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How to Clean Moldy Outdoor Furniture Cushions

Elizabeth Chaplin

Summer is coming and it is time to unveil your patio furniture after the wet spring months. Joy for summer fun is immediately replaced with shock and disappointment when you spot mold on the furniture cushions.

Remove mold from lawn furniture cushions.

Mold grows in moist areas with poor ventilation at temperatures between the mid 60 degrees and the upper 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Mold does not feed on the synthetic cushions; instead, it attaches itself to skin cells, dirt and pollen on the fabric. There are a few different types of fabric used on patio furniture, including acrylic-based fabric, olefin, polyester and PVC-coated polyester or vinyl, and mold can be removed from these fabrics fairly easily.

  1. Mix a small amount of liquid soap with warm water for acrylic-based cushion fabrics. Wipe the entire cushion down with the solution, rinse thoroughly and let the cushions air dry.

  2. Wash olefin cushions with a solution of a mild laundry detergent and warm water. Olefin is able to resist mold and mildew stains for the most part.

  3. Create a half-and-half solution of liquid soap or detergent and water for polyester cushions. Wash the stained area with a cleaning rag. Rinse, then let the cushions dry.

  4. Mix together three parts water, one part bleach and about a 1/2 cup of water for PVC-coated polyester or vinyl. Dip a cleaning rag in the solution and wash the cushion, then rinse and let air dry in the sun.

  5. Tip

    For stubborn mold, mix a solution of 1 cup of bleach, 1 cup of soap or detergent and 1 gallon of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and soak the cushion with the solution. Let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub the area with a sponge. Rinse with water and let air dry.


    Never use bleach on olefin or printed polyester fabric. Do not wash acrylic-based fabrics in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.