As the weather warms up and we find ourselves slowly venturing outdoors again, we want to make sure we are doing so safely. Luckily, good quality outdoor furniture is ready for pretty much anything we throw its way. Although power washing and using high heat to clean your patio furniture might seem like the logical course of action, you will actually do more harm than good. The high heat and pressure will break down materials that have been carefully formulated to withstand the elements and years of continual use.
Here is a straight-forward guide on how to sanitize your patio furniture and be able to enjoy your time outdoors, worry-free.
Prepare a solution of 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Wipe down the frame of your piece with this solution and a soft white cloth. Allow the solution to remain on the surface for a minute and then wipe off with clean water.
Sunbrella, Tempotest, Outdura and Belladura fabrics are made with solution-dyed fibers whose color is uniform throughout the fiber and have the amazing benefit that they can be cleaned with a bleach solution. If you have removable covers, wash them in a 1:1:16 solution of cup dishwashing liquid, bleach and water. Rinse thoroughly and let air dry. For non-removable covers, use the same solution and wipe down the cushions with a soft white cloth. Make sure to wipe down with clean water afterwards and let air dry. We recommend applying a coat of 303 Fabric Guard to restore the water repellency of the fabric and aid with future maintenance. For other types of fabric, check with the manufacturer for appropriate sanitizing instructions.
Ultrafabrics Brisa is a polyurethane material made for outdoor use with a proprietary technology that stands up to a wide variety of cleaners and disinfectants, as recommended by the CDC, including alcohol-based cleaners (Fantastik, Formula 409, rubbing alcohol), bleach-based cleaners (or 1:5 bleach/water solution), hydrogen peroxide based disinfectants, and quaternary-based disinfectants or “quats”(Clorox and Lysol disinfecting wipes and medical grade solutions). Wipe down the surface of the cushion with the disinfecting solution or product and after a minute of contact time, wipe down the residue with a clean damp white cloth.
Spradling Silvertex is a vinyl formulated with Permablok 3, a protective coating that makes wiping easy and effective, without damaging the material. Make a 1:9 beach/water solution and wipe the cushion surface with a dampened white cloth. Wipe down after a minute with another cloth and clean water to remove the bleach residue.
Serge Ferrari or Batyline mesh can also be sanitized with a 1:10 bleach/water solution. As with the other materials, allow the solution to remain on the surface of the mesh for one minute and then wash off with clean water. Allow to air dry.
SAFETY NOTE: Remember never to mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser