Tips to Get Out Tough Stains from Outdoor Cushions

Written by  //  October 14, 2015  //  Home Repair  //  Comments Off on Tips to Get Out Tough Stains from Outdoor Cushions

The cushions to your indoor couches and sofas may go through a lot in the span of a month, but not near as much as your outdoor patio seating experiences. Indoor furniture is protected by your home while outdoor cushions are left out in the elements to fend for themselves.

Today more durable options are available from furniture providers like Design Furnishings, which can help combat staining before it happens. But if you don’t want to end up buying new cushions each spring, you need to learn how to clean them, how to get rid of stains, and make the colors vibrant once again. If you have noticed your cushions are looking dull and drab, here are some tips on how to get rid of those stubborn stains.

Pre-Treating the Stains

All stains need to be spot-treated before being washed. Without pre-treating a soiled area you cannot expect a good outcome. Learn which type of stain remover is appropriate for a specific type of stain. Here is a breakdown of different solutions that will work to loosen a certain type of soil when the solution is given time to work:


As a growing organism that spreads in damp environments, mildew is a live stain that needs to be cleaned as soon as possible. Using a heavy-duty commercial laundry detergent and pre-treating the cushion for 15 to 30 minutes can breakdown the mildew so it no longer eats away at the fibers. Bleach can also help whiten the cushions if they are white. 

If you have kids, you know grass stains can be difficult to combat. The most effective way to get rid of the stain is to use a soft brush and work in heavy-duty liquid detergent. Let this solution sit for 30 minutes and then rinse in warm water and oxygen-based color-safe bleach. Have the covers sit in the warm water for an hour and then wash as usual. 

Oily/Waxy Stains
Tree sap, sunscreen lotion, and greasy foods can all cause waxy/oily stains that are tough to get out of any fabric. You will need to use a special pretreatment combination to see results. Try using a commercial spot remover like Shout and then use a paste made out of powdered detergent and warm water. After scrubbing lightly, wash in hot water with color-safe bleach to get the dye out. 

Take Measures to Prevent Future Stains 

When you already have tough stains worked into your cushions, knowing the type of cleaner and solution that can combat the substance is crucial. There are also ways to take preventative measures so that a spill or mishap does not lead to hours of pre-treating and soaking. Brushing spills off immediately with a cushion cleaner can make all the difference. Make your own cleaning solution that is environmentally safe by combining 1/3 part white vinegar, 1/3 part water and 1/3 part rubbing alcohol. 

Clean the stains first and choose the right cleaning solution to make the colors of your cushions more vibrant. Make sure you have a cloth for blot cleaning close to your cushions and always have a water bottle with cleaner on stand-by. If you are prepared, the stains don’t even have a chance.

About the Author

View all posts by

Comments are closed.