How to Clean Patio Cushions

by IT dev
two patio seats with a small table

You love spending your outdoor summer evenings on your comfortable patio furniture, but where there are great memories made, there are many unexpected events. Many of these events can include food spills or kids running with mud all over your patio furniture. You have stains and plenty of wear and tear. How do you keep your patio furniture looking new? This is your guide to restoring your fabric from stains and making your cushions look new. 

What is the best way to clean outdoor furniture cushions?

How to clean patio cushions is as simple as the type and how severe the stain. We’ll discuss how to treat specific stains later, but when it comes to the common practice of cleaning cushions, there are the following steps.

Removable cushions

If you have removable cushions, you’re in luck, as this is the easiest of all ways to clean your patio furniture. Unzip and remove the covers of all your outdoor cushions, apply a standard laundry stain remover to the stains and add to your regular wash. A friendly tip is to follow the instructions found on the tag in each cushion.

While the cushion cases are washing, be sure to vacuum the naked cushions with the upholstery attachment included in higher-end vacuum cleaners. Once you know your cushions are crumb and dust-free, you can easily hand wash them in a tub of warm water and dish soap. Air dry and make sure there is no sign of moisture in the interior cushions when zipping your clean covers over your patio cushions. It seems like a long process, but this process can help your outdoor furniture withstand many outdoor summers to come.

Standard cushions

Your traditional cushions or outdoor furniture that can not be machine washed can simply be cleaned with two simple things; a vacuum and hose. Without the flexibility of remove a cushion, cover your left with fewer options. Consider buying patio furniture with flexible options for cleaning and maintenance.

How can I make my patio cushions look new?

Whether your cushions are a few months old or a few years used, there are several clever techniques you can use to make them look brand new.

Nobody likes lumpy old cushions. What shows a cushions’ age is its overall comfort and stability. Though you’ll feel this adjustment before you see it, adding new foam inside your cushion can significantly hide the age. Depending on the type of patio cushions you own, this process can only be used for cushions with removable covers. Determine the type of outdoor cushions you’ve purchased and take this step at your discretion. Consider reupholstering your cushions. Nothing looks brand new, like completely changing the fabric on your outdoor cushions and making it something new.

Pamapic outdoor furniture cushions

How do you get stains out of outdoor cushions?

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, dependent on a few factors. What type of stains are you working with, and how long has it been sitting on your outdoor furniture. What type of stains are your outdoor cushions experiencing? Think of all of the stains your patio furniture can experience when exposed to the elements of nature; bird droppings, tree sap, grass stains, dirt stains, etc. If you want clean outdoor cushions, you’ll need the following:

Bird Droppings

As one of the more unpleasant stain options, you’ll need the following items to remove bird droppings:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Homemade cleaning solution:
    • 1tsp mild dish soap
    • 1 tsp Borax
    • 1 quart of warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft bristles

Take your microfiber cloth and gently remove as much of the stain as possible Combine all ingredients for the cleaning solution and insert it in the spray bottle. Generously spray along the stay and use your bristles to scrub away the stain. Rinse out the solution with warm water. Air dry and watch your stain disappear within hours. Fels Naptha soap is also a great option if you don’t want to make your solution.

Mold and mildew stains

Since mold is somewhat alive and grows within your patio cushion, this is a more heavy-duty stain to remove. You’ll need the following to remove mold and mildew:

  • Nylon brush
  • Homemade cleaning solution:
    • 1 part Borox
    • 4 parts warm water
  • Microfiber cloth

Wipe away as much of the mildew as possible with your nylon brush as possible. Combine the Borox and warm water and disperse across the duration of your stain. Use the microfiber cloth to blot out the stain. For tougher stains, keep the solution on for longer periods of time. Be sure to rinse out the stain with warm water and let air dry. If you need a stronger solution, Oxiclean could work or a 1:1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Every stain is different, but having a variety of solutions can help in the long run.

Oil Stains

People never consider this when lathering up with sunscreen in the summers or eating a bag of potato chips on outdoor furniture, but those oils can leave a stain all over your cushions. You’ll need the following items to remove common oil stains:

  • Cloth
  • Absorbent powder (aka corn starch)
  • Straight edge
  • Cleaning solution
  • Damp microfiber
1.You’ll want to soak up all the remaining oil in your cushions with the cloth. 2.Spread your cornstarch evenly across the stain and let sit for 10-15 minutes 3.Remove the cornstarch with any type of straight edge.
4.Blot your stain with any type of cleaning solution you have lying around the house
5.Rinse thoroughly with your damp microfiber
6.Allow to air dry.


Cleaning outdoor cushions does not need to be a hassle. As long as you have followed the steps and advice from this guide and experiment with your needs, you’ll have your outdoor furniture looking like new. Most importantly, to save time in the long run, you can buy fabric protectors to prevent common accidents like food and food oil stains. Consider this route or simply buy patio furniture that offers the flexibility to clean with style and ease.