How to clean patio cushions

How to clean outdoor patio cushions.
How to clean outdoor patio cushions.

Outdoor patio cushions are the perfect addition to your outdoor seating, as they provide comfort and style to your outdoor space. However, these cushions are exposed to various elements such as sunlight, rain, dust, and dirt, which can lead to a need for regular cleaning. In this guide, we’ll explore different methods and tips to effectively clean your outdoor patio cushions, ensuring they remain fresh and inviting.

Topics Covered

  • Preparing for cleaning
  • How to hand wash patio cushions
  • How to machine wash patio cushions
  • How to wash patio cushions with mold/mildew
  • Professional cleaning
  • How to keep patio cushions clean
  • Conclusion

Preparing for cleaning

Check manufacturer’s instructions: Before you begin, refer to the care label or manufacturer’s instructions that came with your cushions. These guidelines will provide specific information on washing and maintenance.

Remove the cushions: Take the cushions off your outdoor furniture and place them on a clean, flat surface. This will help make the cleaning process easier and more thorough.

How to hand wash patio cushions

Hand washing is a method suitable for most outdoor patio cushions. Here’s how to do it:

1. Vacuum: Begin by using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from the cushions.

2. Spot clean: For minor stains, use a mixture of mild detergent and water. Gently scrub the stained areas with a soft brush or cloth. When done, rinse the spot thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

3. Full wash: Fill a bucket with warm water and add mild detergent. Submerge the cushion cover in the soapy water and use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the entire surface. Pay extra attention to areas with stains or discoloration.

4. Rinse: Use a hose or clean water to thoroughly rinse the cushions. It’s important to remove all detergent and soap residue.

5. Dry: Allow the cushions to air dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably in sunlight to help prevent mildew. Ensure both sides of the cushions are completely dry before reassembling them on your furniture.

How to machine wash patio cushions

How to machine wash patio cushions.
How to machine wash patio cushions.

Some outdoor patio cushion covers are machine washable. However, always check the care label for guidance before proceeding.

1. Remove covers: If your cushion covers are removable, unzip or unfasten them and remove the foam inserts.

2. Pre-treat the stains: Before placing cushion covers in the washing machine, pre-treat any stains using a mild detergent or stain remover. Follow the product’s instructions.

3. Machine wash: Place the cushion covers in the washing machine and wash them using a gentle cycle and cold water. Use a mild detergent specifically designed for outdoor fabrics.

4. Do not overload: Wash only a few covers at a time to prevent overloading the machine, otherwise it could lead to inadequate cleaning or damage.

5. Dry: Hang the cushion covers to air dry in the sunlight or use a dryer with a low-heat setting. Avoid high heat, as it can cause the fabric to shrink.

How to wash patio cushions with mold/mildew

Dealing with mold or mildew on your patio cushions requires special attention to ensure effective cleaning while also preventing the spread of spores. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash patio cushions with mold or mildew with the help of vinegar and baking soda:

1. Brush off the debris: Use a soft brush to gently remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the cushions. This step is important as it helps prevent scratches on the fabric during cleaning.

2. Vinegar solution: Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bucket.

3. Scrub: Dip a soft brush in the vinegar solution and gently scrub the moldy or mildew-infested areas of the cushion. Be cautious not to oversaturate the fabric.

4. Baking soda: For stubborn mold or mildew stains, make a paste using baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes before scrubbing with a soft brush.

5. Rinse: Use water to thoroughly rinse the cushions.

6. Sun dry: After rinsing, place the patio cushions in direct sunlight to air dry. The sunlight will help kill any remaining mold spores and prevent the growth of new ones.

Professional cleaning

For heavily soiled or delicate cushions, consider seeking professional cleaning services. They have the expertise and equipment to clean your cushions effectively without causing damage.

EC3 Sanitizer Fogger and Mold Solution Concentrate Bundle

The EC3 SANITIZER Fogger is a specialized sprayer that utilizes ultra-low volume technology to apply antibacterial, deodorizing, and antifungal solutions in indoor spaces.

How to keep patio cushions clean

How to keep patio cushions clean.
How to keep patio cushions clean.

Keeping your patio cushions clean requires regular maintenance and a few simple steps to prevent dirt, stains, and mold from accumulating. Here’s how to keep your patio cushions looking fresh and inviting:

Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dirt and dust from the cushions. Vacuuming is particularly effective for textured fabrics.

Spot cleaning: Address stains as soon as they occur. Use a mixture of mild detergent and water to gently scrub the stained area with a soft cloth or brush.

Use furniture covers: Consider using weather-resistant furniture covers when your patio furniture is not in use. These type of covers provide protection against the elements and reduce the need for frequent cleaning.

Store cushions properly: If possible, store your cushions in a dry, cool place when they’re not in use. This helps prevent exposure to moisture and humidity, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Avoid food and drinks: To prevent stains, avoid consuming food and drinks directly on the cushions. Use trays or placemats to create a barrier between the cushions and potential spills.

Promptly dry cushions: If your cushions get wet due to rain or spills, promptly remove them from the furniture and stand them on their edges to allow proper air circulation. This prevents moisture from getting trapped inside the cushion.

Regular sun exposure: UV rays from the sun naturally deter mold and mildew growth. On dry, sunny days, place your cushions in direct sunlight for a few hours to help keep them fresh and dry.

Apply a fabric protector: Consider applying a fabric protector spray designed for outdoor fabrics. These products create a barrier that repels liquids and helps prevent stains from setting in.

Preventative measures: Address the underlying causes of dirt and stains. Trim overhanging plants to reduce falling debris, and keep an eye out for birds or pets that might be using your cushions as resting spots.


By following these cleaning methods and tips, you can ensure that your outdoor patio cushions remain inviting and comfortable for your outdoor relaxation and gatherings. Regular cleaning not only enhances the aesthetics of your outdoor space but also prolongs the lifespan of your cushions.

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