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Tips for Caring for Wet Outdoor Cushions: Essential Guide

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patio cushions

Designing a comfortable and stylish outdoor living space is important for many homeowners, but putting it together can be difficult if you don’t know where to start.

From functionality and durability to comfort and style, you want to ensure that your outdoor space can provide everything that you need to enjoy the outdoors for years to come.

Choosing the correct furniture cushions and pillows can play a large role in creating a comfortable and enjoyable space. However, it’s important to know how to properly care for them so that they can continue to last for as long as you need them.

Rain, in particular, can damage cushions if they aren’t properly maintained. To help make this easier, here is what you need to know about choosing and maintaining your outdoor cushions. 

Can Outdoor Cushions Get Wet? 

Most people think that, since outdoor cushions are designed for outdoor use, they can get wet without any negative side effects. However, rain can actually be fairly detrimental to outdoor cushions if they aren’t dried properly.

Water-resistant cushion fabrics don’t mean waterproof, and as such, they can still be prone to mold or bacteria growth if they stay wet for too long. 

When purchasing cushions, you can look for options that include mildew resistance, to help prevent growth after moisture exposure, though these types of cushions still require care.

A light shower here and there won’t necessarily be too detrimental, but if you’re expecting days of consistent rain, you should consider taking them inside beforehand or covering them with furniture covers to prevent extended moisture exposure. 

What Can You Do If Your Cushions Get Wet? 

Sometimes it’s unpreventable, and your cushions will get exposed to rain or a stray sprinkler shower but this doesn’t mean that they’re ruined. There are numerous ways to care for wet outdoor cushions to prevent damage or the growth of mold.

Firstly, you should take your cushions off of your furniture and place them in an area where they can dry thoroughly. If they are fairly thin, you may be able to hang them on a laundry line.

For thicker cushions, try setting them in an area where the sun can dry them out. Make sure to turn them regularly so that the sun is exposed to both sides of the cushion. 

If not allowed to dry thoroughly, mold can begin to grow inside of the cushion and eventually spread throughout. This can damage the cushion and even cause health problems in people who are sensitive or allergic to mold.

By exposing them to the sun and allowing them to thoroughly dry, you can prevent this from happening and kill any mildew odors that might have started to accumulate. 

If your cushions do end up sitting around after a rainstorm, there are still steps you can take to help get them back into shape. Not everyone may have the chance to put their cushions out to dry due to work, school, or simply being out of town.

To salvage them after a few days of moisture, you should clean them gently with some mild soap and water. Fabric soap is great for helping to get out odors and it can help get your cushions looking and feeling better.

Once you have scrubbed them down, rinse them thoroughly and set them out to dry, just as you would above. Once they are completely dry, you can place them back on your furniture and enjoy them once again.  

Protecting Your Cushions from Future Moisture

If you know that rain is in the forecast and don’t want to spend time air drying your cushions, there are steps you can take to help keep them from getting drenched.

Patio furniture covers comes in an array of different sizes, easy to buy online and useful for covering your furniture when it’s not in use. Covers like this can also help protect your furniture from sun UV damage if they are located in a very sunny area. 

Most patio furniture covers are highly durable and will last through most thunderstorms without tearing or leaking. If you live in an area that experiences a lot of summer storms, these covers can be lifesavers for your patio furniture. 

We live in Florida where afternoon thunderstorms can be an everyday occurrence. We bought this sofa cover and two chair covers from amazon last year and love them. They have been through countless storms and even some high winds from approaching hurricanes. They have kept our furniture and cushions looking great.

covers covers

If you don’t feel like investing in covers to keep your cushions away from the rain, durable tarps can also be used, and many homeowners own a few already.

Secure your tarp with weights or rope around your furniture to keep it from blowing or shifting during high winds. This option will work in a pinch and is easily accessible for more people. 

Storing Your Furniture Away from the Rain and Snow

If you live in the north where long winters are common, you should consider where you want to store your furniture to keep the snow from damaging it.

If your cushions are left out during the winter, snow and ice can wreak havoc on them and, due to freezing temperatures, they won’t be able to dry effectively. If you have a storage shed, you can consider storing them in there or in your basement away from excess moisture. 

A deck box can be another good solution, and it can allow you to easily lock up your cushions during the off-season, where snow and rain can’t affect them.

Many of these boxes are also very stylish and seamlessly fit into any outdoor space.   The box below from Keter has many different styles and sizes to fit your backyard space.

plastic container

Making Your Cushions Last

Cushions and pillows are some of the most important things when it comes to creating a stylish, colorful and comfortable outdoor setting.

However, moisture can be detrimental to them and, without the proper care, they can quickly develop mold, mildew, and bacteria.

To help keep them clean and in good condition, be mindful of when it rains or when they accidentally get wet. Store them away or cover them if you know rain is coming, and if they do get wet, always be sure to thoroughly dry them inside and out.

There are some brands for cushions that have a stronger durability against water. We compared a lot of brands to sunbrella, but some brands that are good when it comes to water are, Olefin, Crypton, and Outdura! So be sure to check those brands out for some water resistant cushions!

With these tips in mind, you can look forward to enjoying your outdoor cushions and pillows for years to come but if they are getting older and worn out, maybe you’re wondering if you can paint your outdoor cushions.

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