Do you often spend time in your outdoor area? Does your outdoor furniture need a few cleaning touches to make it look fresh? Well, you will be glad to know that this is a pretty simple task. All you need is a few basic cleaning ingredients and tools and a bit of your time and energy.

You do not even need that much elbow grease either for the most part! Don’t worry if you have to miss a Star Wars movie to get this chore done. If you do this right though, you will still have time to watch Transformers, Blackhat, Star Trek, or Jason Bourne though, no worries there!

A few easy steps will help you ensure that your patio furniture cushions and canvas look clean and good as new – you do not have to spend money to replace them.

Tools and Materials

There are a couple of tools and materials you need to clean your patio furniture canvas and cushions:

  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Bar soap
  • Fabric protector spray
  • Borax
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Water

First, make a cleaning solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of Borax and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent in 1 quart of warm water. Pour the solution out into a spray bottle.

  1. Saturate the surface: The first step is to spray the cushions generously on either sides with the solution you have just prepared. Do not be stingy as this is what will help clean off the mildew and mold. Make sure that you do not miss any of the creases and crevices. The more solution you use on now, the less work you will have when it is time to wash it off.
  2. Wait and then wash or dry: Allow your DIY cleaning solution to sit for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, put your garden hose on high and thoroughly spray the cushions to knock both the solution as well as the dirt off. Next, place the cushions in a standing position on their edges and allow them to dry until they are just damp.
  3. Spray fabric protector: Once they are damp, the next step is to spray the cushions with the fabric protector. What this does is protect them and also make them easier to clean the next time you need to do the job.
  4. Clean the canvas: Most times, you can machine wash canvas and then put it back on the furniture while damp so that the material can stretch back into place. However, if you cannot remove the canvas, you should use a scrub brush and soap. Move the brush back and forth a couple of times – do not be afraid to get a lot of lather. A stellar soap to use is Fels-Naptha as it works well on canvas awnings. It can effectively help in getting rid of bird droppings and a lot of stains. Once the canvas is as clean as you want it, rinse it off with the hose or spray bottle.

Cleaning Aluminum and White Plastic Furniture

If you have old-fashioned lawn furniture made of plain aluminum, cleaning them is as simple as it can get. All you need is a fine steel wool or plastic scrubber soaked in detergent. Use the steel wool or scrubber to scrub the chairs. Once that is done, all you need to do next is rinse well and allow the furniture to dry.

For white plastic furniture, you will need 1 gallon of warm water and 3 tablespoons of automatic dishwashing detergent. This type of detergent is a prudent choice as it contains a bleaching agent that will help whiten the plastic. Using a soft brush or sponge, clean the furniture and leave the solution on for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rinse the furniture and let them dry. Keep in mind that this cleaning method is only for white plastic – do not use it on colored furniture.

Cleaning Resin or Colored Plastic Patio Furniture

You should always use an all-purpose cleaner and water to clean outdoor furniture that is made of colored plastic or resin. It is also important to make sure that you rinse the furniture thoroughly as the weather and sunlight can speed up the fading process.

If you have patio furniture made of aluminum that has a baked-on enamel finish, you should remember that the surface can be scratched. You will need to use a sponge soaked in all-purpose nonabrasive cleaner or detergent and scrub the furniture. Once that is done, simply rinse and then dry off with a soft cloth.

If you want to maintain the shine on metal, resin or plastic furniture, all you need to do is give it a good waxing. If possible, you should remove the cushions first because stains can be caused by the wax. Use the applicator that comes with the wax or a soft cloth to apply the wax and let it dry. Finally, the last step is to just buff it off.

As you can see, cleaning patio furniture canvas and cushions is not difficult and you should do it on a regular basis. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can make sure that your outdoor furniture looks terrific for a long time and gives you many years of blissful comfort.