4 Easy Steps on How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

If you want to make your outdoor furniture look both fashionable and inviting, cushions and pillows are the perfect addition.

Yet due to their constant exposure to nature’s elements, they can easily become dirty with debris, mildew spores, tree sap, or bird droppings.

To keep these plush accents looking spotless while maintaining a comfy atmosphere around them one must know how to clean outdoor cushions and pillows.

To keep your patio furniture and cushions looking their best, it’s important to give them a deep clean before storing them away for the season – or even more often if they become stained.

Additionally, you can also benefit from giving outdoor cushions and pillows an initial cleaning every year before using them again.

What You’ll Need


  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Clean Towel
  • Garden Hose


  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • Dish detergent
  • Borax
  • Bucket of water

Steps on How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

For those outdoor patio cushions that have removable covers, simply throw them in the washing machine and let them air-dry before replacing them.

If you can’t remove your furniture cushion’s cover, use a basic cleaning solution along with a hose on a solid outdoor surface instead.

That way, you can avoid forming any new mud or grass stains on the pillows! Remember to always follow manufacturer instructions for both types of cleaners when caring for your cushions.

To ensure that stains such as mildew don’t have time to set in on fabrics, follow these easy steps for how to properly wash outdoor cushioning:

1) Use a Vacuum To Free-up Debris In The Outdoor Fabrics

how to clean outdoor cushions

Revamp your patio furniture cushions’ appearance with the upholstery attachment and vacuum over its surface for the thorough elimination of dirt, dust, and debris.

Focus on any seams or crevices that may conceal grime – be delicate when cleaning around buttons or other decorative features.

Additionally, you can employ a soft-bristle brush to delicately remove any dense grime particles, and loose dirt.

2) Scrub It With a Cleaning Solution

Stir up a bucket of 1 tablespoon dish detergent mixed with ¼ cup Borax and use the cleaning mixture to brush away dirt from any surface.

Pay special attention to stained spots and let the solution sit for no less than five minutes so it can do its job thoroughly.

3) Rinse Cushions Using Garden Hose

To remove the cleaning solution from your cushion fabric, utilize a garden hose with medium-high pressure.

Make sure to scrub until all of it is gone – however, be careful not to use a power washer as this could ruin the fabric.

4) Hang to Air-dry

Gently extract any lingering liquid with your hands, then press a dry towel onto your outdoor cushion covers to absorb as much wetness as you can.

Elevate the cushions upstanding and let them naturally dry out entirely. For an expedited drying process, lay them in a spot that is exposed to sunlight.

Stain-Specific Cleaning

Grass Stains

If the Borax mixture does not effectively remove grass stains, try using a laundry detergent with stain-fighting enzymes, such as Tide Heavy Duty Hygienic Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent.

Massage the product into the fabric with a soft brush and rinse thoroughly to eliminate all traces of dirt and soap residue. With this powerful solution in your arsenal, you’ll be able to tackle any mess on your outdoor furniture cushions.

Mildew Stains

To start, grab a brush and carefully remove as much mold and mildew from the surface outside of your home to avoid spreading it around.

Pour an undiluted amount of distilled white vinegar over the stain for at least 10 minutes and let it soak in if needed.

Scrub off any lingering stains with a scrubbing brush then dab away excess dirt using a dampened sponge mixed with water and some detergent.

Finally, rinse thoroughly before leaving them aside to dry completely under the sunshine!

Oil Stains

Eradicate those pesky, slick stains left behind by sunscreen, bug spray, and food with a mixture of cornstarch or baking soda.

Leave the powder to absorb the oil for 15 minutes before using a ruler or credit card – straightedge-style – to scrape off the residue.

Keep repeating until there’s no sign of that greasy stain!

Tree Sap

For a discoloration that won’t budge, start by applying an enzyme-based stain remover and topping it off with a sprinkle of powdered detergent to make a paste.

Gently scrub the area using a brush before rinsing with hot water. If the problem persists, you’ll want to reach for oxygen bleach to revive its original hue!

Final Word

Cleaning outdoor cushions can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques you can make sure that your patio furniture is looking its best.

With these simple steps for how to clean outdoor cushioning, from vacuuming debris off of fabrics to scrubbing away dirt using cleaning solutions, along with stain-specific treatments like enzyme-based removers or oxygen bleach depending on what type of mess needs tending to – you’ll have your cushions back in tip-top shape in no time!

Now go out there and enjoy some sun while lounging on freshly revitalized seating!

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