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!
Sala White Rattan Lounge Chairs | Tall Basket | Area Rug | String Lights (similar) | Wood Sofas | Black Sofa | Outdoor Blue Slash Pillows | White and Black Tassel Lumbar Pillow | White Pinstriped pillows | Tall concrete planter (similar)| Black planter | Small concrete planter | Dining Table | Black Dining Chairs | White Wire Dining Chairs | Black and White striped umbrella | Firewood Storage | DIY Fireplace Tutorial | DIY Tiered Planter Boxes Tutorial
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
In case you missed the announcement in our Love Letter, the wallpaper is officially installed in the laundry room, and I could not be ANY MORE IN LOVE! My ultimate goal for the laundry room was to create a space that is fresh, clean, bright, and a little utilitarian (the straight-laid tile floors definitely bring that). With […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home