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how to clean outdoor cushions.

An outdoor space with a range of boho style cushions on an outdoor sofa.

get heatwave ready by freshening up your outdoor cushions.

Heading out into the garden for some much-needed sunshine? Or perhaps you’re hosting your first outdoor soiree of the season. Whatever the reason, your outdoor cushions need to be looking inviting. And sometimes, that means doing some cleaning. 

Perhaps your outdoor cushions have been stuffed in the shed for the best part of six months, or maybe they’ve been carefully chosen and you want to keep them looking their best. We’ve got the cleaning routine you need for fresher-looking cushion covers. 

why clean outdoor cushions?

Outdoor cushions are an essential part of creating a comfortable and inviting space in your backyard or patio. However, exposure to the elements and regular use can cause dirt, grime, and even mould and mildew to accumulate on them. Cleaning your outdoor cushions regularly not only helps maintain their quality and comfort but also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and extends their lifespan.

It's important to check the care label of your outdoor cushion covers first and foremost as this will have any important information on cleaning and drying directions. Our outdoor cushion covers are made from water-resistant, 100% polyester fabric which is one of the easiest materials to wipe clean of any mould and algae build ups or unwanted spillages.

gather your cleaning supplies.
folk flora outdoor yellow cushion on sofa tibetan tiger outdoor cushion on sofa
@our_little_suffolk_home | @kerrys_corner

Now that you know what type of outdoor cushions you're dealing with, it's time to gather the necessary cleaning supplies. Here's what you'll need:

  • Mild Detergent
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • Clean Cloth or Sponge
  • Hose or Bucket of Water
  • Vacuum Cleaner

before you start:

remove the cushion cover. 

If possible, remove the cushion cover. This will make cleaning easier, and you won’t risk getting the cushion pad getting wet – this will take longer to dry and probably doesn’t need cleaning anyway!

check for stains and damage.

Check your cushions for any stains or damage that may require special attention. Take note of any areas that need extra cleaning or repair.

set up a cleaning station. 

Select an open area with a flat surface where you can safely clean your cushions without damaging them. Place your cleaning supplies nearby, and you're ready to begin!

It's time to dive in and get those cushions looking like new again. With proper care and attention, they'll last season after season, so you can continue to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.

the outdoor cushion cleaning routine:

step 1: vacuum the outdoor cushion.

Get rid of any loose dirt and debris by giving your outdoor cushions a once over with the hoover. Alternatively, give it a good shake!

step 2: gently scrub.

A mild detergent is essential for cleaning your cushions without damaging the fabric. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach on your cushions, as they can cause discolouration and damage the material. Follow the guidance on the label, and mix the detergent with water. Then, using your soft-bristled brush, give your outdoor cushion a gentle scrub. 

step 3: rinse cushions.

Using your garden hose, a watering can or a splash of water from the bucket. Avoid using a pressure washer as that could damage the fabric. At this point, recheck your areas of concern – have they been cleaned off through the process? If not, skip step 4 and head to 'areas of concern'.

step 4: leave to dry.

Use a clean towel to dry off any excess, and leave to dry (ideally in a sunny spot, or hanging on the line).

can you wash outdoor cushions in the washing machine?
palm printed outdoor cushion on sofa a selection of outdoor cushions on sofa
@fantastywithfaye | @leopard_print_stairs

Washing cushion covers should be a 'must' for the spring-summer season, but can you just throw them in the washing machine to save you the elbow grease? Well, depending on the care instructions on your product's label, most outdoor cushion covers aren't machine washable unfortunately. Our outdoor cushions are made from 100% polyester which is easily cleaned - a quick wipe will get rid of most substances as the polyester material doesn't allow liquids to sink in deep enough for long-term stains. 

can you bleach outdoor cushions?

Reaching for the bottle of intense cleaning solutions can be tempting when dealing with outdoor products, but it's important to double-check before ruining your favourite printed outdoor cushion. While diluted vinegar solutions are ok, bleach should be avoided as it can affect the colour on your cushion cover. For deep stains or mould and mildew, use a diluted vinegar solution and always test a path of the cushion before proceeding to drunk the full cover in. Using a warm, soapy mixture of diluted detergent is also advised. 

can I power wash outdoor cushions?

If your outdoor cushion covers have well and truly been through the wars, power washing can be the suitable choice, to an extent. Firstly, remove the cushion cover and don't soak the insert as that's going to take a lot longer to dry. Then, use a very low setting on your pressure washer and proceed with care. We believe spot cleaning is a better option than pressure washing for most situations.

how to dry outdoor cushions.

Our outdoor cushions dry extremely easy due to their polyester make and usually only need a couple of hours line drying to be fresh. 

Line drying is advised for all outdoor cushion covers.

can you put outdoor cushions in the dryer?

No - we advise against tumble drying any of our outdoor cushions. It's best to double-check your product's care label before sticking any cushion covers in the dryer to avoid a shrunken cushion slip-up.

areas of concern.

Mould, bird poo, grass stains. They can all mar a perfectly beautiful outdoor cushion, as well as stick around even after a scrub.

how to remove mould from outdoor cushions.

Green mould, black mould and mildew are really common problems for outdoor cushions, especially if they’ve been left in a damp, dark and warm place. But it can damage your furniture and have an impact on your health if left unchecked.

So, how do you get mould out of outdoor cushions? First, try to scrape as much of the mould off as you can – use a straight rule or something similar. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area outside of the home. Then, spray undiluted white vinegar onto the area and leave for 10 minutes. Scrub with a brush and then clean with a mix of water and a very small amount of detergent. Rinse, and air dry.

Before you restore your cushion covers on their pads, make sure that they’re completely dry. This will help prevent green and black mould growth in the future.

how to remove algae from outdoor cushion covers.

Similar to mould and mildew, algae is common in damp gardens and patios and will grow on your outdoor cushions if not monitored closely. Using a diluted vinegar solution and letting it sit for around 10 minutes, scrubbing with a brush and a soapy mixture should do the trick. Repeat as often as needed while checking for any signs of colour damage to your outdoor cushion cover.

how to remove bird poop.

If after following the above steps, your cushion still has bird poop on it, then you should go back a second time and scrub the affected area again. Try using dish soap instead of your detergent, or a steam cleaner if it proves particularly stubborn.

how to remove grass stains from outdoor cushions.

Grass stains can be treated with undiluted detergent on the affected area. Give it a scrub, leave for a few minutes, and rinse with the hose.