Tips for Cleaning Mildew Off Your Outdoor Furniture

Going outside and enjoying the summer is a great way to relax. The thing is, if you didn't cover your outdoor furniture and it was exposed during the winter, you might not want to sit on it. In fact, you might even find mildew growing on it.

Mildew is a type of mold that can grow on almost anything, including furniture. Left unchecked, mildew can become a threat to you and your family’s health.

Here are tips for cleaning mildew off your outdoor furniture.

Learn More About Mildew

One thing that confuses people is telling the difference between mildew and mold. Due to the overwhelming similarities, it’s understandable how someone could think mildew is mold and vice versa. They both vary in color and take on different forms. Both have a fuzzy appearance and can spread like wildfire.

However, what sets them apart is their colors. Mold is typically black or green while mildew is yellow or white. Furthermore, mildew is more prevalent on warm, wet areas while mold likes to grow underneath something or in dark, moist areas.

The Cushions

Speaking of warm and damp areas, your outdoor cushions are an excellent example of this. Especially during the summer, thunderstorms can spring up out of the blue. If you don’t cover up your cushions or take them inside, they can become the perfect breeding ground. In conjunction with becoming wet from excess water, having the sun beat down on the cushion can cause mildew to grow.

If your outdoor cushions are made of fabric, you’ll need to procure 1/2 cup of diluted bleach and about a gallon of water. Mix the two together and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the affected areas of the cushion and scrub it with a hard-bristled brush. If you have acrylic cushions, simply repeat these steps except with one cup of bleach and two cups of any detergent.

Wooden Furniture

Unfortunately, mildew can destroy wood. In fact, it can be the first place mildew appears. It's important to note that you cannot clean your outdoor wooden furniture with bleach.

Since wood is porous, using bleach can cause more damage. Instead, mix together a gallon of water, 1/4 cup of baking soda, one cup of ammonia and 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Then, use a sponge to gently scrub away the mildew. Rinse, let air dry and repeat if needed.

In some cases, the mildew may make a return on the wooden furniture. If it does, you’ll need to use pure white vinegar immediately.

Mildew can not only damage your furniture, but it can also affect your health. Make sure to inspect your furniture prior to use and if you find mildew, follow the above-mentioned tips to effectively clean mold from your outdoor furniture.