How Do I Keep My Patio Cushions From Mildewing

How Do I Keep My Patio Cushions From Mildewing?

Patio couches are a popular addition to any patio or deck to aid in creating a relaxing space in your home. Keeping couches on your patio does come with challenges, especially when keeping them free from mildew. Patio couch cushions, in particular, can develop mildew if not properly taken care of because they are mostly exposed to the elements.

The patio cushions should be made from all-weather materials to keep them from mildewing. The three most important things to keep in mind to prevent mildew on your patio cushions are: clean them often, keep them dry, and do not leave them out in the rain.

Mildew does not only make your patio cushions look bad, but it also poses serious health risks. Spores released by mold and mildew can lead to allergies, asthma, and other lung diseases. For these reasons, it is crucial to keep your patio cushions from mildewing or to remove mildew as soon as it appears.

How Do I Keep My Patio Cushions From Mildewing?

How To Prevent Mildew On Patio Cushions

There are multiple ways to prevent mildew from forming on your patio cushions. When you buy your patio couch, consider the cushions’ fabric and if it can withstand mildew from forming.

It would also aid your decision if you thought about how often you would use the cushions, if they would need daily care and which general maintenance is necessary to keep your cushions looking new for a more extended period.

Choosing The Right Fabric For Patio Cushions

When shopping for patio furniture, look for fabrics of patio cushions that have been identified as waterproof, weather-proof, and weather-resistant. If the fabric is dyed, make sure the dye is also resistant to fading and weather. The most common materials for patio cushions are acrylic and polyester, which are solid and durable materials.

Polyester and acrylic illustrate a better potential to keep patio cushions from mildew and protect it from bacteria that can cause odors and stains. But even if the best fabric is used and is treated, the more the patio cushions are used, the more the waterproof materials wear down, and they will become more exposed to moisture and mildew.

How To Treat Patio Cushions To Prevent Mildew

Although specific materials may already prevent your patio cushions from mildewing, it’s best to have a treatment plan ready and go the extra mile to keep mildew from forming.

Spray-on waterproofing products are best to use and will provide an extra layer of shielding against dampness for any fabric. The spray-on treatment will not only aid in keeping mildew from the patio cushions but also prevent fading and protect against damage caused by spills.

Always use a small amount of the spray-on treatment on a hidden area of the patio cushion and leave it to dry to see if it causes any damage or color change. Most fabrics will only benefit from a waterproof treatment, but it is essential to test it first. When spraying the product onto the patio cushions, steer clear of soaking them, as this can cause mildew to form if it reaches the cushion’s filling.

How Do I Keep My Patio Cushions From Mildewing?

Daily Practices To Prevent Mildew On Patio Cushions

Certain fabrics and treatments may resist stains and mildew, but it is not guaranteed that mildew will never form. When your patio cushions are dirty or stained, you have to clean them immediately to prevent mildew growth.

Most people think mildew will only form when your patio cushions are soaking wet because of rain or spills, but sunscreens and insect repellent sprays are usually the main reason mildew starts forming. Thus, it is best to always cover your patio cushions with a blanket or a towel before sitting on them, especially if you just got out of the pool or applied sunscreen or bug spray.

Maintaining Patio Cushions To Prevent Mildew

It is easy to increase the life of your patio cushions and prevent them from mildewing by always keeping them out of the rain or covered in humid conditions.

If your patio cushions are made of synthetic materials, which most are, do not put the covers in the washing machine or the tumble dryer. If you do, the protective finishes on the fabric and the treatment spray you may have applied will gradually come off and expose your cushions to the elements.

Get into a routine of removing dirt off the patio cushions by brushing the dirty areas. Then clean the areas using a homemade solution of a teaspoon of dishwashing soap, borax, and a cup of hot water.

After applying the solution, wait for about 15 minutes, and gently scrub the areas with a microfiber cloth or a soft sponge. Turn the cushions in a way so that they can air dry. Repeat the steps if the stain is still visible after it has dried.

We have other articles that may help you chose and maintain your outdoor cushions in the list below.

How Do I Keep My Patio Cushions From Mildewing?

How To Remove Mildew From Patio Cushions

Even though you may try everything to prevent your patio cushions from mildewing, it may still happen that some mildew starts growing, and you would want to remove it as quickly as possible.

Identifying Mildew On Patio Cushions

Mildew can grow in different colors and forms. The most common form of mold is dark spots which may look like stains. Anything that looks white, gray, or yellow and fuzzy may be mildew. Apart from what it looks like, you will usually be able to smell mildew. It smells the same as bath towels that haven’t been washed in a week or two.

Removing Mildew From Patio Cushions

Once you have identified that your patio cushions have mildew growing, it’s essential to identify the material the cushions are made from. A tag on the cushions should give cleaning instructions and indicate if the cushion covers are machine washable.

If the covers are machine washable, you can put them in your washer on a cold wash and a gentle cycle. Place the cushions outside in the sun to air-dry, and the cushion covers once the washing machine cycle finishes.

Suppose the cushion covers are not machine washable. In that case, you can use the same method described for maintaining patio cushions to prevent mildew, to clean mildew from your patio cushions. You can remove mold on patio cushions made from acrylic material by mixing bleach, laundry detergent, and water.


Mildew on your patio cushions is not only a health risk for you and everyone using it but can also look and smell unpleasant. The best is to shop around for materials that are less prone to mildew on them and to also look after your patio cushions regularly.

The three most important things to keep in mind to prevent mildew and make your patio cushions last longer are: clean them often, keep them dry, and do not leave them out in the rain.


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