How to Clean Patio Cushions | DIY Outdoor Cushion Cleaning Ideas

Knowing the different ways to clean patio cushions will save you time and stress. This is because you can choose the most suitable way to clean your cushions from the available options.

After a long time of using your outdoor area, there are chances that your alluring and charming throw pillows and cushions will get dirty.

For this reason, cleaning your cushion to retain its appealing and charming look will be your ultimate goal. This is because a dirty cushion irritates the eye and causes discomfort to the skin and outdoor area.

How to clean patio cushions

Cleaning your patio cushions should be done about two or three times a year unless you encounter a stain. If you do, refer closely to the manufacturer’s cleaning directions.

How to keep your patio cushion clean

There are different ways to clean your patio cushions to keep them in good shape. The truth is even after preventing it from weather elements by taking it in and out, consistent use of the chair and its cushion will get it dirty.

To clean your outdoor cushion, here are some of the things you need for the cleaning.

  • Brush or towel
  • Pressure washer
  • Soap
  • Water

Cleaning Using a Brush or Towel

This is the safest method of cleaning the outdoor cushion. But this takes time as all the surface needs to be scrubbed with a brush or towel.

When washing with this material, water-resistant elements are usually intact and may only need a few maintenances when it dries up.

Cleaning a patio cushion with a towel and brush allows for cleaning the visible stains on the pillow. Here is a video illustrating cleaning patio cushions using a brush and towel.

If the cushion fabric is removable, you can use a washing machine or wash it with your hands.

Outdoor cushions can get dirty quickly if they are left out after use and who wants to do that every time.

These steps will help you clean your cushions to get them looking brand new and keep your outdoor cushions off the mud or grass.

To clean your cushion, lay it down on a hard surface such as the drive
  • Spray it with water
  • Then mix about a cup of borax with a few squirts of dish soap in a bucket of water. In this case, I recommend using an outdoor cleaner.
  • The next step is to use the stiff bristle brush and apply a cleaning solution.
  • Scrub the entire area of the cushions creating a generous lather for heavy stains
  • Rinse with water
  • Place under direct sunlight to dry fast

Cleaning using a Pressure washer

A pressure washer is the fastest way of cleaning a cushion. However, one needs to be very careful how it is used to prevent it from damaging the cushion.

A pressure washer can weaken or tear the cushion fabric when pointed in a specific location for long. Also, here is a video illustration of that.

Here are a few words of advice to keep your patio cushions in their best shape.
Clean them by spraying them off well with the garden hose and letting them dry completely at least twice a year.

Clean them when you bring them out of storage and before you put them into storage.
Store them in a breathable container that still protects them from dust.

Some companies that make custom and replacement cushions might make a custom storage bag for you.

Ask if they will consider it before you place your order and use it as a negotiating point if possible.

Finally, to dry your cushions as quickly as possible, make sure they are getting airflow on all sides. If they are on wicker or open-metal design seat, they will get air on all sides.

Also, if your patio cushions are on a wooden seat, I suggest tilting them on the edge or hanging them up by their ties.

If you are desperate for a dry pillow or cushion, use a hairdryer on low or medium heat with high fan speed. Move it steadily over the seat, side to side, from top to bottom.

How to clean patio cushions with mildew

Mildew is one of the most common outdoor problems. You’ll need to eliminate the mildew to keep your patio cushions looking beautiful. Here are a few tips for cleaning your patio cushions:

  • Start by removing all dirt from the surface of the cushion. You can use a broom or vacuum cleaner, but be careful not to damage any seams or corners that could harbor mold growth.
  • Next, soak some towels in a solution of 1 cup bleach and 3 cups water. Put on rubber gloves and scrub each cushion thoroughly with this solution. Be sure to wear goggles and an apron if you’re using bleach because it can burn your skin if it comes into contact with it.
  • After scrubbing each cushion, let them sit overnight so they can dry out completely before using them again!

Alternatively, you can remove mildew stains from outdoor cushions without bleach with the highlighted steps below.

  1. Start by removing any dirt or debris on the surface of your cushions. Use a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth to remove loose dirt and dust gently.
  2. Next, you’ll want to apply a mild detergent solution to help loosen grime and soil. Mix a batch of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, shake it vigorously, and then spray onto the surface of your patio cushions where mildew has formed. You may need to do this two or three times before you get an effective clean; if not, try using more vinegar or another cleaning agent until you do!
  3. After cleaning is complete, dry your cushions thoroughly before placing them back outside where they belong!

How to clean outdoor cushions vinegar

Cleaning outdoor cushions with vinegar is a great way to keep them looking in tip-top shape.

The acidity of the vinegar will help to break down organic compounds and dirt that may be on your cushions. The vinegar’s acidity can also help remove stains or discoloration from the fabric.

You can use any vinegar you want; remember that pine, lemon, and balsamic vinegar all work well for this task. You can also try apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any other kind on hand.

It is also safe, environmentally friendly, and easy to use. You can use the cleaning method on any outdoor cushion—even if it’s made from fabric or has a zipper.

You’re going to need:

  • A bucket or spray bottle
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Sponge or cloth (optional)
  1. Mix two parts of water and one part vinegar in a spray bottle or bucket, then spritz it on your cushion. Let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes. It will work better if you let it sit overnight, but if you don’t have that time, don’t worry; 10 to 30 minutes will do the trick.
  2. Repeat this process until no more dirt comes off or until only a small amount is left behind after soaking in the vinegar solution for about 10 minutes each time. You may need more than one soak depending on how badly stained your cushion cover is or how old it is (older covers will require more frequent cleaning).
  3. Next, gently scrub your cushion with warm water and a gentle cleanser like baby shampoo or dish soap. Use a sponge if your cushion is particularly dirty or if you have pets who might be allergic to detergents like dish soap or bleach.
  4. Rinse with warm water and let it air dry.

Cleaning outdoor cushions with Oxiclean

The best way to clean your outdoor cushions is with Oxiclean. Oxiclean is a great product that can get your cushions cleaner than they’ve ever been before! It’s safe for all materials, including vinyl, cloth, and vinyl-like materials.

It’s also safe to use on your furniture and other surfaces in your home. You can also use it on other things, like concrete and brick, and it won’t damage them as other cleaners might.

Here’s how to clean your cushions with Oxiclean:

  1. Remove the cushions from their frames and place them outside.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of Oxiclean into a spray bottle and shake well (or mix it in a bucket if you want). Or Fill a bucket with warm water and add two tablespoons of Oxiclean detergent.
  3. Spray the solution onto the cushion until it’s evenly moistened but not soaking wet. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then wring out excess water with a towel or paper towels until the cloth dries completely. Repeat this process as needed until there are no more visible stains or dirt on your cushion surface.
  4. Once dry and cool to touch, vacuum away any remaining dirt or debris from your cushions using a vacuum cleaner designed specifically for cleaning upholstery fabrics such as carpets or rugs (these vacuums have a brush attachment).

Cleaning outdoor cushions in a washing machine

Cleaning outdoor cushions in a washing machine is not as difficult as you think. It’s just a matter of following the proper step-by-step instructions:

  1. Remove all loose pieces from the cushion and lay them flat on the washing machine’s top rack.
  2. Put the cushion cover inside the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. Make sure to use only low heat settings and wash for at least 30 minutes, or until the water comes out clean.
  3. Once the water has drained out of your washing machine, put your cushions back into their original place and allow them to dry completely before storing them away.

However, not every outdoor cushion can be cleaned in a washing machine. The cushions are usually made of materials specifically designed for outdoor use, such as organic cotton, and need to be cleaned with special care.

Here are some things you should know before trying to clean your cushions in a washing machine:

  • Do not put your cushions in the dryer at the same time! The heat from the dryer will melt the stuffing inside your cushion and make it more likely to split open. This can cause severe damage to your cushion, so only put them in the dryer when they’re completely dry.
  • Make sure you have a HE machine (high-efficiency washer) that is set on “delicate” or “gentle” cycle settings if you plan to use hot water on your cushions. Hot water may melt some materials used in making these types of cushions and cause irreparable damage if it gets into their insides.
  • Don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets when washing any material containing fibers like wool or silk; these products can cause damage if left on too long during drying.

If you’re looking to deep clean outdoor cushions, it’s important to ensure that you have the right tools for the job.

Deep-cleaning outdoor cushions are a great way to make your deck or porch look brand new. You’ll need the right cleaning solution, a brush made for deep cleaning, and some towels to do it right.

You’ll need a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment (or similar tool), a hose and nozzle, a pillow case or old towel, and some cleaning solution to deep clean your cushions.

You can use this process on any fabric or material: outdoor pillows, outdoor loungers, outdoor chairs, and even outdoor furniture! The best part is that this will keep your cushions looking new for years to come.

How to Deep Clean Outdoor Cushions:

First, ensure you have a good brush designed for deep cleaning—you don’t want to damage your cushions by scrubbing too hard! Next, mix up some cleaning solution in a bucket. You’ll want to use one part water and one part mild soap. Your cleaning solution can have any scent you like—make sure it doesn’t contain bleach or ammonia!

Next up? Toss some towels in the sink and start soaking your cushions! Don’t forget about the backs of your cushions; they often get dirty under there too! Once everything has been soaked for about 10 minutes, grab the brush and start scrubbing away! Make sure to wash all sides of each cushion, so they come up nice and clean!

Buying an outdoor cushion

There are different consideration that needs to be put in place when buying outdoor cushions to ensure you get the right one.

Patio cushions are made of different materials for a better feel and comfort. However, some of these materials may be suitable for a specific condition around your outdoor area, making you purchase a bad one.

Patio cushions come in natural and synthetic fabrics. Most are treated with a water-resistant coating or weather-proof, like an industrial strength.

The water tends to roll off the well-treated fabric in most cases, especially at a slight angle.

Regardless of how well the water rolls off, some fabrics are more prone to mildew. Mildew can form on cushions from repeatedly dewing over the night.

So, if you live in a humid climate, you should consider synthetic fabric over natural material.

Natural fabric is more prone to mildew. Another reason the synthetic material is recommended over natural fabric is its fade resistance features.

Many synthetic fabrics are formed with the color in the strands before they are spun out and are still in liquid form.

This allows for almost 100% color saturation. The most quality synthetic fabric has a three-to-five-year color-fade guarantee.


Consider the following manufacturers’ instructions for removing deep stains. There is some cushion that is machine washable to make the whole cleaning process an easy one.

Cleaning and maintenance instructions are often included in the purchase package.

Also, using the wrong cleaning agents can lessen your cushions’ water resistance. The manufacturer’s directions should also explain how to restore the water resistance after cleaning.