How to clean mildew from your outdoor cushions

How to clean mildew from your outdoor cushions
October 5, 2016 Cushion Factory
Outdoor Cushions Care

There’s nothing worse than preparing for entertaining in your perfect outdoor space only to check your furniture and notice mildew. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone in Australia has to deal with mildew at some point, especially on our outdoor seat cushions.

Mildew forms on warm, damp surfaces and appears as a thin dusting of grey, black or sometimes white growth that smells musty. It is a type of mould that thrives on natural fabrics like cotton, silk and wool, and unfortunately even high quality outdoor cushions made to last in the weather can fall victim to mildew.

Luckily though, it’s fairly easy to clean off and there are several options to clean mildew from your outdoor cushions and keep them looking fresh and beautiful for years.

White vinegar

Non-abrasive and able to be safely used without ventilation, white vinegar can be utilised on almost any surface. For light stains dilute the vinegar with water, but for heavier stains use full strength, misting the affected area from a spray bottle and wiping down with a damp cloth afterwards.

Lemon juice and salt

Lemon juice and salt are known to make an effective stain-removing paste, but did you know this natural solution can also be used on mildew? Squirt two tablespoons of lemon juice into a small bowl with one teaspoon of salt and rub it over the mildew with a cloth. Leave the paste for an hour or so and then wipe down.


Probably the most effective way to remove mildew from fabric, Borax is often referred to as a wonder for natural cleaning. Dissolve one-quarter of a cup of Borax into one cup of water and rub into the stained area with a cloth. Let the solution soak into the fabric for a few hours and then rinse with clean water.


How you use bleach depends on whether your cushions are fabric or acrylic, however please note that not all outdoor cushions can tolerate bleach so remember to check the label first. For fabric cushions, dilute bleach into water and use a spray bottle to apply the solution, cleaning off with a scrub brush. Once the mildew has been removed rinse the cushion with warm water. For acrylic cushions follow the steps above but let the mixture sit for thirty minutes before rinsing in warm water.

Once your outdoor cushions have been cleaned and the mildew removed let them dry outdoors on a sunny, non-humid day.

As the unofficial ‘Cushion Experts’, Cushion Factory would love to help you create a space that you and your guests cant wait to relax in. Say goodbye to those old faded cushions or that bare space.

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Photo: Lemon slices by mahmoud99725 licensed under Creative commons 5


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