I guess you’re here because you want to learn how to wash outdoor cushions in a washing machine, right? We’ve got you covered then.
If you have the luxury of having a patio attached to your apartment, furnished with outdoor chairs and the likes, then you’ll be able to relate with the struggle of keeping them clean.
There’s always the risk of having mildew grow on your furniture, especially if you have a moist environment. This only underscores the importance of good hygiene in your patio area.
One of the key pieces of furniture you must ensure is always kept clean are the outdoor cushions.
They could hold all kinds of dirt and they are prime candidates to foster a conducive environment for mold.
This is why you need to wash your outdoor cushions frequently. Over time, you need to even consider changing the cushions altogether.
There are a number of ways to wash your outdoor cushions. In this article however, we will discuss how you could get them washed using a washing machine.
How To Wash Outdoor Cushions In A Washing Machine — Few Things To Note
Now for some folks, washing machines are the next best inventions after coffee. And it’s not hard to see why.
They offer a great deal of convenience, especially when it comes to washing items like jeans, blankets and well, outdoor cushions.
Using a washing machine can save you all the stress of connecting a garden hose to wash your cushion, or adopting pressure washing and the likes.
- That said, not all outdoor cushions can be washed in a washing machine. In most cases, size is the limiting factor.
For smaller outdoor cushions, the ones that can almost pass as medium to large pillows, they will be fine in the washing machine. The larger ones will just have to be washed by hands.
- The fabric also comes into play. If your pillow is made from microfiber, polyester and shredded foam, then it should survive the rigors of the washing machine.
For other materials, pay attention to the laundry directions on the tag of the cushion if there is any.
In fact, for all cushions look out for this tag to check that your cushion is machine wash friendly.
Now, let’s get down to business and see how to go about washing your outdoor cushion with a washing machine.
Using A Washing Machine To Clean Your Outdoor Cushions
Step 1: Pre-Cleaning
Outdoor cushions mostly spend their time outdoors, obviously. They are exposed to the elements.
If you have outdoor pets, well, they just add to the dirt that your beloved cushions could accumulate.
So, to make using your washing machine a more efficient endeavor, pre-clean the cushions.
- To do this, get a dry vacuum cleaner and use it to suck any crumbs, lint and dust particles right out of the cushions.
Some dirt might prove difficult to get rid of, though. Pet hair is notoriously troublesome to remove. Here, you could consider more specialized products to get rid of those.
Step 2: Removing Mild Stains
Again, these are outdoor items, more often than not, they will have minor stains on them.
Don’t bank on the washing machine to get rid of these ones. You’ll have to do it yourself through spot cleaning.
For recent spills, the first mandate will be to soak up as much liquid as possible. You can do this by using an absorbent towel.
- Place the towel on the spot of the recent stain and gently press in to absorb the liquid. Do not rub the towel over the stain. That will rather cause the liquid to go deeper into the cushion.
For older stains, you’ll need to use special upholstery cleaners in combination with a clean rag. These special cleaners sometimes come in a spray bottle.
- Apply the cleaner on the rag and carefully scrub off the stain with the rag.
For more stubborn stains, you will need to reapply the cleaner several times until the stain disappears.
- Some cleaners require that they are put on the stain and allowed to sit for a while (from about 5 to 15 minutes) to penetrate the stain. Afterwards, another rag can be used to rinse off the spot.
It’s important that the stained spot is rinsed off. If some of the cleaner is left in the cushion, it could attract more dirt.
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Step 3: Removing Tough Stains
Some stains are just too big or too stubborn to get rid of. For these kinds of stains, a steam cleaner could be the best option.
Steam cleaners employ steam as cleaning agents, while getting rid of stains. There are special steam cleaners designed for furniture. Use one of such to clean the entire cushion.
- This could actually be an alternative way to cleaning your outdoor cushion if the couch cannot be removed. Using a steam cleaner also helps the couch to dry much faster.
Step 4: Washing the Covers
If the fabric of the cushion covers can be machine washed, put them in the washing machine and get them washed.
- Use a gentle cycle when washing the covers. Also use cold water to wash them with mild detergent. Do not add bleach to the covers. That could destroy the fabric entirely.
- If the covers have zippers, ensure they are zipped up before you insert them into the washing machine.
- It’s best to air dry the covers rather than to tumble dry them. Nevertheless, to be sure, check the laundry tags for directions.
- You could also put the covers back on the cushions while they are still damp. This allows them to dry on the cushion and maintain their shape.
- Some covers might require dry cleaning. This should be indicated on the laundry tag. So, once again, always pay attention to the cleaning instructions on the laundry tag.
Step 5: Washing the Cushions
It should be said that most of the time, the cushions don’t need to be seriously washed.
However, if they have been deeply stained, or have not been washed in a really long time, they will need to be washed.
- Firstly, remove the covers. The cushions shouldn’t go into the washing machine with the covers on them.
- If the washing machine has an agitator, it should be turned off. This is because the rigorous movement of the agitator could destroy the cushion. For front loaders and high efficiency washing machines, however, you shouldn’t have this problem.
- Ensure you load the washing machine so that the load is properly balanced. Consider putting multiple cushions together. Alternatively, you could use clean towels to balance the load in the washtub.
- Apply delicate liquid wash into the washtub and use a gentle cycle for washing.
- Use warm water to wash.
- If you can time the wash cycle, ensure it washes for not less than 15 minutes.
- If you choose to use the tumble dryer use gentle heat settings. High temperatures could burn the fabric of the cushion and destroy them. So, the safest option will actually be to air dry the cushions.
- If you choose to air-dry the cushions, after washing them in the washers, place the cushions in a vertical position and allow them to air dry completely.
Ensure that there is no moisture retained in the cushion. Moisture will breed mildew and mold.
- Finally, consider applying fabric protection to your outdoor cushion/cushion covers. Fabric protection is usually stored in a spray bottle. Just spray it on your cushions. It will make the cushions more resistant to dirt and stains.
- You could also protect your outdoor cushions from stains and dirt by keeping them indoors during the rainy or cold seasons.
- If you’ll leave the outdoor cushions overnight, cover them with tarp. This will protect them to a good degree form mildew, although it won’t completely keep them dry.
Now, let’s see how this person does their washing:
Using a washing machine to clean your outdoor cushions saves you a lot of trouble.
Consider this method especially if you have smaller cushions and they are machine washable.
Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the type of fabric and the cleaning directions.
Remember to consider the size of the cushion before inserting it to the washing machine.
If the cushions are too big, they could end up getting damaged and could even damage the washing machine as well.