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How to Store Outdoor Cushions When It Rains

Outdoor cushions need to be stored somewhere dry when it rains. Outdoor fabrics are well known for being susceptible to water damage. Heavy downpours are the biggest enemy of cushions. You can bring the cushions inside your home, store them in a waterproof outdoor storage, or use plastic furniture covers to keep the rain off. Other than that, you’ll have to get replacement cushions if you don’t store your cushions when it rains. If your cushions do get soaked, special care is required to clean and dry them.

How to store outdoor cushions when it rains

What Do You Do with Patio Cushions When it Rains?

There are many different ways to protect patio cushions from the rain. With just a few simple steps, your cushions can easily last for decades and avoid rain damage. Below, we’ll cover the most common methods of protecting your soft cloth cushions.

Bring the Cushions Inside

The easiest and cheapest solution is to simply remove any outdoor cushions from the outdoors. Simply monitor your local weather for signs of extreme weather or rain. If it looks like rain, bring the cushions in.

  • Bring your cushions inside whenever it looks like rain.
  • This can be a bit of an involved process and involves consistent weather monitoring.

During the winter months, you may just want to permanently bring the outdoor patio cushions in. They can be brought back out once the weather is pleasant again. The big downside is that this keeps your cushions fairly far from your outdoor furniture. It can be a bit aggravating to haul them in and find storage space when it rains.

Use Outdoor Waterproof Storage

Installing outdoor storage, such as a deck box, is another great option. That way you can keep the cushions stored until you need them. This deck box will keep your outdoor patio safe from the rain without you having to haul them into your home and back out. 

  • An outdoor storage container like a deck box can store your cushions for extended periods.
  • Storing your cushions near your outdoor living space is more convenient than bringing them inside.

This dry storage space must be waterproof and able to be fully sealed. If any water can soak in from the outside, it will provide no benefit. However, having a dedicated storage space so close to patio furniture makes quick storing easy.

Buy Water Resistant Cushions or Furniture Covers

One option for worry-free outdoor cushions is to get furniture that is more resistant to rain. Waterproof cushions can easily be left outside without fear of excess water ruining them However, waterproof cushions aren’t very comfortable on their own. 

  • Consider purchasing outdoor cushions made from waterproof material.
  • Use these waterproof slip covers to keep your cushions dry in all weather.
  • Covers prevent water damage to cushions but can sometimes grow mold themselves.
  • Periodically clean covers to prevent them from growing mold or mildew.

It’s best to use removable covers to waterproof your outdoor furniture. These can be put over your furniture or cushions to protect furniture from the rain. They can then be removed later for comfort. This extra protection will help but it can sometimes trap moisture inside the cover and cause more mold growth. Be sure to wash your furniture covers from time to time in warm water to remove mold and mildew.

Can You Leave Outdoor Cushions Outside in the Rain?

Outdoor furniture cushions can be left out in the rain but it’s not ideal. Even water-resistant cushions hold up best when they are protected from rain. This is because rain can thoroughly soak your cushions. This leads to mold and mildew growth which can destroy your cushions over time. 

  • Waterproof or covered cushions can be left out in the rain.
  • If left out in the elements, even waterproof cushions will gradually be damaged.
  • It’s best to keep your cushions dry whenever possible.
  • Leaving unprotected cushions out every once in a while is fine if you dry them soon after.

Forgetting cushions outside every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but you should try to limit this. Follow our tips in the next section to learn how to dry a cushion cleanly and safely if it does get wet.

How Do You Dry Patio Cushions After it Rains?

Drying wet cushions is all about getting the cushions out of the rain and into somewhere warm with air circulation. There are many different ways to get cushions dry. Here are the best methods for the job:

Wash Your Cushions

Purposefully washing your cushions can actually speed up the drying process. Use warm water and mild soap then gently wash by hand or in a washing machine. This will remove unwanted growth and bacteria.

  • A gentle wash cycle can remove mildew and mold.
  • Washing will increase your cushion’s longevity.
  • Do not put outdoor cushions in the dryer. 

Getting rid of these unwanted pollutants will improve the long-term durability of your cushions. So though it may get wetter in the short term, it will dry with less damage. Do not put your cushions in the dryer though. The dryer is more likely to damage the cushion than dry it.

Steam Clean

Another option is to steam clean your cushions. The heat from the steam will help to evaporate any lingering water. At the same time, the hot steam will remove any mildew or mold growth. 

  • Steam cleaners are effective at killing mold on cushions.
  • Hot steam speeds up the drying process.
  • Steaming cleans and dries cushions at the same time.

Be sure to use clean water in the steamer. If you don’t use clean water, you can promote the growth of mildew or mold rather than clean the cushion. Use this steam cleaner to safely clean and dry your furniture.

Stand Your Cushions Up

Leaving cushions laying flat will cause them to retain water longer. If you stand them on their side, making the cushion vertical, the water will drain out faster. 

  • Stand your cushions up vertically to encourage water to drain out of the fabric.
  • Make sure the fabric grain is perpendicular to the ground so the water runs out.

Find the grain of your fabric (if it has grain) and stand the cushions so that the grain is perpendicular to the ground. Water has an easier time draining this way. Water has a harder time seeping through the individual grains than draining alongside them.

Leave Your Cushions in the Sun

Direct sunlight will help your cushions to dry out faster. If you worry that the cushions are too soaked, you can wring them out a bit by hand. This will squeeze out excess water from a soggy patio cushion.

  • Sunlight is a great, natural way to dry your cushions.
  • Move cushions to a sunny spot to encourage them to dry more quickly.
  • Remember, drying in the sun doesn’t clean the cushions of any mold or grime.

Direct sunlight makes for a great dry time depending on the weather. If it’s a warm day with plenty of light, your cushions will be dry in no time. However, cold days will result in longer dry times and additional rain can damage your cushions further.

Use Blow Dryers or Standing Fans

Increasing air circulation will speed up evaporation and reduce the dry time for your cushions. Blow dryers will work a bit more quickly since they can blast hot air. However, this requires holding a blow dryer the whole time. Never leave a blow dryer on and unattended. This can cause a fire.

  • Reduce dry time by pointing standing fans at wet cushions.
  • Make sure the air is hitting the cushions directly when using the fan method.
  • You can use a handheld blow dryer to dry wet cushions.

If you don’t have the time to use a blow dryer on every cushion, just leaving a standing fan on will work. Place the cushions near the standing fan where it will be hit by the blowing air. This will make for a longer dry time than the blow dryer but it will require no supervision.

How to Protect Patio Cushions in the Rain

The best way to protect your cushions is to store them somewhere dry. This can mean anything from a deck box to a dedicated indoor closet. When storing your cushions, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Bring cushions into your home if it rains.
  • Store patio cushions in outdoor waterproof storage if indoor storage is inconvenient.
  • Use waterproof cushion or furniture covers to protect your patio furniture.
  • If your cushions do get soaked, provide proper care to clean and dry them.
  • Washing cushions can help dry them faster.
  • Steam cleaning works great for cleaning and drying wet cushions.
  • A cheap solution is to stand cushions on their sides to drain.
  • Leave cushions in direct sunlight to speed up drying.
  • Speed up cushion drying time by using blow dryers or standing fans.

Be sure to always clean and dry a soggy patio cushion quickly. Failure to do so can result in long-term damage or cause mold growth on your cushions.

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