Patio Cushions – Easy To Dry, Easy To Love

Ahhh, the springtime joy of plopping down on a cold, wet patio cushion…is a feeling I can do without. But, what makes the best, quickest drying cushion?

Patio cushions are not all made to dry quickly, nor do they need to be. If you have a wicker bench on a deep porch, chances are it will see little rain. But, if your furniture sits out in the sun, it also sits in the rain. Therefore, you need a quick-drying seat.

Patio cushions come in natural and synthetic fabrics. Most are treated with a water-resistant coating kind of like an industrial strength Scotch-guard®. In most cases, this means the water tends to roll right off of well-treated fabric, especially if it is at a slight angle.

Regardless of how well the water rolls off of it, some fabrics are more prone to mildew. Mildew can form on cushions from repeatedly dewy nights and mornings. So, if you live in a humid climate, you should consider a synthetic fabric over natural fabric. Natural fabric is more prone to mildew. Another reason many recommend synthetic over natural fabric is for fade-resistance. Many synthetic fabrics are formed with the color in the strands before they are spun out and are still in liquid form. This allows for almost 100% color saturation. Most quality synthetic fabric has a three-to-five year color-fade guarantee.

The filling of your cushions also make a difference in how quickly it dries. Foam takes forever, some fillings take slightly less time than that, and some seem to dry as soon as you want to sit in them. Many companies just list their filling as 100% polyester or 100% acrylic. Compressed polyfill is said to dry quicker than loose fill. If in doubt, unzip the zipper and check the filling out. Compressed polyfill should look dense and fibrous, similar to what fiberglass insulation looks like.

Cleaning your patio cushions should consist of a good hosing off two or three times a season, unless you encounter a stain. If you do, refer closely to the manufacturer’s cleaning directions. Any cleaning agents will lessen your cushions’ water resistance. The manufacturer’s directions should also explain how to restore the water resistance after cleaning.

To keep your patio cushions in their best shape, here are a few words of advice.

Clean them by spraying them off well with the garden hose and letting them dry completely at least twice a year.

Clean them when you bring them out of storage and before you put them into storage.

Store them in a breathable container that still protects them from dust. Some of the companies that make custom and replacement cushions might make a custom storage bag for you. Ask if they will consider it before you place your order and use it as a negotiating point if possible.

Finally, to dry your cushions as quick as possible make sure they are getting airflow on all sides. If they are on a wicker or open-metal design seat, they will get air on all sides. If your patio cushions are on a wooden seat, I would suggest tilting them on edge, or hanging them up by their ties. If you are really desperate for a dry seat, use a hair dryer on low or medium heat with high fan speed. Move it steadily over the seat, side to side, from top to bottom.