Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions


Nope. Not mine, but same look! My screened in porch is still a work in progress. You'll see it when it's DONE:)
via www://trends-on.info 

If you're like me, you've got outdoor cushions that go to your patio furniture, and they probably don't look exactly brand new anymore. One of the biggest drawbacks to living in the south is our humidity. It wrecks havoc on anything that can warp or grow mildew...ie. everything! So, you've go two options with patio furniture:
1. Don't use cushions,
2. Use cushions but only bring them out when you're actually sitting on them.

I'm not a fan of either option. My patio furniture gets used almost as much as my indoor furniture, so cushions are a must. But, I'm not going to put them up, then pull them out all the time. Silly. So, what's a girl to do? Let them sit there and get filthy so that NO ONE wants to sit on them? Nope. Let's add an option three to the above:

3. Clean them regularly (annually or bi-annually- in my case)

The issue is this, mildew/mold doesn't come off with a garden hose (or a pressure washer for that matter). You can scrub till you're blue in the face, with no luck. That is...unless you use the right product! Oh, yea. My secret is about to come out. I'm sharing this little secret with you after "testing" it for years. It just works...plain and simple. My old neighbors used to see me regularly out with a scrub brush, garden house, patio furniture AND cushions on the driveway. It's not an easy task, doing it the old fashion way, but it works and last all season.

Here's the secret:
Ahhh....the secret weapon!

As you know, I'm not a fan of chemicals, but I'm also a realist and know that sometimes that's just what you gotta use. When it comes to mold/mildew, you gotta pull out the big guns! Originally, I only used this on my white resin wicker patio furniture, then I got sick of the mold on my soft yellow cushions and decided they couldn't possibly look worse. What did I have to loose? Out it came and with a little experimenting, I figured out how to make them look brand new! Seriously!

Here's the method:
1. Soak the cushion or furniture down with water,
2. Spray liberally with Clorox Clean-Up,
3. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes (not if you're in a dry environment...only where it's humid),
4. If you have one of these:

Karcher Pressure Washer
the next step is really easy. Just spray it down real good with the pressure washer, turn on end and let dry. If you don't have a pressure washer, a good stiff scrub brush and garden hose will do. Just scrub every square inch down and then wash off. Again, stand on end and let dry.

See how easy that is? I even got up the nerve to try it on BLACK cushions with light color stripes that were beyond gross. Want to see?

Oh so dingy and dirty! It's either come clean or get out for you, cushion!

Ugh! See the mold on the light colored stripes?! Not the greatest picture, but the next one shows it in all it's glory:)

I can't believe I'm showing you this! Disgusting!
There's a reason I went with black last time I bought cushions.
Another reason for mold issues is kids. We all love to eat out on the screened in porch and if you've spent five seconds with a kid eating, you know SOMETHING will end up on the seat!

O.k. ready for the after?

Oh, be still my heart!
It didn't even fade the black! It's like Clorox 2 for colors...really makes them pop more (then again, maybe just removing dirt does that!). Just for fun, let's see that again...side by side.

"Why, helllllooo! Didn't recognize you all cleaned up! Want to stay awhile? Have a seat!"

Amazing what a little bleach can do!


linking up with:
Savvy Southern Style WOW #33 

96 comments:

  1. Your cushions look awesome. Nice job, Miss Bee!
    It is a big job, isn't it?

    I am the bleach queen! I love it santitizing properties too. When we lived in FL I used to wash the whole outside of our patio (the house walls) down with bleach and it killed the mold and the discoloration that had occured.

    xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad you emailed me, I NEED these instructions! I am so doing this! And thank you for letting me know that I am not alone in my struggles! It is so nice to have such a great network of women to be supported by. I can't imagine, how much harder it would be not having a blogging community to rely on!! How did our mother's do it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I bought the clean-up product to use on my porch cushions. They were all mildewy and I really didn't like sitting on them anymore and was embarrassed when anyone came over, but I can't afford to replace them right now. WOW what a great job that stuff did. They did fade a little bit, I probably left it on too long, but they were really bad. I would rather have them faded than mildewy. One of them even had the green algae stuff on it and it took that off completely and off the doors which even commercial cleaner for vinyl didn't get off. I love this stuff. Thank you soooo much. Anita

    ReplyDelete
  4. You gave me a reason to respect bleach once again. When it’s time to clean my deck, the only thing that really bothers me is the cushions on my chair. Everything looks clean after a good power washing but the cushions still looked dirty. With this solution, I think I can get them all in one go. Thank you, hahaha!

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  12. That's why I always keep them indoors when they are not in use, because they are so easy to dirt with but it's not the big deal, the big deal is that when you always bleach them their look fade so easily which pushes us to buy new.

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  13. How did you get them to dry completely? Did it take several days? Just wondering before I start. Thanks for the info. I would love to try this on my cushions!

    ReplyDelete
  14. We tried this today following the steps above. It bleached our cushions and removed all the color and when we used the pressure washer it made a hole as the bleach had eaten away at the cushion. These are outdoor cushions so I am not sure what went wrong. They are now ruined and will need replacing. It obviously worked on your cushions so maybe there is a certain type of cushion covering that is thicker (mine did not seem particularly thin)and will withstand the bleach better. I recommend everyone try it one a small spot first, maybe on the back of the cushion.

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    Replies
    1. Vicky, did you use regular bleach? She uses bleach clean up, which is totally different.

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  21. Wow! Thank you so much for this!! I have been looking for months for new outdoor seat cushions and the goods ones are all $40+ and not the perfect color (we need 8!). I live in Florida and have 2 kids that are under 5. We love to eat outside and my seat pads were spotted with mildew. I have tried straight bleach, borax combos and even washing one in the washing machine with bleach. All did not touch the mildew! I assume there is some potentiating agent in the clorox clean up but what ever the case may be this works and I am so happy! I didn't leave the bleach on too long and used a hand held pressure washer (not the huge gas powered one). All went perfect. On another note I also came a cross a mixture that totally works for urine stains on a mattress. The one time I changed the sheets and didn't put the waterproof mattress protector back on, my 3 year old comes to our bed in the middle of the night and wets the memory foam:0) Well this combo made the stain totally disappear. (http://www.inspired-housewife.com/2012/03/30/how-to-get-pee-stains-out-of-a-mattress/) Thank you! Thank you! Thank you again!!

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