how-to-clean-patio-cushionsIt’s the time of year to clean off your furniture cushions, especially if your cushions have been out all winter long. The exposure to moisture isn’t good for your cushions because there is potential for mildew growth. Luckily, many cushions are designed with removable covers that can be slipped off and thrown into the washing machine on gentle cycle.  If yours don’t have removable covers, don’t worry, you can still get your cushions clean for summer. Just follow these simple steps.

Supplies: Vacuum, Bucket, Warm water, Dish-washing liquid, Borax, Sponge, Scrub brush, Garden hose, Towels, Fabric protector spray


Gather your outdoor pillows. Unzip cases wherever possible and follow the instructions on the tags to run them through the wash. Remove any loose dirt and dust from the remaining cushions using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum. If your cushions are tufted, run the attachment carefully over the crevices, seams, and any buttons.


Mix 1 tablespoon of dish-washing liquid into a bucket of warm water. Add 1/4 cup of borax to the solution if your cushions have mildew on them. Use a sponge to apply the sudsy solution onto your cushions, and let them soak for 15 minutes.


If you still see stubborn dirty spots after soaking, you can apply more of the cleaning solution and gently rub out the spots with a scrub brush.


Thoroughly rinse the cushions off with the garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, as it may damage the fabric.


Wrap a towel around the cushion to blot the majority of the water before you stand the cushion up on its end to air-dry. Make sure there is no moisture remaining so you don’t find yourself facing a regrowth of mildew. You can even pull out the blow dryer, if you need to.


Once your cushions are fully dry, spray them with a fabric protector to help resist dirt and stains. This step will make it much easier to keep those cushions clean the rest of the summer. Now you can sit back and relax with friends and family and enjoy a summer smoothie or some barbecue.