How to remove green algae from an outdoor swing that has colored fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

Many people purchase beautiful outdoor swings that are covered in fabric, only to realise a few months later all the weather that these swings will see. With the rain, humidity and heat, many swings will develop a green algae on the fabric. Getting that nasty green algae off is simple and can be done in an afternoon.

Mix some soap and hot water in the spray bottle. Use about 3 or 118ml. of soap in the spray bottle and fill the bottle with water. Shake the bottle to mix well.

Spray both sides of fabric cushions and fabric coverings with soap mixture. Use enough so that the fabric is very wet or soaked with the cleanser. Allow this solution to soak into cushion for at least 15 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes.

Scrub down the cushions and fabric with the stiff scrub brush or stiff bristle broom. Work the scrub brush from side to side, then up and down and then in circles to ensure all the fabric has been scrubbed thoroughly.

Spray the cushions and fabric with the water hose until the water runs clear and contains no soap. Soap left behind can make the fabric stiff and uncomfortable.

Dry the cushions and fabric by placing them in a sunny place. Remember to flip and move fabric and cushions to dry both sides.

Spray all fabric with fabric protectant spray. Use according to manufacturer's directions. Only use spray on completely dry and clean fabric. Spray each side of the fabric including undersides and in the seams. This step will help the fabric stay clean longer.


Clean fabric on a hot, sunny day to make sure that the cushions dry completely in a few hours. Pay special attention to creases and seams in the fabric because they are typically dirtier than flat areas on the cushions.


Before spraying down fabric, test for colour fastness in an inconspicuous area such as a seam or crease.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Warm water
  • Water hose
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Scrub brush or broom
  • Fabric protectant spray
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About the Author

Crystal Conerly has been a full time writer for two years, writing for several websites and magazines including,, and RealSimple Magazine. She has obtained two associates degrees one in general studies and one in paralegal studies at Alvin Community College and currently attending University of Houston Clear Lake.