio, but overexcited pressure washing leads to cracks in paint and tears in fabric. 
  • Do not put your cushions, pillows, or cushion covers into the dryer.  Due to the snug fit of a fabric cover, it's often hard to remove the fabric cover and also put it back on after washing and air drying.  We don't recommend trying, but now you know the dangers if you do! 

How to protect from the elements:

Rain

The light waterproofing on the fabric will protect you for light drizzle. However, it will keep water inside the cushions after a heavy downpour.

  • Unzip your cushions
  • Stack cushions vertically (zipper side, down)

Mold

  • If you live in a wooded area with lots of tree cover, pay extra attention to dirt and pollen on your cushions.  
  • Whenever you think of it and go outside, fluff your cushions and gently brush off the dust or pollen 
  • In wet and shaded environments, dirt and pollen easily can create mold in the welts and edges of outdoor cushions. (Sunbrella® fabric is mold resistent, but you can never be too careful.) 

Sun Fading

  • The happiest summer weather can actually be the most detrimental for your furniture. Sunbrella® fabrics and other solution-dyed acrylic fabrics offer more protection than older printed fabrics, but you'll still experience fading.
  • If your furninture is in full sun, or southern facing, we recommend applying Fabric Guard by 303 each year (apply it on metal frames too).
  • It's best to assume you'll have some fading year over year, but if all your sets are bought around the same time and have the same exposure, you'll rarely notice it. 

Wind

  • If you are in a high wind area, you need to buy heavier furniture.  Look for cast aluminum or teak frames. 
  • Stick with heavier sofa cushions (about 4"-5" thick), and try to buy cushions with ties or velco to attach to the frame. 
  • Depending on the size of your umbrella, you might need a 75lb or 100lb base. 
  • Please, please, please, tie your umbrella down when you're not using it.

Rust

  • To avoid rust, stick with cast aluminum and teak.
  • Wrought iron furniture will rust. 
  • Careful: wicker furniture often has a metal frame on the inside. Cheaper brands will supplement a steel inner frame which will rust.  Even though you won't see the rust through the wicker arms, it will still rust on the feet and stain your deck or patio. 

Winter Storage

  • Please take your outdoor cushions into a dry environment for the winter.  This will protect from dry rot and mold (yuck!). 
  • If want to protect your patio furniture even more, take your frames in as well. This isn't as necessary, but it will get even more years out of your furniture.