How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

These quick cleaning instructions for outdoor cushions will help you rinse away dirt and stains. Below will give you steps to clean outdoor cushions by hand washing and pressure washing.

Depending on the stain, the fabric, and the tools and supplies you have available, you can clean outdoor cushions in a variety of ways. Most patio fabrics have been treated with special coatings to protect from UV rays and/or water so it’s important to first check any cleaning guidelines on the cushion tags for specific cleaning instructions and restrictions.

Please read on for more detailed information.

Preparation to Clean Outdoor Cushions

Before you start cleaning, do some prep work to ensure success:

  • In accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, look for a care tag on your cushions. If there is no care label, look up the manufacturer’s name online to see if the business has care instructions on its website.
  • To make sure a cleaner or treatment won’t harm the fabric, test it on a small patch first.
  • Identify a location in your yard where you can safely clean cushions without endangering the plants with cleaning solution runoff. (Pro tip: Lay down a tarp to keep cushions from getting dirty in damp or muddy areas.)
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

Read about:

Instructions for How to Hand Clean Outdoor Cushions

A few simple supplies are all that are needed to clean patio chair cushions.

Supplies needed:

  • Bucket or other container
  • Liquid dish detergent (dish soap)
  • Warm water
  • Borax(optional)
  • Nylon scrubbing brush
  • Garden hose

Mix the Cleaning Solution

Your cushions should be spread out on a patio or deck. They will only end up covered in mud and grass stains if you wash them in your yard.

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of dish soap and (optional) a frac14; cup of borax to your bucket or container of warm water. The Borax helps if you have mildew stains, but otherwise it’s not needed.

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

Soak the Cushions and Scrub

Use a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum with the upholstery attachment to quickly brush away any loose dirt or debris by going over the cushions.

Apply the cleaning solution liberally to the cushions after thoroughly soaking them with the hose and scrubbing them with the scrub brush.

If there are any stains, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before scrubbing in different directions to remove them. I like to scrub up and down first, then I go around the cushion in circular motions. Don’t forget to give the area around the seams extra attention – that’s where the dirt really likes to get trapped.

More cleaning solution and scrubbing may be necessary for particularly difficult stains.


Spray the cushions with a garden hose set to high pressure until the water runs clear and there is no soapy residue left.

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

Allow to Dry

To get rid of extra water, squeeze the cushions. Then, using a towel, blot the cushions to absorb as much water as you can.

Stand the cushions on their edge in direct sunlight and allow to air dry. This could take four to six hours on a hot day. On a less sunny day, approximately 12 hours.

Ensure that the cushions are completely dry before storing them or you’ll face a rapid growth of mildew.

Clean cushions were the end result!

Once again, our cushions look brand new!

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? Pressure Washing

Here is an easy step-by-step guide to clean outdoor cushions by pressure washing:

Supplies Needed

  • pressure washer
  • soap spray tip
  • hard-bristle brush
  • pressure washer cleaning solution

Add the Solution

The cushions should be spread out initially on a deck, driveway, or sidewalk. To avoid leaving mud or grass stains, avoid cleaning them on the grass. Next, add cleaning solution to the pressure washer reservoir or pour cleaning solution into the bottle using the pressure washer’s cleaning solution tube. Make certain the spray hose is securely fastened.

Attach the Hose + Check the Water

Turn the water on high and connect a garden hose to the pressure washer. Pull the spray gun trigger to ensure that water is flowing through the entire machine before turning on the pressure washer. Once water is flowing freely from the spigot to the end of the spray gun, you are ready to turn on the pressure washer.

Clean the Cushions

Spray each of the outdoor cushions thoroughly after attaching the cleaning/soap spray tip to the pressure washer hose. A pressure washer can damage fabric surfaces if it gets too close to fabric surfaces, so be careful not to spray too close to the cushion fabric. Keep in mind to wash the cushion sides as well!

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

Scrub With the Brush

Use a hard-bristle brush on tough stains to better work the cleaning agent into the cushion’s fibers. Use a brush to scrub any trouble spots after applying the solution. Allow the solution to sit for 3-5 minutes, changing out the soap spray tip to the rinse spray tip.


When your cushions are all set, use the spray tip to completely rinse the cleaning agent from each one. From one cushion edge to the other, swing the spray tip back and forth. Watch the dirt and stains wash away from the fabric right before your eyes! For the sake of protecting your cushions from damage, keep the spray tip about 1-1/2 feet away from them.

Remove the Moisture

Leaning your cushions vertically up against a sunny wall will help them to completely dry out by pressing any remaining moisture from them. Enjoy your newly cleaned cushions by replacing them on your outdoor furniture once they are dry.

Can Patio Cushions Be Machine Washed?

If your cushions have zips, you can probably remove the covers and machine wash them while leaving the inserts alone. The zips may eventually break if you choose to use this option, especially if your seat cushions are as tightly fitted as ours are.

Since our back cushions are soft and the inner cushion is simple to remove and machine wash, you should definitely do so. Of all the cleaning methods, it is the easiest! I also do this with the couch cushions in my living room!

Read about

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

How to Remove Stains on Outdoor Cushions and Pillows?

As with most stains, it’s best to treat stains on outdoor cushions as soon as they appear. Use these instructions for specific types of spots:

Grass stains: If the above Borax solution doesn’t work on grass stains, use a liquid detergent that has stain-removing enzymes, such as Tide Heavy Duty Hygienic Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent. After applying the detergent with a soft brush and rinsing with fresh water, the stain should be cleaned.

Mold or mildew: To remove as much mold or mildew as you can, use a brush. Be sure to do this outside to avoid spreading the spores to other areas of your home. Spray undiluted distilled white vinegar over the affected area and wait at least 10 minutes. Use a cloth covered in vinegar to remove tough stains. Scrub the cushions with a brush, then clean with a sponge dipped in water and a small amount of detergent. In a bright area, thoroughly rinse and let air dry.

Oil stains: Remove greasy stains from sunscreen, bug spray, and food by sprinkling cornstarch or baking soda on the fabric. Utilizing a straightedge, such as a ruler or credit card, scrape off the powder after waiting 15 minutes for the oil to be absorbed. Till the stain disappears, repeat as necessary.

Tree sap: Apply an enzyme-based stain remover to the stain, then top with powdered detergent to create a paste. Use a brush to gently scrub, then run hot water to rinse. If the discoloration remains, wash with oxygen bleach to restore the color.

Many outdoor cushions and pillows are treated with a special coating that resists water and stains. Replenish this coating or protect untreated fabrics with a protective fabric spray like Scotchgard Water and Sun Shield, ensuring the cushions are completely clean beforehand to avoid sealing in dirt or stains.

Bird excrement: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away as much of the excrement as you can. Prepare a one tablespoon cleaning solution. mild dish soap {such as Dawn}, 1 tsp 1 quart of warm water and borax. Spray it on the stain after putting it in a spray bottle. Allow the cleaning solution to penetrate the fabric while cleaning with a soft-bristle brush. Cleanly rinse the area to get rid of all soap traces, then let it air dry. If the aforementioned solution does not completely get rid of the bird droppings and other stains, fels naptha soap is a fantastic cleaning alternative.

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

How to Keep Outdoor Cushions Clean?

To extend their life and keep them clean, cover outdoor patio furniture and cushions when not in use with water-repellent covers.

If the cushion covers have zippers, the Frontgate team advises opening them after a significant downpour and setting the cushions on one end with the open zipper or seam side up. With the water drained, drying is accelerated. Let the cushion interior dry completely before using it again.

After years of use and numerous cleanings, Frontgate advises reviving your cushions with a re-treatment agent like 303 Fabric Guard. The water- and stain-repelling qualities of outdoor fabrics are restored by this spray-on solution.

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? the Best Way!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Carpet Cleaner Work on Outdoor Cushions?

Carpet cleaner is made to clean carpeting, which is made of different fibers and materials than outdoor cushions. For best results, use the above-mentioned cleaning procedures and supplies for outdoor cushions.

Can I Steam-clean Outdoor Cushions?

If there is anything about steam cleaning in your care instructions, check them. If not, steam cleaning is a good choice for outdoor cushions. If there are stains, though, you should treat them first.

Can Mildew Stains Or Mold Be Removed from Fabric?

Yes, soak the cushions in a solution of 1 part Borax to 4 parts warm water, and let them soak for about 10 minutes.

After that, thoroughly scrub the cushions with a stuff cleaning brush. The cushions should air dry after being cleaned with a hose.

Can Oil Stains Be Cleaned?

Yes, first gently dab any extra oil with a microfiber cloth.

The stain should then be covered with an absorbent powder, such as cornstarch or baking soda.

Allow the powder to sit for 10-15 minutes and then scrape it away with a straight edge. After that, clean as described at the top of the post, adding Borax as necessary.

Share Now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top