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How to Store Outdoor Furniture Cushions in Winter
Whether you choose indoor storage for your patio furniture cushions, or you find another spot for them, it’s important to protect them from the elements. You might think it sounds like a chore. And to be sure, preparing your outdoor furniture cushions for winter storage requires some work. The good news is, it’s not difficult, and exerting a little effort now will prolong the life of your cushions over the long haul, to say nothing of simplifying your own life come spring, when it’s time to move your casual living outdoors again. What’s more, the sturdy modern textiles used these days to upholster outdoor cushions and pillows helps keep maintenance to a minimum: Sunbrella® acrylic is an excellent example.
There are just three simple steps for winterizing and storing your outdoor cushions:
Strictly speaking there’s more to it, of course, but not much. All you really need is a sunny fall day and a little elbow grease. Push up your sleeves and let’s get to work.
1. WASH YOUR OUTDOOR CUSHIONS.
Even if you’ve maintained them well over the course of the summer, give your seat cushions a good scrubbing just the same before they go into hibernation. Here’s why: they’re always accumulating dirt. Props to you if you made it through the season without spills or stains, but ambient dirt—dust and pollen—will always find your cushions and leave them looking dull.
2. DRY YOUR SEAT CUSHIONS.
Since you chose a sunny day, this part is easy. Lean them upward on a side; flip them over after a while. This step is important: storing a still-moist outdoor seat cushion for the winter increases the likelihood of damage from mold and mildew growth.
But before storing your outdoor cushions, you may elect to undertake one final step. Many seat cushion fabrics come from the manufacturer pre-treated with a moisture repellent. It’s a good idea to re-treat annually, and here is the perfect opportunity. Once your cushions have dried thoroughly, apply the treatment to them; 303® Fabric Guard™ comes highly recommended by the makers of Sunbrella, but other similar products are widely available.
Then allow your outdoor furniture cushions to dry completely before you store them for the winter.
3. HOW TO STORE YOUR OUTDOOR CUSHIONS FOR THE WINTER
First prepare a suitable place: the basement, attic, or garage can be ideal, or even the top shelf in a closet. The main thing is finding a sheltered spot that will stay cool and dry. Once you’ve cleared a spot, finish your project:
NOTE: Beware of rodents. If you have a known mouse problem in the vicinity of your cushion storage space, consider setting traps to take care of it, or wrap your cushions in old sheets or blankets for extra protection before you store them. A family of nesting mice can make quick work of upholstery and fill, leaving you with ruined bits and pieces where there was once a pretty seat cushion.
Other Outdoor Cushion Storage Ideas:
When it’s time to play outside once again, you’ll want to create an outdoor room as elegant and inviting as your interior rooms. A little effort now will pay big dividends later: properly preparing your outdoor seat cushions for winter storage will extend their life and make yours so much easier in the spring.
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