Since we’ve been sharing a few sneak peeks of our deck lately (we’ve added a few more pieces and will be sharing the full reveal next week), the number one question we are getting on Instagram right now is how we keep our outdoor sofas clean. They all are very light white or ivory, and while that usually can mean they would get dirty–fast, we somehow have kept them clean for over a year now. Here’s what we do.
First, every climate is different and each piece of furniture or fabric will react differently. If you live in an extremely wet climate, you may have to worry about mold. We live in the desert of Idaho. It’s very dry here, rains very occasionally, but it is extremely windy. And that can sometimes mean dust, dirt and debris everywhere.
Here’s a glimpse of what our couches looked like after a wind storm.
Our first line of defense is this Exterior Scotch Guard. Even if something is made for outdoors, we give it one coat of this, and it not only protects it from water damage, it also resists stains and makes clean-up a lot quicker.
Next, and this may seem silly, but we use our leaf blower to blow all the dirt and debris off the furniture and rug. I used to use a small hand broom, but occasionally I would catch a piece of dirt and it would almost rub it in more while I was trying to remove it. This is a lot faster, and bonus, Chris gets to use his leaf blower in the summer.
The last thing we do is spot clean. The covers on our World Market couches are removable and washable, and I’ve done that twice. But they take so much muscle to get back on (it’s really not that easy!). So much so, that I prefer to just spot clean them now. Maybe if they got really dirty, it would feel worth it again. But for now, we just use this product called 303 Outdoor Multi-Surface Cleaner.
Spray it on the dirty spot and, depending on how soiled it is, you can let it sit for a couple minutes or just go right into scrubbing.
They may not look new after a year, but they look pretty dang good! And the best part about a light colored outdoor sofa is the sun is your friend! It will bleach out any imperfections over time–a beautiful thing.
Do we have sofa covers? What do we do if it does rain? What about over the winter? We do have two sofa covers. We got these from Amazon that we cover the wood sofas with and we pile on all the cushions and throws from the other sofa and chairs on top before covering. If we know it’s going to rain or there’s any other type of storm coming through, we will cover the sofas. But day to day, we leave them uncovered. I suppose this could work for winter, too, but the winters here are so harsh that we feel better about putting all of the outdoor furniture in a storage unit over those months.
As for our dining area, We do crank down our umbrella most days (#windycity) unless we’re out there using the area. And it’s good practice to leave our black chairs tipped forward, as they are not made for outdoor use and can rust if they have water left on them. They have held up amazingly well for us, and the only care I have given them is wiping them with a damp cloth to remove dust every so often.
So that’s how we do it, but we’d love to hear any additional tips that you have in the comments! Especially if you live in a different climate–that could really help others out!
PS! Our World Market Sofas are 15% off through today only! Plus Free Shipping. Use the code MAYSAVE!
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