How to Clean Your Outdoor Cushions and Keep Them Looking Their Best

How to Clean Your Outdoor Cushions and Keep Them Looking Their Best

Even with careful use and storage, your outdoor furniture will eventually need cleaning. Whether you’re meticulous about maintenance or tend to let your cushions brave the elements, our cleaning tips can help you revive them.

Pre-Wash Prep

Before you do any spritzing or scrubbing:

  • Check the tags for any instructions or warnings. If the cushions are washing machine safe, refer to the tags for the appropriate washer and dryer settings.
  • For hand wash cushions, find a good location for cleaning, away from grass and dirt. Outdoor spaces like a clean back patio or driveway will work.
  • Vacuum each cushion with an upholstery attachment to remove loose dust and dirt. Use a soft dry brush to remove any hardened debris (bird droppings, etc.).

Cleaning Up, Step by Step

If you can’t (or don’t want to) machine wash your cushions, here’s how to hand wash them for the best results.

Step 1: Start With a Good Spray

Lay out the cushions and use a hose to spray them down with water. They don’t need to be soaking wet, but they should be dampened all over.

Step 2: Mix Up Your Cleaning Solution

Bucket of soap

In a bucket, make a simple cleaning solution. Dish soap and water work well for most applications, but other stain-removing ingredients such as bleach can used (on solution dyed acrylic) with a ⅓ part ratio (1 part bleach, 3 parts water).

Step 3: Give Those Cushions a Good Scrub

Use a soft foam pad (do not use any type of bristle) to work the solution into the cushions, paying good attention to any discolorations, grass stains, or spots. Scrub thoroughly on all sides until you are satisfied.

Step 4: Rinse!

Use your garden hose on high pressure to spray away suds and dirt, rinsing until clear water runs out.

Step 5: Remove Excess Moisture and Let the Cushions Fully Dry Out

Squeeze each cushion to remove as much water as you can, then stand the cushions up in a clean outdoor area to dry completely.

Knocking Out Stubborn Stains, Mold and Mildew

Sometimes a basic cleaning isn’t enough to finish the job. If your first wash leaves things behind, try these tips for tackling tougher forms of filth.

Don’t Hold Back on the Elbow Grease

Don’t be afraid to really work the cleaning solution into the cushions. If you’re worried about being too rough, let stains soak in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes before scrubbing.

Try a Pressure Washer

If scrubbing by hand isn’t enough, a pressure washer offers extra power. Add the cleaner to the pressure washer’s reservoir, then follow instructions to sweep the high-pressure water across each cushion.

Kill Off Mold or Mildew With Special Solutions

Solutions with astringent ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice can help kill microbes. Use a spray bottle to apply it and let it sit a bit before scrubbing. Keep the cushions dry to prevent a recurrence.

Quality Cushions = Easier Maintenance

Marana in the wild cabana beds twin

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true for outdoor furniture, too. At Cush Living, we use high-performance outdoor fabrics to create cushions that can endure all kinds of weather and use. Our water-repellent, UV-resistant, anti-microbial materials resist staining, fading, mold and mildew, keeping furniture beautiful and functional.

If you’re spending more time cleaning your outdoor cushions than enjoying them, it’s time for an upgrade. Check out our wide variety of stylish, easy-to-clean fabrics online today and make future maintenance a breeze.