How To Protect Outdoor Cushions

Outdoor cushions can get covered with dirt, moisture, and stains over time. You need to care for them properly if you want them to last a long time. Maintaining your cushions’ durability, strength, patterns, and resistance to environmental stress is vital to enjoying a healthy and quiet outdoor space. But what’s the best strategy and product you should apply to maintain the beauty of your outdoor cushions? 

You can protect your outdoor cushions by storing them inside during bad weather and cleaning them regularly. We recommend cleaning them with products like Waterseal’s Fabric Seal. You can also rotate your pillows, buy UV-resistant cushions, or even use plastic wraps and adhesives to protect them.

You can make your outdoor cushions last longer by caring for them well. Developing an excellent protection or care strategy can go a long way to ensuring that your cushion outlasts its lifespan. In this article, you’ll find lots of other strategies that will help you care for your outdoor cushions. 

How to Keep Outdoor Cushions Protected

Beautiful Outdoor Patio

1. Store Away from Inclement Weather 

While outdoor cushions resist the effects of exposure to the weather, they will eventually wear out. The first and probably the best way to protect your outdoor cushions is to keep them protected and under shelter.

This helps limit their exposure to rain, sun, and other forms of inclement weather. I want to emphasize that you should store your cushions inside when they aren’t in use. Storing them in cool and dry places will extend their lifespan. You may consider buying a few storage boxes.

An easy place to store them is in your entryway. If you don’t have a storage facility, you might use an outdoor shed or garage. It’s important to wash your pillows before storing them so they’ll be ready to use when you bring them out.

2. Routinely Clean your Outdoor Cushions 

Routinely cleaning your outdoor cushions will also increase their lifespan. A once-a-week, five-minute cleaning routine will keep grime, pollen, and dirt at bay. Coupled with picking off twigs and leaves, a quick furniture spray will also prevent you from needing a full-on pressure wash. 

3. Deeper Cleaning: Use Safe Cleaning Products

Cleaning outdoor materials requires the use of different methods suitable for each material. You can wash fabric cushions with mild detergent and air-dry them. For wicker, simply brush with a bleach and water solution to get rid of mildew and then rinse with a fine-spray hose.

Use a mildly abrasive sponge with a mixture of detergent and bleach to clean the wood. For metal, scrub with a brush and use a mix of detergent and water. Then, cover the metal with a thin protective coat of car wax and polish.

While you may use any method of ensuring that you protect your outdoor cushion, remember you can also use fabric spray.

What is the Best Outdoor Fabric Spray? 

Anything can happen to your furniture, like spilling a drink, fumbling food, or staining your clean rug. But your fabric is different. Rather than waiting to have it ruined by dirt, you can protect it beforehand.

You can use outdoor fabric protectors such as sprays which prevent your fabric from absorbing spills. You can use Scotchguard fabric water shield, Bayes high-performing fabric protectant spray, or TriNova stain guard premium fabric protector. We recommend Thompsons WaterSeal Clear Fabric Waterproofing Sealer.

Developed in 1920 to protect buildings from exterior water damage, the Thompsons WaterSeal Fabric Waterproofing Sealer prevents water damage and helps furniture resist color fading. It also repels spills and stains while allowing fabrics to breathe.

Used for cushions, pillows, umbrellas, and other outdoor fabrics, Thompsons cushion protector provides optimal strength for waterproofing protection on all your outdoor fabric surfaces. It’s made with UV inhibitors to prevent color fading from long exposure to sunlight. The spray goes beneath the fabric’s surface to protect it against moisture without discoloration.

To use the spray, simply hold it in an upright position 6″ to 8″ from the surface and spray evenly over the entire fabric surface. No need to saturate the spraying. Allow it to dry for at least four hours between coats. If you wish to maintain the integrity of your fabric, reapply this spray after cleaning.

Allow it to dry for at least 34 hours before exposure to moisture. For effective use of the spray, see the manufacturer’s direction. Check out Waterseal Fabric Seal (on Amazon).

How to Protect Outdoor Cushions From Sun

Cozy outdoor deck with fire pit table and woven sofas with blue cushions

1. Store Inside During Inclement Weather

The best way to protect your outdoor cushion is often to limit its use, and this happens when you keep it away from inclement weather and environmental factors such as dirt, grime, et cetera. It is on record that UV damage is responsible for fading of pillows and cushions. Direct sunlight can crack the wooden frame after a long exposure during the hot summer days.

It is recommended that you monitor your core furniture items, such as wood, plastic, and wicker, every six months. On the wood surface of the furniture, splash some water to ensure the sun has not diminished its staining. Wait for 15 minutes and observe that small beads of water remain on it. If the wood soaks the water, apply more protection to minimize further fading. 

2. Cushion and Pillow Rotation 

Rotating your pillow and cushions is a great way to protect them from the sun. While most outdoor furniture will get exposed to the sun at some point during the day, some may get it more than others. This means that those with higher levels of exposure to the sun will fade faster, implying that a part of the cushion will be bright while the color of the other half is intact.

Simply move your pillows and cushion around the outdoor furniture to balance their exposure to light. It is important to note that if you live in a country with four seasons, you need to protect your cushions from winter, too. If you are in doubt, get yourself a weatherproof storage box or use the garage or shed. 

3. Use Patio Umbrella or Canopy 

During hot or sunniest days or seasons, you can get creative to enjoy your outdoor space with a retractable awning or canopy as they will bring in some coolness or shade of outdoor space. You can construct your covering with PVC pipes and colorful fabric.

If this fails, why not reinvent an outdoor umbrella. Inviting shade into your patio will limit the damage to your furniture and cushion, which arises from exposure to inclement weather. And coming up with your construction will add a personal, unique touch with a unique mix of patterns, fabrics and colors. 

4. UV-resistant Cushion Fabrics 

Where all efforts fail, you can simply opt for UV-resistant cushion fabric. If this is the best option for you, you will need to look for fabrics with sun-damage resistance when you wish to replace them or if you want to get a brand new one. One of the best sun-resistant fabrics is acrylic or solution-dyed acrylic fabric. They are soft, colorful, and cozy, but can withstand 1000 hours of UV exposure before fading. 

 It is essential to note that while considering UV-resistant fabric, ensure you also buy a non-toxic fabric protector which is also instrumental in shielding your cushion from further sun exposure and damage.

How to Protect Outdoor Cushions From Water 

1. Waterproof Spray

Water causes lots of damage to outdoor cushions, and protection should remain a key priority. One sure way to keep water in check is to use waterproof spray, which has a unique formula designed to improve the water repellency of the fabric. You can rest assured that the coat of spray does not affect the color, flexibility, texture, and breathability of the fabric material. Rather, it improves the stain resistance of the fabric. 

2. Storage or coverage 

You don’t have to leave your outdoor cushion in the open. Rather than leaving them in the open, instead of being protected with the outdoor furniture, keep them away under a pergola or porch with a canopy. Simply shade them outdoor with an outdoor umbrella or with the aid of a retractable canopy or awning. You can also make use of your outdoor furniture cover to protect the furniture with the cushions, especially when there is rain prediction. 

3. Use Plastic Wraps or Vinyl Adhesives

If nothing else works for you, you can use plastic wraps to cover your outdoor furniture. While plastic may not be the best option, it is a sure way to protect your cushions from fluids and rains. Alternatively, vinyl adhesives provide a protective coating on the cushion to prevent moisture and water percolation. The good thing about the adhesives is that they do not affect the flexibility and texture of the outdoor cushion. 

How to Protect Outdoor Cushions From Mold 

Keeping cushions clean by brushing off dirt is important. Keeping them stored when not in use and letting them dry properly are the best ways to avoid mold. Apart from water and UV, microorganisms are another threat to the integrity and durability of outdoor cushions.

And there are some techniques to keep them in check. Using antimicrobial spray will form a protective barrier on the cushion and destroy microorganisms responsible for mold and mildew. 

One simple but seeming laborious method is to ensure routine care. Outdoor cushions can get soggy with fluids. The best way to handle routine care is to ensure strict adherence to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When you look towards the manufacturer’s instructions, you must follow them to the latter. You need to be sure your outdoor cushion is machine washable to avoid weakening the weather-resistance property of the fabric. 

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