How To Clean Outdoor Cushions Treat Mildew And Stains By Hand And Without Borax
Enjoy clean outdoor cushions all year long by washing yours at home. Treat mildew and stains with vinegar by hand or in the washing machine, without using any Borax
If you’re anything like us, then as soon as the sun shines, you’ll head straight for the garden or whatever outside space you have. Grab yourself a cup of coffee, a good book and some clean outdoor cushions and your next few hours are sorted.
Whether you have a covered balcony turned plant paradise, or a fancy-pants patio space in your backyard that’s filled with the very best garden furniture, you’ll know just how great it looks when it’s set up perfectly and filled with enough soft furnishings to make it feel like an outdoor living room space.
- Create your perfect outdoor living space with our feature for inspiration.
However, if you’ve had your throws, cushions and poufs for at least a year and through all the seasons, you’ll know all too well just how grimy and dirty soft furnishings can get with all the elements hammering them…
Think mould, mildew and mud not to mention pet hair and other stuff if you have furry friends or kids around – yours or not. Cushions go through hell: We sit on them, we nap on them, we hug them, we drop them, and we could go on, so knowing how to clean your outdoor cushions is a must for their survival.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture Cushions Couldn’t Be Easier With These Expert Tips
Follow these tips for cleaning outdoor furniture cushions and enjoy garden seating that looks like new
Cleaning outdoor furniture cushions can be a difficult task. First, even the best garden furniture often uses cushions with non-removable covers, which makes the cleaning much more labor-intensive. Next, outdoor cushions are prone to mold and mildew, which can be particularly hard to remove. And, finally, depending on what fabric your cushions are made from, the drying process after cleaning them will be different.
Fear not, though: cleaning outdoor furniture cushions is easier than it may seem, if you follow these simple expert tips. These are all for cushions that have non-removable covers; if yours are removable, just wash them in the washing machine.
The Warmer Spring Weather Is Finally Letting Us Use Our Backyards And Patios
To clean mildew from outdoor cushions, follow these instructions:
First, conduct a “bleachability” test by adding 2 teaspoons Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to ¼ cup water and apply a drop of this solution to a less visible part of the cushion. Wait 1 minute and then blot dry. No color change means you can safely bleach the cushion. Depending on the type of cushion you have, follow instructions below:
How To Clean Canvas Patio Furniture And Pillows So They Look Brand New
And even remove stubborn mildew stains.
The weather was finally nice enough to enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the patio, but then I took a look at the fabric cushions on my furniture. They were dusty, dingy, and had some muddy paw prints and the droppings of errant birds. Luckily for me, cleanup required just a few supplies, a bit of elbow grease, and a breeze to dry the fabric before I could settle down for a glass of iced tea and a good book. Follow these steps to clean your canvas patio furniture and pillows so they’re ready for the relaxing warm-weather evenings ahead.
Note: If the covers on your pillows and cushions are removable, cleaning is even easier. Pretreat any stains with a dab of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent, work it in with a soft-bristled brush, let it sit for 15 minutes, and toss the covers in the washing machine. Wash in cold or warm water and hang the covers to air-dry before you put them back on the cushions. Most small canvas throw pillows can also be machine-washed and air-dried.
- Garden hose
What Will Take Mildew Off Of Outdoor Cushions On Lawn Furniture
Because the spores are prevalent in the air, cushions and furniture left outdoors with moisture on them can develop unsightly mold and mildew. The cleaning solution you choose to remove mildew from outdoor cushions and lawn furniture depends on the material in the cushion. Plastic and vinyl furniture and cushions can take harsher chemicals, but fabric-type cushions may require special precautions.
Heavy Amounts Or Deeply Penetrated Mildew: Use Pressure Washer
If you have a pressure washer , and the mildew has penetrated the foam cushion or through the fabric of the pillow, then you’ll need a heavier duty option. Pressure washers can clean more deeply than a spritzer and vinegar, but it’s really easy to damage the cushion from too much pressure, so follow all the precautions below.
How to use a pressure washer to remove mold step-by-step:
How To Remove Stains From Canvas Patio Furniture And Pillows
- Mildew: While the fabric is dry, brush the surface with a soft-bristled brush to loosen and remove mildew spores. Make a paste of one tablespoon liquid laundry detergent and one teaspoon powdered oxygen bleach and apply it to the mildew stains with a soft-bristled brush. Allow the paste to sit for at least one hour before rinsing.
- Food and oily stains: Use a dab of heavy-duty laundry detergent on each stained area and work it into the fabric with a soft-bristled brush. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes before rinsing.
- Bird droppings: If the dropping is wet, allow it to dry before cleaning. Use the edge of a dull knife or a credit card to lift away any dry solids. Dab the spot with liquid detergent, work it into the stain with a brush, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Add a bit of powdered oxygen bleach to the detergent if the stain is dark from berries the bird ate.
- Grass: Make a paste of one tablespoon liquid laundry detergent and one teaspoon powdered oxygen bleach and apply it to the stain with a soft-bristled brush. Allow the paste to sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.
- Tree sap: Work a dab of heavy-duty laundry detergent onto the stained area with a scrub brush. Let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing the area with the brush dipped in hot water.
How To Get Rid Of Mildew Stains On Outdoor Fabric Furniture
If you’ve left your fabric patio furniture in a humid or damp environment for an extended period of time, it may develop mildew that leaves small spots on the fabric. If mildewed fabric is left untreated and kept in a moist environment, mold may also develop, resulting in mildew-spotted furniture that also smells musty. Cleaning the fabric and keeping it in a well-ventilated, nonhumid area removes the mildew and lessens the chances of new mildew growth.
Expert Cleaning Tips For Removing Mold From Patio Furniture
Mild cases of mold can be cleaned off of most outdoor furniture with a mixture of water, soap, and a little bleach, says James Conner, vice president at Molly Maid. Note that bleach may cause discoloration on certain fabrics, so spot test an inconspicuous place before using. Spray the mixture onto the furniture surface and agitate the area with a , and rinse thoroughly with water. Avoid using a brush with metal bristles, as it can scratch surfaces such as wood, glass tabletops, painted surfaces, and more.
Chlorine bleach is a common household cleaning product used on mold. It is effective at removing the stains caused by mold, but it doesn’t kill the mold. To effectively kill mold, turn to an enzyme cleaner, says Doug Hoffman, CEO of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors . Mold and mildew on outdoor furniture is a particularly tricky problem and can become a health hazard. Certified mold assessors and remediators are trained to assess the presence of mold and treat the problem effectively, and with professional-grade cleaning products.
Once your furniture is clean, preventative measures, including regular cleaning, can help keep mold at bay. If your furniture doesn’t get enough sunlight to dry it, move it into the sun or dry your patio furniture with towels to remove standing water.
Tips On How To Prevent The Growth Of Mold On Your Furniture
- Allow proper airflow – damp places are the perfect spots for molds to grow. If there is no or minimal airflow, your cushion will be susceptible to mold growth. Start by ensuring that there is a positive airflow around. Get a dehumidifier to blow out hot air from the room. Your humidity level shouldn’t exceed 55% during winter period.
- Regular Exposure to sunlight – Molds thrive in dark places. While you may like the position of your cushion outside, if there is minimal amount of sunlight reaching the cushion, molds will start to grow. The best thing to do is to adjust the position of your cushion to allow more sunlight to reach it.
Cleaning Mildew From Canvas And Fabric Cushions With Bleach
The most common product used to kill mold and mildew is bleach. It can be used on canvas and other fabrics, but you risk the chance of causing fabric discoloration. Additionally, if the solution is too strong, it can even cause canvas and other fabrics to deteriorate.
If you are not a fan of bleach, you can substitute 2 cups of white vinegar OR hydrogen peroxide for the bleach in this solution.
Can I Wash Patio Furniture Cushions In The Washing Machine
Before throwing your cushions into a washing machine, check the care tags to see if they’re machine washable. If they don’t say machine washable, then using a washing machine will damage the fabric or the stuffing. If it is machine washable, then check that they fit in the washing machine with enough room to agitate.
If the cushion has a removable cover, you can put the cover in the washing machine without risking the foam core.
Can I Wash Patio Furniture Cushions With A Pressure Washer
You can wash patio furniture cushions with a pressure washer if you wash them carefully. Set the pressure to the lowest possible setting, and if the soap tip is adjustable, set that to the lowest possible setting as well. Stand 2 feet back and place the cushions on a flat, dry surface.
However, outside of mold and mildew removal, there’s little reason to risk using a pressure washer.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Outdoor Furniture Cushions
Outdoor cushions, individual or on patio furniture, aren’t always like regular cushions you’ll find in your home, since many will have been treated with UV-protective and other weather-resistant coatings – especially if yours came as part of a patio set.
Before you start any cleaning or washing, check the labels for any information on how the manufacturer recommends you best clean your items.
Why Does Mold And Mildew Attack Patio Furniture Cushions
Here’s an important fact: mold CANNOT eat your outdoor patio cushions. Today’s patio cushions are made from synthetic materials and contain no cellulose fiber. So why then, you ask, are my patio cushions moldy? Good question.
You might be surprised to learn that the mold on your outdoor cushions is not living off the cushions and pads – its food is the dust, dirt, pollen and even your dead skin cells that are embedded in the fibers of the fabric!
Now that we know this, we can resolve the problem. The obvious answer is to keep your outdoor cushions and pads clean. A thorough and regular cleaning cycle at least twice a year will help to prevent the formation of mold and mildew by eliminating the food source for the spores.
How Do You Remove Mildew From Metal Outdoor Furniture
Metal furniture can be prone to mold building up in the form of algae or mildew. To remove mold from metal outdoor furniture, you want to make sure to have the proper tools, including:
- Face mask
- Spray bottle
After gathering your materials, proceed to inspect the furniture from top to bottom so you know where the mold is located. Any untreated mold will continue to spread, so be sure to look under the furniture and in every hidden nook. Once inspected, follow these steps:
Use What You Have Its Better For The Patio Furniture
Baking soda, bleach, borax, and Dawn Dishwashing soap are all inexpensive, and they are less abrasive than commercial brand cleaners as well.You want your patio to look fresh and inviting, but the patio furniture gets grimy just from sitting out in the wind and dust. People spill their drinks and drop their ice cream, but those outdoor furniture stains can be quickly cleaned for a brighter and more beautiful patio set.Whether you have chosen wicker, metal or resin outdoor furniture, or furniture with cloth cushions and an umbrella, it can be kept clean and new looking for a long time with the right care and patio furniture protection measures.
How To Wash Outdoor Cushions In The Washing Machine
If your outdoor cushions have removable covers then washing them in your washing machine is a great way to get them clean quickly. Do this once a year .
Simply remove the cushion cover, keeping the inner filling separate somewhere warm, dry and protected to avoid any mildew getting in there. Check the label as above for any notes on temperature and more. Next, shake any dust, sand or other debris stuck in the corner grooves of the covers and run them on a gentle cycle with a laundry detergent. When done, allow them to air dry completely before putting the filling back in.
Extra grubby? Make a baking soda and water paste to pre-treat cushions before running them through the washer. It’s a great way to lift stains and refresh them in a more natural way than using bleach.
How To Clean Patio Cushions That Are Full Of Mildew
Maybe you live in a humid area, or maybe you aren’t as great at remembering to bring in patio cushions as you’d like to be. Either way, you walk out onto your patio to enjoy a beautiful sunny day only to find your cushions covered in mildew stains. Yikes!
To clean patio cushions that are full of mildew, either use white vinegar for mild-to-moderate cases or a pressure washer for severe cases. To use white vinegar, fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar and spray the cushion. Let the vinegar sit for 60 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Tips To Prevent Mold And Mildew On Patio Furniture
Eliminate Moisture: Make sure that there is a positive flow of air. If your patio furniture is placed inside a sunroom or enclosed space, you may want to get a dehumidifier or have a fan blow air out of the room to reduce the amount of moisture in the room.
Sunlight: Dark, damp, and humid conditions are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Move your furniture outside of the shade or lower your patio umbrella to allow more sunlight to reach your cushions. Now’s the time to trim up that old tree that you’ve been meaning to get to!
Furniture Covers: If the furniture is placed under a cover, make sure your patio covers have vents and are made of breathable materials like these.
Teak: I wrote a guide on teak furniture here. You should look at this if you want to learn more specifics on mold and mildew as they relate to outdoor teak furniture.
Regular Care and Maintenance: The more often you clean your outdoor furniture, the more likely you’ll be able to prevent it from popping up again. I recommend light cleaning 3-4 times a year just to keep the cobwebs out.More Tips to Clean Outdoor Furniture:
How To Clean Outdoor Cushions And Fabric Furniture
- Total Time: 3 hrs
- Skill Level: Beginner
Outdoor cushions, pillows, canopies, and umbrellas make patios and poolsides beautiful and comfortable. Unfortunately, they take lots of abuse from dirty feet and outdoor weather, and they need to be cleaned often to remove dirt and stains.
While most outdoor fabrics are treated to prevent sun damage and to repel stains, the protective finish can deteriorate over the years. If you choose to boost the finish with a spray-on fabric protectant that acts as a water and stain repellent, you must be sure that the fabric is completely free of stains and dirt before treating or you will simply seal in the dirt.
When purchasing outdoor pillows and furniture, look for styles that have zippers or snaps that make the fabric removable for easier cleaning.
How To Remove Mildew Stains From Outdoor Cushions
Hey Friends! Happy Tuesday to all of you!
I wanted to drop in today & share with you a project I completed a couple weeks back! I’ve been slowly, but surely marking things off our to-do list for the back deck. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember the makeover we did a few years ago& how we added the pergola. The following year we bought some new patio furniture for the area around our outdoor fireplace…..which I never got around to blogging about. This year I convinced my hubby that I needed a new dining table & chairs to match! In between running a business, running a household, and living at the ballfield I MIGHT just have our deck summer ready by August! ?
First thing on the to-do list was to clean the cushions that go on our outdoor furniture. I don’t know about you all, but we are kinda terrible about leaving our cushions out. We were extra terrible this past year & left the cushions out for the ENTIRE winter! Which is probably why they looked like this at the beginning of the season.
My once beautiful off-white cushions had become a lovely shade of mildew green. Yuck!!
First step, thoroughly hose down your patio cushions!
Next step, BLEACH! I took a water bottle & filled it about 3/4 of the way full of bleach & filled it the rest of the way with water.
This is what the cushions looked like when I was finished….
I repeated those same steps on our other chair & the loveseat you see pictured here.
Pretty amazing results!
How To Get That Musty Smell Out Of Patio Cushions
Have you ever sat down on your patio furniture that you bought last season only to be met with an unpleasant odor? No one wants to sit on a musty cushion, especially if they’re wearing a bikini! When you are met with that smell, it is definitely time to give your cushions some much needed tender love and care! There are a couple of simple steps you can take to make sure that your beloved patio furniture lasts.
How To Clean Mold Off Outdoor Furniture Cushions
Outdoor cushions and fabric accents bring a bit of indoor comfort to outdoor spaces, but these materials can be prone to mold and mildew. It’s important to invest in cushions and fabric that are not just easy to clean but engineered to resist water, mold, and mildew from the start, says Sarah Dooley, director of upholstery at Sunbrella.
Check the fabric or cushion manufacturer’s website for recommendations specific to their product. Bleach will harm the color of some fabrics, but others, like Sunbrella fabrics, are engineered to not discolor. Test the underside of a cushion before cleaning to determine if bleach will not harm the fabric.
Mix bleach and water according to the bleach manufacturer’s instructions. Spray onto the fabric surface or use a cloth to wipe the mixture onto the fabric. Let the bleach stand on the fabric for five minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. To avoid water rings, clean the entire surface area of the fabric. Some outdoor cushions come with removable covers that can be laundered in your washing machine. Spot-treat as needed before washing according to the furniture manufacturer’s instructions.
How To Clean Patio Cushions In Canvas With Lysol
If you prefer cleaning outdoor furniture mildew from canvas with a less harsh approach, the following method may be just what you’re looking for:
Awesome Acrylic Outdoor Cushion Cleaning Methods
If your cushions are made from acrylic or vinyl, you are going to take a different approach.
How Do You Remove Oxidation From Patio Furniture
Here’s how to treat oxidized or rusted metal on outdoor furniture:
How To Clean Mold Off Plastic Outdoor Furniture
To tackle mildew on plastic patio furniture, use a . Be sure to read the label to ensure it is safe to use on plastic and follow all application instructions and safety guidelines.
You can also turn to vinegar to clean mold on plastic outdoor furniture. Spray white distilled vinegar onto the mold and let it sit for an hour. Rinse with warm clean water and follow up with a second application of vinegar. Let the vinegar dry without rinsing it away.
Bleach can etch white plastic outdoor furniture. For other plastic furniture colors, test bleach on a hidden spot to ensure it won’t discolor or harm the material. Once confirmed, apply the bleach mixture noted above.
Clean Your Patio Cushions Before You Store Them
When it’s time to pack up your cushions for the colder months, be sure to check them for any stains or food spills. These will be harder to remove if they’re left all winter and can attract bugs. Also ensure that the pillows are thoroughly dry before you send them off to storage to prevent any mold or mildew. Waterproof storage bags are available if you don’t have a completely weather-proof area to store them.
How To Clean Mildew From Your Outdoor Cushions
There’s nothing worse than preparing for entertaining in your perfect outdoor space only to check your furniture and notice mildew. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone in Australia has to deal with mildew at some point, especially on our outdoor seat cushions.
Mildew forms on warm, damp surfaces and appears as a thin dusting of grey, black or sometimes white growth that smells musty. It is a type of mould that thrives on natural fabrics like cotton, silk and wool, and unfortunately even high quality outdoor cushions made to last in the weather can fall victim to mildew.
Luckily though, it’s fairly easy to clean off and there are several options to clean mildew from your outdoor cushions and keep them looking fresh and beautiful for years.
Non-abrasive and able to be safely used without ventilation, white vinegar can be utilised on almost any surface. For light stains dilute the vinegar with water, but for heavier stains use full strength, misting the affected area from a spray bottle and wiping down with a damp cloth afterwards.
Lemon juice and salt
Lemon juice and salt are known to make an effective stain-removing paste, but did you know this natural solution can also be used on mildew? Squirt two tablespoons of lemon juice into a small bowl with one teaspoon of salt and rub it over the mildew with a cloth. Leave the paste for an hour or so and then wipe down.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Outdoor Cushions
How to clean outdoor cushions will depend on what type of stain you’re cleaning, what type of fabric you’re dealing with, and what cleaning supplies/equipment you have access to. Most patio fabrics have been treated with special coatings to protect from UV rays and/or water so it’s important to first check any cleaning guidelines on the cushion tags for specific cleaning instructions and restrictions.
Determine How Heavily Soiled Your Cushions Are
Less is always more where it comes to cleaning outdoor furniture cushions. If yours only have a stain here and there, go easy on them. The less contact with the foam inner, the easier it will be to dry them – and the less chance for permanent damage to the foam.
Nadeem Abbas, owner of Love2Laundry, says: ‘make a solution of water and detergent in a spray bottle and apply to the cushions before scrubbing dirt away with a soft brush. Avoid oversaturating the cushions as this may damage the foam.’
Signs That Your Cushions Have Mold Or Mildew
Mold and mildew can grow anywhere, but it thrives in moist areas.
So if you live in a rainy or humid location, then it’s almost inevitable that your outdoor cushions will be subject to mold and mildew at some point.
If you neglect mold and mildew, it can spread to other areas through spores.
Below are some ways to identify mold and mildew:
- Mold usually appears as black or darker spots on your cushions—but it can also look like yellow, blue, or green stains/discoloration.
- If there’s something fuzzy or velvety growing on the cushions, it’s likely mold.
- If it’s fluffy or powdery and either white, gray, or yellow, it’s likely mildew.
- Mold usually has a musty, dirty smell.
- If you’ve ever forgotten to wash your bath towels for a week or two, you know how mildew smells.
Bottom line—if you suspect something funky is growing on your outdoor cushions, it doesn’t matter if it’s mold, mildew, or just dirt, the following methods will get the job done.