This is some sample text.
Learn More
Home Decor

How to clean outdoor furniture cushions

*affiliate links used
Beautiful faux lilacs (Sunny Side Up)

{Shouldered Clear Glass Vase/Similar Bowl here or here}

I’ve had some questions about how I clean my outdoor furniture cushions lately so I took a few pics when I cleaned them last week!  I love this time of year when the sun is shining and kids are swimming and it’s time to clean off outdoor furniture.  Also it’s lilac season!  Do you have lilacs blooming where you live?  We don’t see them much in San Diego (they are harder to grow in climates like ours that never get a long period of winter chill).  My grandma had a beautiful lilac bush in her yard and when I was little spending time at her house I remember how much I loved that bush and the way it smelled!  They have always been one of my favorite flowers.  Remember when I found lilacs in my grocery store for the first time and was so excited?

Beautiful faux lilacs (Sunny Side Up)

That excitement didn’t last long when they started to look like this the next evening!  I love lilacs.  But this?  I just can’t.  Those little purple petals were everywhere!

Beautiful faux lilacs (Sunny Side Up)

{faux lilacs/Artisan vase/similar wooden bowl/kitchen rugs/faux pink peonies/marble tray}

So I’ve gone faux and have never been happier.  How gorgeous is this arrangement!?  So realistic looking.  Plus they are huge!  I love them.  These purple stems are currently sold out but are still available in pink.  I did some hunting on-line and have found a few other fun options if you want mess free lilacs in your home this summer too!  Pair them next to a bowl full of lemons and you just updated your space for summer. :)  (This cute top and other favorites are linked in my last fashion post!)

Beautiful faux lilacs (Sunny Side Up)

My friend has these gorgeous faux lilac stems that are also beautiful!  A lot smaller and less expensive which is nice too.  I also found two other great realistic looking options here and here.  Such a fun and easy way to bring summer into your home!

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

{round rattan tray/diamond indoor/outdoor rug}

Now that we have the table arrangement covered it’s time to get our outdoor furniture cleaned and summer ready!  Last year we got this beautiful outdoor furniture set and because it sits on our back porch and is covered I didn’t even think about bringing the cushions inside during the winter.

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

That was a mistake I won’t make next year!  The white cushions were filthy!  Can you tell where the pillows were sitting on this couch?  Ha.

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

Two of the cushions I didn’t photograph were even worse with bird poop all over them!  So much fun right?

It’s actually really easy to clean outdoor furniture cushions so I’ll share my simple process!

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

First I spray off a section of my pavers with the hose so I’m not setting them down on more dirt.  Then I bring out all of my cushions and lay them flat and spray them off.  You can use a hose or a pressure washer for this.. I always just use our hose.  Some of the dirt will come off just from spraying them.

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

Then get a bucket and fill it about half full with a few squirts of mild dish soap and about a cup of Borax.   (I only filled this bucket 1/4 full because it’s huge!)  I used to just do this with mild dish soap but I once read that adding Borax makes a big difference so I’ve been doing it that way and it does!  Looks like Addison’s lingering slime supplies came in handy after all. ;)  You also need a good scrub brush with a handle!

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

Then just start scrubbing!  Kole loves to do anything that involves spraying things with the hose so when he saw me cleaning the cushions he hopped out of the pool to assist. :)  I like to start on one end of the cushion and just work my way across.. put some muscle in it and really scrub and keep rinsing off your scrub brush with the cleaning solution.  You’ll be amazed how clean you can get your cushions with a little soap and scrubbing!

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

When you’re done scrubbing spray off all of the soap.  Then flip the cushion and do the same thing on the other side!  After scrubbing both sides spray them off one more time holding them up off of the ground so you get ALL of the dirt off.  Then I fold them in half as best as I can to wring some of the water out.

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

After that just find a sunny spot in your yard to prop them up to dry!  They will sparkle so clean in the sun and you will feel oh so accomplished! :)

How to wash outdoor patio cushions (Sunny Side Up)

I love May.  Like many of you moms out there I’m usually running around to 368 end of the year activities with all of the school and extra curricular stuff for the kids winding down.  Some of that I miss this year (and my heart goes out to all of the seniors!).  But I don’t miss the stress, the overwhelm, the long days with a never ending to-do list and little sleep.  Over the past few years May has become even busier than December for me so while our current situation is hard, I’m trying to focus on the positive this month and enjoy a slower start to summer with my kids.  I hope you are all able to do the same.  We’ve got plenty of time to clean our outdoor furniture cushions!

Such a gift. ;)



xoxo, Erin
Join the Conversation

36 thoughts on “How to clean outdoor furniture cushions

  1. Those are some pretty faux lilacs! As you know, I have a bush right outside my big picture window. I’ve so enjoyed the display this year and no little petals in the house. ;) Over the past few days there have been several butterflies flitting around the bush. Love it! Unfortunately, the bush only blooms once a year and soon the blooms will be done. But it’s been a wonderful show this year. Thanks for sharing how you clean your cushions. Looks very doable, especially if you have a great helper like you do. :) Can you tell now where the pillows were sitting or does this method clean all that off.? And congrats on winding down the school year quietly. I hear you on all the stuff that happens and what a different feeling this year has. My high schooler will be officially done tomorrow! What?! Crazy. Eek out all the joy you can during this very different season! :)

    1. Jeanne I think about your beautiful bush all the time! I’m so happy you’re enjoying it this summer.. it’s just dreamy! And yes! The pillows are sparkling clean! I should have showed a better “after” but they look like they did when I first bought them! Good feeling. Give your high schooler a high five for me.. so awesome she’s done! YEA!! Time to celebrate! :) xo

  2. I saw on another blog I follow to just use the pressure washer on low pressure and it worked great! No scrubbing. removed all the dirt, mildew and gunk from Florida weather. It was so satisfying. The cushions look brand new.

    1. That’s amazing Kristy! I’ve always found that I can get more off scrubbing but maybe I just need a new pressure washer. ;)

  3. Wait, did I miss that you have a waterfall in your yard? I must have forgotten if its not new…LOL. I love you house and your yard. Beautiful!

    1. Hi Shannon! You didn’t miss the waterfall! We just put that in this February. I need to share pics in a post soon. :) Thank you! I hope you and your sweet family are staying healthy and doing ok! xo

  4. Borax is also a wonderful laundry helper. Added to a load of sweaty clothes, it will take away that sour-sweat-not-quite-clean smell. I agree with you that May is busier than December. This May has been nice in that it’s been a lot slower than a usual year, but the Seniors have had to step up and take one for the team. History will reward them for their sacrifices.

    I enjoyed seeing your porch. It looks so summery. We are still having early Spring weather here. Very few Spring flowers / flowering trees this year. I miss that.

    1. Such a good tip Riley! Thank you for sharing it! I hope you get some summer weather and flowers soon. Stay safe and healthy! xo

  5. Thanks for the tip on how to clean the cushions. I have also forgotten to cover mine for the winter (s) and they now look gross and I’ve thought of tossing them… well, not until you shared your tips so thanks to you, I am willing to try to breathe life back into our cushions🙏🏻

  6. Hi Erin, I saw your lilac post a week back and noticed the stems had not been smashed. I was going to send a note then, but got distracted. So…the deal is, lilac stems need to be smashed with a hammer, because they are woody and cannot absorb water very well unless they are smashed. Cutting them like the florist did, doesn’t really get it. In future, when you get them home, get a hammer, go outside to the driveway and smash about 3″ of the bottom of the stem. Put them in water, and they should hold up for at least a few days more!! Lilac’s are my husband’s favorite flower, and we have 11 bushes taking over our garden, all various shades. The double-pinks are my fav!

    1. Oh my word Betsy I’ve never heard that! Such a great tip! I’m going to try that next time for sure. Thank you for letting me know! 11 bushes!? So heavenly.. I’m jealous! Enjoy them this summer! :)

      1. I cut the bottom inch of my lilacs with vertical cuts and peel the skin up. It’s a lot easier and no hammer. They lasted for 8 days and didn’t drop a single petal the whole time.

        I’m going to try your cushion cleaning tip next!

  7. Hi I hope you are all staying safe these days! Thank you for the tip on cleaning the cushions. I laughed so hard when I saw the lilac mess……sorry. But it made me laugh so hard because I don’t cut my lilacs anymore because of the mess. I am definitely going to look into the fake ones they look sooooo much better. So much cleaner then the real ones. Kole is such a good helper!

    1. Ha.. glad I gave you a laugh today. I came around the corner of my kitchen that night and was like.. “k WHAT just happened!?” :) Needless to say I’m thrilled about my faux lilacs! I hope you’re staying safe too! So fun to hear from you today Noreen! Thank you! xo

  8. Great job Erin. I may have to try that. We are heading into Winter though in AUS.
    Lilacs look gorgeous and very real.
    I have never noticed your waterfall before, it looks relaxing. Where is that located in your yard?
    Hope you are all well and safe over there in San Diego!

    1. Thank you so much Shelley! We actually just put that waterfall in a few months ago! I’ll share more pics in a post soon. I hope everyone is safe and healthy in your neck of the woods! Stay warm! :)

  9. Lol I just cleaned my cushions this past weekend!! Definitely going to try the borax and dish soap method next time :) Does this work for darker stains? I have a couple small molded stains that I couldn’t get out for the life of me!! Love your posts as always!

    1. Thank you so much Chelsea.. wish I would have had this post up a few weeks ago for you! I would definitely try them! Hopefully this little mixture will take care of them for you. :)

  10. Scotchgard has a great protectant spray for outdoor cushions, pillows, umbrella, and even grill covers. It repels moisture and helps with uv fading. I use it on my outdoor cushions and it wipes any dirt and food up from my toddlers right up! You can find it at Lowes or Amazon. $8-10

  11. Erin thanks for the cushion cleaning tip. I have 2 very long (5’) custom made cushions and 2 backs. I used this method to clean them and stood them up vertically to dry. By the time the water had mostly dried there were water spots all around the bottom. I think it wasn’t hot enough outside to dry quickly and also too much ‘distance’ for the excess water to travel. I think I need a hotter day and to lay them horizontally next time. Any thoughts?

    1. Oh shoot Dianne! I’m so sorry you had that issue! I was thinking the same thing before I read what you wrote. You need a hot, sunny day and yes! Lay them horizontal! I’ve never done this with a long cushion.. mine are always square size and dry quickly, but I bet if you change those two things you’ll be set. :)

  12. The lilac stems from potter barn are on sale for $23.50!!!!
    They only have the pink, but they are very pretty as well.
    Thanks Erin.

  13. Hi Erin!
    I was looking through your posts to see if you had any outdoor furniture cover recommendations? We are currently looking for some new ones and automatically thought of you, ha ha!!
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Katrina! Love that you thought of me! Ha. :) We bought some from Restoration Hardware that go with our outdoor furniture although most of the time we just bring the cushions in our garage and store them inside for the 3-4 months we don’t use them. I would try looking online at Amazon, Home Depot, RH, Wayfair, or Frontgate. :)

Shop my instagram

View All Posts