How Do You Clean Outdoor Cushions: Looking Like New

To clean outdoor cushions, brush off loose dirt and use a mixture of mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry.

Outdoor cushions enhance comfort and style but require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance and durability. Dirt, pollen, and moisture can accumulate, leading to stains and mildew. Regular cleaning prevents these issues, ensuring your cushions stay fresh and inviting. Use a soft brush to remove loose dirt before applying a mild soap solution.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow them to air dry completely. This simple routine helps extend the life of your outdoor cushions, making your outdoor space more enjoyable. Proper care not only preserves their look but also ensures a hygienic seating area for family and guests.

Materials Needed

Cleaning outdoor cushions can seem daunting, but with the right materials, it becomes a breeze. Using the proper tools and solutions ensures your cushions stay fresh and vibrant. Below, we outline the essential materials you’ll need for this task.

Cleaning Solutions

Mild soap and water work wonders for general dirt and grime. Combine a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a bucket. For tougher stains, use white vinegar or a specialized fabric cleaner. White vinegar is effective against mold and mildew, while fabric cleaners target deep-seated stains.

Brushes Or Sponges

A soft-bristle brush is perfect for scrubbing away dirt without damaging the fabric. For delicate fabrics, a sponge is gentler yet effective. Avoid using harsh brushes as they can tear the fabric. Keep a toothbrush handy for tight spots and seams.

Hose Or Pressure Washer

A garden hose is ideal for rinsing off soap and dirt. Use a gentle spray to avoid damaging the fabric. For a more powerful clean, a pressure washer can be used, but ensure it is on a low setting. High pressure can damage the cushions.


Outdoor cushions can get dirty from dust, pollen, and spills. Cleaning them ensures they stay fresh and last longer. Proper preparation is key to making the cleaning process smooth and effective.

Remove Cushions From Furniture

First, remove the cushions from the furniture. This makes it easier to clean all sides thoroughly. Place them on a flat surface like a driveway or patio.

Shake the cushions to remove loose dirt and debris. This step prevents the dirt from embedding deeper during the cleaning process.

Use a soft brush to sweep off any remaining dust. This ensures a cleaner surface before you start washing.

Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Next, check the manufacturer’s instructions on the care label. This step is crucial as different fabrics require different cleaning methods.

Some cushions can be machine washed, while others need hand washing. Following the instructions prevents damage and prolongs the life of your cushions.

If the care label is missing, opt for a gentle cleaning method. Use mild soap and water to avoid harming the fabric.

Cleaning Process

Outdoor cushions can turn dirty with time, making them look dull. The cleaning process helps maintain their beauty and extend their lifespan. Follow these steps to keep your outdoor cushions looking fresh.

Spot Cleaning For Stains

Spot cleaning is key for small stains. First, mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Use a soft cloth or sponge to dab the stain. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain. Rinse with clean water and blot dry with a towel. Let the cushion air dry completely before using it again.

Overall Cleaning With Solution And Brush

For overall cleaning, prepare a solution of water and mild soap. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the cushion gently. Focus on seams and crevices, as dirt can hide there. Work in small sections to ensure thorough cleaning. Once done, let the solution sit for a few minutes to break down the dirt.

Rinsing With a Hose Or Pressure Washer

After scrubbing, rinse the cushions using a garden hose or a pressure washer. Ensure the pressure is not too high to avoid damaging the fabric. Start from the top and work your way down.

This helps to wash away all the soap and dirt. Shake off excess water and let the cushions air dry in a sunny spot. Avoid using a dryer, as high heat can damage the fabric.


 Cleaning outdoor cushions extends their life and keeps them looking fresh. After washing, drying is crucial to prevent mold and mildew. Proper drying techniques ensure your cushions remain in top condition.

Air Drying

Air drying is the best method for outdoor cushions. Lay the cushions flat on a clean surface. Ensure good air circulation around them. Flip the cushions occasionally to speed up drying. Also, avoid stacking them to allow even drying.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Avoid direct sunlight while drying cushions. Direct sun can fade colors and damage fabric. Place cushions in a shaded area. Use a covered patio or an indoor space with good ventilation. This ensures the fabric remains intact and vibrant.

Storage Tips

Outdoor cushions need proper storage to stay in good shape. Cleaning is important, but how you store them matters too. Here are some tips to keep your cushions looking fresh and lasting longer.

Ensure Cushions Are Completely Dry

Before storing, make sure your cushions are completely dry. Moisture can lead to mold and mildew. Place them in the sun for a few hours. Turn them over to ensure all sides dry evenly.

Even a small amount of moisture can cause problems. Check the seams and hidden areas. Use a towel to blot out any remaining dampness. Taking this step will prevent unpleasant odors and damage.

Use Storage Bags Or Containers

Invest in quality storage bags or containers. These protect your cushions from dust, insects, and moisture. Choose breathable bags to avoid trapping any residual moisture. For added protection, place silica gel packets inside the storage bags.

This helps absorb any leftover moisture. Hard plastic containers with tight lids work well too. Label each container to easily find your cushions when needed. Store these in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.


Maintaining outdoor cushions can be a breeze with a little effort. Regular maintenance keeps them looking fresh and extends their lifespan. Let’s dive into some key practices for maintaining your outdoor cushions.

Regular Cleaning Schedule

Establishing a regular cleaning schedule is essential. Brush off loose dirt and debris with a soft brush weekly. This prevents dirt from embedding into the fabric.

Every month, give the cushions a thorough cleaning. Use a mixture of mild detergent and water. Scrub the cushions gently with a soft brush. Rinse them thoroughly with a hose. Let them air dry completely before use.

Spot Cleaning As Needed

For unexpected spills or stains, spot cleaning is crucial. Blot the spill immediately with a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing it, as this can spread the stain. Use a fabric cleaner or a mixture of mild soap and water.

Apply it to the affected area with a sponge. Gently scrub the stain in a circular motion. Rinse the spot with clean water and blot it dry. Let the cushion air dry completely before using it again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Easiest Way To Clean Outdoor Cushions?

Brush off loose dirt. Mix mild detergent with water. Use a sponge to scrub cushions. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.

Can You Use Dawn To Clean Outdoor Cushions?

Yes, you can use Dawn to clean outdoor cushions. Mix Dawn with warm water, scrub gently, then rinse thoroughly. Allow cushions to air dry.

How Do You Wash Outdoor Fabric Cushions?

Remove covers, if possible, and machine wash on a gentle cycle. Use mild detergent and cold water. For non-removable covers, scrub with a soft brush and soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and air dry completely.

How To Clean Cushions That Can’t Be Washed?

Vacuum cushions to remove dust. Spot clean with mild detergent and water. Blot stains gently with a clean cloth. Use a fabric-safe cleaner for tougher stains. Air dry thoroughly.


Keeping your outdoor cushions clean extends their lifespan and enhances your outdoor space. Regular maintenance, spot cleaning, and proper storage are key. Use gentle cleaners and follow manufacturer guidelines. With these simple steps, your cushions will remain fresh and vibrant season after season.

Enjoy your clean, comfortable outdoor seating!

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