Foam cushions are useful in many types of home furnishings, and knowing how to dry them properly is imperative if they are rained on or wet for another reason. Proper maintenance of the foam cushions enables them to last longer. Drying the foam cushions in the wrong manner may damage the material, thus providing less padding in the furniture, causing it to disintegrate or wear out quicker.
Use for Foam Cushions
Foam cushions provide comfortable padding in chairs, sofas and outdoor patio furniture. Foam is also useful in floor pillows or other types of functional pillows you use to decorate your home. Decorative foam cushions are available for chairs that do not normally have padding, such as rocking chairs or dining room chairs, and they are often used to cushion cedar chests or window seats to provide extra seating in your home.
Cleaning Foam Cushions
Many foam cushions only require that you vacuum them occasionally to prevent dust and debris buildup. Spilling a beverage, a child or pet urinating on the foam cushion or other types of accidents require the consumer to wash the foam cushions. Outdoor patio furniture comes with water- and weather-resistant coverings over the foam cushions. Over time, the seams may wear in the cushions, allowing rain to saturate them.
Wash the cushions by placing them in warm -- not hot -- soapy water in a bathtub or sink. Use a mild detergent, and squeeze the soapy water throughout the foam. Rinse the cushions a few times since the dense material may hold onto the suds stubbornly. Always squeeze the rinse water out thoroughly with your hands before attempting to dry the foam. Another tip is to roll the foam cushion up in a thick towel, and then press on it with your hands to release excess moisture.
Drying on a Rack
Lay the wet foam cushion on a drying rack in a well-ventilated area to decrease the drying time. Many foam cushions are several inches thick and may require a few days of air drying to remove any moisture. Dry the cushions completely as mildew odor and mold growth may occur if they are still wet once you replace the cushion covers. Some specially-formulated types of foam cushions allow you to toss them in a cool dryer, but this is normally not the case. Read the care label directions carefully to determine if this is acceptable with the brand you own.
Take the wet foam cushions outside, and hang them on a clothesline. All sides must be exposed to the air to allow them to dry thoroughly. Use large clothespins for the best result since many cushions are quite thick. Clip the cushions onto the line at the corners and every few inches if they are quite large or heavy to prevent them from losing their shape while air drying, thus making putting them back inside the cushion covers difficult. You'll need to move the clothespins after six or seven hours to allow the compressed material time to dry.
Flat Surface Drying
If you do not have a clothesline or a drying rack, place the cushions on a flat surface outdoors or in another well-ventilated area. Flip them over after several hours to help them dry evenly and completely. You'll want to do this five or six times over a few days to ensure the cushions are completely free of moisture.