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How Do You Clean Fabric on Outdoor Furniture?

Dec 05,2023 | MONDAWE

Happy Outdoor Time!

outdoor conversation set

Mondawe Outdoor Sofa Set 

Outdoor furniture is a great way to make the most of your backyard or patio, but with regular use and exposure to the elements, it can quickly become dirty and stained. Fabric cushions and covers are particularly susceptible to stains. Here, we will tell you how to clean fabric on outdoor furniture, the types of stains you may encounter, and tips for keeping your outdoor furniture looking its best. 

Types of Stains 

  • Rust stains: Metal outdoor furniture, particularly if it is not properly coated or protected, may develop rust stains. These stains are reddish-brown in color and can be challenging to remove.

  • Tree sap and pollen stains: Outdoor furniture located near trees or plants may accumulate tree sap or pollen stains. Tree sap can create sticky spots, while pollen can leave yellowish stains on surfaces.

  • Food and beverage stains: Outdoor furniture is often used for dining and social gatherings, making it susceptible to food and beverage stains. These stains can include grease, oil, sauce, wine, and other substances.

  • Bird droppings: If your outdoor furniture is located under trees or near bird perches, bird droppings can land on the furniture and leave unsightly stains. These stains can be difficult to remove and may require specific cleaning techniques.

  • Sunscreen or lotion stains: People using outdoor furniture often apply sunscreen or lotions, which can accidentally transfer onto the furniture and cause stains. These stains may appear greasy or oily.

How to Clean Stains on Fabric ?

For rust stains on fabric cushion covers, you can try using a mixture of lemon juice and salt or vinegar and baking soda. Apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing gently with a brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with water and repeat the process if necessary.

For tree sap and pollen stains, you can try using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (which contains acetone). Apply a small amount of the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting with a clean cloth. Rinse the area with water and repeat if necessary.

For food and beverage stains, start by blotting up any excess liquid with a clean cloth. Then, mix together equal parts dish soap and hydrogen peroxide and apply to the stain. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before scrubbing gently with a brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with water and repeat if necessary.

For sunscreen or lotion stains, begin by blotting up any excess oil with a clean cloth. Then, apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Gently scrub the area with a brush before rinsing thoroughly with water. If the stain persists, try using an enzyme-based laundry detergent or a pre-treatment spray designed specifically for oil-based stains.

General Steps For Cleaning Fabric on Outdoor Furniture

  • Remove Loose Debris: Begin by removing any loose dirt, leaves, or debris from the fabric surface. You can use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently sweep away the debris.

  • Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix a mild detergent, such as dish soap or laundry detergent, with warm water in a bucket. Follow the instructions on the detergent packaging for proper dilution.

mix detergent with water

  • Test in an Inconspicuous Area: Before applying the cleaning solution to the entire fabric surface, test it in a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it does not cause any discoloration or damage.

scrub fabric cushion on outdoor furniture

  • Apply the Cleaning Solution: Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the fabric. Pay special attention to any stained or soiled areas. Avoid excessive scrubbing or applying too much pressure, as it may damage the fabric.

scrub fabric cushion on outdoor furniture

  • Rinse Thoroughly: Use a hose or clean bucket of water to rinse off the cleaning solution from the fabric. Ensure that all the soap residue is completely removed.

rinse cushion on outdoor furniture

  • Remove Excess Water: Gently squeeze or press the fabric to remove excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as it may lead to stretching or damage.

remove excess water in cushion

  • Air Dry Completely: Hang the fabric cushion cover or lay it flat in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may cause fading or discoloration.

air dry cushion on outdoor furniture

  • Optional: Apply Fabric Protectant: Consider applying a fabric protectant or waterproofing spray specifically designed for outdoor fabrics. This will help repel water and stains, extending the life of the fabric and making future cleaning easier.

Clean the Fabric and Enjoy Your Outdoor Time!

Overall, regular cleaning of fabric cushions on outdoor furniture is essential for maintaining their appearance, hygiene, durability, and comfort. It's a small investment of time that pays off in the long run by extending the life of your outdoor furniture.

See Also:

How Do You Clean a Wood Table Without Damaging the Finish?

How to Clean Marble Without Damaging It?