Patio sling swings and chairs are prized for their easy storage and maintenance, as well as the clean lines of their design. Although the fabric is lightweight, it's also durable. Even better, they can be used as-is so you don't need to mess with storing or cleaning cushions. They aren't completely maintenance-free, though. They do need some care, as the following tips show, to ensure they have a long and useful life.
Tip #1: Never store wet
Most slings are made from acrylic, nylon, or another durable synthetic outdoor fabric. They may even be treated to resist mildew and stains. This doesn't mean they are mildew-proof, though. Wet fabric is more likely to develop mildew, so always make sure the chairs are allowed to dry out completely before stacking and storing them. Sitting them outside in bright sunlight is the best way to dry them, but in overcast weather simply keep them undercover so that basic air circulation can help them dry.
Tip #2: Know how to remove mildew
Even with your best efforts, mildews and stains can occur. You can clean the covers carefully with a diluted bleach solution. One part bleach to 10 parts water is usually sufficient and won't cause damage, but you should test it on a small part of the fabric first. Then, simply scrub the stains with the solution using a soft sponge. Immediately rinse with clear water and then dry the chair completely. If there are non-mildew stains, you may be able to skip the bleach and clean the chairs with a mild detergent and warm water instead.
Tip #3: Protect against chemical damage
The chemicals present in bug spray and sun block can eat away at some synthetic fabrics. This will result in discoloration or holes in the slings. You can lay a towel over the chairs to protect them. There are also fabric slipcovers available that will protect the slings from chemical damage. Just remember to take them off regularly so they don't trap any moisture against the sling fabric.
Tip #4: Store for winter
Never leave a sling chair or swing out for winter. The snow, ice, and generally wet conditions will prematurely weather and wear out the chairs. Fortunately, the chairs stack relatively easily so you can stow them in a shed or the corner of a garage. Most swings can be disassembled for easy storage. Cover them with an old sheet or fabric dropcloth while in storage. This will keep dust and dirt off the fabric without trapping moisture.
If your slings are badly damaged, you can contact a supplier or manufacturer like Swing Cushion Covers and More to purchase replacement slings for your chairs.