patio sofa

How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

If you have outdoor cushions on your patio furniture, you know how quickly they can become dirty and dingy from exposure to the elements.

However, don’t let that stop you from enjoying your outdoor space to the fullest!

With a little bit of effort, cleaning your outdoor cushions can be an easy and satisfying task. Plus, once they’re clean and fresh, you’ll be able to relax and unwind in comfort.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the simple steps you need to take to clean your outdoor cushions and make them look like new again.


Some Things You May Need

vacuum sofa

Now that you’re ready to give your outdoor cushions a deep clean, it’s time to gather the supplies you’ll need.

But don’t worry, you won’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. In fact, you probably already have most of the supplies you need at home.

Here are some things you will need:

  • Vacuum cleaner – To get started, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove any loose dirt and debris from the cushions.
  • Bucket or basin – You’ll also need a bucket or large basin to hold your cleaning solution, which should be a mild detergent mixed with warm water.
  • Soft-bristled brush – On top of this, you might want a soft-bristled brush, such as a scrub brush or even a clean toothbrush, to gently scrub the cushions.
  • Hose (optional) – If you have access to a hose, you’ll be able to rinse the cushions thoroughly after cleaning. But if not, you can use a large bucket of clean water instead.
  • Old towels (optional) – And finally, you may want to have a few old towels on hand to blot excess water from the cushions before allowing them to air dry.

Let’s move on to the next step and get those cushions looking clean and fresh again!

wash sofa covers in washing machine

Preparing the Outdoor Cushions

Before you start washing your outdoor cushions, there are a few things you need to do to prepare them for cleaning.

Don’t worry, these steps are easy and straightforward, and will help ensure that your cushions get as clean as possible.

If your cushions have removable covers, you may want to wash them separately.

Use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to remove any loose dirt and debris from the cushions. Pay special attention to the seams and crevices, where dirt can often accumulate.

Before you start washing the cushions, it’s important to test for colourfastness.

To do this, dampen a small area of the cushion with your cleaning solution and blot it with a white cloth.

If any colour transfers to the cloth, stop cleaning immediately and consult the care instructions for your cushions.

With these simple preparation steps out of the way, you’re now ready to move on to the next step: washing your cushions.


Washing the Outdoor Cushions

Now that you’ve prepped your outdoor cushions for cleaning, it’s time to give them a good wash.

With a few simple steps, you’ll be able to remove dirt, stains, and odours, leaving your cushions looking and smelling fresh.

Start by filling a bucket or large basin with warm water and a mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, which can damage the fabric of your cushions.

Dip your soft-bristled brush into the solution, and gently scrub the cushions in a circular motion, working from top to bottom.

Pay special attention to any stubborn stains or areas that are particularly dirty.

Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed the cushions, it’s time to rinse them off.

Use a hose or a bucket of clean water to rinse away any remaining suds and dirt. Be sure to rinse both sides of the cushions, and make sure that all of the detergent is completely removed.

Finally, blot the cushions with clean towels to remove any excess water.

Then, leave them to air dry in a sunny, well-ventilated area.

If your cushions have removable covers, consider air drying the cover and the cushion separately so they dry quicker.

Avoid putting them back on your furniture until they are completely dry, as this can cause mould or mildew to form.

cleaning outside sofa

How to Get Rid of Stains on Outdoor Cushions

Even with the most careful use, outdoor cushions can sometimes end up with stains from food, drinks, or other outdoor debris.

Don’t worry – with a little bit of effort, you can get rid of those pesky stains and restore your cushions to their former glory.

The first step is to identify the type of stain you’re dealing with.

Different types of stains may require different treatments, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. For example, oil-based stains may require a different treatment than water-based stains.

Once you’ve identified the type of stain, you can start treating it. For most stains, a simple solution of warm water and mild detergent will do the trick.

Dip your soft-bristled brush into the solution, and gently scrub the stain in a circular motion. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the fabric.

For tougher stains, you may need to use a specialised stain remover.

Always follow the instructions on the product carefully, and test on an inconspicuous area of the cushion first to make sure it won’t cause any damage or discoloration.

After treating the stain, rinse the cushion thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining detergent or stain remover.

With a little bit of effort and the right treatment, you can get rid of even the toughest stains on your outdoor cushions and keep them looking fresh and clean all season long.


Final Touches

After you’ve cleaned and dried your outdoor cushions, it’s time to put them back together and get them ready to use again.

Fluff the cushions up a bit to redistribute the filling and make sure they are sitting evenly on your furniture.

Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back on your furniture. Remember to make sure the inside is dry too, otherwise you may get mould or mildew.

Finally, sit back and enjoy your freshly cleaned outdoor cushions! With regular cleaning and care, you can keep your cushions looking and feeling great for years to come.


How to Stop Your Cushions Getting Dirty

outside cushions

While cleaning your outdoor cushions is an important part of their maintenance, it’s always best to try to prevent them from getting dirty in the first place.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your cushions clean and in good condition:

Use covers

If your cushions don’t already have removable covers, consider investing in some covers that will fit snugly over your cushions. Covers can help protect your cushions from dirt, debris, and the elements.

Store your cushions when not in use

If you won’t be using your outdoor furniture for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to store your cushions indoors. This will help keep them clean and dry, and prevent them from fading in the sun.

Clean up spills and stains right away

If you spill food or drinks on your cushions, clean them up right away to prevent stains from setting in. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot up any excess liquid, and then clean the area with warm water and mild detergent.

Brush off debris regularly

Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any dirt, dust, or debris from your cushions on a regular basis. This will help prevent dirt from building up and becoming harder to remove later on.

By following these simple tips, you can help prevent your outdoor cushions from getting dirty in the first place, and keep them looking and feeling great for years to come.

sofa outside



Cleaning your outdoor cushions doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your cushions looking and smelling fresh, and extend their lifespan.

Remember to gather your supplies, prepare the cushions for cleaning, wash them thoroughly, and treat any stains before reassembling them.

With regular cleaning and care, your outdoor cushions will be ready for use all season long. Happy cleaning!