How to (Properly) Dry Patio Cushions


potentially dry your patio cushions with a fan

It might have happened when you accidentally forgot to cover your furniture before that massive summer storm hit (this is likely if you live in a rainy climate). Perhaps your home was hit by not just a storm but a full-blown hurricane. Maybe a nor’easter, and no amount of covering could spare your cushions from the soak job. It might have simply happened due to splashing from your pool, sprinklers on your lawn, or simply someone spilling a drink.

There are any number of reasons why your patio cushions may have gotten soaked. The question is, how do you properly dry your patio cushions?

Fret not, we lay out the steps below. It’s easier than you think — you’ll be sitting on them before you know it (and your pants won’t be soggy!).

Wash the Cushion

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the first thing you’ll want to do when dealing with soaked cushions is to wash them. This will help get out any of the stains, pollutants, mold, or mildew which may have seeped into the cushions. Your cushion may be more soaked in the short run, but their overall condition will be much improved in the long run.

How should you wash them? Depending on the level of soil, you can likely get by with simple warm water and dish detergent. Using a sponge over the surface should suffice, making sure to rinse the sponge regularly.

Wring It Out in the Bathroom

Your tub may not look like this, but most will work!

Once you have begun washing your cushion and it’s became even more saturated with water, you’ll want to start wringing it out. It is important to note that patio cushions tend to be made of foam, which acts like a sponge. As you likely learned when washing the cushion, squeezing the sponge causes liquid to come out. But that’s not all: the sponge also sucks up and reabsorbs fluid as well.

That’s why you’ll want to squeeze and wring out your cushion very well.

Of course, doing so is going to cause liquid to ooze out in all directions, so this isn’t the kind of thing you want to do in your living room. Luckily, you have a room in your house designed exactly for this kind of thing: your bathroom!

Your bathtub can be ideal for this purpose. Simply place your cushion at the bottom of your tub, squeeze away, and let the water ooze into the basin and down the drain. What’s more, unless the contents which have soaked into your cushion are truly foul (in which case, they may not be worth saving in the first place) chances are you won’t mind a bit of grime slipping down into your tub. Simply rinse out the tub by running the shower and the mess will be clean.

One thing you’ll also want to consider is using towels which are highly absorbent. You’ll want to make sure that the fluid you wring out of the cushion isn’t simply reabsorbed. Wringing the cushion out over the bathtub will help with that, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t still be some lingering dampness. Use your best judgement.

How To Dry The Cushion

Of course, if the cushions on your patio couch aren’t removable, the above method will be of limited use. Sure, you can still try to squeeze them out, but the effectiveness is limited. This approach does not get rid of nearly as much water as pressing them against the bottom of a bathtub. Why? Well, excess fluid drains away in the tub, preventing it from being reabsorbed. So, how do you dry your patio cushions?

Air drying is one option to consider, especially if you live in a hot, dry climate. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that’s cold, wet, or humid, this may take a long time.

Another option to consider when dealing with a fixed cushion is steam cleaning.

This can be done with a portable unit or a full-size unit. You’ll want to run the steam cleaner over the cushion many times, making sure that you apply it to the dampest areas and get out as much liquid as possible. What is important here is the heat. That’s why you want to expose your cushions to warm dry air if you live in a climate which facilitates that. A steam cleaner can be a great way to achieve this artificially if weather conditions or your climate are on the colder and wetter side.

You may be wondering if you can dry patio cushions in your dryer. No, I would advise you not to do that. While the cushion covers should be fine, the foam interior would be destroyed. Trust me on this one.

In any case, you are still going to need to squish your cushions and wring them out as completely as possible as so as to avoid dampness being trapped, building up over time, and causing mold or mildew.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your patio cushions be ruined by water or other liquids soaking and ruining them forever. From air drying to steam cleaning to removing and wringing them out, this is the proper routine for cushion cleaning and drying. You’ve learned how to clean and how to dry your patio cushions. Cleaning them is instrumental in making sure you get the most out of them for years to come.

Captain

I'm Chuck (the Captain). I'm passionate about my outdoor space and love sharing my experiences with the world at large. I want Captain Patio to become the best place on the internet to find, share, and learn about all things patio-related. When I'm not keeping up my content schedule, I'm spending time with my wife and two kids (usually on my patio!).

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