People flock to Southwest Florida during the fall and winter—but the tropical climate that draws everyone here during Season really packs a punch during Rainy Season, which runs from mid-May through mid-October. You know you’re in Rainy Season by the thunderstorms and downpours that take place nearly every day—the “splash and dashes,” as they’re sometimes called. They’re not everywhere, everyday but don’t worry, they will find you—and they’ll find you frequently, usually when you’re running from the grocery store to your car, or driving home. I say that from experience.
Rainy Season is important for Southwest Florida, though—we get most of our rain for the year during this time. In fact, more than three feet of rain falls just between June and September, according to the South Florida Water Management District.
You can imagine what that weather does to our outdoor patio cushions! We bring them under cover during exceptionally bad storms but we don’t do that every day, so those poor cushions really take a beating with mold and mildew. It was high time they got cleaned.
I tried a couple of solutions to clean the filth and fungus off of the cushions. The one I preferred uses three simple ingredients: white vinegar, dish soap, and water. It took off between 85%-95% of the stains. Though the cushion wasn’t 100% stain free, I considered it a “win” because of the degree of the original stain (won’t let it go that long, next time…), the fact that the ingredients were items that we routinely have in our house, and that I didn’t need to use harsher chemicals.
Note: this also really lightened the mildew stain on another cushion.
Mold Remover Using Household Ingredients
For cushions with removable covers: Remove the cushions from the furniture and wipe the surface mold off using a damp cloth. Remove the covers and launder as you normally would, adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the water. Continue with the remaining steps if the cushions do not have removable covers.
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
- 3 cups warm water
- Spray bottle
- Clean damp cloth
- Pour the undiluted white vinegar into a clean spray bottle and spray it onto the stained cushion. Allow the vinegar to sit on the cushion for 10 minutes.
- Mix the warm water and dish soap. Saturate a sponge in the mixture and scrub the cushion.
- Rinse the cushions by wiping them with a clean cloth dampened with cool water. Allow to air dry.
- Spray the cushions again with white vinegar, as it will kill any remaining spores while removing any lingering odors. Allow the vinegar to air-dry on the cushions.