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How To Clean Outdoor Cushions Just in Time for Summer

Outdoor furniture has a tough existence. Unlike your indoor furniture, which is protected by four walls and a roof, your outdoor furniture has to endure all kinds of weather, often including both extreme hot and cold conditions. And while you can protect your furniture by storing it inside or covering it with an outdoor furniture cover, it’s still easy to see why it’s more susceptible to picking up stains, mold and dirt. With this in mind, knowing the best way to clean your furniture, and specifically how to clean outdoor cushions, can help keep your backyard in tip-top shape and looking its best.

People often forget that it’s not just sofas and chairs which have outdoor cushions. There’s a wide range of items you have in your backyard or on your patio that may have cushions. These handy additions can provide an extra touch of style for your outdoor decor while adding an extra layer of comfort at the same time. Here’s a short list of outdoor furniture items which often have cushions and may benefit from cleaning at least once a season:

If you’re ready to remove that unsightly mold buildup and restore that like-new look to your furniture, read on to discover how to clean outdoor cushions. We’ve included two methods to choose from. The one you choose may depend on what cleaning tools you have available to you already. And if you don’t have a complete set for either cleaning method, we’ve included a range of handy products which will help you get the job done.


How To Clean Outdoor Cushions: A Few Quick Tips

The process of cleaning outdoor cushions doesn’t have to take all day. Done right, your cushions can be cleaned and ready to relax on in a matter of hours. But before you begin cleaning your cushions, it’s worth checking you have everything you need for your chosen washing method, as well as a clear space, such as a driveway, sidewalk or patio to clean them on. This prevents them from picking up more dirt in the cleaning process. Furthermore, it’s best to avoid muddy and grassy areas or use a tarp if necessary. Also, it’s good to be aware of where any chemical-filled runoff will flow.

You may also prefer to choose a sunnier day if you intend to use the sun’s heat to dry your cushions. However, if you have space, the cushions can be hung/dried inside if necessary.


How To Clean Outdoor Cushions by Hand

The first option when it comes to cleaning outdoor cushions is by hand. This process requires the following items:

  • Garden hose/nozzle
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning liquid
  • Spot-cleaning liquid (optional)

Once you have everything ready, proceed through these easy-to-follow steps:

1. Spray the Cushions With Water
Use a garden hose on a medium/high-pressure setting to spray each cushion with water and remove any loose dirt or grime on the outside. The goal is to clear easily removed dirt and dampen the cushions without excessively soaking them.

2. Mix the Cleaning Solution
Prepare a cleaning solution by combining your cleaning liquid and water in a bucket. Generally, a 1/4-cup of mild soap to every gallon of water should suffice.

3. Scrub the Cushions With a Brush
Apply the cleaning solution to the cushions and use a scrubbing brush (or sponge if you don’t have one to hand) to work over each surface. Pay particular attention to grimy areas and ensure you remove dirt where possible. Ensure you leave a cleaning liquid-filled, lathery covering behind. Allow the cleaning liquid to sit for around five to 10 minutes.

If you think some stains or grime needs extra attention, you can use a stronger cleaning product, such as Tide Laundry Stain Remover, to target these areas. Apply the foam or liquid to the stains and allow it to sit for the product-specified length of time.

4. Rinse the Cushions With Water
After five or more minutes have elapsed, use a garden hose on a medium/high pressure setting to clear the cushions of any remaining soap/cleaning mixture. Pay particular attention to creases or tight areas and ensure all cleaning residues are removed.

5. Dry the Cushions
It’s usually best to let outdoor cushions dry naturally. If possible/necessary, apply pressure to each cushion to remove any excess water inside to speed up the drying process. It can also help to place the cushions upright against a wall or each other to encourage the water to drain, further speeding up the drying process. Once they are dry, place them back on the furniture, sit down and enjoy your handiwork.


Flexzilla Garden Hose


With more than 6,500 five-star ratings from Amazon customers, this Flexzilla Garden Hose makes choosing a garden hose simple. It’s available in a range of different lengths and a number of combos if you need more than just a hose. The all-weather, lightweight hose also offers impressive flexibility and includes a durable, abrasion-resistant outer cover to ensure your hose lasts for years. Its hybrid polymer construction also prevents kinking, even when the hose is under pressure. Plus, this drinking water-safe hose boasts a zero memory feature which allows for easy coiling.

how to clean outdoor cushions flexzilla garden hose


FANHAO Upgrade Garden Hose Nozzle Sprayer


Directing water from your hose is a lot easier when you have this FANHAO Upgrade Garden Hose Nozzle Sprayer in your hands. It’s constructed from heavy-duty metal which feels solid and secure in your hand while allowing for precise and controlled water distribution. The full brass nozzle lets you choose from four spraying modes so you can tailor your spray to the job at hand. Additionally, you’ll find a handy loop for locking the handle in the on position and be able to have confidence in your purchase thanks to the 5,500+ five-star ratings from Amazon customers who already love their nozzle.

how to clean outdoor cushions fanhao upgrade garden nozzle


Amazer Scrub Brush


This pair of Amazer Scrub Brushes gives you an easy and controlled way to scrub all kinds of around-the-house surfaces. The durable bristles on the head are strong enough to remove tough stains from material, tiles, walls, carpets and floors. Each brush also sports a hooked, ​​ergonomically shaped handle that can hang over bucket edges and other slim walls for easier storage. Furthermore, these tough brushes won’t deform under pressure and include rubber grooves in the handle for greater in-hand security.

how to clean outdoor cushions amazer scrub brush


Rubbermaid Commercial Products Round Bucket


A bucket, like this Rubbermaid Commercial Products Round Bucket, is always a useful tool to have around the house. When it comes to cleaning outdoor cushions, a bucket is ideal for combining the water and cleaning solution. This USA-made bucket includes a handy molded-in spout for precision pouring, while its plastic construction is durable and resistant to corrosion. Plus, its thick walls prevent it from deforming when being lifted off the ground and the built-in handle makes it easier to carry.

how to clean outdoor cushions rubbermaid commercial


Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap


In terms of its ability to get things clean, we think this Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap’s more than 40,000 five-star ratings speak for themselves. By requiring 50% less scrubbing than competing dish soaps, it’s also one of the least labor-intensive options available, too. This versatile soap is particularly effective against greasy stains, and can also be used on a number of other around-the-house surfaces, such as laundry items, wheels and tools.

how to clean outdoor cushions dawn ultra liquid


Tide Stain Remover


When it comes to applying a cleaning solution to get at the most stubborn stains, give this Tide Laundry Stain Remover a try. This versatile cleaner can be sprayed on upholstery, clothes, carpet and other materials to deal with almost any kind of stain. After applying the solution to your surfaces, rub it in and give it time to break down the stain (around five minutes) before washing it clear. The remover’s impressive ability to get rid of wine, coffee, grass, dirt and grease stains has earned it more than 14,000 five-star ratings from happy Amazon users.

how to clean outdoor cushions tide laundry stain remover


STAR BRITE All Surface Mold & Mildew Stain Remover


If you’re after an everyday cleaning solution for removing small stains on the spot, add this STAR BRITE All Surface Mold & Mildew Stain Remover to your cleaning arsenal. This fast-acting cleaner removes stains on contact to clean, produce a shine and protect your furniture. The versatile cleaning product has been formulated to work on a range of surfaces, too, including outdoor fabrics, vinyl, resin, fiberglass and plastic. In addition, the supplied spray bottle makes distributing the liquid simple.

star brite outdoor cleaner furniture cushions


How To Clean Outdoor Cushions With a Pressure Washer

The second option when it comes to how to clean outdoor cushions is to use a pressure washer. While using a pressure washer to clean outdoor cushions can be more effective than hand washing, it’s important to be aware that water that is applied at too high a pressure may cause damage to your cushions. With this in mind, always start at a lower pressure and work upwards gradually, ensuring you aren’t causing damage in the process.

If you are washing your outdoor cushions using a pressure washer, you will need the following items:

  • Pressure washer
  • Pressure washer cleaning solution
  • Scrubbing brushes

Once everything is ready, follow these simple steps:

1. Fill the Pressure Washer With Cleaning Fluid
Before you begin cleaning the cushions, ensure you have added a cleaning fluid suitable for cleaning outdoor cushions to your pressure washer. Additionally, ensure it’s connected to a power and a water supply and is switched to the cleaning function/has the cleaning/soap spray tip attached (if applicable).

2. Clean the Cushions
Using the pressure washer on a medium/high setting, remove loose dirt and apply a coat of the cleaning liquid to every cushion. Allow the solution to sit on the cushions for the product-specified length of time (usually between five and 10 minutes).

3. Scrubs the Cushions (optional)
If necessary/beneficial, use a scrubbing brush to physically target and remove any stubborn stains on the cushions.

4. Rinse the Cushions
After switching the pressure washer to its cleaning liquid-free function/switching out the cleaning head, use a medium/high pressure setting to rinse the cushions, removing the now freed dirt and cleaning residues in the process. It’s a good idea to use a systematic, back-and-forth or up-and-down approach to cleaning the cushions to ensure you cover every square inch.

Note: While it may be tempting to increase the water pressure, be careful not to get too close to the cushions as it can damage or weaken stitching, leave unpleasant marks or even create holes in the most severe cases.

5. Dry the Cushions
It’s usually best to let outdoor cushions dry naturally. If possible/necessary, apply pressure to each cushion to remove any excess water inside to speed up the drying process. It can also help to place the cushions upright against a wall or each other to encourage the water to drain, further speeding up the drying process. Once they are dry, place them back on the furniture, sit down and enjoy your handiwork.


Karcher K1700 TruPressure Pressure Washer


When it comes to reliable, powerful and user-friendly pressure washers, you can’t beat Karcher. This Karcher K1700 TruPressure Pressure Washer sports an upright design with a durable metal frame and built-in wheels for improved portability. It’s also easy to access the port for adding soap into the device. For neater storage, the washer includes tailored spaces for the handle, the nozzle and the high-pressure hose. The corded device delivers up to 1700 PSI of pressurized water for effective cleaning of outdoor furniture, patios, decks, sidewalks, RVs, cars and other outdoor surfaces.

power washer karcher trupressure outdoor cushion cleaning


Simple Green Oxy Solve Pressure Washer Cleaner


This Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Pressure Washer Cleaner is the helping hand your pressure washer needs to produce the best results. The chlorine-free liquid can be sprayed over surfaces before washing to loosen stains and heavy grime. The cleaner, which meets US E.P.A. safer product standards, can be used on a wide variety of surfaces including wood, composite, vinyl, metal, fabric, plastic, wicker and concrete. It’s also backed by more than 3,500 five-star ratings and comes in alternative versions for more specialized cleaning.

simple green oxy solve total outdoor pressure washer cleaner


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