A woman cleaning a stain off an outdoor furniture cover.

How to Wash Outdoor Furniture Covers and Conduct Maintenance

Outdoor furniture covers are there to protect your furniture from the elements. While they do offer holistic protection, you should still clean the covers from time to time to keep them nice and neat.

Outdoor furniture cover maintenance is easy. Follow this guide to keep your furniture sets looking snazzy through all seasons.

Find Out If Your Furniture Covers Are Washing Machine-Friendly

You can save a lot of time and hassle by throwing your outdoor furniture covers in the washing machine for a quick cleanse. When it comes to outdoor furniture cover maintenance, this is the easiest cleaning method.

Don’t start your washer yet. It’s essential to check the tags on your furniture covers first, as some materials cannot go in washing machines. If the tag indicates that you can machine wash the cover, make sure you follow the washing instructions carefully.

If you do wash a cover that isn’t technically machine washable, hang it up to dry naturally and see what it looks like once it’s fully dry. Washing some furniture covers can cause the waterproof and UV resistance features to degrade, so be careful about how you clean your covers.

Determine Your Cover’s Material

The material your furniture cover is made out of will determine how and when you clean it. Most furniture covers are made of polyester, but other materials are used as well.

Polyester Covers

Polyester outdoor furniture covers are extremely durable and weatherproof. They won’t shrink, stretch out, or trap any moisture in the fabric, making them the perfect choice to protect your outdoor furniture.

If your polyester outdoor furniture covers are made with UV-blocking technology, it’s important not to machine wash them. Putting them in a washing machine will wear away the UV resistance coating, making them far less sunproof — leaving your outdoor furniture vulnerable to sun damage as a result.

If there is no UV resistance coating on your polyester furniture covers, they’re probably safe to machine wash. Make sure you check the tags and packaging on all covers before putting them in a washing machine.

Vinyl Covers

You can tell that your outdoor furniture covers are made of vinyl if they are shiny and strong. There is some debate about how to properly wash vinyl covers, so we recommend hand washing them out of caution.

Nylon Covers

You get the best of all worlds with nylon covers. Nylon is naturally durable, weatherproof, and machine washable, making it both strong and easy to maintain.

Polypropylene Covers

Polypropylene mimics the texture of normal cloth. You probably can’t tell the difference between these materials, which is why you should always check tags and packaging.

Most outdoor furniture covers made with polypropylene are less expensive, but this comes with a hidden cost: the covers don’t last as long as those made from other materials. This means that you should keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear as well as sun damage.

Polypropylene is largely ineffective at blocking sun rays from reaching your outdoor furniture. If you live somewhere warm and sunny, consider choosing another material for your outdoor furniture covers.

You can machine wash polypropylene, but this shortens its lifespan considerably. For polypropylene outdoor furniture cover maintenance, we highly recommend hand washing.

Washing Outdoor Furniture Covers by Hand

You can ensure good outdoor furniture cover maintenance by washing your covers by hand. This requires a bit more time than using a washing machine, but your covers will last longer if you use this method.

What You Need

All you need to clean most outdoor furniture covers is warm water and mild soap. It’s best to avoid the extra strong, heavy-duty cleaners, as they may not be good for the fabric.

The Cleaning Process

Add a small amount of mild soap into a bucket of warm water and let the mixture foam up a bit. Then, you can use a special soft brush to gently clean your furniture covers. Soft brushes protect your covers from scratches, which compromise waterproof and sunproof coatings.

Use gentle brush strokes while cleaning. There’s no need to vigorously scrub your furniture covers. And try to use as few brush strokes as possible to remove dirt and grime.

Drying Your Furniture Covers

Do not leave your wet furniture covers in direct sunlight when it’s time for them to dry. Instead, place them outdoors in a shaded area that receives plenty of airflow. Keeping the covers out of the sun will prevent the UV-resistant coating from degrading quickly.

Get High-Quality Custom Outdoor Furniture Covers at Ultimate Covers

Browse our selection of durable weatherproof outdoor furniture covers at Ultimate Covers.

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