Tips For Cleaning Outdoor or Patio Furniture Cushions


Warmer weather and longer days mean you are going to naturally spend more time outdoors. This is especially true if you have a comfortable set of outdoor furniture. Because your outdoor furniture is stored outside, it’s eventually going to get much dirtier than your indoor furniture because it is constantly exposed to the weather. Outdoor furniture cushions can accumulate dirt, grime, mold, and other types of stains relatively quickly. 

Outdoor cushions, pillows, canopies, and umbrellas are meant to last for years, but if you don’t care for them properly, you’ll notice a difference much sooner than you’d think. The best way to ensure the longevity of your outdoor or patio furniture is to clean it regularly, and that includes your outdoor cushions.

Cleaning outdoor cushions will depend on the type of stain you’re trying to remove and the type of fabric or material that the cushion is made of. Some patio furniture fabrics are treated with coatings that protect them from UV rays and/or water, so it’s important to check for specific cleaning instructions or restrictions on the cushion tags.

If you’re curious to learn how to wash outdoor furniture cushions, keep reading!

How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Cushions

What You’ll Need:

  • Soft-bristled Brush
  • Spray Bottle
  • Detergent
  • Borax
  • Warm Water
  • Oxygen-based Bleach

How To Hand Wash Outdoor Cushions

Even if your cushions do not have care instructions, most cushions can be cleaned with a solution of 1 tsp. mild dish soap, 1 tsp Borax, and 1 quart of warm water. Combine all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and saturate both sides of the cushion. Let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes, making sure that you don’t allow it to dry completely. Wash the solution off with clean water and stand the cushion on its edge to dry. 

How to Machine Wash Outdoor Cushions

For some outdoor cushions and patio cushion covers, machine washing is an option, but it’s important to read all of the care instructions listed on the attached tags. Before placing them into the washing machine, shake the cushions and the covers to remove any loose debris and pre-treat any stains. Allow the items to air dry. Alternatively, you can place the cushions and covers in the dryer, but be sure to remove them before they are completely dry. 

How to Clean Specific Stains

If your outdoor furniture cushions get a specific stain, it’s best to tackle it right away to ensure that it won’t leave a permanent mark. Read below to learn how to clean common stains:

Mold and Mildew: With a cleaning solution made from one part Borax to four parts warm water, saturate the area on the cushion and use a microfiber cloth to blot out the stain. For tougher stains, allow the solution to sit for 20-30 minutes before blotting. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. 

Oil: Absorb the excess oil with a cloth and apply an absorbent powder, such as cornstarch, to the soiled area. Allow the powder to sit for around 10-15 minutes and then scrape it away with a straight edge.

Bird Droppings: Remove as much of the droppings as you can with a microfiber cloth. Place the cleaning solution you made in the hand-washing section into a spray bottle and spray it on the stain. Allow the solution to soak into the fabric and then clean with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with clean water.

Turn to Mulberrys For Your Dry Cleaning and Laundry Services! 

If cleaning your outdoor furniture cushions starts you on the way to a full household cleaning routine, Mulberrys is here to make it easier than ever! Our professional dry cleaners provide cleaning services for household items like bedding and linens, in addition to everyday laundry service. Contact our dry cleaners in Minneapolis or San Francisco to learn more about all of our cleaning services, including convenient pickup and delivery