How to Clean Outdoor Cushions with OxiClean

Last updated on March 23rd, 2022

OxiClean is a versatile stain remover and the go-to solution for cleaning patio furniture and cushions. The product is specially formulated to attack both tough stains and odours like musty cushion fabric, stubborn stains, spills, molds, and mildew. It is chlorine-free, making it safe to use on both white and colored fabric. In this piece, we look at how to clean outdoor cushions with OxiClean to ensure the cushions look new and smell new after cleaning.

To clean outdoor cushions with OxiClean, start by vacuuming them to remove dust or loose dirt. Pretreat them by applying OxiClean paste or solution of 1/8 scoop of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover and 2 cups of hot water mixed in a bowl and allowed to cool – directly to the stained areas. Work the paste or suds into the fabric using a soft brush or sponge, and soak for 30 to 60 minutes before washing by hand or washing machine.

What is the main ingredient in OxiClean?

Sodium percarbonate is the main ingredient in the OxiClean™ formulation. This multipurpose cleaning product also comprises sodium carbonate, polymer, and surfactants (also called surface-active agents or simply detergents).

The sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide in the OxiClean™ formulation act to create oxygen bubbles. These bubbles, along with the surfactants (nonionic detergents) work to dislodge dirt and stains from fabric and other water-washable surfaces.

By working together, the ingredients in OxiClean form a powerful formulation that removes some of the toughest stains around our households.

Why use OxiClean for outdoor cushions?

Outdoor cushions and patio furniture are exposed to outdoor use and weather elements that make them susceptible to some of the most stubborn stains and dirt. This only means you require an effective cleaning product to remove the dirt and stains.

As already mentioned, OxiClean harnesses the power of oxygen – a breakthrough scientific discovery – to clean better than ever.

A picture showing outdoor cushions ready for cleaning so we discuss how to clean outdoor cushions with oxiClean

It contains sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide that work to produce oxygen bubbles.

These bubbles along with the nonionic detergents in OxiClean form a powerful formulation that emulsifies oil and other stubborn stains on outdoor cushions.

The emulsification dislodges oil, dirt, and stains from the outdoor cushion fabrics, making them easier to wash off. This mechanism also helps remove odor from your outdoor cushions.

This explains why the OxiClean versatile stain remover is such a cleaning sensation when it comes to outdoor cushions. You can trust this product to remove a broad range of stains including dirt, food, grease, makeup stains, and even blood from all around your patio.

How to clean outdoor cushions with OxiClean

The approach of cleaning outdoor cushions with OxiClean depends on:

  1. The type of dirt that you are removing,
  2. The type of fabric that your outdoor cushions or patio furniture are made of, and
  3. The cleaning equipment or supplies that you have access to.

Of all three, the type or level of dirt (first consideration) is the most important. This is followed by the type of fabric, then cleaning supplies comes in third as the least important consideration.

Notice that most fabrics for outdoor cushions have been treated with special coatings to protect them from the effects of water and the potentially damaging UV rays. When cleaning your outdoor cushions, you want to keep this in mind. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled brush, sponge, or towel when wiping dirt off the fabric to avoid damaging this layer.

It is important to also check the cleaning guidelines on cushion tags before your start cleaning. These guidelines provide important cleaning information specific to the particular fabric that you need to adhere to.

That said, cleaning most cushions is essentially an easy job. It may not always be as simple as tossing laundry into a washing machine, but you can always get the cleaning done even without moving your outdoor furniture cushions from the patio.

Cleaning Methods.

1. Using the washing machine

Many outdoor cushions have removable covers. You can always slip these covers off, throw them into the washing machine, and set them to wash with cold water on a gentle cycle.

Step 1: Check the care tag on the outdoor cushion

The manufacturer may have some restrictions on washing the cushion by use of a washing machine. These are specified on the care tag. To make your life easier, I would advise that you actually check out this information at the time of buying your cushions.

Nonetheless, follow these care instructions to avoid damaging your cushion fabric.

Step 2: Pre-treat the cushions by applying OxiClean pretreating solution on large stains

To properly remove the three types of stains (grease, proteins- based and tannins) off your outdoor cushion fabric, pretreatment is an essential step.

Use the OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover dissolved in hot water and allowed to cool for this purpose.

To prepare your OxiClean pretreating solution, add 1/8 scoop of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover to 2 cups of hot water in a large bowl and mix well. Let the solution cool and put it in a spray bottle.

Use a vacuum or soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or loose dirt from the cushion first.

For grease stains, this is the part where you blot up as much of the stain as possible first. Simply press it with a clean piece of paper towel or sponge. Then treat it with a little bit of corn starch to suck up some of that grease.

Remove the dry corn starch with a straight edge or ruler. Spray the cushion thoroughly with the solution from your spray bottle, targeting the stained areas. Let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you could apply the OxiClean pretreating solution to the stains directly from the mixing bowl using a scoop if you don’t have a spray bottle. Let it sit for the full 30 minutes.

Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the cushion side-to-side and up-and-down, and then rinse.

If there are still stains remaining, mix a few OxiClean liquid laundry detergent drops with 1/4 cup baking soda in a container to create a paste. Apply the paste directly to the stains. Wait 10 minutes. Then scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush, and rinse away with clean water.

Step 3: Load the cushion covers in the washing machine

Remove the covers, separating them from the cushions. Shake out the covers to remove any debris trapped inside, and zip them back up before loading them into the washing machine.

Add OxiClean liquid laundry detergent and set the machine on a cold, gentle cycle. This way you are sure not to damage the fabric or fade the colors or design.

If the cushions are damp from pretreatment, you may want to lean them on the side to air dry alongside the covers from the washing machine. Also, pay attention to any special instructions described on the care tag for machine washing. These could include the specific cycle to use.

2. Washing by hand

Step 1: Dust off the cushions or use a vacuum to get rid of dust and loose dirt

Because these cushions are exposed outdoors, they are frequently covered in some loose dirt. Before you start washing them, use the upholstery feature on your vacuum appliance to remove this dirt.

Dust blowing outdoor furniture is key in understanding how to clean outdoor cushions with oxiclean

Suppose you don’t have a vacuum handy, you can still manage cleaning outdoor chair cushions using your hands.

Step 2: Soak the cushions in OxiClean solution

If the outdoor cushions on patio furniture have obvious stained areas, start by preparing a stain removal paste. To prepare the paste, you can use either of the following options:

  1. Mixing a few drops of OxiClean liquid laundry detergent with 1/4 cup baking soda in a container, or;
  2. Mixing a few drops of clean water with 1/4 cup of OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover in a container.

Once you have your paste ready, work it into the stained area(s) with a soft brush or sponge. Ensure you scrub the fabric gently until the stain comes off.

Prepare a hand-washing solution by mixing about 15 ml (1 tablespoonful) of dishwashing solution with 1 gallon of warm water in a large bucket. If you don’t have a large enough bucket, you can still use a clean plastic bin or tub.

Dip cushions along with the covers (if they fit) in this solution. Let them soak in the solution for at least 30 minutes.

The idea of using a large bucket or container is to soak the entire cushion(s) to clean them whole. Consider soaking only the covers only if the container or bucket is too small for the cushions to fit in.

Step 3: Rinse the cushions down using a garden hose.

Once they have been soaked enough, spray the patio furniture cushions with a garden hose to rinse the suds off them.

Thoroughly wash both the cushions and the covers with adequate amounts of water to ensure all the suds come off. Leaving any detergent residue to linger on the fabric can damage it in the long run.

Drain excess water off the cushions with a towel. Use your hand to squeeze the drenched cushions to let the water out. Then wrap a dry towel around the cushion to dispense with most of the moisture.

Tip the cushions of their sides against a clean wall or patio furniture to air dry.


In case of molds and mildew, ensure you spray all sides of the patio furniture cushion with generous amounts of the pretreatment solution before soaking and washing. After pretreating, you can wash the cushions by hand or machine wash – based on the cleaning instructions from the manufacturer.

Dos and Don’ts when cleaning outdoor cushions with OxiClean.

To get the most out of your OxiClean stain remover, there are a few things to keep in mind and those to avoid. Have a look.

The dos

  1. Do seal your OxiClean outdoor cleaner container after use. This is to keep moisture from getting into the container and turning the OxiClean powder into a cake that can be terribly difficult to scoop.
  2. Do dispose of any OxiClean solution remaining in the spray bottle. Storing solutions for more than 6 hours can lead to the buildup of pressure, causing the container to rupture and potentially cause injury.
  3. Do wear gloves when cleaning with OxiClean to avoid prolonged contact with your skin.
  4. Do make sure to promptly rinse off OxiClean solution when used on metal surfaces or in case of spillage.

The don’ts

  1. Don’t mix OxiClean stain remover with other chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine bleach unless the label on the container indicates that you can.
  2. Don’t use more OxiClean than directed. This could result in a loss of color for your fabrics.
  3. Don’t store OxiClean in a humid environment.
  4. Don’t use OxiClean on painted surfaces, silk, leather, or wool; or on non-water-washable surfaces.
  5. Don’t use OxiClean on rubber surfaces without checking first with the manufacturer.
  6. Don’t use a pressure or power washer to rinse OxiClean off the fabric of your cushions. This can create tears. Simply use a low-pressure garden to gently rinse the chemical off the clean patio cushions.

Is OxiClean environmentally friendly?

The OxiClean manufacturer confirms that the product is safe for both septic systems and for the environment. According to the company, OxiClean is made from compounds found naturally in the environment. Such products do not harm living things, making them ecologically friendly.


Depending on the weather, our outdoor spaces can often be our second living space. So you want to keep it and the patio furniture cushions as clean as they can be.

Because OxiClean has an especially powerful cleaning formulation, you can rely on it to keep your outdoor cushions as clean as new all year long.

And now that you have something even more valuable – this guide – to show you how to clean those lovely outdoor cushions with OxiClean and be able to enjoy every moment you spend out-of-doors.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Can you use OxiClean on couch cushions?

Yes. You can always use OxiClean to remove stubborn stains and spills on couch cushions. Simply mix OxiClean with water according to the manufacturer’s directions. Do not spray the solution directly on the spill. Apply it on a water-washable towel and use it to wipe out stains. Dampen the towel in clean water to rinse the spot.

Can you use Oxiclean on Sunbrella fabric?

Sunbrella fabrics are known for their characteristics such as strength, perfect comfort, color retention, and cleanability. Sunbrella fabrics are also stain resistant making them easy to clean with a simple wipe with industrial stain removers such as OxiClean.

Can you mix OxiClean and Dawn dish soap?

Yes. you can mix dawn dish soap and OxiClean to come up with a stronger solution as an outdoor furniture cushion cleaner. Usually, the mixing ratio is one cup of OxiClean and half a cup of dawn dish soap; however, depending on factors like the size of your container and the material you want to clean, you can always mix more.

How long can you soak something in OxiClean?

How long you need to soak anything in OxiClean depends on the degree of stain effect. Different stains require different times to soak. However, the recommended longest time to take is six hours.

Can you use vinegar with OxiClean?

Yes. These two products can be used together, especially for normal household cleaning that needs minor scrubbing. Take one spoon of OxiClean and mix with the correct amount of vinegar to make a strong paste. The graininess in OxiClean works as a scouring powder and the vinegar penetrates through stubborn stains.

Can you mix OxiClean and borax?

It is possible to mix OxiClean and Borax with different bleach-free household detergents. However, it is highly recommended to mix the two with water, and if you are not sure you can contact the brand. This is important because mixing these two products with other cleaners containing ammonia can lead to toxic gas production.

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