We love living in the outdoors, especially in the summer, so we spend a lot of time selecting the ideal patio furniture and the perfect outdoor fabrics. You want your cushions, awnings, and umbrellas to look good season after season — while withstanding the elements and a lot of use and abuse.

The infographic, Caring for Outdoor Fabrics, offers cleaning tips for the most common outdoor fabrics. While there are some general guidelines for caring for outdoor fabrics, cleaning recommendations differ for solution-dyed, printed and vinyl-coated fabrics. That’s why we created the accompanying handy, one-page document.

Not sure what type of fabric you have? Check for tags on your cushions or other items. If you purchased fabric by the yard, look for your receipt or call the vendor for assistance.

How often should you clean outdoor fabrics? Some people clean their outdoor fabrics at the end of the season; in general, this is fine. However, you should not wait until the end of summer to clean stains. Stains caused by grass, tree sap, sunscreen and bird droppings should be removed or treated promptly.

How should you wash outdoor fabrics? You may use a washing machine for smaller items or fabric covers that zip off the cushions. For larger items, apply your water/soap solution directly to the furniture, scrub with a soft brush from top to bottom, and rinse each section as you go. When finished, rinse the entire piece. Never tumble dry outdoor fabrics; simply allow to air dry.

Don’t neglect your outdoor fabrics — a little TLC will help ensure that your lovely, comfortable patio furniture lasts for years!

The Care and Cleaning of Common Outdoor Fabrics

Guide created by Fabric Guru, an online retailer where you can buy upholstery fabric online.

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