How to Dry Outdoor Cushions?

All you need to know about drying and storing them correctly

Written by Camilla Moln. Updated on How to Dry Outdoor Cushions

If you live in your own house and you have a garden, patio, or terrace, you definitely have some furniture there. A table and a few chairs or armchairs help to create a cozy atmosphere, but this atmosphere won’t be that full without the soft cushions!

However, since patio cushions are used and mostly kept outdoors, many homeowners wonder how to dry outdoor seat cushions if they get wet after being caught in the rain or getting wet somehow else. This is exactly what we are going to find out today.

In this article, you will find information about how to dry outdoor cushions fast and what drying methods are best to use for this purpose. Also, we will explain what should never be done and why.

Finally, you will learn how you could keep your patio furniture cushions in a good condition longer.

How to Dry Wet Outdoor Cushions?

Your outdoor cushions can get wet because of different reasons. It can happen because of natural factors such as rain or a sudden snowfall. Or maybe your cushions spent a foggy night outdoors on the terrace, turning out to be soaked with moisture by the morning. Also, you or some of your family members or guests might spill a glass of water over the cushions.

4 Seasons Outdoors: Can the cushions get wet?4 Seasons Outdoors: Can the cushions get wet?

No matter the reason, it is important to keep a rule of thumb in mind: get your wet patio furniture cushions dried out as quickly as possible!

If you leave them wet for too long, bacteria and mold can start growing in them, ruining the material and making your cushions useless and even dangerous for your health!

Since most patio furniture cushions are made of foam these days, in this article we will be telling you in detail how to dry cushions that are made of this specific material. And here is another tip for you:

  • Before you dry out your patio cushions, take off their fabric covers and toss those covers into your dryer to get dried separately from the cushions
  • If your cushions are already getting moldy or if they got wet because of a spill of some sort, wash them before drying them out!

To wash your outdoor cushions, you don’t have to do anything special. Simply fill your bathtub with warm water, throw the cushions in it, and add some dish soap so that you get a soapy and foamy solution. When it’s done, simply squeeze the foam cushions to get dirt or a stain out of the material and rinse the soapy suds thoroughly from the cushions after they are clean.

After you wash your cushions, you can use one of the following drying methods we describe below. Or, if your cushions are just wet, not dirty, feel free to go to the drying options directly!

How to Dry Wet Outdoor Cushions
tete_escape via VistaCreate

Use the Power Of Sun And Wind

This is one of the simplest and most effortless ways you can use to dry out your wet patio furniture cushions. All you need to do is to let them sit in the sun and get a natural breeze on them.

However, if you decide to go this way, make sure it is not humid outside! Otherwise, your cushions may never get completely dry.

This sun-and-wind method will work best of all if you either shake or wring out the moisture from the cushions before letting them dry. You can also flip the cushions over every couple of hours to speed up the drying process. If you don’t do this, moisture will not be able to evaporate properly from them, which may lead to mold growth later.

On the other hand, there is another thing you need to keep in mind: you should not let your outdoor cushions sit out in the sun for too long! If it happens, the UV rays might cause the material to start falling apart.

Also, if you choose to dry your patio cushions naturally, note that foam is the kind of material that takes a while to dry out. This is why you should not fret if you see your cushions are still not completely dry after several hours of staying in the sun.

Use the Power Of Sun And Wind
mrsiraphol via VistaCreate

Opt For a Fan

If utilizing the wind and fresh air along with the sunshine seems way too long for you to dry your outdoor cushions, you can make use of an alternative option. Set them in front of a fan (or two fans) inside your home. As an option, you can also set a couple of fans up outside, especially if it’s sunny outdoors.

We recommend you use this drying method in your bathroom since your cushions might be dripping.

Also, before setting up your fan or fans, you may want to lay the cushions on towels on your bathroom floor or even place them in your bathtub, and then put a thick towel on top of each one. This will help to absorb water more effectively without leaving puddles on your bathroom floor.

After this is all set, press down onto the towel with all of your weight to get the moisture out of the cushions.

This process can be repeated a few times for the best results if you see that your cushions are still damp after the first pressing. The more water you squeeze out of the cushions, the faster they will dry in front of a fan.

Opt For a Fan
mrsiraphol via VistaCreate

Use Your Car Hood!

Yes, you got it right! As a drying method, we recommend you put your outdoor cushions on your car’s hood to dry them! Since cars are made of metal, they attract the sun to them like a magnet. You can use this feature of your vehicle to throw your cushions on the hood of your car to help the sun dry them out faster.

Just like with the other methods we have described, it is best to wring your cushions out or press down on them several times before you put them on your car’s hood. Like that, the water will evaporate out of them more quickly.

There is only one downside that this method has: it can be used (and it is most effective) in the summer months, especially on days with a lot of sunlight. It will also work much better if you have a vehicle that is a darker color, for example black, dark gray or dark blue.

Finally, when drying outdoor cushions on your car’s hood, make sure that you put a towel underneath the cushions. Otherwise, you might accidentally damage your car’s paint or metal.

Use Your Car Hood!
Torsakarin via VistaCreate

Don’t Refuse Using Gel Packs

If you have tried one of the drying methods described above but your patio cushions still feel moist, you can always opt for using dehumidifying gel packs. Simply place each cushion in a separate bag and add gel packs. Then seal up each bag (but don’t tie them too tight!), and leave them for a while.

It is important to place the bags with your cushions in an area that is dry and warm. Also, make sure you check on them a few days later to see if they are dry. If you still notice moisture in them, check them again a few days later.

Now you know what to do to dry your outdoor cushions quickly and effectively without causing damage to the foam material. Simply follow the instructions we share with you and your softies will be safe and sound – and perfectly dry! – quite quickly!

Don’t Refuse Using Gel Packs
a41cats via VistaCreate

Things You Must Never Do to Get Outdoor Cushions to Dry Quickly

If you want to know how to dry outdoor patio furniture cushions, you should keep in mind a few things that should never be done. Avoid doing them since each of these things may lead to damage to a cushion material.

Things You Must Never Do to Get Outdoor Cushions to Dry Quickly
OceanProd via VistaCreate

Never Use a Hairdryer

You should never use a hair dryer to dry out your patio furniture cushions. At least, you should not dry them with the hot air from a dryer. If you do this, it can result in damage to your cushions as the hot air may damage the foamy material your cushions are made of.

Don’t Let Your Cushions Sit

This is obvious: if your cushions get wet, you should never let them just sit around being wet for too long! You should also never leave your outdoor cushions on the furniture and cover them up! Remember that they will not get dry eventually!

If you simply leave your wet patio cushions to dry out themselves, there is a high risk of mold and bacteria growing inside of them. And if it happens and mold occurs, then you will end up throwing them away or at best, thoroughly cleaning them before you dry them.

If there is any dirt or stains on your cushions, leaving them sit and dry is not an option either. The longer you let them sit around being filthy, the more difficult it will be to clean them later. Remember the simple rule of thumb: it is important to get your outdoor cushions dry out as soon as you notice they are wet!

Don’t Let Your Cushions Sit
mrsiraphol via VistaCreate

Avoid Using Direct Heat

As we have already mentioned in a section where we talked about the hair dryer, do not use direct heat on your foam outdoor cushions to not ruin the material! Avoid placing them directly onto a heater, for example, as it can ruin your cushions. More importantly, this can be dangerous as it can lead to a fire!

With all these tips and life hacks in mind, you will be able to avoid the most common mistakes that homeowners do when drying their outdoor cushions. As a result, your cushions will serve you longer staying the same soft and puffy!

How to Keep Outdoor Cushions Dry?

It is always easier to make sure you use and maintain your cushions correctly and thus keep them in a good state longer rather than misusing them. The better you take care of them, the longer they serve you, remaining the same soft as on the day you bought them.

These Products Will Absolutely SAVE Your Outdoor Furniture | Simply | Real SimpleThese Products Will Absolutely SAVE Your Outdoor Furniture | Simply | Real Simple

Bring Them Inside When Not In Use

When you are not using your patio furniture cushions, it will be wiser to relocate them to an area inside, for example, to your garage, shed, or house. This will keep the cushions safe from getting wet or otherwise damaged in the harsh elements.

If you do not feel like bringing your cushions inside and then taking them out again repeatedly, you can at least place your furniture or the cushions under a tree or some other form of cover to prevent them from getting wet because of the rain.

However, during the winter months, it is mandatory to store both your cushions and also your whole patio furniture indoors and away from the harsh weather!

Bring Them Inside When Not In Use
tiverylucky via VistaCreate

Treat Your Cushions With Spray

To keep your outdoor cushions in a good condition, you can also make use of a protective spray for fabrics.

This spray should be used immediately after you buy your patio furniture, but for a better effect, we recommend you use this spray every year (once a year would be enough). It will not only help you protect your cushions from water, it will also make them last much longer.

Keep Your Cushions Under a Waterproof Cover

You can utilize a waterproof cover or even some plastic to put over your outdoor furniture cushions. This cover can be used either as a leave-on method all the time or you can slip it on only when you are not using your patio furniture.

This is a very effective method for preventing your cushions from getting wet in the rain or from accidental spills. It will also keep humidity from making them uncomfortably moist, and it will help them stay in good condition for a longer period of time.

So, now you know how to dry outdoor cushions relatively quickly and effectively, and what you should never do in order to not damage the spongy material of the cushions. With these tips, you will be able to make your cushions last much longer, preserving their quality and exterior.

Keep Your Cushions Under a Waterproof Cover
gonzalocallefotografia via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How long does it take to dry outdoor cushions?

It depends on how wet your cushions are, but generally, outdoor cushion should dry within a few hours.

⭐How to wash outdoor cushions correctly?

Washing a cushion is simple. Spot clean it where necessary, remove the cushion cover and throw the cushion in the washing machine with a cold water rinse.

⭐Can I put outdoor cushions in dryer?

Cushion covers may be damaged by high heat, so towel drying is the best way to keep them safe. Tumble drying can only be used if you set the dryer to the lowest heat cycle you can.

Written by
Camilla is an experienced Consultant with more than 20 years of preparing professional articles for numerous online resources. She has done a tremendous job and has learned a lot during her career. Camilla will advise you on the latest trends and give amazing tips on how to decorate a house.
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How to Quickly Dry Your Outdoor CushionsHow to Quickly Dry Your Outdoor Cushions