This whole last three weeks my family has come down to help us get the outside of our house painted. And let me just tell you, painting the outside of your house is a TON of work. So while the guys are painting, my mom and I have been working on tidying up the garage and back deck. We’ve been getting things ready for the winter. Before I pack our outdoor gear up, I always make sure our patio furniture cushions are clean. So, I’m going to break down the step by step process of how to clean patio cushions and cushion covers without ever putting anything in the machine wash!!
You see, with two kids and a full time job + blogging…it’s hard for us to stay up on all the maintenance of living in the country. Plus, everything living on a large piece of land entails! And one of those things we have fallen behind on is cleaning our patio cushions. We bought two cute patio chairs two seasons ago. But after a few times of leaving the cushions out through storms and wet weather, they had become stained. And they had mold growing on them!!
So today I wanted to show you how to clean patio cushions and disinfect them the easy way!!! Trust me, these cleaning tips will help you clean your outdoor furniture. It will remove stains, tree sap, loose dirt, mildew, bird droppings and other miscellaneous stains that may have gotten on your patio set. So, follow these simple steps below. You won’t be disappointed (even if you don’t have removable covers).
How to Clean Outdoor Cushions
First, I pulled out my trusty AutoRight Steam Cleaner for the job. The nice thing about this upholstery attachment tool is that it not only helps get the grime off, but it kills 99% of bacteria that it comes in contact with, so I know that I’m not only making the upholstery LOOK cleaner, but they are also bacteria free when I’m done!!
So let’s see what we were starting with on these chairs…..
That’s just one side of two cushions, but you can see…they were dirty. The other cushions had green mildew growing on the backs and they had black spots on them. Needless to say, we never sat in them.
So first, I made this cleaning solution and put it in a spray bottle and sprayed it on the patio cushions. Then I let it soak in for about 15 minutes.
How to Clean Patio Cushions: Cleaning Solution
Patio Cleaner Solution
I used about 1 tablespoon of Borax, poured around 3-4 tablespoons Dawn dishwashing liquid soap in there. Then I filled the rest of the bottle with 3-4 cups of lukewarm water and let it dissolve in the spray bottle.
There is no “exact” recipe for this. Adjust the Borax and Dawn dish soap according to the size of your bottle. The mixture will work well regardless of whether you use the perfect amounts of not. I recommend having at least a cup of Borax on hand, just in case your outdoor space has a lot of build-up.
I sprayed it all over my cushions and after it soaked in I got my trusty AutoRight out and got to work!
The AutoRight comes with lots of different tools, so I used both the fabric steamer, as well as the scrub brush and crevice tool for the chairs. The fabric steamer got rid of all the bacteria and the scrubbing tool took care of the stains. The crevice tool helped clean between the woven parts of the chair (and knocked off tons of creepy crawlies living on the inside of the chair! EW!).
How to Clean Patio Cushions: Final Steps
I scrubbed all of the cushions really well with the nylon scrubbing tool, went back over them with the fabric steamer, and then I rinsed them off with the garden hose and set them in the sun for 24 hours to air dry.
The next day….
Two very clean and good looking chairs! Are they perfect? No. There are still small stains that wouldn’t come completely out, but for the most part, they look great. The mildew and green spots are gone, the excess water marks are gone, and they are brighter and cleaner looking without any discoloration!
The AutoRight steam cleaner works on ALL sorts of things, especially great for cars. It really helps ensure that you’re cleaning to your fullest capability and leaves no chemicals or residue behind! Grab a steam cleaner and get to cleaning to enjoy that patio furniture!
Seriously, no bleach, pressure washer or washing machine needed! When done cleaning the outdoor fabrics, some people choose to put a fabric protector on the upholstery to ensure it stays clean.
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