February 14, 2024

how to clean outdoor furniture covers

Keeping Your Outdoor Haven Covered: A Guide to Cleaning Outdoor Furniture Covers (UK Edition)

British weather can be unpredictable, from sunny spells to sudden downpours. While outdoor furniture covers shield your precious pieces from the elements, they themselves need regular cleaning to retain their protective qualities and stay fresh. This guide delves into the essential steps for cleaning outdoor furniture covers in the UK, ensuring both furniture and cover longevity.

how to clean outdoor furniture covers
how to clean outdoor furniture covers

Why Clean Your Outdoor Furniture Covers?

Regular cleaning offers several benefits:

  • Prevents mold and mildew: Damp UK weather can lead to mold and mildew growth on dirty covers, harming both the cover and the furniture underneath.
  • Maintains breathability: Clean covers allow air circulation, preventing moisture build-up and potential damage to your furniture.
  • Extends lifespan: By removing dirt, debris, and harmful elements, you prolong the life of your valuable furniture cover.
  • Improves aesthetics: A clean cover looks tidy and enhances the overall appearance of your outdoor space.

Assessing Your Cover:

Before diving into cleaning, consider the material and care instructions. Most UK-available covers are made from:

  • Polyester: Easy to clean with soap and water.
  • Vinyl: Durable and resistant to mold, but require specific cleaning solutions.
  • Canvas: Requires gentle cleaning methods to avoid shrinking or damaging the fabric.

Always check the care label for specific instructions and warnings!

Cleaning Methods:

Method 1: Mild Soap and Water (Most Covers):

  • Gather: Mild dish soap, lukewarm water, large bucket, soft sponge or brush, garden hose.
  • Mix: Add a few drops of soap to the bucket filled with lukewarm water.
  • Scrub: Dip the sponge/brush in the soapy water and gently scrub the cover, focusing on dirty areas. Avoid harsh scrubbing which can damage the fabric.
  • Rinse: Thoroughly rinse the cover with clean water from your garden hose, removing all soap residue.
  • Dry: Hang the cover in a shaded area to air dry completely before putting it back on your furniture.

Method 2: Vinyl Cover Cleaner (Vinyl Covers):

  • Purchase: Choose a commercially available vinyl cover cleaner suitable for outdoor use.
  • Follow instructions: Apply the cleaner according to the product's specific instructions and safety precautions.
  • Rinse: Thoroughly rinse the cleaner with clean water and air dry completely.

Method 3: Professional Cleaning (Heavily Soiled Covers):

  • Consider: If your cover is heavily soiled or requires special care, consider professional cleaning services specializing in outdoor furniture covers.

Extra Tips for UK Climates:

  • Clean regularly: Aim to clean your outdoor furniture covers at least once a month, especially during peak weather conditions like spring and autumn.
  • Address stains promptly: Don't let spills and stains sit, as they can be harder to remove later.
  • Store covers properly: When not in use, store your clean and dry covers in a cool, dry place to prevent damage from dust, mildew, or rodents.
  • Utilize shade: Whenever possible, keep your covered furniture in a shaded area to minimize sun damage and dirt accumulation.

By following these simple steps and tips, you can ensure your outdoor furniture covers remain clean, functional, and ready to protect your precious outdoor pieces for years to come. Enjoy your outdoor haven knowing your furniture is well-covered and ready for anything the UK weather throws its way!

FAQ: Cleaning Outdoor Furniture Covers in the UK

Q: How often should I clean my outdoor furniture covers?

A: Aim to clean your covers at least once a month, especially during spring and autumn when weather changes are frequent. More frequent cleaning may be necessary in areas with heavy rain or dust.

Q: What cleaning solution should I use for my cover?

A: Most covers can be cleaned with mild soap and water. For vinyl covers, use a specific vinyl cover cleaner. Always check the care label for specific instructions and warnings.

Q: Can I machine wash my outdoor furniture cover?

A: It depends on the material and care label instructions. Some covers are machine-washable on a gentle cycle, while others require hand-washing. Be cautious with delicate materials like canvas.

Q: How can I remove stubborn stains from my cover?

A: Treat stains promptly with a mild cleaning solution specific to the stain type. Avoid harsh chemicals and bleach, which can damage the fabric. Consider professional cleaning for difficult stains.

Q: Can I store my dirty furniture cover when not in use?

A: Absolutely not! Always store your cover clean and dry in a cool, dry place to prevent mold, mildew, and damage from pests.

Q: Where can I purchase cleaning products for my outdoor furniture cover?

A: Supermarkets, DIY stores, and online retailers offer a variety of cleaning products suitable for outdoor furniture covers. Choose products specifically designed for the cover material.

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