How to Clean Your Outdoor Patio Cushions

8 Materials
2 Hours

Have you struggled with how to clean your patio cushions? I have got you covered.

Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner.

That means lots and lots of time on the outdoor patio.

Who wants to sit on a dirty, mildewed patio cushion?

Not me!

And, I don’t want to buy new cushions either.

We have had our outdoor patio furniture for 4 years. I love our patio set. However, it is constantly covered in dirt and grime because we live in a constant construction zone.

One day, in the near future, there will be an end to this construction. But, I will not be buying new patio furniture.

And, right now, on the weekends when the construction equipment is parked, we still love to sit on the patio - in spite of the filth.

But, I still don’t want to sit in the filth.

Here is the method I have found to clean my cushions that I have found to work fabulously! Even on white cushions. My method will also get rid of any pollen and mildew. And, it will help delay mildew build up if your cushions sit directly out in the elements. The best part - I am betting you already have most of the supplies needed on hand.


5 gallon bucket

1/2 cup granular Tide

1/2 cup Borax


1/2 cup vinegar

Lint free rag or cloth

water hose with jet spray nozzle


  1. Place the Tide, Borax, and vinegar in the 5 gallon bucket.
  2. Add the vinegar.
  3. Using your water hose, gently fill the bucket with water. (You do not have to be exact).
  4. The mixture will foam up so don’t turn the water on full blast.
  5. Using a lint free rag, sponge the mixture onto your cushions and pillows liberally.
  6. Use a scrub brush to work on any stains.
  7. After generously soaking the entire cushion, place them in the sun for 15 minutes.
  8. After the first 15 minutes, flip them and repeat the process for another 15 minutes.
  9. Next, turn your hose sprayer to jet and spray the cushions with water until no suds run out.
  10. Flip the cushions on their side, zipper side down and allow the cushions to dry completely. It should not take more than an hour or two for them to dry on a sunny day.
  11. You are now ready to enjoy your just like new patio cushions the entire season.

Add Borax and Tide to vinegar in 5 gallon bucket.

Using water hose, fill bucket with water.

Sponge the soap mixture onto the cushions using a lint free cloth or sponge and allow to sit in sun.

Hose the cushions off with clean water and allow to dry.

Here are my cleaned outdoor sofa cushions and throw pillows right after they dried in the sun.

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Jennifer Williams
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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on May 17, 2021

    That looks like some really rough terrain.I don't imagine you have to sharpen too many lawn mower blades with that back yard,ha?

  • Bir48407623 Bir48407623 on Jun 28, 2021

    Can you use liquid tide?

  • Linda Linda on May 18, 2022

    I’d like to use this recipe but I’m allergic to any forms of tide, what other detergent could I use?

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5 of 20 comments
  • Patty Patty on Jun 01, 2021

    They look great,but I would have liked to have seen them before the cleaning. Thanks for the tips.

  • Karen Hyde Karen Hyde on Jun 10, 2021

    I'm not very familiar with outdoor cushions. What is the inside material that allows it to be washed and dries without molding? Thank youicon

    • See 2 previous
    • Suzzann Suzzann on May 17, 2022

      Most out door cushions are made of waterproof material, inside doesn’t get wet. I wash mine every year!