Home>Blog>5 Tips on How to Clean Dirty Outdoor Cushions

5 Tips on How to Clean Dirty Outdoor Cushions

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

Adding cushions to your outdoor sofas and chairs is a fantastic way to introduce a splash of color and comfort to your alfresco entertaining area. However, with sun, rain and wind - as well as accidental food spills - to contend with, your outdoor cushions have a lot to cope with. So, it’s no surprise that most soft exterior furnishings need a little TLC every once and a while to keep them looking good.

If your outdoor cushions are currently looking a little worse for wear, take a look at our top tips on how to clean and maintain them.

1. Keep them covered

With outdoor cushions, as with many things in life, prevention is always better than cure. You can prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your outdoor lounge cushions by keeping your sofas and chairs covered when they’re not in use. This will stop them becoming damp in the rain or discolored in the sun. It can also help to prevent debris blowing into the nooks and crannies of your cushions and stop creepy crawlies making themselves at home.

Our furniture covers are made of polyester to remain durable and tear-resistant.

Ideally, you should use a specially made outdoor furniture cover to protect your cushions. If this isn’t possible, you could use a large tarp or bring your sofas, chairs and tables undercover when you’re not using them.

2. Little and often

Giving your outdoor cushions small but regular cleans is the best way to keep your furnishings looking their best. Give your outdoor cushions a brush down whenever you have time to remove any dust, leaves or other debris that’s landed on them.

The Maui Loveseat in Charcoal.

If you have pets, you might want to vacuum your sofa and chair cushions a few times a week. This will help to prevent a build-up of fur and ensure your outdoor dining or lounge area is always ready for action.

Any spills or drips should be cleaned up as quickly as possible, ideally before they have time to dry. To clean a fresh spill, blot the wet area with paper roll and then use a sponge and warm, soapy water to remove the mark.

3. Give them a rinse

You can remove a lot of surface dirt and debris by giving your patio cushions a good rinse with a garden hose. This works well in cases where cushions have been discolored by dust and vacuuming alone just won’t quite cut it.

4. Check for zips

Some garden cushions come with removable covers. This allows you take off the dirty upholstery and pop it in the washing machine – a great option if you have ingrained dirt and tough stains.

Before putting your patio cushion covers in the wash, make sure you check for a care label. This will tell you what cycle to put your cushion covers on and advise you if there are any products or processes you need to avoid. In general, outdoor cushion covers shouldn’t be put in the tumble dryer, so hang your covers on the line instead of putting them into the machine.

5. Deep clean

The Sierra Sectional Sofa has a webbed suspension which creates a tropical vibe.

Properly maintaining your outdoor cushions will help to keep them looking great and minimize the amount of cleaning they require. However, exterior furniture is exposed to the elements so, sometimes, there’s nothing for it but to give your pieces a good old deep clean.

There are a few things to consider when cleaning your patio cushions. The most important are:

  • Cleaning solutions

  • Cleaning materials

  • Location

Cleaning solutions

The type of cleaning solution you use will depend on the type of staining your cushions are suffering from. If your cushions just have a few light spots or marks, use a sponge and warm soapy water to clean the stains away. If you’ve spilled red wine, coffee, tea or food on your cushions, or left them out long enough to go moldy, you may need to use a specialist stain removal treatment.

If you do opt for a specialist treatment, make sure it’s designed for use on upholstery. Avoid products that contain bleach as this could discolor your cushions. Always test your cleaning solution on a small, hidden area of fabric first to avoid any bad reactions.

Cleaning materials

Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to work your chosen cleaning solution into the upholstery. Avoid rubbing tissue paper into fabric as this will disintegrate and leave little bits on your outdoor cushions. If you’re using anything stronger than soapy water, you should protect your hands with waterproof gloves.


It may seem strange to have to think about location when cleaning outdoor patio cushions, but with a lot of garden plants sensitive to cleaning products, it’s pretty essential. Try to choose a spot where the runoff from your deep clean won’t head towards flowerbeds or grassy areas. Patios, driveways and other paved areas are ideal cleaning spaces, especially as they can be easily washed down afterwards.

Make sure you dry your outdoor cushions thoroughly before you cover them or bring them inside to avoid mold or damp. Ideally, you should dry your cushions outside, in the shade, as this will provide good airflow and help to avoid discoloration.

Learning how to properly clean your outdoor cushions will help you maintain your garden furniture and keep your alfresco lounge or dining area looking its best.

    What's Popular
  • L Shaped Couch
  • Marble Dining Table
  • Extendable Dining Tables
  • Boucle Chair
  • Queen Size Bed
  • King Size Bed
    About Us
  • Our Story
  • Contact Us
  • Our Designers
  • Trade Program
  • Affiliate Program
  • Careers
  • Blog
  • In The Press
    Shopping With Us
  • My Rewards​
  • Refer a Friend
  • Free Swatches
  • Delivery
  • Product Warranty
  • Sales and Refunds
  • Help Center
  • Try Web AR
  • Accessibility Tool

© 2024 Castlery. All rights reserved.
  • Privacy
  • Terms
  • Promo Terms*
  • The Castlery Club Terms
  • Sitemap
  • Accessibility Statement
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information