How To Clean Pollen Off Your Outdoor Furniture

Porch with Fresh Flowers, Greenery, and Containers

Laurey W. Glenn

Pollen can not only wreak havoc in terms of allergies, but it can also affect your outdoor furniture, too. “Pollen season, as we call it in the South, starts when the conifer trees start blooming,” explains Stephanie Booth, a home cleaning and organization influencer based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.  “Depending on which part of the country you live, that can be as early as the end of February and runs through early June.” Many people think the yellow pollen is from flowering trees, when really it’s the conifers that release the yellow pollen that everyone sees on anything left outside, including patio furniture.

No one wants a yellow stain on their outdoor furniture. Thankfully, there are ways to remove these stains and also prevent them from happening in the first place. Below, Booth gives us a rundown on how to clean pollen off your outdoor furniture.

Stephanie Booth is a home cleaning and organization influencer based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Considerations Before Getting Started

Before you start cleaning pollen off your outdoor furniture, always consult the manufacturer’s care label. “This is to ensure you don’t use a cleaning method that could void any store or manufacturer warranty,” explains Booth. 

What You Need

According to Booth, the tools will vary depending on which cleaning method is used and how dirty the furniture is. Some common tools are:

How To Clean

Non-upholstered outdoor furniture:

  1. For non-upholstered outdoor furniture or portions of furniture that are non-upholstered, you can easily rinse away the pollen with a garden hose or wipe away with a microfiber cloth dampened with water.  
  2. If any residue remains, mix together a gallon of warm water and 1/4 cup Sal Suds or your favorite dish detergent in a bucket. 
  3. Give your furniture a quick wash down with a microfiber cloth dipped in the soapy water followed by a clean water rinse. 

Upholstered furniture: 

  1. To clean upholstered furniture, use the upholstery attachment(s) of your vacuum cleaner to suck up and remove the pollen. Typically, this is all that’s needed to remove the pollen. 
  2. If you want a deeper clean and your upholstered furniture has removable, washable cushion covers, remove the cushion covers and spot treat any stains with a laundry stain remover, then machine wash on a cool temperature setting. Some fabrics will allow for a tumble dry. 

Upholstered furniture without removable cushion covers:

  1. If your upholstered furniture does not have removable cushion covers, there’s two ways our expert recommends deep cleaning the upholstery. “The first way is my favorite and fastest method,” explains Booth. “Use a portable upholstery/carpet cleaning machine (for example, the Bissell Little Green Portable Carpet Cleaner). This will make quick work of deep cleaning your fabrics.”
  2.  If you don’t have access to a portable upholstery/carpet cleaning machine, mix together a gallon of warm water and 1/4 cup of Sal Suds (or your favorite dish detergent) in a bucket. Wash down all the upholstered and non-upholstered portions of your furniture with the soapy water and a microfiber cloth. Follow with a clean water rinse from a garden hose.

Tips For Keeping Pollen Off Your Outdoor Furniture

Just like most people protect their outdoor grills from the outdoor elements with a cover, you can do the same for your patio furniture. “There’s many online retailers that sell patio furniture covers in all sizes,” explains Booth. “Keep the covers on when your patio furniture is not in use.” Patio furniture covers actually save you a lot of time and upkeep, especially during pollen season.

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