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How to clean outdoor cushions with bleach

Cleaning your cushion and cushion covers is always a good idea to maintain a good fabric aside from just making it look clean. As much as we want, we always want to provide the safest and cleanest environment in our homes. However, we tend to neglect it at times; we only clean cushions and other fabrics at home when we get to see stains around them. Thus, germs can accumulate as we don’t get to see them with our naked eyes.  

Your cushions can be a home for bacteria at most as it is being used daily. Germs from dust, moisture, and humidity can cause mould and mildew, preventing you from having a fresh-looking cushion. When mildew starts to grow on your fabrics much more than your seat cushions, it goes to the inside of the strands of the fabric and eventually grows through the fibres. By the time this happens (which is very common), the fabrics then show tiny blots of dark circles. This can cause deterioration for the fabrics, leaving them to break easily, especially when they are always used.  

Thus, apart from just shaking off the dust particles from our cushions, it is always best to have them washed to prevent such instances. Consequently, outdoor cushions are very likely to be in that kind of situation. Knowing that they are exposed outside whatever the weather may be, outdoor cushions are likely to break off easily. Nonetheless, it is non-negotiable to have them cleaned as much as possible to be able to bring out the best in them.

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Reminders for cleaning outdoor cushions with bleach

There are a lot of ways to clean your outdoor cushions. You can either wash them off using your washing machine or clean them by hand. Still, the best way to clean them is by gentle washing, so your fabrics will not be ripped or pulled apart. Others also just do some vacuuming, but it isn’t enough. 

Commonly, most homeowners only use detergents to wash away stains from fabrics. Yet, not all stains can be removed by simple detergents as they do not do deep cleaning at all. Still, some may also use bleach for the process, as it is tough on stains, deeply running through the fibres to remove gunk completely. But unfortunately, not all bleaches are safe, especially for your coloured outdoor cushions.

When you are buying bleach, always make sure to check whether or not it is colour-safe. One thing that you have to keep in mind if you have coloured fabrics is to determine the label. Chlorine bleach is good for the whites, and colour-fast bleach or oxygen bleach is safe for coloured ones; always avoid chlorine for your coloured cushion covers. 

You can also do a run test when using bleach. With this, do a spot test on a side that is inconspicuous and spray your bleach onto it. Leave the solution for about 5 minutes and dry it under the sun. If the fabric does not have discolouration, then you’re good to go. However, if it affects the colour, then do otherwise.  


Cleaning outdoor cushions with bleach

In cleaning your outdoor cushions with bleach, do not put the bleach directly on your fabrics. Bleach is very dense and might be very strong for your fabrics. Thus, what you need to do is to dilute half a cup into a gallon of water, and let it mix for about 5 to 10 minutes. This process is essential, so you can have a solution that is not tough on stains but definitely still a great way to cleanse off your cushion covers.

If you have a cushion cover that is removable, then good for you. You can remove it and place it on a washing machine using a gentle mode, so you can have washed fabrics that are delicately rinsed. However, do not forget to still vacuum and pat your cushions, as dust might still be present even if your covers are already cleaned.

If you have a cushion cover that’s already built-in with your cushions (usually without a zip), then you might as well try these steps:


1. Place the diluted bleach on a spray bottle for better aim.

2. Spray your solution onto the stained area, and use a sponge or a soft brush and brush off the stain; be gentle.

3. Once the stains are completely removed and not evident anymore, tap the wet area with a clean rug to dry off.

4. You may also need to place your outdoor cushions under the sun, so they can be completely dried which can also avoid odour on your outdoor cushions.

5. If the cleaned area still has lots of stains on it, do the process again for better cleaning and fresh-looking outdoor cushions. 


If you are not confident with using bleach for your outdoor cushions, you can try using white vinegar for the stains. You may use undiluted vinegar and spray it on the affected spot for at least 10 minutes. After this, you can use a clean rug or a sponge dipped in water and detergent, and brush or scrub off the excess stains that are still evident. Rinse and let them air dry in a sunny spot for better drying. 


Preventive Maintenance

Outdoor cushions can be a little overwhelming to clean at times, but you can actually avoid them from getting stained and discoloured. There are a lot of protective sprays out in the market such as UV-resistant fabric sprays. They are very useful, especially that they provide an added layer of protection to your outdoor cushions even if they are labeled as UV-resistant. Always ask your cushion and fabric manufacturer about the protection and the maintenance you can do for your fabrics, so your outdoor cushions will always turn out great and look new even after daily usage.

Cleaning your outdoor cushions is very important. Even if your cushions are already washed and may appear clean, it’s always possible that there are still hidden stains in it. Consequently, cleaning with bleach must also be on your list when cleaning your outdoor fabrics, so they will be completely wiped upside down and you have less to worry about in terms of mildew and stains coming out of your fabrics.

Also, when cleaning your outdoor cushions with bleach, always ask yourself if the bleach you are using is safe for your fabrics. The last thing we want is to have discoloured fabrics just because you’re trying to make it look fresh. Remember that chlorine bleach does not go with coloured fabrics at all. Always be careful, and make your outdoor cushions look new as always.


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