Your patio furniture completes your outdoor space. It provides you with a place to hang out with your loved ones and plays a huge role in the total aesthetics of your backyard. That said, anyone who has ever owned patio furniture has experienced the challenges that come with cleaning that furniture, especially an outdoor cushion.
What makes ensuring you have clean patio cushions more difficult than the cushions on your indoor furniture is the wide variety of stain possibilities. A patio cushion will be exposed to the elements, which means they’re subject to stains, discoloration, and other damage, like any other type of outdoor furniture.
Luckily, a stain on your outdoor furniture cushions isn’t the end of the world, as there are many ways that you can tackle tough stains and get your outdoor patio cushions looking new again. Keep reading to learn how to clean outdoor cushions, and which products get the job done.
Best Products to Clean Outdoor Cushions
The most important element in learning how to clean outdoor cushions is using the right products. There are a variety of products that you could use to tackle tough stains — it’s all about choosing the right one for the job.
Use the following products to clean your outdoor cushions in no time:
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
In addition to these products, you’ll also need a cloth and a good scrubbing brush to get the stains out.
Now, let’s check out how to clean outdoor cushions for the best final results.
How To Clean Outdoor Cushions — Step By Step
Cleaning outdoor cushions is generally not too difficult, and can be done in a matter of minutes, depending on how powerful and effective your cleaning products are.
To guide you, here’s how to clean outdoor cushions in a few easy steps.
1. Remove loose debris
Removing stains requires the use of water, so you want to ensure that you’re working with as clean of a surface as possible. Use a vacuum to remove any loose debris from your cushions such as crumbs, leaves, or dirt. Pay close attention to the crevices.
2. Scrub the stain with a cleaning solution
Use the cleaning solution of your choice to scrub out the stain and ensure you have clean outdoor furniture. The cleaning solution that you choose will largely depend on the type of stain you’re trying to get out (more on this later). However, if you don’t know where to start, try using a mixture of laundry detergent and dish soap diluted in water.
For best results, use your brush to scrub the entire surface area of your cushions, but pay special attention to stained areas. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire area, let the solution soak in for a few minutes.
Using a garden hose or your outdoor shower, hose down the cushion to rinse off the solution. Be careful that the water pressure isn’t too much for your cushions as to not damage the fabric.
4. Let Dry
Squeeze out any excess water that may be in your cushions and pat them down with a dry towel. Leave your cushions to air dry vertically in a sunny spot to ensure that all the water is gone.
These are general instructions on how to clean outdoor cushions. Let’s take a look at how to clean outdoor cushions by stain.
How To Clean Outdoor Cushions By Stains
The way you clean outdoor cushions largely depends on the type of stains that are on your cushions. Let’s take a look at how to treat each type of stain.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew happen when you combine humidity with dirt, which is essentially the constant state of your backyard. To remove mildew, mix Borax and water at a 1:4 ratio and apply all over the fabric. If the stain is stubborn, let the solution soak for up to 30 minutes.
From there, blot the stain with a microfiber cloth then rinse and let dry.
Grass stains are another stubborn stain that leave your cushions discolored. What’s unfortunate about grass stains is that the longer they sit, the harder they are to remove, but they aren’t always evident right away.
To remove grass stains, you want to pre-treat the cushion with liquid laundry detergent. Apply the detergent to a soft bristle brush and brush side to side. Then rinse out the soap with warm water and apply a mixture of OxiClean with warm water at a 1:3 ratio. Allow this mixture to soak for an hour, then rinse and let dry.
There are many ways that you can end up with greasy stains on your cushions, from sunscreen to food from your last barbecue. Luckily, removing oil stains isn’t too difficult and can be done using a single ingredient: baking soda.
Sprinkle baking soda on any stubborn stains and let sit for 15 minutes. The baking soda will lift the oil from the cushion fabric during this time. When the time is up, scrape off the powder with a straight edge. If the stain is still there, repeat until the entirety of the oil stain is lifted.
Tree sap can be one of the toughest stains to get out of your furniture cushion. This is because it is both sticky and oily.
To get rid of tree sap stains, you need to start with an enzyme-based stain remover such as Zout. Let it soak for 15 minutes while you make a paste from laundry detergent and water. Apply the paste to the stain and scrub side to side with a soft bristle brush. Rinse with hot water and let dry; repeat if needed.
Conclusion: The Best Way to Clean Outdoor Cushions
It’s always a bummer to see your favorite outdoor cushions stained, but all hope isn’t lost. Getting rid of stains may not be too difficult if you understand what the stain is, have the right products, and know the best methods for stain removal.
Using the tips above, you should be able to keep your cushions clean and looking like new all season long.