Fall Outdoor Cleaning

Tis the season to clean-up outside. At least in my neck of the woods. Despite the fact that our temps will be in the mid-70s this week (a rare event in Northern Wisconsin at the end of September), winter is coming fast and therefore seasonal cleaning is a must before the snow arrives… which could be next week given where I live.

Seasonal cleaning is vital if you want to preserve the look of your outdoor living space. Patio furniture, including outdoor cushions, should be cleaned this time of year. After all, you don’t want to store soiled cushions for the entire winter.

If your cushions are fairly new or you clean them on a regular basis, then you will only have to do mild cleaning. Cushions with zippered or Velcro covers are easy to clean. Simply remove the covers and place them in the washing machine using a low cycle and gentle detergent. Do not to wash the foam insert. If you saturate the foam inner, you run the risk of causing mildew or mold growth. Also, if the cushions’ foam insert gets wet be sure to dry it completely before replacing the cover.

If your patio furniture cushions are really dirty, then you need to choose a different method of cleaning. I would suggest hand washing them. Prepare a solution that includes equal parts of dishwashing soap and borax with one quart of warm water. Place the solution in a spray bottle and have a garden hose nearby. Next, use the spray bottle to apply the cleaning solution to the soiled cushions. If you are dealing with a large or tough stain, be sure to liberally saturate the cushions with the cleaning solution, paying special attention to the cushion’s creases. The more solution you spray on the cushions the less scrubbing you will have to do. Allow the cleaning solution to sit for about 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes has elapsed, turn the hose on high and spray the cushions thoroughly to remove the dirt and cleaning solution. Finally, stand the cushions up on their sides to let them dry.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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