How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers

To clean outdoor furniture covers, brush off loose dirt and spot clean with a mild detergent solution. Rinse thoroughly and air dry to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Keeping outdoor furniture covers clean can significantly extend their lifespan and maintain their appearance. Regular maintenance is key, as dirt, leaves, and other outdoor debris can quickly accumulate, leading to stains and potential damage. Mild soap and a soft brush are usually all that’s needed to tackle most of the grime that builds upon these covers.

It’s important to avoid harsh chemicals that can break down fabric coatings, and always to let the covers dry completely before storing or reusing. This simple routine not only keeps your outdoor area looking pristine but also ensures you’re ready to entertain at a moment’s notice with clean, inviting furniture.

Pre-cleaning Assessment

Before diving into the cleaning process, a thorough pre-cleaning assessment ensures an effective and safe approach for sprucing up outdoor furniture covers. Understanding the fabric type, checking the manufacturer’s guidelines, and pinpointing problem areas are crucial steps to optimize cleaning results and extend the lifespan of your covers. Let’s break down these pivotal pre-cleaning steps to start off on the right foot.

Assessing fabric type and condition

Assessing Fabric Type And Condition

Fabric type is key to determining the appropriate cleaning technique. Different materials such as polyester, canvas, or vinyl require distinct care strategies. To preserve quality and appearance, assess the condition by checking for wear, discoloration, or damage. This step is fundamental to curating the right cleaning plan and avoiding harm to the fabric.

Checking manufacturer’s instructions

Checking Manufacturer’s Instructions

Manufacturers often provide specific cleaning instructions tailored to their products. These guidelines are your roadmap to effectively maintaining outdoor furniture covers. They outline recommended cleaning agents, techniques, and things to avoid, preventing undesired outcomes such as shrinkage, color fading, or structural damage.

Identifying problem areas: stains and mildew

Identifying Problem Areas: Stains And Mildew

Outdoor furniture covers are prone to tough stains and mildew buildup due to exposure to the elements. It is essential to identify problem areas to target them efficiently during the cleaning process. Look for any patches of mildew or spots that are heavily soiled, as these will require special attention and possible pre-treatment before the general cleaning.

Remove Loose Debris

Maintaining clean outdoor furniture covers is essential to extend their lifespan and preserve their appearance. Before diving into deep cleaning methods, it’s crucial to start with the simple yet effective step of removing loose debris. This foundational task prevents dirt from embedding deeper into the fabric during the washing process, ensuring a more thorough clean.

Shaking Off Dirt And Leaves

Begin the cleaning process by removing larger pieces of debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt clumps. Spread the furniture covers on a flat surface or hang them on a line. Gently shake them out, ensuring all corners and folds are reached. This initial shake-off helps to dislodge and remove the majority of the surface dirt, making the upcoming cleaning steps more effective.

Vacuuming To Pick Up Finer Particles

After shaking off the larger debris, there are often still finer particles clinging to the fabric. Use a hand-held vacuum or a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to go over the entire surface of the furniture covers. Focus on seams and crevices where dust and pollen can accumulate. The suction power of the vacuum swiftly lifts away these fine particles, prepping the covers for a spotless wash.

  • Ensure the covers are completely dry before attempting to shake off debris.
  • Perform these steps on a non-windy day to prevent debris from blowing back onto the covers.
  • Be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric, especially if the covers are made of a delicate material.

Choosing Cleaning Solutions

As the seasons change, outdoor furniture covers can rack up quite the collection of dirt, debris, and stains.

Cleaning these covers effectively not only enhances the longevity of your furniture

but also maintains the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. The key to success lies in choosing the right cleaning solutions. This section will delve into the delicate balance between natural and chemical cleaners, and provide guidance on concocting the perfect cleaning mixture for your needs.

Evaluating Natural Vs. Chemical Cleaners

When considering how to maintain your outdoor furniture covers, the debate between natural and chemical cleaners is paramount.

  • Natural cleaners, such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, are gentle on fabrics and the environment. Yet, their cleaning power may be insufficient for stubborn stains or mold.
  • Chemical cleaners, on the other hand, are formulated to tackle tougher grime but might be harsher on fabrics and carry environmental concerns.

Choose a cleaner that aligns with the type of dirt you’re facing and the sensitivity of your furniture cover fabric. When opting for chemical solutions, ensure you use them in well-ventilated areas and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent fabric damage or discoloration.

Preparing A Suitable Cleaning Mixture

Once you’ve picked your cleaner, it’s time to prepare your mixture. Here are simple steps to create an efficient solution:

  1. Read the care label on your furniture covers for any specific cleaning instructions or prohibitions.
  2. Test your cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of your cover to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.
  3. Mix a small amount of your chosen cleaner with warm water in a bucket, creating a diluted solution that is less likely to harm your fabric.

For example, creating a cleaning solution with one cup of bleach and a gallon of water can be effective for whitening and disinfecting covers. Adjust the proportions based on the size of your covers and the intensity of the cleaning required. Remember to wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling chemical mixtures.

How To Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture Covers

Keeping outdoor furniture covers clean not only extends their lifespan but also ensures your patio or garden keeps looking its best. With changing seasons and unpredictable weather, these covers take a beating. Dirt, tree sap, bird droppings, and mildew can tarnish their appearance and cause damage over time. Regular cleaning can help maintain the integrity and appearance of your outdoor furniture covers. Follow these expert tips to keep your covers in pristine condition.

Spot cleaning techniques for tough stains

Spot Cleaning Techniques For Tough Stains

For isolated stains that blemish your furniture covers, performing spot cleaning can be highly effective. Begin by shaking off any loose debris.

  • Soft stains: Mix a solution of warm water and mild soap, then using a soft-bristled brush, gently work the solution into the stain.
  • Oil-based stains: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain to absorb the oil, then scrape away with a plastic spoon.
  • Tree sap: Apply alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rub alcohol on the sap until it loosens, then rinse with water.
  • Mildew: Combine 1 cup of bleach with a gallon of water and a spoonful of mild detergent. Use the solution carefully on mildew spots only.

Once the treatment is applied, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and allow it to air dry. Always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the fabric’s colorfastness and integrity.

Step-by-step guide for general cleaning

Step-by-step Guide For General Cleaning

  1. Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Mix mild detergent with warm water in a large bucket. The ideal ratio is around a quarter cup of mild detergent per gallon of water.
  2. Remove Loose Dirt: Before applying any solution, shake or brush off any loose dirt or debris from the cover.
  3. Clean the Fabric: Use a soft-bristled brush dipped in the cleaning solution to wash the fabric. Work in sections and be gentle to avoid damaging the material.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Once the entire cover has been washed, rinse it completely with a garden hose to remove all soap residues.
  5. Dry the Cover: Allow the furniture cover to air dry completely before placing it back on the furniture or storing it. Do not put away damp covers as this can lead to mold and mildew growth.

For best results, consider cleaning your outdoor furniture covers on a sunny day to speed up the drying process. In addition, ensure all soap is rinsed off to prevent any residue that might attract more dirt.

Rinsing And Drying Methods

Cleaning your outdoor furniture covers not only keeps them looking fresh but also extends their lifespan. Once you’ve treated and scrubbed the covers, it’s critical to rinse and dry them adequately to prevent mildew and fabric damage. This section guides you through the best ways to ensure a thorough rinse and shares top tips for air-drying covers effectively.

Ensuring Thorough Rinse To Prevent Soap Buildup

After the application of cleaning solutions, a proper rinse eliminates any soap residue that could attract dirt or degrade the material. Follow this step-by-step process to ensure a complete rinse:

  1. Remove all soap or cleaner fully by using a garden hose with a spray nozzle set to a gentle but steady stream.
  2. Check for lingering suds, especially in seams and crevices where soap can easily hide.
  3. Rinse again if necessary, ensuring no traces of soap remain.

Aim to rinse during a sunny part of the day to aid in the drying process.

Best Practices For Air-drying Covers

Drying is just as important as cleaning when it comes to maintaining your outdoor furniture covers. Use these best practices to air-dry your covers:

  • Shake out excess water to speed up the drying process.
  • Lay the covers flat or hang them on a clothesline in a well-ventilated area, out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  • Flip the covers periodically to ensure even drying on both sides.
  • For quicker drying, position the covers so that air can circulate inside, puffing them up if necessary.
  • Make sure the covers are completely dry before storing or reattaching to avoid mildew growth.

By adhering to these rinsing and drying methods, you’ll have clean, dry, and fresh-smelling outdoor furniture covers ready for use or storage, no matter the season.

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers


Maintenance And Storage Tips

Ensuring your outdoor furniture covers remain in tip-top condition throughout the seasons calls for a commitment to regular maintenance and strategic storage. From the way you clean them to how you fold and tuck them away, every step is essential in extending the life of these protective layers. Implement these simple yet effective tips for a pristine and enduring setup.

Regular Clean-up To Extend Cover Lifespan

To keep outdoor furniture covers looking fresh and functioning well, establish a routine for periodic clean-ups. Here’s a streamlined process to help maintain your covers:

  • Shake off any loose debris or leaves regularly.
  • Spot clean any stains using a mild soap and water solution as soon as they appear.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a hose to remove any soap residue.
  • Ensure covers are completely dry before placing them back on furniture to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Use a protective spray specifically designed for fabric covers to repel water and resist staining.

Proper Ways To Fold And Store Covers

Proper folding and storage of your outdoor furniture covers can prevent unwanted creases and damage. Follow these recommendations for optimal care:

  1. Before storing, ensure covers are dry to eliminate the risk of mold and mildew growth.
  2. Lay the cover flat on a clean surface and smooth out any ripples or folds.
  3. Fold the cover gently in sections, aligning edges for a neat, flat shape.
  4. Roll the cover loosely to avoid sharp folds that could stress the fabric.
  5. Keep your folded covers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use.
  6. Use a storage bag, if provided, or a breathable container to shield from dust and pests.
  7. Avoid placing heavy items on top of stored covers to maintain integrity of the material.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean Outdoor Furniture Covers

Can Outdoor Furniture Covers Be Washed?

Yes, most outdoor furniture covers are washable. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning methods to ensure durability.

How Do You Get Mildew Off Outdoor Furniture Covers?

To remove mildew from outdoor furniture covers, mix water and vinegar in equal parts and apply it to the affected areas. Scrub gently with a soft brush, rinse thoroughly, and let the covers dry completely in the sun.

How Do You Clean Fabric On Outdoor Furniture?

Remove loose dirt with a soft brush. Spot-clean stains using mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Allow the fabric to air dry completely before storing or using. Regular maintenance will enhance longevity and appearance.

How Do You Clean Outdoor Restoration Hardware Covers?

To clean outdoor Restoration Hardware covers, remove debris first, then gently wash with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry completely before reusing or storing. Avoid harsh chemicals and pressure washing to prevent damage.


Maintaining outdoor furniture covers is simple with the right steps. Embrace these cleaning methods to ensure longevity and aesthetic appeal. Your outdoor space will look inviting, and your furniture stays protected. Happy cleaning, and enjoy your pristine, welcoming outdoor haven!

James Frank

This is James Frank. I am a Home Expert and also Part-Time blogger. I am a home maintenance adviser and also a Part-time blogger to help people about there home maintenance, I am loving to write about home maintenance for new homeowners. and I am in this place for about 10 years. I would like to share my opinion, IDEA, Tips and much more information with My friends, family, and my Blog visitors.

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