After enjoying your summer patio furniture all season long, the time has come to put it into storage for the winter.

The way you store your furniture and other gear during the off-season makes all the difference in whether it’s fresh or moldy next spring and whether you can use it another year or need to invest in new pieces.

Proper storage is also essential to prevent infestation by spiders, rats, and other pests that want to your make summer cushions their winter home.

Wash and Dry Cushions Before Placing Them in Storage Units

While you can expect your cushions to accumulate some dust and debris while in storage, it’s still important to wash and dry them yourself before the start of the winter season.

If you own furniture with removable cushions, start the process by removing them from the base and using a broom to loosen leaves, dirt, and other debris stuck to the piece of furniture. You can then place the cushions in your wash machine and dryer if the manufacturer’s instructions allow it.

For non-removable cushions and covers, be sure to use a mild detergent and a soft cleaning brush to scrub interior fabric.

If you notice stains, you should be able to remove them with water and bleach. You will then want to use a garden hose to rinse the cushions and allow them to dry in the sun.

Choose a Storage Container for Your Outdoor Furniture

Placing your outdoor furniture and cushions in a storage container helps them to withstand the time in storage better until you’re ready to collect them again in the spring.

The most common possibilities to choose from include tarps, airtight storage containers, and fabric storage bags. Once you have encased the furniture, make sure that you rent clean and dry storage units to keep it protected all winter long.