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cleaning instructions, fabric, Sunbrella

Cleaning Instructions for Sunbrella Fabrics

Caring For Your Sunbrella Fabrics

One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella fabrics looking good and delay the need for deep or vigorous cleaning is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded in the fabrics and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleanings. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years. Always remember to allow the fabrics to air dry after hosing it down.

Do not put cushions or shells in the washing machine. This will cause the fabric to tear and shrink. Spot cleaning with a gentle soap or cleanser such as Ivory Snow, Dreft or Woolite are recommended. These gentle soaps rinse out easily and will not diminish the water-repellent "finish" applied to the fabric. Remember to use cold water when spot cleaning and allow the fabric to air dry. Sunbrella fabrics do not absorb water and are designed to air-dry very quickly - usually within a matter of minutes. Do not use a dryer to dry your fabric. This will often overheat and shrink the fabric.

Because Sunbrella fabrics are woven, they are also highly breathable, which is why they dry quickly with only air exposure. It's also important to know that Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish, which enhances water repellency. This finish requires replenishment after vigorous cleaning.

We suggest that after Sunbrella fabrics are cleaned, and if they remain exposed to the elements constantly, that you re-treat your Sunbrella fabrics with a water-repellent treatment such as 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™, which can be purchased online or at local awning and marine shops.

Sunbrella fabrics, if kept clean, will not mildew. An inherent characteristic of acrylic fiber is that it will not support the growth of mildew as a natural fiber will. Mildew will and can grow on any surface that is dirty, so to keep your Sunbrella fabrics from mildewing, you must keep your fabrics clean. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years.

Stubborn stains

For those stains that are beyond our normal care and cleaning instructions such as bird droppings, roof run-off, acid rain, pollution, rust, tree sap, insect stains, etc., we suggest the following products: An off-the-shelf product such as Goo Gone Grease Cutter (hand cleaner), Greased Lightning, Clean Rite Purple Power (available at most discount retailers) or Release (available through Awning Rejuvenation Systems International in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 1.800.776.5664). Rub the product into the fabric to allow penetration. Brush the fabric with a soft brush, rinse THOROUGHLY and repeat if necessary.


Below are our recommended cleaning methods for Sunbrella for some of the most common and toughest stains.

Sunbrella Stain Chart

BEER=liquid detergent, white vinegar

BERRY =liquid detergent / ammonia (3-6% water)

BLOOD (DRIED) =detergent / ammonia (3-6% water)

BUTTER =volatile solvent (acetone)

CHARCOAL, PENCIL MARKS = vacuum, then liquid detergent

CATSUP OR MUSTARD =liquid detergent

CHEWING GUM =volatile solvent (acetone)

CHOCOLATE=liquid detergent, ammonia water

COFFEE =detergent, white vinegar, volatile solvent (acetone)

COLA = liquid detergent

CRAYON=paint, oil or grease remover

EGG (RAW)=liquid detergent

GRAPE JUICE=liquid detergent

GRAVY=liquid detergent

GREASE (CAR)=volatile solvent (acetone)

INK (PERMANENT, INDIA,BALLPOINT)=paint remover, volatile solvent (acetone), detergent

IRON RUST= oxalic or citrus acids, water

LIPSTICK=paint, oil or grease remover

MASCARA=paint remover, volatile solvent (acetone), detergent, water

MILDEW=1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of water

MILK=liquid detergent

NAIL POLISH=volatile solvent (acetone)

OIL=volatile solvent (acetone)

ORANGE DRINK=liquid detergent, water

PAINT (LATEX) WET=liquid detergent, water

PAINT (LATEX) DRIED=paint, oil or grease remover

PAINT (OIL OR LACQUER)=paint, oil or grease remover

SHOE POLISH (LIQUID)=volatile solvent (acetone)

SHOE POLISH (WAX)=apply heated iron over towel, volatile solvent (acetone)

SUNTAN LOTION=Pine Power® or pine oil detergent

TEA=liquid detergent

TOMATO JUICE=liquid detergent

TREE SAP=turpentine, liquid detergent

URINE=liquid detergent, white vinegar

VOMIT=detergent, water, white vinegar

WATER COLOR=liquid detergent, water, white vinegar

WAX (CANDLE)=apply heated iron over towel, volatile solvent (acetone)

WINE=liquid detergent / ammonia (3-6% water), white vinegar

#1 Recommended sealer for Sunbrella fabrics is 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. And 303 Cleaner and Spot Remover.

Great for the environment!