How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

Cushions bring softness and comfort to our outdoor furniture. They are cosy, attractive, and massively used, but they have one downside – they get extremely dirty. Regular commercial cleaning of cushions can help keep them looking attractive for long.

Outdoor cushions are exposed to the elements day and night, and although we always promise to bring them in when the rain starts, their destiny is to stick around the porch and get moisture, debris, mould, bird droppings, wine stains, animal hair, and all kinds of dirt from the outdoors. 

If you want to have your favourite outdoor cushions ready for the season, but they are looking like there’s no hope, cheer up! We might know a thing or two more on this topic, and we’ll help you learn to clean your outdoor cushions and kick start the patio season with style. 

There is no need to worry when having the cleaning professionals on your side. There are so many things that we can do in the home by ourselves, and cleaning the outdoor cushions is one of the easy peasy home tasks that everyone can do at home. 

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions 

Some outdoor cushions and pillow attachments have removable cases that can be machine washed and dried. If you’re lucky to have those, then don’t think twice before tossing the entire cushion case set in the washer, of course, following the manufacturer’s instructions.  

If, on the other hand, you’re like most of us who get blinded by the design of the cushions when buying them and never check if there’s a removable cover, then you are stuck with the full package, and you’ll have to learn how to clean yours without spending a fortune on cleaning services. 

What Do You Need? 

  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Soft bristle brush 
  • Borax 
  • Dish detergent 
  • Hose 
  • Towel 
  • Bucket of water 

Vacuum Loose Dirt 

You need the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner to collect all the loose dirt, especially in the seams where most of the dirt gathers. If there are buttons on your cushions, be careful when vacuuming those areas because you don’t want to destroy the design. 

In case you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you can use a soft-bristled brush to remove all the accumulated debris on your cushions, however, the effect won’t be the same as vacuuming. 

Scrub Your Cushions 

For this step, you will need a bucket of water with 1 tbsp of dish detergent mixed with 1/4 cup of Borax. Stir it well, deep in the brush, and profoundly scrub your cushions.

After soaking, let them sit for 5-10 minutes until the solution completely absorbs in the fabric, and then scrub some more. Make sure that you don’t do this on the ground or the grass, you don’t want more dirt sticking to your pillows. 


Next, grab your garden hose and rinse all the cleaning solution from your cushions. Make sure not to use a pressure washer because it can severely damage the fabric. Rinse until all the detergent is out. 


After vigorously washing your cushions, it’s time to dry them. Squeeze all the water out with your hands, don’t use your dryer. Squeeze as much as you can, find a sunny spot on your deck and leave them dry naturally. The last thing you can do is use a clean towel to absorb more water from the cushions. This will speed up the drying process. 

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions with Vinegar and Baking Soda 

If you’re a fan of natural cleaning products instead of using chemicals, then you can try the same steps from above but instead of using dish detergent and Borax, mix 1/4 cup white vinegar in four cups of warm water and sprinkle the cushions with baking soda. 

After this, get a brush and try scrubbing the stains from the cushions. Let the solution sit for five minutes, rinse and let it dry naturally. 

This is an excellent solution for environmentalists who avoid the use of chemicals while doing house chores. Try it out, it might work for you as well. 

Removing Stains from Outdoor Cushions 

The key thing in removing stains is to do it as soon as possible. The more you wait, the harder the stain would come out. However, we’ve worked on removing different types of stains, and here are some extra tips on how to save garden cushions that you were planning on dumping in the trash. 

Grass Stains 

Grass stains can be stubborn, but the above solution of Borax and dish detergent should work just fine. If you don’t see a positive result, then buy a liquid detergent that has special stain-removing enzymes, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Brush the stain, and let the cushion sit for a little longer. Then rinse it with your garden hose and dry it naturally. 


Another enemy of the outdoor cushions is mould, especially in humid areas or areas around a swimming pool. First, get a brush and try to remove as much mould as you can from the cushions. Then, get a pure white vinegar and pour it over the stain.

Let it soak for 15 minutes. For stubborn stains, soak a cloth in white vinegar and place it over the affected spot, it should work even better. Scrub the stain with a brush, and also, add a little bit of dish detergent after soaking it in vinegar. Scrub again, rinse, and dry in the sun. 

Oil Stains 

Sunscreen, oils, greasy feet, you name it – these are the worst stains, but we have a solution for them too. Sprinkle baking soda or corn starch over the oil stain and let it sit for 10 minutes until the oil is absorbed in the product. Then, get a sharp-edged object and start scraping the stained spot until the dirt disappears. 

Tree Sap 

For this one, you will need a liquid detergent with stain-remover enzymes and powder detergent. Mix the two products over the sap stain until you create a paste and gently brush the stain until it’s gone. After that, use some oxygen bleach to avoid discoloration of the fabric. 

There you have it — a step-by-step guide to cleaning your outdoor cushions. Now, go clean quickly, so you can sit out and enjoy the gorgeous weather!

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About the Author

Hi, this is Beau. I am a full-time accountant and part-time writer, working with Clean Group for over six years now. I mostly work at the back end, managing the company accounts and keeping everything organised. Having been in this business for almost a decade now, I know how to successfully manage a cleaning business and bring profits without compromising quality and ensuring the best value of money for my customers. I also routinely participate in the process to create cleaning packages that are centred on customers’ needs and designed to be affordable yet profitable for the company.

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