Can You Wash Outdoor Cushion Covers In Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Outdoor Cushion Covers In Washing Machine

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Yes, most outdoor cushion covers can be washed in a washing machine as long as they are made of machine-washable fabric and do not have any special care instructions.

Outdoor living spaces are a retreat, a place of relaxation and enjoyment. The cushions on your outdoor furniture play a pivotal role in making this space comfortable. Over time, they can become victims of spills, stains, and outdoor elements. If you’re wondering whether you can toss your outdoor cushion covers into the washing machine for a thorough cleaning, the answer is generally yes, with some conditions.

Here, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts, step-by-step instructions, and alternative cleaning methods, and address some common questions to ensure your outdoor cushion covers stay fresh and inviting.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Outdoor Cushion Covers In Washing Machine


  • Check the Material: Start by identifying the material of your outdoor cushion covers. Most machine-washable fabrics, such as polyester or nylon, can be safely cleaned in a washing machine.
  • Read Care Instructions: Always read and adhere to the care instructions provided on the label of the cushion covers. Ensure that there are no special care instructions that prohibit machine washing.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: When machine washing is suitable, select a gentle cycle on your washing machine with cold water. This prevents damage to the fabric.
  • Cold Water and Mild Detergent: Opt for cold water and use a mild detergent to clean the cushion covers. Harsh detergents can cause fading or damage to the fabric.
  • Air Dry or Low Heat: After washing, hang the cushion covers to air dry or tumble dry on low heat. This ensures the covers maintain their shape and don’t shrink.


  • Avoid Hot Water: Never use hot water to wash outdoor cushion covers, as it can lead to fabric shrinkage and damage.
  • No Bleach or Fabric Softener: Refrain from using bleach or fabric softener, as these can harm the fabric and alter its appearance.
  • Don’t Overload the Machine: Avoid overloading the washing machine, as it can lead to incomplete cleaning and potential damage to the machine.
  • Skip the Dryer on High Heat: Resist the temptation to use a dryer on high heat, as it can damage the fabric and affect the covers’ fit.

Steps to Wash Outdoor Cushion Covers in the Washing Machine:

Here’s a step-by-step guide for washing outdoor cushion covers in the washing machine:

Step 1

Remove the Cushion Covers: Take the cushion covers off the cushions before washing them. This ensures thorough cleaning and prevents potential damage to the cushion filling.

Step 2

Check Care Instructions: Examine the care label on the cushion covers to confirm that they are machine-washable and do not have special care instructions.

Step 3

Load the Covers: Place the cushion covers in the washing machine, making sure not to overload it. Use a mild detergent according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step 4

Select a Gentle Cycle: Choose a gentle cycle with cold water on your washing machine settings. This will ensure a delicate wash that won’t harm the fabric.

Step 5

Begin the Wash Cycle: Start the washing machine, and allow it to complete the cycle.

Step 6

Air Dry or Tumble Dry on Low Heat: After the wash cycle is complete, remove the cushion covers and hang them up to air dry. Alternatively, you can tumble dry them on low heat. Avoid using high heat, as it can damage the fabric.

Alternative Washing Methods for Outdoor Cushion Covers:

If machine washing is not an option or if you prefer alternative cleaning methods, consider the following:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin or large sink with cold water and a mild detergent. Gently hand wash the cushion covers, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.
  • Pressure Washing: For outdoor cushion covers made of more durable materials, such as vinyl or waterproof fabrics, consider using a pressure washer on a low-pressure setting to remove dirt and debris.
  • Professional Cleaning: If you have concerns about cleaning methods or delicate materials, professional cleaning services can handle various cover types and provide expert care.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or spills, spot clean with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Blot the stain rather than rubbing to prevent it from spreading.


Can I wash outdoor cushion covers in hot water if they are heavily soiled?

Answer: It is not recommended to use hot water, even for heavily soiled covers, as it can cause fabric damage and shrinkage. Stick to cold water as recommended.

Are all outdoor cushion covers machine-washable?

Answer: Most machine-washable fabrics can be cleaned in a washing machine. However, always check the care instructions on the label to confirm suitability.

Can I use bleach to remove stains from outdoor cushion covers?

Answer: Avoid using bleach, as it can harm the fabric and its appearance. Use a mild detergent for stain removal.

How often should I clean my outdoor cushion covers?

Answer: The cleaning frequency depends on usage and exposure to the elements. Generally, clean the covers at the beginning and end of the outdoor season, or as needed.

Can I use fabric softener when washing outdoor cushion covers?

Answer: It is advisable to skip fabric softener, as it can alter the fabric’s properties and reduce its water repellency.

Final Words:

Keeping your outdoor cushion covers clean ensures that your outdoor space remains inviting and comfortable. While machine washing is a practical option for many covers, always adhere to the care instructions and consider alternative cleaning methods when necessary.

By following the dos and don’ts provided here, you can maintain the beauty and longevity of your outdoor cushion covers, ensuring they continue to enhance your outdoor oasis for years to come.

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