How to Clean Outdoor Cushions (Tips From the Pros)
March 24th, 2022
At Paddy O’ Furniture, we stand behind our exclusive Bliss Cushions. These Made-in-the-USA cushions are specifically designed for durability and comfort, and each cushion comes with a 5-Year Full Cushion Warranty. That’s how confident we are about the construction and quality of the Bliss Cushion.
We realize, however, there are homes that are not enjoying the Bliss LIfe – homes that have outfitted their outdoor furniture with cushions that range from very good to less-than-fair, and these patio cushions can always use a bit of maintenance and care to make them last a little longer.
Below are some tips to help you clean and maintain the average outdoor cushion, including a section on cleaning-solution combinations that you can mix at home to remove very specific stains from cushions and other fabrics (e.g., lipstick or tree sap).
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions
When you’re not dealing with Bliss Cushions, you’ll find cushions that are not resistant to the destructive nature of moisture, UV rays, and microorganisms like mold or bacteria.
For most reliable brands, the good news is that you can learn the ways to clean your outdoor cushions and make them last. Proper care makes a noticeable difference when it comes to the long-term appearance of any piece of furniture.
Being observant is the easiest way to keep cushions clean. When you notice dirt or debris like leaves on your cushions, clean them off right away. We recommend dusting or vacuuming them every other week to prevent residue buildup. Wipe everything down with a dry or damp rag to remove dirt and debris. [Note: With Bliss Cushions, we recommend you simply hose them off.]
You’ll notice nature’s patterns for your yard. There may be times when dust or pollen require more frequent cleanings of your cushions and frames, as well as months that don’t require much attention at all.
The goal is to keep an eye on how the cushions, pillows and furniture change over time. If you notice a small tear on a seam, and the cushion is not covered by a warranty, mend it before it gets larger. If your cushions are becoming discolored, you may want to move the furniture to the shade, or keep your pieces covered when not in use.
Take your cushions inside during extended periods of rain or intense heat. If you aren’t using your furniture for an extended period of time, cover your cushions or store them. Take the time to clean them before storing. If you have an umbrella, it should be down and wrapped during the off-season.
The specifics of cushion care will depend on the fabric. It helps to know the terms that the industry uses to describe their products. For instance, a “water-resistant” fabric could easily be assumed to mean that the cushion can withstand endless storms on the horizon. However, water-resistant is not the same as water-proof, and it is a distinction that could very well end with cushions developing mold.
Water-resistant cushions will repel water, but they can still absorb and become saturated with moisture. If they’re not aired out and properly dried, they may develop problems beneath the outer fabric.
Many common household cleaners, ones you likely have in your home today, can be used on your patio furniture and cushions. But be careful. Harsh chemicals can be found in many store-bought cleaning solutions. Simple solutions like white vinegar and hand soap are a milder option and can still get the job done.
Combined with a soft brush or cloth, a cleaning solution can make your patio furniture look like new. Here are tips for outdoor cushions:
- Remove all debris: This can be done by simply brushing off anything that you see, but it can also refer to scrubbing off stubborn grime. A soft brush or vacuum cleaner will often accomplish this.
- Check the care instructions: For some cushions, cleaning can be as easy as removing the covers and throwing them in the washing machine. But not always. To avoid fabric pilling or shrinkage, make sure to check the label before using the laundry. For cushions without removable covers, household cleaners should be gentle so as not to damage the fabric.
- Use mild soap: Mild hand soap and water are usually good for outdoor cushions. Some people will recommend you submerge a cushion in a soapy solution, but you can usually wipe down or scrub out most fabric stains. Ensure that the water and soap works its way into the fabric for problem areas.
- Dry completely: Make certain your patio cushions dry completely before storing them to prohibit mold growth or mildew.
Here are some DIY cleaning solutions you can mix at home to remove the common stains your outdoor cushions might encounter:
- Mild dishwashing detergent (2 oz) and water (1 gallon) for common food stains, latex paint, suntan lotion, pine oil, and bird droppings. Common food stains include juice, milk, mustard, ketchup, soda, egg, and tea. For pencil marks, vacuum first and then apply this solution.
- Mild dishwashing detergent (2 oz), white vinegar (3 oz), and water (1 gallon) for beer, vomit, urine, or watercolors.
- Mild dishwashing detergent (2 oz), ammonia (6 oz), and cold water (1 gallon) for chocolate, dried blood, wine or berries.
- Undiluted liquid acetone for butter, oil, car grease, gum, and nail/shoe polish. For candle wax and shoe polish, placing a heated iron over a towel can help remove the solids. Add paint remover and soap/water to acetone for permanent ink.
- Equal parts detergent, undiluted acetone, water, and white vinegar for coffee.
- Paint remover and grease remover for lipstick, crayons, or oil/lacquer paint.
- Undiluted turpentine, mild dishwashing detergent (2 oz), and water (1 gallon) for tree sap.
Can You Clean Mold from a Cushion?
The answer depends on the extent of the damage, but you may be able to use bleach to kill mold and mildew from a cushion. A solution of one part bleach, one part water, and two parts mild hand soap may remove the mold. Rinse the area with water, and repeat if you are seeing progress. Always test any solution first on a small portion of the fabric, and always make certain to do this type of cleaning outdoors.
Choose Bliss Cushions
Paddy O’ Furniture highly recommends Bliss Cushions if you’re looking for a well-constructed cushion with a fabric that is:
- Waterproof: Unlike water-resistant fabrics, our waterproof fabric is designed to keep your Bliss Cushions from absorbing moisture – even when you forget to cover them up during a strong rain.
- Dust-proof: Less accumulation of dust means less cleaning time. When needed, just hose off your Bliss Cushions and wipe them clean.
- Anti-microbial: Our fabric is superior to keep your outdoor cushions and pillows free from mold.
- Stain-resistant: You can clean Bliss Cushions without having to intensely scrub. Its fabric reduces the spots and discolorations on your cushions.
Bliss Cushions feature a chambered back design for better support and a middle chamber for maximum comfort. It’s designed to hold its shape, provides superior lumbar support, and its durable fabric is plush and soft to the touch.
Made in the USA and built to conform to the body, Bliss Cushions have been UV tested and come in 14 colors to fit your decor. They feature a double layer of Dacron and a 5-Year Full Cushion Warranty.
Shop at Paddy O’ Furniture
At Paddy O’ Furniture, we design and develop our furniture collections, using high-quality materials and fabrics that are made to withstand the elements of nature. Years of design innovation and excellence in customer service means Paddy O’ Furniture is a brand you can trust.
Looking for more information? Stop by one of our showrooms, or contact us online. Ready to shop? We offer a wide selection of high-quality furniture and accessories online, plus, we can ship it right to your door! Shop online and get ready to make some memories.