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How to clean patio cushions

Clean patio cushions are a must to keep your outdoor furniture looking new.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps to clean your patio cushions without damaging them. The process is easy and will leave your furniture looking great!

Cleaning your outdoor furniture is usually a priority during the spring when you are expecting rain.

Well, if that furniture sat outside all winter long it will hold more moisture and increases its potential to mildew.

6-Step Cleaning Guide for Patio Cushions

Fortunately, many patio cushions come with removable slipcovers that can be machine-washed on the gentle cycle.

(I’ll be thanking myself for purchasing zippered ones!) But even if you don’t have any covers at all, use these easy steps to get your outdoor cushions spotless and ready for this summer’s festivities.


  • Fabric Spray
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Sponge
  • Garden Hose
  • Bucket
  • Borax
  • Scrubbing Brush
  • Toweling

1. Remove cases from patio cushions

Round up outdoor pillows and unzip the cases if they have zippers. If not, pour a bucket of water over them to help remove dirt before throwing them in the washer following general washing instructions on the labels.

2. Vacuum your patio cushions

Turn your attention first to the loose dirt and dust on the cushions. Use upholstery attachments on your vacuum to clean this dirt.

If you have tufted cushions, carefully vacuum them over crevices, seams, and buttons.

3. Soak patio cushions in dishwashing liquid and hand wash

In order to care for your patio cushions, mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water.

If the chairs have mildew on them, add ¼ cup of borax to the solution as well.

Soak the soapy solution into any dirty spots and allow them to soak for 15 minutes before scrubbing off dirt with a brush.

4. Rinse

Hose off the patio cushions. Use a lower pressure setting for your garden hose to avoid damage to furniture fabric.

5. Dry patio cushions and leave to air dry

In order to fully dry your patio cushions, use a towel to soak up the moisture and then stand the cushion on its end so that it is in an upright position while drying completely.

Once you have ensured that no more wetness or other liquids are coming out of the cushion leave it to dry. Use a blow dryer if necessary.

6. Get patio cushion protective spray

Make sure to protect your cushions with a fabric protector such as Scotchgard Water & Sun Shield (available on Amazon) before the summer heat does more damage, and don’t forget to use a clean cloth or broom once in a while to brush off unwanted dirt.

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How do you clean outdoor cushions without removable covers?

For cushions with covers that cannot be removed, spray the surface with a solution of ¼ cup clear liquid detergent mixed in a gallon of lukewarm water.

Using the sponge, work over the fabric to create bubbles on the surface and then rinse thoroughly under high-pressure water to remove any leftover soap and dry outside to prevent mildew growth.

How do you clean outdoor tub cushions?

Put a solution of ¼ cup liquid detergent per gallon of warm water in a clean sink or bath, then lay the cushions face down on a surface that will drain.

Soak for thirty minutes, or until they are completely wet. Gently scrub to remove any stains.

Can you machine wash patio cushions?

Yes, you can wash patio cushions in the washing machine, As long as the cushion fits in your washer and allows room to agitate and spin out, there is no problem with washing a patio chair cushion in a washing machine.

You may not want to use bleach because of the risk of color bleeding from the fabric into other clothes or linens; however, you can add white vinegar for extra cleaning and kill mold and mildew.

How do you clean outdoor cushions with vinegar?

Add 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar to the water, which will help kill any mold or mildew.

Spritz each cushion with the garden hose and rinse them well. If they are still damp after a few hours, allow them to dry for another day before using furniture coverings again.

How do you clean patio cushions with baking soda?

Step 1. Sprinkle baking soda all over the stain and scrub it into the cushion with a brush or rag.
Step 2. Rinse the cushion with water, then rinse in the sun to dry for best results.

Can patio cushions get wet?

Patio cushions are designed to be durable and withstand the elements. They can get wet, but do not let them stay that way for too long as it will cause mold or mildew to develop on the fabric.

After a rainstorm, remove your patio cushions completely from where they were sitting and dry them off with towels before putting them back in their original location or storing them in a covered area until you plan on using them again.

This process should help deter any mold growth!

How often should I clean my patio furniture?

The frequency of how often you need to clean your outdoor furniture depends largely on what type of material is used – most are either made from canvas (which needs more frequent cleaning) or plastic (which doesn’t need to be cleaned as often).

As a rule of thumb, you should clean your patio furniture at least once a year or when it starts looking dirty and needs some TLC.

How do I know if my canvas patio cushions are wet?

If the fabric on your cushion looks damp from rainwater or dew then they have probably become soaked in moisture.

Remove them off their original location ASAP after getting wet, wipe them down with a towel, and store them inside until they can dry out completely before putting them back outside again.


Keeping your outdoor space prepared and ready can be a lot of hard work, but it’s well worth the effort. Once you’ve finished all that prep work, you can spend some time relaxing with friends and family or have a summertime BBQ while waiting for the fireflies to come out.


We own and operate multiple Outdoor and Gardening sites. Its our passion to show our readers all the amazing things they can do to their patios and backyard. There is no bigger pleasure for us then to share with you our readers our experience in Gardening , Landscaping and Decorating. Protection Status
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