Tips & How-to's6 min read

How To Clean Outdoor Cushions: A Step-By-Step Guide, Plus Expert Tips

How To Clean Outdoor Cushions: A Step-By-Step Guide, Plus Expert Tips

We know outdoor cushions get dirty  — it’s just a part of life. But when it comes to how to clean outdoor cushions, what’s the best method?

Our team of outdoor living experts has step-by-step instructions and their best cleaning tips for outdoor cushions below.

From how often to clean your outdoor cushions to getting rid of stubborn stains like coffee and condiments, we’ll cover it all!

Choosing The Right Outdoor Cushions

When it comes to outdoor cushions, not all are created equally. The ideal first step in cleaning your outdoor cushions is choosing the right fabric from the get-go. This ensures that cleaning is simple and straight-forward.

If you’ve yet to purchase your outdoor cushions, we recommend looking for a few key features prior to buying.


Selecting any old sofa and hoping for the best? Not a good idea. The best outdoor fabrics are purpose-built to withstand life outside, so it’s important to select the right one.

All Outer outdoor cushions are custom-made from a solution-dyed performance fabric. We designed this fabric specifically for outdoor living to make sure it’s soft enough to enjoy every day but durable enough to last for years to come.

Removable Covers

While it may not seem like a big deal, trust us when we say you’ll be thanking yourself later for choosing an outdoor cushion with removable covers!

Removable covers make cleaning your outdoor cushions a much simpler task, as they’re able to be thoroughly washed without compromising the cushion insert.

All of our outdoor cushion covers are easily removable to make cleaning a breeze.

Showing how to clean outdoor cushions


One of the best added features you can find in an outdoor cushion is its ability to be thrown in the washing machine.

Having cushion covers that are able to go through the machine is life-changing — it helps get rid of deep stains, and you can wash the covers seasonally to bring freshness back into your cushions.

All Outer cushions included in our sofas, sectionals, and armchairs are all completely safe to throw in the wash. Just be sure to run them on the gentle cycle in cold water and lay them flat to dry!


Possibly the most important feature of your outdoor cushions is their level of stain-resistance.

From the sun’s harsh rays that might fade your cushions to the inevitable spills and messes that come with everyday life, your cushions should be able to stand up to it all.

Our outdoor cushion covers are specially designed with a nano-coating to be resistant to UV rays, stains, mold, water, and bleach. This means your Outer sofa can handle pretty much anything you throw at it!

How Often To Clean Outdoor Cushions

Woman putting away cushion covers

How often you should clean your outdoor cushions will usually depend on how often you’re using them and how messy they’re going to get.

Those with pets, kids, or a love of ketchup may need to clean their cushions more often than others!

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend cleaning your outdoor cushions during times of peak usage, like the warmer months when you’ll likely be entertaining guests or enjoying more family time outdoors.

Try to clean your outdoor cushions at least once a season. This can be done by removing the covers and washing them by hand or in the washing machine. We also recommend washing your cushion covers before packing up your outdoor furniture for the cooler months.

And, of course, it’s best to clean your cushion covers as soon as possible after noticing any stains (more on that below).

It’s also important to note that with the right outdoor cushion protection, you could find yourself needing to clean your outdoor cushions a lot less often than you might anticipate.

Our OuterShell™ is a built-in protective cover that sits discreetly behind every Outer cushion, ready to be rolled out to protect your outdoor furniture from weather conditions at a moment’s notice. They also create an easy-to-carry handle so you can transport your cushions inside as needed.

Our All-Weather Covers are available in all shapes and sizes for whatever Outer configuration you have in your outdoor space. They fit snugly on your Outer sofa to protect your outdoor cushions from heavy rainfall, snowfall, and whatever other weather you’re facing.

And like all of our fabrics, the All-Weather Covers are stain- and fade-resistant, recyclable, and easy to get on and off.

The in-built vents prevent excess moisture from building up (goodbye, mold and mildew!), and we’ve added wind straps so they won’t move around once they’re attached.

What’s not to love?

How To Clean Outdoor Cushions After Everyday Use

Kid laying on clean outdoor furniture

When it comes to how to clean outdoor cushions after everyday use, we suggest spot-cleaning your outdoor cushions after entertaining guests or simply enjoying the great outdoors with your family.

It comes in handy when you’re unable to remove your cushion covers and put them through the washing machine, but it’s also useful if you’re in need of a quick and simple cleaning technique for minimal, everyday stains.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Soft rag
  • Gentle cleaning solution such as detergent
  • Garden hose
  • Bleach for removing mold (if needed)


  1. With a soft rag, wipe any loose dirt from the spot you plan on cleaning
  2. Mix the appropriate solution as needed (for spot cleaning, mix 1:3 detergent-to-water) Dip your rag and gently rub, making circles from the center of the spot outward
  3. Absorb any moisture from the area
  4. If necessary, repeat until the spot is clean, dabbing dry after each pass

How To Clean Outdoor Cushions To Erase Tough Stains

Coffee spilled on outdoor cushion

For those tougher stains — you know, the ones that make your life flash before your eyes when you spot them — like ketchup, mustard, and coffee, the process is a little different.

Your first inclination might be to grab the nearest wet rag and start scrubbing, but we’ve got a better way!

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Garden hose
  • Dry, soft rag
  • Gentle cleaning solution such as detergent (just in case!)


  1. Lay eyes on the horrifying stain — stay calm!
  2. Grab your garden hose and rinse the stain as much as possible
  3. Use your clean, dry rag to wipe excess water from the outdoor cushions
  4. Repeat this step if needed to firmly wipe any residual stain off of the cushions
  5. Let them air dry. Voila!

If the stain is particularly tough, we recommend using a gentle cleaning solution like our 1:3 detergent-to-water solution mentioned above.

These handy tips also come in video format! To watch our Chief Design Officer and Co-Founder, Terry Lin, show you this simple cleaning method in real-time, click here.

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions Is Easy With Outer

Outdoor furniture with wood table and cute dog

Now you know how to clean outdoor cushions, and we’re willing to bet it was a lot more simple than you might have originally thought!

Investing in outdoor cushions with removable covers and easy-to-clean fabrics is your best defense against excessive cleaning duties. If you’re on the lookout for new outdoor cushions and outdoor furniture, be sure to check the ins and outs of the fabric before purchasing.

Each and every Outer sofa, sectional, and armchair comes with our patented performance fabric to ensure your outdoor cushions are soft, durable, and most importantly, easy to clean!