How to Clean Outdoor Furniture Cushions

Like the stylish and luxurious pieces from Harbor Classic, high-quality outdoor furniture is specifically designed to withstand the worst that you and the outdoors can throw at it. 

But whether it’s oily sunscreen smudges on your outdoor loungers or spilled food and drink on the cushions of your outdoor dining chairs, your patio furniture cushions are bound to need cleaning from time to time. And when you combine the wear of regular use with the potential damage caused by wind, rain, trees, birds, bugs, and other critters, it’s easy to see how quickly even the most carefully maintained furnishings can begin to look dingy or dirty. 

However, knowing how to clean patio furniture and creating a regular cleaning routine for your patio furniture is a simple way to keep it well-maintained, extend its life for as long as possible, and ensure that it stays in your family for generations to come. Wondering how to clean outdoor cushions and keep your furniture looking fantastic? Here’s your guide to the best way to clean outdoor cushions. 

How to Clean Patio Cushions

Although it’s important to consult the manufacturer’s specifications before using any particular cleaner on outdoor furniture or cushions, there are a few time-tested tips and tricks that work no matter your specific design. Here are some general guidelines you can follow on how to clean outdoor cushions.

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions: What You’ll Need 

There’s a good chance that you already have all the supplies you need to clean your cushions at home. You’ll need: 

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
  • A soft bristle laundry brush
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Borax or baking soda
  • Water
  • Garden Hose
  • Towels/Cotton Cloths

Once you have your supplies, you’re ready to start cleaning.

Cleaning Patio Cushions: Step-By-Step

In most cases, you can sufficiently clean your patio cushions in a few easy steps. Here’s the best way to clean outdoor cushions: 

  • Step 1: Vacuum clean — Clean up the loose grime from the cushions using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, taking care extra around decorative elements such as buttons. Also, pay attention to the crevices and clear up all the dirt that could be hidden there. Stowaway dirt will likely get wet and stuck in the cracks when you move on to the next steps.
  • Step 2: Scrub – Mix a tablespoon of mild dish detergent with a quarter cup of borax or baking soda in a 5-gallon bucket of water. Spray the solution directly onto the furniture cushion or dip a soft-bristled laundry brush in it. Gently scrub the outdoor fabric with the brush.
  • Step 3: Alternate cleaning solution – If you aren’t a fan of chemicals, try a natural cleaning solution. (Bonus: this is also better for the planet). Just mix a quarter cup of distilled vinegar into four cups of lukewarm water. Spray the solution onto the cushions generously and let it soak through for at least 15 minutes. Scrub the stained area with a soft bristle brush.
  • Step 4: Rinse with a garden hose – After scrubbing, use a garden hose to rinse the patio furniture cushions thoroughly using plenty of water. Use medium water pressure as high pressure can damage the outdoor fabric as well as the loft of the cushions.
  • Step 6: Dry – Squeeze the cushions tightly to drain excess water. Then, blot with towels or cotton cloths to soak up as much water as you can. Squeeze the cloth to remove water and repeat. Place the furniture cushion in an upright position and allow them to air-dry completely. Choosing a sunny spot can speed up the drying process.

Wondering how to clean sunbrella cushions? Follow the above steps—just be sure to use a brush with very soft bristles or swap it out for a sponge.

How to Clean Deep, Stubborn Stains on Outdoor Cushions

If you find a stubborn stain that didn’t go away the first time, give it a second round of scrubbing. If it doesn’t work (for example, on stubborn grass stains), you can use an enzyme stain remover. Use the brush to scrub the dish detergent on the stain and then rinse well.

How Often Should You Clean Outdoor Furniture?

How often you need to clean your patio furniture will depend greatly on your climate and the environment in which your patio furniture is situated. In other words, if you place it beneath a tree that’s constantly dropping leaves, twigs, and other debris, you’ll likely have to clean it more often than if it’s set up under a sunbrella, under a covered porch, or in a sunroom. 

However, a good rule of thumb is to start with once a month during the seasons you use the furniture most, then adjust frequency as needed. 

Everyday spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent deep stains. 

Find Your Favorites with Harbor Classic

If you’re the person who heads straight to the outdoor space as soon as the sun shines, you’ll definitely need clean cushions. That’s what this guide is for. You’ll also need furniture that’s designed to last. That’s what Harbor Classic is for. Quality, beauty, durability, affordability—it’s all part of the Harbor Classic brand promise. Explore our collections today and discover more inspiration for creating your perfect outdoor space.  



Sunbrella. How To Clean Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric.

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