How to clean outdoor cushions without borax

How to clean outdoor cushions without borax

How to clean outdoor cushions without borax

If you’re anything like us, as soon as the sun shines, you’ll go directly for the garden or whatever outdoor space you have. Grab a cup of coffee, a good book, and a set of clean outdoor cushions (notice the term “clean”), and you’re set for the next few hours.

You’ll know how fantastic it looks when it’s set up precisely and filled with enough soft furnishings to make it feel like an outdoor living room space, whether you have a covered balcony turned plant paradise or a fancy-pants patio space in your backyard loaded with the greatest garden furniture.

Create your ideal outdoor living place with the help of our feature.

However, if you’ve owned your throws, cushions, and pouffes for at least a year and through all four seasons, you’ll be well aware of how grubby and dirty soft furniture can become when exposed to the weather…

Consider mould, mildew, and mud (so much mud!), as well as pet hair and other debris whether you have pets or children – yours or not. Cushions go through hell: we sit on them, nap on them, embrace them, drop them, and so on. Knowing how to clean outdoor cushions is essential to their survival.

What Is the Best Way to Clean Cushions on Outdoor Furniture?

Outdoor cushions, whether on their own or as part of a patio set, aren’t always the same as typical cushions you’d find in your home, since many will have been treated with un-protective and other weather-resistant coatings. Check the labels for any advice on how the maker recommended you clean your products before you begin cleaning or washing.

How to use vinegar to clean outdoor cushions

White vinegar can be used to remove stains and mildew from outdoor cushions. This approach is particularly beneficial for non-removable outdoor cushion covers. Simply combine lukewarm water, 1/2 cup dish soap (omit if desired), and a few tablespoons white vinegar in a gentle brush and apply to the cushions. Scrub both sides thoroughly, then set aside for a few minutes. Then, using a sponge and extra warm water, thoroughly clean the covers, being careful not to let too much water penetrate the filling – this is less of an issue if your covers are waterproof. Finally, lay the cushions out in the sun to dry thoroughly.

Although borax is a harsh cleaning solution that many swear by for removing mould and mildew, there are many other effective ways to remove mildew and other sorts of stains without it.

What’s the best way to get mildew out of my outdoor cushions?

Mold and stains on outdoor cushions can be treated using a mixture of white vinegar, water, and your choice of essential oils (we like tea tree because it’s naturally anti-bacterial). Simply prepare your solution, spray it on, wait for it to dry, then wash it out as directed.

How do you get bird poop out of your patio cushions?

Patio cushions and outdoor pillows can all be made of outdoor fabric. These “how to” solutions will assist you in cleaning whatever is on your patio that needs to be cleaned.

Dirt is the most typical problem with outdoor cushions or pillows. During the spring in Texas, we get constant storms and severe weather, so my cushions get pretty dirty!

Almost every DIY cushion cleaning I’ve seen online includes borax. I use borax for a variety of tasks, but for cleaning grime off cushions, I prefer this technique. The last approach, which is more focused toward mould and mildew, contains borax.

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon washing soda
  • 1 tsp. dishwashing liquid (I always use blue Dawn)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (optional)
  • Scrub Brush
  • Hose with spray nozzle


  1.  Shake out your cushions and knock dust and debris out of them. This is a critical stage!
  1. Fill a bowl halfway with warm water, then add the washing soda and dishwashing liquid. I always use blue Dawn since it’s the most effective (read this post for more information). You may also use a spray bottle to apply the solution! It is all up to you. If I only want to clean quickly, I prefer spray bottles, but I’ll use the bowl for deep cleaning.

3. If your cushions are heavily discolored, now is the time to spray them with hydrogen peroxide. Peroxide or oxygenated bleach will not destroy color from cloth, but TEST a small area first. You can skip the peroxide if you don’t have any stains.

4. Dip your scrub brush into the warm water solution and clean all around the cushions in a small circular motion. Scrub the area well if you used peroxide.

5. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the solution to settle.

6. Rinse well with a hose.

How to protect outdoor cushions 

  • Remove dust

Dust and debris brought in by the wind can be removed by dry brushing patio and outdoor seat cushions on a regular basis. To make things even easier, vacuum your patio cushions.

  • Clean before storing

As tempting as it is to toss them in the garage when it starts raining, cleaning them as described above will help them store much better.

  • Reduce drying time

 We’re only human, and outdoor cushions will get wet a few times a year (we’re looking at you, UK!), so flip yours on their narrowest edge to reduce drying time in between downpours.

Clean up dirt, dust, and other debris with a whisk brush or a vacuum with an upholstery attachment on a regular basis. Concentrate on the nooks and grooves to assist the fabric retain its resilience. Consider spraying a fabric protector on your cushions, which will help repel dirt and stains for months.