How to Remove Mildew From Outdoor Cushions

Now that the warm weather is officially here, it's time to use those outdoor living spaces we've looked at longingly all winter. Last weekend I decided to reclaim my beautiful deck from Mother Nature. She was not kind to me; one look at my chair cushions made me regret not putting them away for the winter. So if you are like me, you'll appreciate this information on how to save your cushions instead of replacing them. It's a messy job so put on some good music and shorts and prepare to get wet!

Your outdoor cushions face harsh weather elements, which make them ideal breeding grounds for mildew. Mildew is unsightly, and if not cleaned from your cushions, may spread further. As soon as the cushions get wet, they are susceptible to mildew growth. If you find mildew on your patio cushions, don't head to the trash to get rid of them. With the right products, you can clean the mildew off and salvage your cushions.

Things You'll Need:
* Stiff scrub brush
* Bucket
* 1 tbsp. borax powder
* 2 tsp. tea tree oil
* Clean, empty spray bottle

1. Brush loose mildew, dirt and other debris from the cushions with a stiff scrub brush. Do this outdoors to prevent the release of mold spores inside.
2. Fill a bucket with 1 qt. of warm water. Add 1 tbsp. of borax powder.
3. Dip a scrub brush into the mixture and scrub the patio cushions. Continue scrubbing, rinsing out the brush often, until the mildew is gone.

NOTE: For steps 2 and 3, if you have a lot of cushions to wash, you can use a large, clean trash can or a waterproof deck box to get the job finished faster.

4. Rinse the cushions with clean water. Let them air dry completely.

TIP: If the mildew is still there after going through the above steps, try the following. Mix 2 cups of warm water and 2 tsp. of tea tree oil into a clean, empty spray bottle. Spray the mixture liberally onto the mildew spots. Let the cushions sit for two to three days without rinsing. The mildew, and the smell of the tea tree oil, will be gone.

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