How To Keep Your Cushion Covers Looking Good.

care for outdoor cushions

6 Tips To Keeping Your Outdoor Cushion Covers Looking Good.

Congratulations! you've got yourself some beautiful, bright, new outdoor cushion covers for your home, but as you admire your new cushions on the outdoor lounge for the first time, you may not think about how they might look in 6 months to a year's time. Soft furnishings can quickly lose their 'NEW' look and feel if you don't know how how to care for them properly. No one wants their cushion covers to fade, deteriorate, go out of shape, get grungy, filthy and dull but unfortunately outdoor fabrics get a beating, more so than indoor fabrics, so its important to look after them to get the most out of them.

Its not hard, but if you do these simple things, I promise, you'll extend the life of your cushion covers.

Tip #1 Choosing 'OUTDOOR' fabrics

When choosing soft furnishings you intend to use outdoors, looking for products that specify that they are designed for outdoors is a good start.

Going for a man-made fibre like a 'soft feel' 100% polyester is a much wiser choice than a natural fibre like cotton or treated cotton canvas because they won't absorb dirt, moisture and oils like cotton can. Even viscose, which is a mixture of cotton and polyester is more susceptible to rotting and growing  mildew and mould than 100% synthetic fibres. Check the labels (or 'features' if you're online) to find out what the product is made from. Benefits of the Best Outdoor Cushions

If you can, touch the product before you buy and imagine what it would feel like against your skin. Your soft furnishings are likey to be in contact with your skin so its important that they feel nice and comfortable. Many labelled "Outdoor Soft Furnishings' can be quite rough and stiff and feel undesirable against the skin due to inferior fabrics or UV treatments, as a consequence you're likely to regret purchasing them, so check that they are 'soft feel'.

100% Polyester Inserts are best for outdoor cushions as they are naturally more durable, more hygeinic, odourless, allergy free and able to be washed.

Tip #2: Keep them clean: Make sure your outdoor cushion covers are removable, either with a zip or buttons so you can wash them to keep them clean and fresh. Outdoor cushion covers that have metal zips must be plastic coated otherwise they will rust in no time, which means they'll not only get stuck but they'll stain your cover as well. (Nasty) Better quality cushion covers will use full length zips which provide the widest opening possible so its easy to remove the insert for washing. It's important to follow the care instructions on the wash label so you don't destroy the properties of the print or fabric treatments that give them their benefits. If there is just surface dirt on the cover, lightly brush it off, or take a damp cloth and sponge to remove.

Tip #3: Wash covers gently and inserts separately: To keep your soft furnishings free of dirt and oils, give them a freshen up every so often and you'll find they'll feel nicer, look brighter and last longer. For best results: Ensure that you hand wash your cushion covers separately following instructions carefully on wash care labels. Use detergent sparingly. It's ok if you get a little bit of discolouration in the water during this first wash. It is normal even for the first wash of colourfast fabrics, just rinse well in fresh clean water so that all the detergent is removed and continue to rinse with fresh water until there are no more bubbles in the water.

Avoid scrubbing, rubbing, soaking or bleaching them. This will deteriorate the fibres and make them thin, weak and fluffy. Carefully squeeze water out by hand and hang cushion cover in the shade, inside out. Never tumble dry or dry clean. This can affect the fabrics treatments.

100% Pure Polyester Inserts can be hand washed in a bucket of warm water with a small amount of mild detergent. Rinse carefully, squeeze gently and drip dry - do not wring them as this will distort their shape and make them lumpy.

Tip #4: Always check the care labels for specific instructions:

Care labelling is a mandatory standard for textiles and clothing in Australia They are an important tool to ensure consumers can care properly for their item/s.

Even outdoor cushions with UV treatments, anti mildew and waterproofing will have specific care instructions. They won't last forever, but they'll last longer with proper care.

Tip #5: Dry well: After your cushion cover and inserts are completely dry, pop the insert back inside, plump & fluff it up and you're ready to rock and roll again.
Learn how to put in an insert in 20 seconds

If you opt for homewares made from materials other than 100% cotton such as polyester, rayon, linen, wool or a mix, understand that all these fabrics have different methods of maintenance and a 'mix' like a poly/cotton mix for instance, has different charactersitics to both cotton and polyester. To ensure you maintain the longevity of your item, you will find specific wash/care instructions on the care labels inside your items.

If you're like me and you like to change your cushion covers over with each season, give them a quick wash before you store them away. Even if they don't look dirty, they will have picked up skin cells, bacteria and odours from the air. Just make sure they are completely dry before storing them away. If not, you might discover an off-putting musty smell the next time you bring them out. Ew!

Tip #6: Scented storage: I like to store my cushion covers together in a mesh washbag with a scented sachet like 'ocean mist' or 'kiwi & lime' so when I bring them out next season they smell great and I know they're beautiful & clean. Moitsture absorbing sachets can also have the added effect of absorbing any possible moisture left in the air in the bag or material fibres, ensuring bacteria doesn't breed while they're stored away in your linen cupboard. If you have damp issues, or want to be extra sure, consider popping a 'damprid' moisture absorber in the bottom of your cupboard.

 

I hope this information has been somewhat helpful and that you enjoy your brand new cushion covers for many years to come.

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