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Protect Your Investment

January 13, 2010

It is very important to care for your outdoor furniture, cushions and accessories. Most companies provide care instructions for dealers and consumers. Sunbrella® brand offers outdoor furniture care and cleaning suggestions to keep their fabrics looking good. Outdura® also offers care and cleaning instructions

The simplest recommendation, can be done easily and by anyone. That is to brush off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabric and to wipe up spills when they happen.

I recently visited a client who was distressed that some outdoor cushions were becoming stained.

Since the installation of these cushions before Thanksgiving, they have not been cleaned. A few rain storms, soot from the firepit and droppings from an olive tree, and seat pants have contributed to the staining.

Sunbrella® recommends that you first brush off any loose dirt, then you can prepare a cleaning solution of 2 ounces (1/4 cup) mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water (less than 100°F/38°C), using a sponge or a soft bristle brush clean the fabric. It is important to allow the cleaning solution to soak into fabric. Then you can rinse the fabric cushions thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow to air dry.

For difficult stains or mildew growth, a solution of 8 ounces of bleach mixed with 2 ounces of mild soap for every gallon of water should be sprayed on the entire area and allowed to soak into the fabric. Once this occurs, you can vigorously scrub with a soft bristle brush, sponge or clean towel. Always rinse the solution thoroughly to remove all soap residue then allow the fabric to air dry.

303 products can also be used to clean and protect outdoor fabric and furniture. After the cushions are cleaned thoroughly it is a good idea to protect them with 303 High Tech Fabric Guard.

303 Fabric Guard

For certain clothing items that you wear, such as a special dress or business suit, I choose to take them to the professional cleaners to keep them looking fresh and new, but everyday ordinary clothes I clean and wash myself.  My suggestion is that you incorporate both of these techniques for your outdoor furniture and fabrics, maintain their high quality by regular cleanings as well as protection. Think of this outdoor furniture as an investment just like your car. I am sure  you maintain your car with regularly servicing, and wash it clean to keep it looking new, it is just as important to clean your outdoor furniture and fabrics. 

For more cleaning suggestions or for questions, write to me below.

These are my outside views…Marcia Blake