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How To Clean Outdoor Cushions? 【Ultimate Guide】

Outdoor furniture cushions are a great way to add comfort and style to your patio or outdoor space. These cushions are designed to withstand the elements and provide a comfortable seating experience for you and your guests. They are typically made from durable materials such as waterproof fabrics, foam padding, and UV-resistant materials to ensure they can withstand the sun, rain, and other weather conditions. 

Despite being made from durable materials such as waterproof fabrics and UV-resistant materials, outdoor furniture cushions can still suffer from wear and tear due to exposure to the elements. To keep them looking clean and in good condition, it is important to regularly clean the cushion covers. This helps to maintain the protective coating and can also help extend the life of the cushions. However, it is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that the cushions are not damaged during the cleaning process. By washing the cushion covers on a regular basis, you can help keep your outdoor furniture looking its best and provide a comfortable seating experience for you and your guests.

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions? Follow our guide and you will get the complete answer.

outdoor furniture cushions

First of all, let's take a look at the materials of common outdoor cushion covers.

There are a few common materials that are often used to make outdoor cushion covers:

  • Polyester: Polyester is a popular choice for outdoor cushion covers due to its durability and resistance to fading, stains, and mildew. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to care for.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is another popular choice for outdoor cushion covers. It is resistant to fading and has a soft, wool-like feel. Acrylic is also resistant to water, making it a good choice for outdoor cushions.
  • Sunbrella: Sunbrella is a high-quality fabric that is specifically designed for outdoor use. It is made from 100% solution-dyed acrylic fibers and is highly resistant to fading, stains, and mildew. Sunbrella is a more expensive option, but it is known for its long-lasting durability and performance.
  • PVC-coated polyester: PVC-coated polyester is a waterproof fabric that is often used for outdoor cushion covers. It is durable and resistant to fading and mildew, but it may not be as soft or comfortable as some of the other materials listed above.

When selecting outdoor cushion covers, it is important to choose a material that is durable and resistant to the elements. Consider the climate in your area and the type of outdoor furniture you have when selecting the best material for your cushions.

There are two methods to Clean Outdoor Cushions: Washing Machine, Hand Washing.

Washing Machine

Which outdoor cushions can be washed in the washing machine?

Most outdoor cushion covers can be washed in a washing machine, as long as they are made of a machine-washable fabric and do not have any embellishments that may be damaged by the washing process.

Here are some examples of outdoor cushion covers that can typically be washed in a washing machine:

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Acrylic
  • Linen

It's also a good idea to spot treat any stains on the cushion covers before washing them. You can use a laundry stain remover to pre-treat any tough stains. 

clean outdoor cushion

How To Clean Outdoor Cushions In Washing Machine?

To clean outdoor cushions in a washing machine, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Remove the cushion covers from the cushions and close any zippers or fasteners.
  • Check the care label on the cushion covers for washing instructions. Some cushion covers may need to be dry cleaned or hand washed, in which case you will need to skip the washing machine.
  • If the cushion covers can be machine washed, fill the washing machine with cold water and add a mild detergent.
  • Place the cushion covers in the washing machine, taking care not to overload them.
  • Select the gentle cycle and start the machine.
  • After the cycle is complete, remove the cushion covers from the washing machine and shake them out to remove excess water.
  • Dry the cushion covers according to the care label instructions. This may involve air drying or tumble drying on a low-heat setting.
  • Once the cushion covers are completely dry, put them back on the cushions and enjoy!
    It's a good idea to spot treat any stains on the cushion covers before washing them. You can also use a laundry stain remover to pre-treat any tough stains. 

Orange-Casual Tips: If you are considering using bleach to clean your outdoor furniture cushions, it is important to keep in mind that it can change the fabric's color and weaken its structure. Therefore, it is generally not recommended to use bleach on outdoor cushion covers. If you do decide to use bleach, use only a small amount and only on heavily-stained light fabrics or to remove mold. It is also a good idea to air out the cushions in a sunny location to help remove any remaining bleach and refresh the cushions. Keep in mind that it is always best to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you do not damage the cushions during the cleaning process.

View more details: How To Wash Outdoor Cushion Covers In Washing Machine?

Hand Washing

However, there are still many cushion materials that are not suitable for cleaning in a washing machine, such as leather, waterproof fabric, etc., which may require you to pay more effort to clean, but there are many benefits to washing by hand.

There are a few types of outdoor cushions that should not be washed in a washing machine:

  • Cushions with a non-removable cover: If the cover of your outdoor cushion is not removable, you will need to hand wash it to avoid damaging the cushion. To hand wash, follow the steps I provided in my previous response.
  • Cushions made of delicate fabrics: Some outdoor cushions are made of delicate fabrics, such as silk or linen, which may shrink or become damaged in the washing machine. These cushions should be hand washed or dry cleaned to preserve their quality.
  • Cushions with attached pillows: If your outdoor cushion has attached pillows, it is best to hand wash the entire cushion to avoid damaging the pillows or causing them to become unevenly stuffed. Follow the steps I provided in my previous response to hand wash the cushion.
  • Cushions with metal parts: Some outdoor cushions may have metal parts, such as zippers or buttons, that could become damaged in the washing machine. It is best to hand wash these cushions to avoid damaging the metal parts.

How To Clean Outdoor Cushions by Hand?

To hand wash outdoor cushions, you will need:

  1. A sink or tub large enough to hold the cushion
  2. Mild detergent
  3. A sponge or scrub brush
  4. A towel or clothesline to dry the cushion

Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start by removing the cushion from any furniture or other surfaces.
  2. Fill the sink or tub with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent.
  3. Gently agitate the water to create suds.
  4. Place the cushion in the water and use a sponge or scrub brush to gently scrub the fabric, paying extra attention to any areas that are particularly dirty or stained.
  5. Rinse the cushion thoroughly to remove all of the soap.
  6. Press the cushion gently to remove excess water, then lay it flat on a towel or hang it on a clothesline to air dry.

Orange-Casual Note: If the cushion is heavily soiled or has stubborn stains, you may need to use a stronger cleaning solution or pre-treat the stains with a stain remover before washing. Be sure to test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area of the cushion before applying them to the entire surface to ensure that they won't cause discoloration or damage.

How often is best to clean your outdoor furniture cushions?

The frequency with which you should clean your patio furniture's cushions depends on several factors, including the material of the cushions, the climate in which you live, and how often you use the furniture. Here are a few general guidelines to follow:

  • In general, it is a good idea to clean your patio furniture's cushions at least once per season. This will help to remove any dirt, dust, or pollen that has accumulated on the cushions over the course of the season.
  • If you live in an area with high humidity or heavy rainfall, you may need to clean your patio furniture's cushions more frequently to prevent mold or mildew from forming.
  • If you use your patio furniture frequently, you may need to clean the cushions more often to remove dirt and stains.
  • If you have children or pets that use your patio furniture, you may need to clean the cushions more often to remove any spills or accidents that may occur.

Ultimately, the best frequency for cleaning your patio furniture's cushions will depend on your specific circumstances and needs. Regular cleaning will help to keep your cushions looking fresh and inviting, so it is a good idea to incorporate it into your regular home maintenance routine.

What are the stains on Outdoor Cushions?

There are a variety of stains that can occur on outdoor cushions, including:

  1. Food stains: These can occur if food or drinks are spilled on the cushions. Common types of food stains include those from fruits, vegetables, and sauces.

  2. Grass stains: These can occur if the cushions come into contact with grass, especially if they are being used on a lawn or other grassy surface.

  3. Sunscreen stains: Sunscreen can leave oily stains on outdoor cushions if it is not applied properly or if it is left on the cushions for an extended period of time.

  4. Mold or mildew stains: These can occur if the cushions are stored in a damp or humid environment or if they are not allowed to dry properly after being washed.

  5. Water stains: These can occur if the cushions become wet due to rain or other sources of moisture.

To effectively remove these stains, it is important to use the right cleaning techniques and products. Here are some tips on how to remove them without much effort.

How to clean the mold off outdoor cushions?

Mold and mildew tend to thrive in damp environments, so it is not uncommon to find them on outdoor furniture, including garden cushions. If your outdoor cushions have become moldy or mildewed, you have a few options for cleaning them. One option is to use chlorine bleach, but this is a strong chemical and should only be used as a last resort. Instead, you can try using natural home remedies such as a vinegar and water spray, a borax and water solution, or a blend of vinegar, water, and essential oils like thyme, tea tree, or clove. Simply apply the chosen cleaner to the affected areas, let it work for a while, and then wash and dry the cushions. To prevent mold and mildew from forming on your outdoor cushions in the future, be sure to protect the fabric from liquids and allow the cushions to dry thoroughly after they get wet or after washing.

How to clean the bird poop stains off outdoor cushions?

It can be challenging to remove bird droppings from outdoor cushions, but it is not impossible. Here are some steps you can take to clean the stains:

  1. Begin by gently scraping off any excess dirt with a plastic tool.
  2. Spray the stain with a mixture of warm water and detergent, or use an enzyme-based cleaner.
  3. Use a toothbrush to scrub the solution into the fabric to help lift the stain.
  4. Wash and rinse the cushion cover. If the stains are still visible, you can repeat the cleaning process until they are removed.

By following these steps and being diligent about cleaning up any bird droppings as soon as you notice them, you can keep your outdoor cushions looking clean and fresh. It is also a good idea to store your outdoor cushions in a covered area to protect them from bird droppings and other types of dirt and stains. This will help to extend their lifespan and keep them looking their best.

How to clean the food stains off outdoor cushions?

If you have a greasy stain on your outdoor cushion cover, you can try the following steps to remove it:

  1. As soon as you notice the stain, generously apply salt on top of it until it is fully covered.
  2. Let the salt sit on the stain for 5-10 minutes to allow it to absorb the greasy substance.
  3. Brush the salt off of the cushion cover.
  4. Clean the stain with warm water and soap, or use a stain-specific product if you have one.
  5. Wash the cushion cover and allow it to dry.

By following these steps, you can help to prevent the stain from setting in and make it easier to remove. Keep in mind that greasy stains can be particularly stubborn, so you may need to repeat the process several times to completely remove the stain.

Here are a few tips to help you care for your outdoor cushions:

  1. Store your cushions in a covered area when not in use: This will help to protect them from the elements, including rain, snow, and intense sunlight.

  2. Use a protective cover: A protective cover can help to keep your cushions clean and dry when they are not in use.

  3. Clean your cushions regularly: Regular cleaning will help to remove dirt, dust, and stains from your cushions, keeping them looking fresh and inviting.

  4. Use a mild detergent: When cleaning your cushions, it is best to use a mild detergent to avoid damaging the fabric.

  5. Allow your cushions to air dry: After cleaning your cushions, be sure to allow them to air dry completely before using them again. This will help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

  6. Follow the care instructions: Each type of cushion is different, so it is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you are using the appropriate cleaning method.

By following these tips, you can help to keep your outdoor cushions in good condition, extending their lifespan and maintaining their comfort and appeal.

In conclusion, cleaning outdoor cushions is an important part of maintaining the appearance and comfort of your outdoor furniture. If you really don't want to clean your outdoor cushions, another option is to replace them. Outdoor cushion covers are easy to find online and are usually inexpensive, and they come in a variety of colors, materials, and styles to choose from. The only thing you need to be careful about is the size. These are some methods for cleaning outdoor cushions, and we hope they are helpful for you.


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