Spring Cleaning: Outdoor Furniture

I pity all the homeowners in our neighborhood, who dragged their outdoor furniture out of the garage last week when the temperatures were in the 50s, and are now breaking their backs removing more than 19 inches of snow from deck chairs and tables.

I’m excited for spring as well, but I didn’t place my outdoor furniture on the patio last week because I know that it can snow as late as June around here. What’s more, I have to clean my furniture before I place it out for the season. I’ve got some mild cleaning to do on the cushions. Fortunately, my chair cushions have Velcro covers, which make cleaning them a breeze. I simply remove the covers and place them in the washing machine using a low cycle and gentle detergent.

Once, I made the mistake of washing the cushions’ foam inserts. Big mistake. You don’t ever want to do that, as saturating the foam inner can create the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. If the foam insert ever gets wet, be sure to dry it thoroughly before placing the cover back on.

If your patio furniture cushions are in need of deep-cleaning, then you might consider hand washing them. You can use Woolite or if you are pinching pennies, then create a homemade solution by mixing equal parts of dishwashing soap and borax with one quart of warm water. Place the solution in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the soiled cushions. If the stain is large or has been sitting for a while, then make sure you liberally saturate the cushions with the cleaning solution. The more solution you spray onto the cushions the less scrubbing you will have to do. Once the solution has sit for a while, place your garden hose on high and spray the cushions thoroughly to remove the dirt and cleaning solution. Finally, stand the cushions up on their sides or hang them from the clothesline 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.