How to Clean Outdoor Cushions

Are your outdoor cushions in need of a good cleaning? By the end of summer my outdoor furniture starts to look a little grungy.

I used to spend money to purchase new cushions each year to decorate my patio. I could never figure out how to restore my cushions to their preseason glory so I did not even try.

I wasted a lot of money on buying new pillows which could have been used for other things. This changed when I came across a YouTube video about cleaning outdoor pillows and I learned how to clean outdoor cushions.

The person in the video was using a pressure washer to clean their pillows. I did not have one of those machine and really did not want to purchase one just to clean a few pillows a couple times a year. For me, the cost of the machine would be just as expensive as replacing the cushions.

The solution that was being used in the pressure washer seemed simple enough to recreate. I thought I may be able to clean the cushions by hand and I was right. By scrubbing the solution into the fabric I was able to remove weather stains and the mildew smell that seemed to develop over the summer months.

With a bit of trial and error I have worked out how to clean outdoor cushions and have them look great for the following year.

To clean your outdoor cushions you will need:

  • hard bristle brush
  • bucket
  • water
  • about a teaspoon of dish washing liquid
  • a cup of borax

You will want to make sure that you have enough solution to clean all your cushions. I only have a few to clean so a bucket filled with warm water works well.

The water needs to be mixed with a cup of borax and about a teaspoon of dish soap. I do not really worry about measuring the dish soap, I just give the bottle a couple of really good squeezes to get the amount I need.

I like to stir up the solution with a stir stick. I am not really sure if it is necessary but I do it anyways.

It is important to use a lot of solution when cleaning your pillows. Scrub the pillows using the hard bristle brush to let the solution saturate the cushion fibers. You will want to use a fair amount of elbow grease when scrubbing your cushions.

I like to let the cushions sit in their solution for about five or ten minutes. The product needs some time to do it’s job.

I wash the solution off with my garden hose. Rinsing the solution off is key to making your pillows feel their best. I find if I do not get all the product out my pillows are stiff and slightly uncomfortable.

After you rinse your cushions you will want to squeeze out as much of the excess water as you can so there is no chance for mold to build up while your outdoor cushions dry.

Sit the cushions up against a wall in the sun so they are able to dry quickly. Pillows should be leaned up against the wall vertically so the base of cushions have the best chance to dry.

After they are dry I usually plop my cushions into a storage bin so they are ready for next summer. I love that I do not have to end my summer season by shopping for new pillows. Since I learned how to clean outdoor cushions I have not had to purchase a new set of pillows.