Can You Wash Outdoor Furniture Covers In Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Outdoor Furniture Covers In Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash some outdoor furniture covers in the washing machine, but it depends on the material of the cover. Polyester, vinyl, and nylon covers can generally be machine-washed at low temperatures.

Outdoor furniture covers are essential for protecting your valuable patio furniture from the elements, but over time, they can accumulate dirt and stains. This begs the question: Can you wash outdoor furniture covers in the washing machine for a convenient and effective cleaning? The answer is both yes and no, and it hinges on the type of cover material.

In this article, we’ll explore the factors to consider, dos and don’ts, and alternative cleaning methods to ensure your outdoor furniture covers stay clean and functional.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Outdoor Furniture Covers In Washing Machine


  • Check the Material: Begin by identifying the material of your outdoor furniture cover. Covers made of polyester, vinyl, and nylon are generally suitable for machine washing at low temperatures.
  • Read Care Instructions: Always read and adhere to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Following these guidelines is crucial to prevent damage.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: When machine washing is suitable, opt for a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. This ensures a delicate wash that won’t harm the fabric.
  • Air Dry: After washing, refrain from using a dryer, even on low heat. Instead, air dry the covers to maintain their integrity and protect the UV coating that prevents fading.
  • Fold or Store Properly: Once the covers are clean and dry, fold or store them appropriately to prevent creases and damage when not in use.


  • Avoid Hot Water: Never use hot water for washing outdoor furniture covers, as it can cause shrinkage and damage to the fabric.
  • No Fabric Softener or Bleach: Refrain from using fabric softener or bleach, as these can harm the cover material and its protective properties.
  • Don’t Overload the Machine: Avoid overloading the washing machine, as this can lead to incomplete cleaning and potential damage to the machine.
  • Skip the Dryer: Resist the urge to use a dryer for outdoor furniture covers, even on a low setting. High heat can damage the fabric and potentially melt the UV protectant.

Steps to Wash Outdoor Furniture Covers in the Washing Machine:

Follow these steps when washing outdoor furniture covers in the washing machine:

Step 1

Identify Material and Care Instructions: Confirm that the cover material is suitable for machine washing, and consult the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Step 2

Remove Loose Debris: Shake or brush off any loose dirt or debris from the covers before placing them in the washing machine.

Step 3

Load the Covers: Carefully place the covers in the washing machine, making sure not to overload it. Use a mild detergent as recommended by the care label.

Step 4

Select a Gentle Cycle: Opt for a gentle cycle with cold water on your washing machine settings. Avoid hot water to prevent fabric damage.

Step 5

Start the Machine: Commence the washing cycle and allow it to run through its course.

Step 6

Air Dry: After the washing cycle is complete, remove the covers and hang them up to air dry. Avoid using a dryer to maintain the fabric’s integrity and the UV protectant.

Alternative Washing Methods for Outdoor Furniture Covers:

If your outdoor furniture covers are not suitable for machine washing or if you prefer alternative cleaning methods, consider the following:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin or large sink with cold water and a mild detergent. Gently hand wash the covers, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.
  • Pressure Washing: For vinyl or waterproof covers, a pressure washer can effectively remove dirt and debris. Use a low-pressure setting to avoid damage.
  • Professional Cleaning: If you have concerns about cleaning methods or delicate materials, consider professional cleaning services. They have the expertise and equipment to handle various cover types.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or spills, spot clean with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Blot the stain rather than rubbing to prevent it from spreading.


Can I wash outdoor furniture covers made of polypropylene in the washing machine?

Answer: Polypropylene covers are generally better suited for hand washing to avoid potential damage. Check the care label for specific instructions.

Is it safe to wash covers for outdoor furniture cushions in the washing machine?

Answer: Covers for outdoor furniture cushions should be treated similarly to outdoor furniture covers. Check the material and care instructions before washing.

Can I use hot water to wash outdoor furniture covers if they are heavily soiled?

Answer: Hot water is not recommended, even for heavily soiled covers, as it can cause fabric damage and shrinkage. Stick to cold water as recommended.

How often should I clean my outdoor furniture covers?

Answer: The frequency of cleaning depends on usage and exposure to the elements. As a general guideline, clean the covers at the beginning and end of the outdoor season or as needed.

Can I use a fabric softener or bleach to clean outdoor furniture covers?

Answer: It is not advisable to use fabric softener or bleach, as these can damage the cover material and its protective properties.

Final Words:

Maintaining the cleanliness of your outdoor furniture covers is essential for prolonging their life and ensuring they continue to protect your valuable patio furniture. While machine washing is an option for some materials, always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions and consider alternative cleaning methods when necessary.

By adhering to the dos and don’ts outlined here, you can keep your outdoor furniture covers in top condition, shielding your outdoor oasis from the elements for many seasons to come.

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