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Cleaning Outdoor Cushions

How do I clean outdoor cushions that have been through winter and summer elements?


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July 10, 20190 found this helpful

Use a mild dishwashing detergent solution. Use a rubber bristled brush and rinse with the hose.

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July 12, 20190 found this helpful

A lot of things would determine how you should clean those cushions and whether you want to clean the (usually) foam rubber inside. If the covers are zippered, I would remove them for cleaning.

The covering material would have to be considered, some being made of vinyl and some being made (usually) 0f synthetic woven fibers and such.

If the cushions are covered in vinyl and cannot be removed, I would use a laundry detergent solution from a spray bottle, wetting the cushion only enough to be able to work up a good suds with a soft utility brush. You can wipe away the dirty suds and then spray the cushions with clear water and wipe that away, as well. I would not let the interior of the cushions get wet. It could take a very long time to dry and mold would grow in the mean time.


If mold or mildew is present on the material, I would add a few drops of household bleach to the cleaning solution and test a small area for color fastness. Also, I would work in the shade so the sun would not dry some areas while you were cleaning others. This could result in an uneven cleaning.

I have cleaned zippered woven fabric covers by removing them from the foam and washing them in a 5 gallon bucket as I would any garment. The same would apply to vinyl zippered covers.

If the covers are woven material and cannot be removed, I'm not sure I would go to the trouble of trying to clean them. If you have a carpet cleaner you might want to try that, again being careful to not wet the interior of the cushion any more than you can help. Maybe someone else has a solution for this type cushion?

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July 14, 20190 found this helpful

What are the cushions made from?

When I was a kid, it was my job to scrub the ones made of plastic (you know the kind that made awful noises when your legs stuck to it).


I would clean it with a bucket of warm water, with a few scoops of Tide--they didn't make it in liquid then, but a few drops of liquid would work) and a scrub brush. It took a lot of elbow grease. I would then hose them down to get the soap off.

Today we have the kind that are fabric and they are a little trickier. Do they have any tags telling you best practices? Let them dry in indirect sun so as not to fade.


Test it in a spot where no one will see it with a little bit of blue Dawn in a bucket of cold water and make sure it doesn't bleed.

I would not use scrub brush on fabric as it tends to, over time, damage. Instead I use a white rag (old tee shirts work well), and Igently rub it down, being sure NOT to saturate the fabric (squeeze the rag out well) and then do the same with a clear water rinse

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