1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Caring for Outdoor Fabric, Outdoor Furniture Cushions and Umbrellas


Cleaning and maintaining outdoor fabric, outdoor furniture cushions and umbrellas is not very labor intensive. You do not need to do it very often either, but a little TLC goes a long way.

One thing that you can do to keep all your outdoor cushions looking good for a long time, is to simply cover them when not in use. Put them away if you have heavy winters and won't be using them for months on end.

Outdoor Fabrics

Outdoor fabrics are mostly weather and mildew resistant, but occasional washing will help keep them looking their best.

  • Machine-wash outdoor fabrics using the gentle cycle.
  • Add bleach for white items.
  • Dry outdoors.
  • For hammocks and chair covers, etc. stretch back over the frame to avoid shrinkage.
  • Store fabric furniture indoors during winter time.

Acrylic Cushions

  • Remove from frame before cleaning. Spot clean with mild soap and water using a sponge. Rinse with clean water.
  • Drying completely before using or storing acrylic cushions helps to prevent mildew.
  • Even though some types of cushions are mildew-resistant, but should any mildew occur, clean with a solution of one cup bleach, two cups detergent and one gallon of water. Mix thoroughly and spray on the entire cushion. SAFETY PRECAUTION: Always wear protective eye goggles and gloves when spraying with bleach. Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes. Scrub with a sponge or clean rag. Rinse with clean water and allow to dry completely.
  • Never wrap cushions in plastic when getting ready to store them. Plastic does not allow the cushion to breathe and may cause mildew in case there is any moisture.


Covers need washing occasionally and the frame joints might need to be oiled.

  • Wash covers using a soft-bristled brush, mild soap and cold water.
  • Use a spray lubricant on the joints of a wire-frame umbrella. For a wooden-frame umbrella, use paste wax to restore its shine.
Related Video
How to Stain Wood Furniture
  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Furniture
  4. Outdoor Furniture
  5. Caring for Outdoor Fabric, Cushions and Umbrellas

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.