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Laundry

How to clean your outdoor cushions

Get your patio looking fresh for summer entertaining

Dog laying atop outdoor cushions Credit: Getty Images / Image Source

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Patio season is upon us! It's time to make sure our outdoor furniture is ready for some hardcore lounging. Let's be honest, a lot of people don't pack away their outdoor furniture when winter rolls around. That patio furniture gets subjected to a whole season of dampness from rain and snow. Come spring, that moisture can get converted to mildew and bad odors. After that, plenty of critters can further add stains from their calls of nature.

Most people have a good idea on how to get grass stains out of a pair of jeans. However, those same people would probably balk at the task of cleaning outdoor cushions. Don't worry, the steps are pretty simple and more familiar than you might think.

If you have cushions that have removable covers, washing the cushions is as easy as tossing them in the washing machine – always on the delicate cycle. You can air dry them or toss them in the dryer, if the tag on the cushions says you can do so.

However, for patio furniture cushions that are one piece, cleaning can be a bit trickier and will require a few more steps.

What you’ll need

A bottle of Dawn dish soap, a box of Borax, and a yellow sponge sit on top of a washing machine.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

A combination of borax and dish soap will help get rid of mildew.

How to clean your patio furniture cushions

Step 1. Mix up the solution

In a bucket of warm water, add a quarter cup of Borax and a generous amount of your favorite dish soap. Mix the solution until it's full of suds.

Step 2. Sponge down the cushions

Using a sponge, rub the cushion down, paying special attention to any trouble spots. The dish soap helps remove stains and the Borax helps kill bacteria and mildew by creating hydrogen peroxide molecules when it reacts with water.

Step 3. Rinse the cushions with a hose and dry them in the sun

When you're all done scrubbing, hose those cushions down to wash away the solution. Also, make sure the cushions are given a chance to dry, otherwise mildew can grow.

Step 4. Spray them with Scotchgard

Once the cushions are clean and fully dry, you can spray them with Scotchgard. This spray will create a water shield on the fabric that will keep it dry and protect against, stains, spills, and mildew.

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