How To Remove Mildew Stains From Outdoor Cushions: 4 Ways

If your outdoor cushions appear to be sprouting mold or mildew, knowing how to remove mildew stains from outdoor cushions can help you use them longer.

If the cushions are soaked or kept in the dark, damp circumstances, mildew patches and musty aromas can appear on indoor and outdoor sofa cushions. As a result of being out in all kinds of weather, outdoor furniture cushions are more susceptible to mildew growth.

how to remove mildew stains from outdoor cushions


What Are The Signs Of Mildew?

Moisture is ideal for the growth of mold and mildew. So if you reside in a rainy or humid area, your outdoor cushions are almost certain to be affected by mold and mildew.

Mildew can seem like black or darker patches on your cushion, but it can also appear yellowish, blue, or greenish stains/discoloration. There is nothing like the stench and stains of mildew.

Here’s a guide to help you know what color is mold.


How Do You Remove Mildew Stains From Outdoor Cushions?


1. Dry your cushions on a sunny day

Dry out mildewed cushions on a sunny day to remove the moisture that leads to mildew. You should expose the bottom and back of each cushion to the air as much as necessary.

Keep the air moving by rotating the cushions every few hours. Sunlight can help in the drying process of lawn chair cushions.

Because it’s intended for outdoor use, the cushion should hold up well against fading.

If the cushion isn’t dry before cleaning it, further mildew growth could result. You can remove the musty stench associated with mildew by allowing the item to air dry completely.

While you’re outside, use a scrubbing brush to remove any leftover mildew. Look for tiny dirt-like flecks to identify mildew.


2. Apply vinegar

White vinegar kills mildew and eliminates musty smells from upholstery. While drying the cushion outside, use a spray bottle filled with entire vinegar to treat the mildewed surface.

To remove the stains, use vinegar and a brush or scrubbing brush. Put a damp paper towel immediately on the mildewed area if the mildew is particularly stubborn.

After 15 or 20 minutes, discard the paper towel and clean the area with a wet sponge. Dry the area with a second paper towel before letting the cushion dry naturally on a dry day outside.


3. Use citrus and salt as a paste

Scrub outdoor cushions with a mildew-busting paste of lemon juice and salt. Using a soft toothbrush, including a toothbrush, spread a paste made of lemon juice and water to the mildewed parts of the cushion and gently rub it in.

Make sure it’s a sunny day so the paste can cure in the open.

Use a moist sponge to remove it. You can also use a lemon peel with some juice and liquid left inside to create the paste.

Salt the inside of the lemon generously, and then rub the salted region over any mildew that may be present.


4. Use the bleach

Eliminate tenacious mildew stains from an outdoor cushion using bleach. Protect your hands by wearing rubber gloves.

After mixing the bleach with a quart of warm water, the solution is ready to use.  

It will help if you water down the solution to avoid causing discoloration on the cushions. Using bleach and ammonia at the same time is highly discouraged.

It is hazardous, as it may result in dangerous compounds.

Wash a color-fast cushion for 15 to 20 minutes in bleach water using a towel or scrub brush. Clean the bleach water from the cushion by wiping it off with a moist towel.

On a bright, sunny day, let it air dry. You can apply a small amount of bleach to an area of the cushion that isn’t visible and leave for 15 minutes to see if the color has faded.

Oxygen bleach is an alternative to ordinary bleach if your cushions lose color. For a more additional guide, here’s how to remove mold from couch cushions.


How To Prevent Mildew Growth On Outside Cushions

Preventative steps, such as daily or weekly cleaning, can effectively protect mold away after thoroughly cleaning your furniture.

  • Get rid of the water – Ensure that air is flowing freely. If you’re storing your outdoor furniture in a sunroom or other enclosure, a dehumidifier or a fan to remove the moisture from the air might be a good idea.
  • Place in sunlight – Move your patio cover or remove your furniture from the sun to expose your cushions to more sun.
  • Cover your furniture – Be sure that the patio covers have vents made from porous materials like these before purchasing.
  • Regular cleaning – The more frequently you maintain your outdoor furniture, the less chance a problem will reoccur. To put the dust at bay, we recommend a quick clean-up every three to four months.



To effectively achieve the best results, you should follow the steps above on how to remove mildew stains from outdoor cushions. Fortunately, mildew is relatively easy to remove, and there are several ways to keep your outdoor cushions looking their best for years to come.

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