6 Easy Steps On How To Remove Mildew From Outdoor Cushions

Outdoor furniture is highly susceptible to fungi. If you have mildew on outdoor furniture, the steps on how to remove mildew from outdoor cushions are as follows: prepare your materials, brush off the spores, clean off the fungus and stains, and then disinfect the cushion.

The steps to clean out mildew are simple and easy to follow. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about cleaning out the fungus from your cushions.


Steps To Remove Mildew From Outdoor Cushions

Mildew is a kind of mold that grows flat instead of fuzzy like other common molds. As such, the steps to kill mildew may also be effective in killing mold that grows alongside it.


Step #1. Prepare your materials

First, you will need to prepare protective equipment that will allow you to clean the fungus off with no worries. A pair of goggles, rubber gloves, and a face mask would work well to protect you from spores.

If you are unsure what mask to wear, check out this post that answers the question, “what kind of respirator do I need for mold.”

You will then need a brush or broom, a rag or sponge, and a spray bottle. The chemicals or cleaning solutions you will use depend on the type of cushion and the method you want to use.


Step #2. Prepare the cushion

If mildew randomly grew on your cushions, then it means that you left it somewhere damp. If possible, it would be best to move everything and let the cushions dry under the sun.

If not, you can let the cushions air out to dry instead.

Once dry, remove any covers and inspect the foam. If the mildew did not reach under, all you have to clean are the covers.

Mold and mildew growing on your cushions might mean that there are also fungi developing on your furniture. To find out how to clean the fungi off the furniture, check out this helpful article on how to remove mold from furniture fabric.


Step #3. Remove the spores and overgrowth

Once the cushions are dry, you can now begin cleaning. It is best to start by removing the spores and other growth on the surface of your cushion.

You can use the hard-bristled brush, a broom, or a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove the spores.


Step #4.  Kill the fungus

You have to kill the fungus to clean it off effectively and prevent them from coming back. To clean mildew off, you can use borax, bleach, vinegar, or a solution of dishwashing soap and baking soda.

 It would be best to remember that mixing chemicals is dangerous. For example, mixing bleach and vinegar can create a cloud of toxic chlorine gas.

The lightest solution you can use to clean off mildew is a solution of dishwashing soap and baking soda. You can also add borax into the solution to make it more effective.

You can also use one part vinegar and one part water. If you need a stronger solution, you can use one-half cup of bleach dissolved in a gallon of water.

Put the solution you make into a spray bottle and spray it on the area where the mildew grows. Let the cushions sit for fifteen minutes to a few hours before moving on to the next step.

If you decide to use bleach, it would be helpful to try and spray it on a hidden part of the cushion. In doing so, you can see if the bleach will cause discoloration or fading without ruining the cushion covers.


Step #5. Brush off the stains

After spraying the solution onto the cushion, you can be confident that the fungus is dead. However, the stains and smell will still remain.

To remove the stain, scrub the marks in a circular motion using a soft brush. You can use the solution in the spray bottle to help dampen the cushion and make the scrubbing easier.

Alternatively, you can use an abrasive sponge soaked in hot water. Dip the wet sponge into baking soda and scrub away.

Lemon and salt can make the stain removal easier. All you have to do is combine lemon juice and salt into a container and apply it to the area you are scrubbing.


Step #6. Disinfect your cushion

Now that the mildew and stains are gone, all that is left is disinfect the cushion. Disinfecting is necessary to remove the musty odors and remove any attached spores.

You can put most cushions and their covers straight into the washing machine. It would help to check the washing instructions first to prevent any damages to the fabric.

If they are not suitable for machine wash, you can wash them by hand. Afterward, you can hang the covers to dry or place the entire cushion in a flat area where it can air out.



Outdoor furniture and items such as cushions and chairs are exposed to the elements. As such, they can develop unpleasant smells or even host harmful fungi like mildew and mold.

Luckily, you do not have to buy new items if fungi begin to grow. By knowing how to remove mildew from outdoor cushions and following six simple steps, you can increase the longevity of your cushions and protect your family from mildew’s harmful effects.

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