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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. 

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.

gather your cleaning supplies.

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!) 

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.


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 mould growth in the future.

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.

grass stains.

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.