Can You Wash Patio Chair Cushions In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Patio Chair Cushions In The Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash patio chair cushions in the washing machine as long as they fit in the washer and allow room to agitate and spin out.

Patio chair cushions are the unsung heroes of your outdoor seating area. They provide comfort and style, but over time, they can become victims of spills, stains, and the outdoor elements.

When it comes to cleaning them, one common question arises: Can you toss patio chair cushions into the washing machine for a quick refresh? The answer is a definitive yes! However, there are important dos and don’ts to consider to ensure your cushions come out looking as good as new.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Patio Chair Cushions In The Washing Machine


  • Size Matters: Ensure that your patio chair cushions fit comfortably inside your washing machine without overloading it. They should have enough room to agitate and spin out effectively.
  • Check the Fabric: Patio chair cushions come in various fabrics. Check the care label or manufacturer’s instructions to confirm that the fabric is suitable for machine washing.
  • Remove Cushion Covers: To protect the cushion filling and ensure a thorough cleaning, always remove the cushion covers before washing. This also allows for better stain treatment.
  • Use a Mild Detergent: Opt for a mild detergent that is gentle on the fabric. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the material.
  • Select a Gentle Cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold or lukewarm water. Avoid hot water, which can lead to color fading or shrinkage.
  • Air Dry: After washing, it’s best to air dry your patio chair cushion covers. Avoid using a dryer, as high heat can damage the fabric and potentially alter the cushion’s shape.


  • Overloading: Avoid cramming too many cushions into the washing machine at once. Overloading can result in incomplete cleaning and potential damage to your machine.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Never use harsh chemicals, bleach, or detergents not intended for textile cleaning. These can cause irreparable damage to your cushion covers.
  • Skip Care Instructions: If your patio chair cushions come with specific care instructions that prohibit machine washing, follow them carefully. Ignoring these guidelines may void your warranty or cause damage.
  • High Heat Drying: Steer clear of using a dryer to speed up the drying process. High heat can harm the fabric and may affect the UV protectant that prevents fading.
  • Excessive Spinning: Avoid using the spin cycle on your washing machine when cleaning cushion covers. Excessive spinning can lead to fabric damage and changes in shape.

Steps to Wash Patio Chair Cushions in the Washing Machine:

Now that you’re equipped with the dos and don’ts, here’s a step-by-step guide to washing your patio chair cushions in the washing machine:

Step 1

Remove the Cushion Covers: Carefully unzip or unfasten the cushion covers from the cushions themselves.

Step 2

Inspect the Labels: Check the care labels on the cushion covers to ensure they are machine-washable. If there are any specific instructions, follow them.

Step 3

Pre-Treat Stains: If you have stains, use a fabric stain remover or a mixture of water and mild detergent to pre-treat them. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Step 4

Load the Washing Machine: Place the cushion covers in the washing machine, ensuring they have enough room to move freely. Add a mild detergent following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step 5

Select the Right Cycle: Choose a gentle cycle with cold or lukewarm water. Avoid hot water to prevent fabric damage.

Step 6

Begin the Washing Cycle: Start the washing cycle and let it run through its course.

Step 7

Air Dry: After the washing cycle is complete, remove the cushion covers and hang them up to air dry. Avoid using a dryer to maintain the fabric’s integrity and UV protectant.

Alternative Washing Methods for Patio Chair Cushions:

If your patio chair cushions are not suitable for machine washing, here are some alternative cleaning methods to consider:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin or large sink with lukewarm water and a mild detergent. Gently scrub the cushion covers, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.
  • Pressure Washer: For cushions with removable covers, a pressure washer can effectively remove dirt and grime. Adjust the pressure to a lower setting to avoid fabric damage.
  • Professional Cleaning: When in doubt or dealing with delicate materials, professional cleaning services can provide expert care and the right equipment for thorough cleaning.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or spills, spot cleaning with a mixture of water and mild detergent can be effective. Blot the stain instead of rubbing to prevent it from spreading.


Can I use regular laundry detergent for patio chair cushion covers?

Answer: Yes, you can use regular laundry detergent as long as it’s mild and doesn’t contain bleach or harsh chemicals.

How often should I wash my patio chair cushion covers?

Answer: The frequency of cleaning depends on usage and exposure to the elements. Typically, it’s a good practice to clean them at the beginning and end of the outdoor season, or as needed.

Can I machine wash foam cushion inserts?

Answer: Foam inserts are generally not machine washable. To clean them, spot clean with a mild detergent or consider replacing them if they are heavily soiled.

What should I do if my cushion covers have mold or mildew?

Answer: To remove mold or mildew, mix water and white vinegar in equal parts and scrub the affected areas. Rinse thoroughly and let the covers air dry in direct sunlight, which helps kill mold and mildew.

Are there any specific care instructions for different types of cushion fabrics?

Answer: Yes, care instructions can vary based on the fabric. Always check the care label or manufacturer’s recommendations for specific guidance on washing and maintenance.

Final Words:

Maintaining the cleanliness of your patio chair cushions not only enhances the overall appeal of your outdoor seating area but also extends the life of your cushions. By following the dos and don’ts of washing them in a washing machine, along with considering alternative cleaning methods when necessary, you can enjoy your outdoor oasis in comfort and style for many seasons to come.

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