We Are supported by our audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

9 Proven Methods: How to Remove Rust from Outdoor Cushions and Revitalize Your Patio Furniture

Cushions have the power to transform the appearance of your outdoor furniture, so it’s essential to maintain them properly to keep them looking their best.

Rust is not only a menace to metal objects; it can also leave unsightly marks on your outdoor cushions. Tackling these stains as early as possible is crucial for preserving their aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners, including myself, opt to cover outdoor furniture with protective coverings to shield them from the elements.

Despite these efforts, rust can still find its way onto outdoor cushions. As a result, we have received numerous inquiries about how to remove rust from outdoor cushions.

To help you address this common concern, we have compiled a comprehensive list of effective solutions for removing rust stains from your outdoor cushions, ensuring they remain attractive and inviting for your guests.

9 Tips to clean remove rust from outdoor cushions

Rust can damage your furniture cushions, especially when it’s about outdoor fittings. After applying different techniques we are here to present you with some reliable and easy methods to remove rust from outdoor cushions.

1. Liquid toilet cleaner

This may sound surprising but it is really all about the ingredients that do the magic. All you need to do is to apply a regular liquid toilet cleaner onto the stain.  Here are the steps:

  • Apply in drops exactly over the rusted satins of your outdoor cushions. Do not apply in areas that do not have rust on your outdoor cushion.
  • Now, wait a minute for the cushion to soak up the liquid toilet cleaner.
  • Use a wet toothbrush to dab onto some detergent powder and very gently scrub the area where you applied the liquid toilet cleaner. 
  • Apply some water to keep the fabric wet. This will help to make the cleaning easy.
  • Also, keep dabbing your toothbrush onto the detergent powder once the fabric of your cushion has absorbed all the detergent powder.
  • Keep scrubbing until the fabric of your outdoor cushion looks clean.
  • As you scrub the fabric, you will notice the color of the liquid toilet cleaner will disappear from the cushion fabric.
  • Now wash away the soap from the cushion cover with water very gently. Do not be harsh in using water by spraying water especially if the fabric of your cushion is thin. But you can spray if the fabric is strong. 

2. How to clean patio cushions with lemon juice soap and salt

This is a classic recipe to save your outdoor cushion from that permanent rusted stain. Here is what you will need:

  • A Toothbrush
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Liquid Soap
  • Salt

Now follow the instructions downs described below:

  • To a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Now add 2 Tablespoons of Liquid Soap (the liquid soap used for dish-washing.)
  • Now also add 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar.
  • Mix this well using a spoon.
  • Now add the juice of half a lemon. Once again stir this well.
  • Once you have stored this well, use a spoon to scoop out a portion and pour it onto the area that contains the rust.
  • Leave this wet mixture on your outdoor cushion. Let the wet mixture do its job by leaving it for 15 minutes. 

4. How to Clean Outdoor Cushions with vinegar

This recipe includes only 2 main ingredients: Salt and Vinegar.

In a small bowl mix a tablespoon of salt and vinegar. Then use a brush to gently apply the rust from your outdoor cushion. 

Now leave the outdoor cushion for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, check if the rust mark is all gone. If the markings are gone then rinse it off using warm water. Repeat the process needed.

5. Instead of vinegar-add lemon juice

If the above step does not work try adding lemon juice instead of vinegar and repeat the steps as stated above.

You can also leave this paste of mixture over the fabric and leave it out in the sun to dry and then rinse it out. Repeat this step if you need to.

Another idea is to stretch it over a steaming pot of water while the mixture is on the cushion. Furthermore, you can consider stretching over a pot and pouring hot boiling water over the mixture that is on the cushion.

Keep in mind that you may have to repeat this step.

6. Cleaning outdoor cushions with OxiClean

This is not a natural way to remove your rust stain. But this is worth a purchase especially if you have MANY outdoor cushions.

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions with Oxiclean
Photo Credit: oxiclean.com

Although the OxiClean Odor Blasters Stain & Odor Remover is popularly branded for washing your sweaty clothes, they can also be used to remove rust stains from your outdoor cushions.

Simply place the covers of your outdoor cushions into the washing machine and add the Oxiclean into the washing machine. Make sure you use warm water for this to work.

Your cushions are not only going to look new but they will also smell great.

7. How to remove rust from outdoor cushions using alcohol

In a bowl, make a mixture by mixing rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and dish soap. Apply this to the rusted area. Then let it sit for half an hour. Finally, rinse this in warm water.

8. How to use carbona stain devils to remove rust stain

Here is another commercial item that can remove rust stains from outdoor cushions.

How to Use Carbona Stain Devils to Remove Rust Stain
Photo Credit: Carbona.com

This product does not require you to remove rust stains by cleaning the entire cushion. You simply open the zipper of your cushion and then remove the cushion padding.

Now place a small plate INSIDE the zipper cover under the area where the rust stain is located. Now pour the Carbona Stain Devils solution over the rusted stain area and dab with your fingers.

Do not pour the Carbona Stain solution all over the cushion. You only need to pour over the area that has a rust stain.

Let the area soak in the stain for half an hour and then rinse off with warm water.

You can find this item on Amazon. There are many versions of this stain remover so it is easy to get lost when searching online.

There are many categories of Carbona Stains- in this case, make sure you are using the Carbona Stain Devils #9 Rust & Perspiration.

Ensure the stain title is Carbona Stain Devils #9 Rust & Perspiration.

9. K2R 50ml fabric and textile stain remover

If none of these natural solutions work out, you can use the K2R 50ml Fabric and Textile Stain Remover For Rust & Deodorant Stains.

This is a poisonous material so do be careful when using this. Drop some of the solutions onto the rusted parts and the colored rusted stains should disappear.

I once had a pillow cover that had metal buttons that rusted and stained the surrounding fabric.

So I dropped some of this solution onto the cushion fabric and the stain went away. 


1. What type of liquid toilet cleaner did you use to clean the rust from the cushion fabric?

I used a regular DAC cleaner and the results well satisfying.
When using a liquid toilet cleaner, make sure permanent color is not used in it or it will leave a mark
Also, do not let your cushion absorb the liquid toilet cleaner for too long, or else it will leave a strong colored stain which will be worse than before.

2. What if the liquid soap is colored?

There is no harm in using liquid soap that is colored.

3. Can I use ketchup to remove rust stains?

You can use ketchup for removing rust stains from metal objects because it does contain vinegar.
However, I would not recommend this for your outdoor cushions due to the strong color ketchup has.

4. How often should I clean outdoor cushions?

Never wait for the fabric to remain idle on the surface. Treat it instantly.
I recommend using the Pro-Care Oxy Powered Outdoor Cleaner.

This product should be used instantly as soon as you see a fresh stain or rust.
Of course, you can use the natural way to treat the stain but the more early you are, the better will be the chances for the rust or stain to go away.

5. Can I spray water with force onto the fabric?

Do not spray water onto the fabric with high pressure. This will cause the fabric of your outdoor cushion to be worn out faster.

Please follow the steps described above.

6. How to get rid of rust stains off fabric for non-washable fabric?

Some fabrics can be too special for a wash. In such a case, I would recommend you take your cushion fabric to a professional cleaner.
Remember to describe the fabric’s sensitivity so that care will be taken to clean the fabric.
If you are unwilling to do this then try mixing lemon juice and salt and then apply in a small area to test if there is any reaction.
If all looks good then apply onto the rusted stain and then leave it out in the sun to dry.
Keep the fabric dry by applying some lemon juice until the stain disappears. Then rinse off with warm water.

7. How can I remove ink stains from furniture fabric?

Ink stains are not the same as rust stains. Ink stains are easier to remove.
We have a separate post on this issue.
Although this post is meant for sofa fabric you can apply the tricks to your outdoor cushions.
Be sure to check out this post on How to Remove Ink Stains from Fabric Sofas.

8. What are other ways to repair outdoor furniture fabric?

Cleaning ink or rust stains is not the only way to take care of your outdoor cushions.
Do check out this post on How to Repair Outdoor Furniture Fabric.

The post looks into every factor you need to consider for your outdoor fabric which is commonly ignored. Knowing these factors will help you to make your furniture fabric last longer.

Final thoughts

I personally see cleaning as a way fun way to keep your house looking clean and neat. It is important to quickly attend to any rust you see because rust stains are very stubborn. So do not delay cleaning your rust for too long.

Remember, anything that looks clean will add details to your home whether it is outdoors or indoors. So how do you clean outdoor furniture fabric? This list includes many items that are most likely in your home right now. So you do not have to leave your home right now.

You can also use the above-mentioned methods to clean stubborn rust for your indoor furniture fabrics.


Leave a Comment

two × four =