Outdoor cushions are made with weather-resistant covers, often meaning they’re waterproof. However, using them outside exposes them to more dirt than indoor cushions, so washing them is a must.
But can you put outdoor cushions in the washing machine? Let’s find out.
Can You Put Outdoor Cushions in the Washing Machine?
You should be fine to put outdoor cushions in the washing machine, as most are made from foam.
The covers can also be washed, although this may strip them of their waterproof coating. Be sure to check the specific care instructions if you still have them.
If possible, remove the cushion covers before washing. These are what will need cleaning the most. So, if they can be put in the washing machine, wash them on a fairly gentle cycle.
Depending on the fabric and finish, you might need to add a coating like Nikwax waterproof coating.
What’s the Easiest Way to Clean Outdoor Cushions?
There are plenty of ways to clean outdoor cushions that don’t involve putting them in the washing machine. While this is definitely the easiest method, it’s not always possible with large outdoor sofa cushions.
If your cushions won’t fit in the washing machine, follow one of the cleaning methods below:
Stain removal using oxygen bleach
You can spot-clean outdoor cushions with an oxygen bleach product (provided it’s colour-safe).
Follow the instructions on the tub and mix with a litre of warm water. Spray this onto the stained area and leave for up to 30 minutes.
Wipe off with a clean damp towel and the stain should come out.
Removing mould, mildew and algae
If you can’t put your outdoor cushions in the washing machine, you can just wash them by hand.
Mix a tablespoon of laundry detergent with a litre of warm water and spray liberally onto the cushions.
Scrub with a stiff brush to remove the mould or algae and then spray down with a hose. If you don’t have a hose, rinse the cushions under a tap or by pouring water on them.
You can also use this method for grass stains, but make sure you use a biological laundry detergent with enzymes.
General cleaning with white vinegar
White vinegar is ideal for a general cleaning solution. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and spray onto the cushions.
Leave it for 15 minutes and then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse with clean water and your cushions should look fresh and new. This option should also work on mould.
Treat oil stains with bicarbonate of soda
Oil stains, such as sun cream or food, can be removed using bicarbonate of soda. Ideally, sprinkle some on while the stain is new and leave it for 15 minutes.
Scrape off the powder using a blunt knife and repeat until the stain has lifted.
Outdoor cushions are surprisingly easy to clean because they’re hardier than indoor cushions.
If you can’t put them in the washing machine, cleaning by hand is a fairly quick process, and there are plenty of different methods depending on what you’re trying to remove.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.