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Porch and Patio Fall Cleaning and Decor Tips

Are you looking at your dirty patio or porch and wondering the best way to clean it? Here are easy and inexpensive cleaning tips to get rid of the grime and decorate this fall. 

Yes, after the long hot days of summer and using our patios and porches they start looking dirty.

Mold, mildew, and algae may have formed on cushions and railings.

The pillows are looking dirty and are no longer water resistant.

After 9 years of having multiple porches, here are my best tips for cleaning your porch or patio this fall!

Plus learn how to inexpensively decorate too. 

What to Clean on Your Patio or Porch 

Obviously, over the summer months it’s rained, birds have come for a “visit”, landscape clippings have blown onto the surfaces, and even mildew or algae has started to grow on the cushions and pillows.

No one is immune to these common issues. It is outdoor living after all!

Here are the items that I clean regularly on my porch:

  • Outdoor pillows and pillow covers
  • Patio furniture cushions
  • Wood railings
  • Outdoor Rugs

Luckily, there are very few supplies that you will need and they are very inexpensive!

My favorite cleaning product by far is BLEACH!

Bleach tackles a variety of issues, but you have to be careful where you use it.

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Porch and Patio Fall Cleaning Tips

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Cleaning Outdoor Pillows and Pillow Covers

There are several ways to clean your pillows:

  1. Manually with a soft bristle nylon brush and high pressure water from a hose.
  2. Spot clean with a baby wipe – yes, they are AMAZING!
  3. Wash in the washing machine

Even if you have stuffed pillows you can put them directly into the washing machine!

If they are just covers, even better.


I’ve washed these Pottery Barn outdoor pillows twice a season for two seasons and they clean up perfectly!

To speed up the process, I use my regular laundry “pod” detergent and a shortened wash cycle, so it’s not an overly aggressive cycle.

This is typically just a 15 minute wash, rinse, and spin cycle.

Let them air dry to not interfere with the water repellent. You will be surprised that they will look brand new!

How-to Maintain Outdoor Pillow Water and Stain Resistance

After cleaning my pillows, to maintain their water and stain resistance I spray ALL of my outdoor pillows with 303 Fabric Guard.

It even works to make indoor pillows ready for outdoor use.  Click here to read that tutorial.

The “grateful” pillows and the burgundy pillows you’ll see below are indoor pillow covers that I sprayed, before using outdoors.


This is how water resistant they become…and even resist red wine stains!

Water beading up on 303 fabric guard protected pillow

Always apply 303 Fabric Guard on cushions and pillows, AFTER you have cleaned them, to maintain their water and stain resistance in spring and fall. 

How-to Clean Deck and Porch Railings

Since they are horizontal, stained and painted railings develop mold and mildew spots plus just get dirty. 

If you have railing balusters or fence posts that face north or never see the sun, they typically grow algae and mold especially during rainy periods.


My NEVER fail solution to clean all of my white painted outdoor wood surfaces is a water and bleach combination.

This will work just as well on stained or natural wood surfaces too!

Outdoor Wood Cleaner Recipe

This can be mixed in a spray bottle for small surfaces or in a pump-sprayer.

The RATIO of bleach to water is the important factor.

Spray to thoroughly coat and wet all surface areas of dirt, bird droppings, algae, mold and mildew.

Leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with a hose sprayer on a shower stream.


If surfaces are heavily soiled and the first application didn’t remove all soil, repeat an additional time.

I keep a bottle mixed with water and bleach in my kitchen handy for cleaning spots on white clothing and table cloths too!

You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll use this handy bleach based cleaning solution.

How-to Clean Outdoor Cushions

Cleaning seat cushions gets a little more complicated don’t they?

There are a few of ways I clean my outdoor cushions:

  1. Manually with a soft bristle nylon brush and high pressure water from a hose.
  2. Spot clean with a baby wipe.
  3. If they zip off, washing in the washing machine using the same process as above for pillows.
  4. IF WHITE, bleach and water mixture and hose off with high pressure water from a hose.

On my front porch, I have two types of cushions: box tan cushions and a seat upholstered with white Sunbrella fabric.

The tan cushions I keep up with regularly by blowing them clean with a battery powered blower, so dirt and debris doesn’t sit on them long.

That really helps to keep them looking nicer longer.

Plus I keep up with spills using baby wipes and hose them down with water mid-season.


In the fall, I clean the cushions with a jet stream and even use a pressure washer on a low setting when they are covered in algae.


It can ripe the fabric, if you used too narrow of a stream or too high of a pressure.

This simple pressure washer has worked wonders and I’ve never had any issues.

Then for my WHITE upholstered swing seat (tutorial here), I’ll clean it with the bleach mixture. It gets pretty dirty!


It’s hard to see in this picture how dirty the fabric is, but trust me a few times a year I clean it this way:

  1. Use a hose to remove surface dirt and debris.hose-off-swing-with-water-to-clean
  2. Spray on 1/3 water and 2/3 bleach mixturespray-mix-of-1_3-bleach-and-2_3-water-on-sunbrella-fabric-to-clean
  3. Let sit 5 minutes.
  4. Hose-off with high pressure water.
  5. Repeat in areas as needed.


When it’s dry, it looks BRAND NEW!

If you’d like to see my porch during this past summer, read Small Front Porch Decorating: 6 Unique Ideas for Summer

Now it’s time to see it transition for fall!

Simple Ways to Decorate Your Porch for Fall

After all of that cleaning and putting away my summer pillows, which only took a couple of hours, I let everything dry overnight before decorating.

This fall season I decided on a burgundy and blue theme, after finding a great oversized scarf that pulled all of the colors together.

That way I only had to purchase a few items to mix with my current blue, tan, and white color palette.

The simplest way to update your outdoor areas for the season is to find oversized scarves that can be used as throws!

Someone has already pulled all of the colors together for you and then all you have to do is find pillow colors that coordinate.


My favorite fall flowers are pansies, so I found the same colors in the scarf for the flower mix.

They look beautiful in this blue planter on the stool.


Then I simply draped the scarf over the swing for a very inviting and cozy look.

These scarves come in handy on chillier nights in the fall.

They will definitely be used as my girlfriends and I drink wine and hand out candy on Halloween!


You can see how the plaid works to pull together all of the colors on the porch.

I love the new pops of burgundy with the white and blue. These burgundy pillows were a steal for a pack of two!

To protect all of my new pillow covers, they got a nice coat of the 303 Fabric Guard!

Then I LOVE the “Gather” pillows as a welcoming invitation to join me on the porch.

You can see even in this design there is a little burgundy, navy, and tan to work with the rest of the pillows.


Come sit on the porch and have a glass of wine won’t you?

If you’d like to learn how to wrap a porch swing chain in rope, click here.


Then I took the same approach to decorating the front porch entry to the door.

Of course lots of mums, pansies and pumpkins greet you as you walk up the stairs.

Shop the Front Entry


See those cute white pumpkins?

They are faux and I have an EASY tutorial on how to decoupage fall leaves on a pumpkin!

Welcome to my house!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how I cleaned my front porch to make it pretty for fall this year!

Want other ideas for a pretty fall entry? See what my entry looked like last fall here. 

Shop the Fall Front Porch

Shop My Outfit

The shirt is sleeveless, so I started wearing it at the end of the summer.

Looking for comfy and fashionable black shoes for fall? These are so on trend!

Please consider signing up for my weekly email newsletter and following me on Pinterest and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer


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  1. I love the colors you use. They transition so well from season to season. Great cleaning tips 🧹! Thanks

  2. Who doesn’t love practical cleaning tips—especially when they have been tested for us and come with helpful pics:)! And I have to say, you had me at “bleach” —I’m a fan of it, as well as baking soda, for cleaning lots of things too (my copper pots that hang over the stove and get grungy and sticky with grease).

    Love the over sized scarf suggestion—genius!

  3. I just love your sense of style and really enjoy all your posts. I must tell you that I have recently used the Valspar cabinet paint and I LOVE IT. You were so right when you said it covered well and smooth. Thanks for the tip.

    Your porches are beautiful. I love the throws and will certainly look for them this fall. You have the knack for making things really welcoming and beautiful.

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