Outdoor sofas are made for rest and enjoyment but they can also be a haven for dirt and grime. These sofas get dirty easily because they are outside most of the time and are exposed to harsh weather elements. Keeping outdoor sofas clean is a necessity if you want to keep them neat-looking and in good shape for as long as possible. You can’t let dirt and dust accumulate on your furniture. It’s just not healthy, both for your family and for the sofa itself. Luckily, keeping your outdoor sofas clean is a lot easier than you think with a few simple tips.
Let’s clean your worries away; here are 10 tips on how to keep outdoor sofas clean:
1. Provide Some Shade
One of the biggest enemies of outdoor furniture is direct sunlight. The sun causes fading, warping, and cracking of materials like wood and wicker. It also dries up natural fabrics like cotton and linen. That’s why it’s best to provide some shade for your outdoor sofas whenever possible. This way, the pieces will look good as new for longer.
The type of sunscreen you get depends on the kind of sofa you have. If it’s made of wood, go with a UV-resistant clear coat like polyurethane or lacquer to protect it from cracking. There are also some sunscreens that prevent fading without turning your sofa into a laminate mess.
Shading will also block out dirt and debris, slowing down the accumulation of dust. This way, cleaning your outdoor sofa will be easier to do.
2. Use Fabric Protection
Fabric protection spray is another must if you want to keep your outdoor sofa clean for longer. These sprays are designed to make fabrics like cotton and linen more resistant to stains. Some brands even offer protection against rain, oil, rust, and mold. These sprays also help fabrics resist fading by blocking out the harmful rays of the sun. You can even use them on the upholstery that’s not exposed to the elements like some indoor sectionals.
The nice thing about fabric protection sprays is that you can use them on all types of upholstery, which means your outdoor sofas are fair game. The spray will repel dust so your sofa will stay clean longer.
When using fabric protection spray, be sure to wear the appropriate protective gear. Spray only in a well-ventilated area and away from open flames.
3. Clean Regularly
This is where many people go wrong when it comes to cleaning sofas: they clean them when they’re already dirty or stained. It’s best to clean your sofa regularly to avoid these ugly marks in the first place.
For outdoor sofas, you should clean them at least twice a month or once every two weeks. The frequency of cleaning depends on how many people are using it and how often, as well as weather conditions like rain, harsh sunlight, and temperature changes. Check your sofa regularly for stains and dirt and clean it as soon as you see them.
Clean your sofa using a mild dish soap like Dawn and lukewarm water. Do not use harsh chemicals unless specified by the manufacturer – these can cause damage to wood finishes and metal surfaces especially. After cleaning, always dry the upholstery with a clean towel or cloth or let it air-dry in direct sunlight. Never use a drier or any heat source to dry upholstery, especially wicker sofas.
4. Make Regular Replacements
Regular cleaning is important but it’s not enough when you want to keep your outdoor sofa clean for good. If you don’t want dirt and grime to accumulate on your furniture, you need to regularly replace its components.
Cushions are important indicators for this. If your cushion covers are looking grimy or dirty, get rid of them and replace them with clean ones. You can avoid discoloration by regularly washing your cushions in the bathtub using mild dish soap like Dawn. When cleaning the covers, take one cushion out at a time so the dirt doesn’t get transferred.
Adjust your cushions properly to prevent them from getting dirty or stained in the first place. Doing so will also help them wear out evenly.
5. Prevent Accumulation of Dirt
You may think that you’re doing the right thing by putting your sofa under an overhang or a porch to keep it out of the sun. But without proper ventilation, these areas can quickly become humid and even moldy.
This is where most people make a mistake: they don’t clean their outdoor sofas often enough because they don’t see the dirt accumulating on them. Unfortunately, this leads to prematurely worn-out furniture.
You should regularly clean your sofa components and then use fabric protection sprays to keep them clean for longer. When you don’t want to actually clean your sofas, you can also use preventative measures like protective covers. These are good if you know it’s going to rain or snow outside but still want your sofas to be protected.
6. Store Properly
If you want your outdoor sofa to be clean for years to come, make sure you store it properly when the season ends. This means storing it in a dry area away from moisture and dirt.
You can keep your sofa looking good by regularly cleaning its components with mild dish soap like Dawn. You should also regularly wipe its surfaces with a dry towel or fabric to remove the accumulation of dust. You can use protective sprays for longer-term cleaning if you want to avoid the hassle of washing it yourself.
If you’re not sure how to clean your outdoor sofa, talk to an upholstery cleaner about getting advice on which techniques are right for it. A reliable cleaner uses specific methods to clean different types of sofa fabrics and materials.
7. Avoid Spills and Accumulations
Your outdoor sofa can be damaged if it absorbs too much water and other fluids like oil and grease. This means you should avoid spilling liquids on your furniture, as well as allowing food and drinks to accumulate on it.
If something does spill on your outdoor sofa – whether it’s cola or tea – wipe up the liquid immediately. Allow the sofas to dry completely before letting anyone sit on it again. If possible, also move it to an area with good ventilation until its components are completely dry.
The spills and accumulations of dirt and dust can make your outdoor sofa’s components wear out prematurely. You can avoid this by taking preventive measures when you want to keep your sofa clean for good. The best way to clean your outdoor sofa is by using protective covers on it during the off-season. When you’re not using it, make sure you wipe its surfaces with a dry cloth every week or so to remove any accumulations of dust.
8. Use Waterproof Covers
If you want to keep your outdoor sofa clean when it’s not in use, consider using waterproof covers on it. This is particularly useful if you’re storing the furniture for a long time before replicating it.
Waterproof covers are usually made from vinyl or plastic and breathable materials like nylon or polyester. You can get these covers online or from garden furniture retailers that sell covers for your specific type of sofa.
Using these covers can prevent the accumulation of dirt and moisture on your outdoor sofas. They also protect against spills and other accidents, as well as insects like termites, pillbugs, and silverfish.
It is also easier to clean your sofa if you use covers on it. You can scrub or wipe its surfaces with soap, water, and disinfectant without worrying about the fabric getting damaged.
9. Avoid Placing Them Under Trees
Placing outdoor sofas under trees can expose them to the accumulation of dirt, leaves, and insects. Outdoor furniture placed under trees is more susceptible to getting damaged by water stains, sap, moisture, rot, termites, fungi spores, dust mites, animal droppings, bird feces, and other debris that accumulate on foliage.
The accumulation of dirt and other debris can make your outdoor sofas uncomfortable to sit on. It can also damage the fabric, covering, coating, or waterproofing materials of your furniture. Before long, you might find that all the components are ruined by moisture and other contaminants.
10 . Steam Clean or Pressure Wash Your Outdoor Furniture
If you want to clean your outdoor sofa thoroughly, steam cleaning or pressure washing is the best choice. A professional cleaner does this using a pressurized machine with water and detergent at high temperatures. You can also get your sofas cleaned at home by purchasing a steam cleaner. Look for one that is designed specifically for upholstered furniture.
Steam cleaning uses high-pressure jets of hot water that get rid of dirt and other contaminants. It also sanitizes the furniture, making it free from mold, fungi, bacteria, and other allergens. By killing dust mites and bedbugs, steam cleaning your sofa allows you to enjoy cleaner air at home.
Pressure washers are easy to use. They work by spraying a jet of water and detergent at your sofa covers. Simply connect your garden hose and aim the jets at your fabric covers.
Outside sofas are not as tough as indoor ones. This means you need to keep them clean and maintain them more often than other types of furniture. If you fail to do this, your outdoor sofas might not last as long as you want them to. You can avoid this by following these tips on how to keep the outdoor sofa clean.