Sunbrella Cleaning Instructions

We have compiled some frequently asked questions concerning the care and cleaning of Sunbrella brand fabrics. Cushion.com highly recommends following the cleaning methods outlined below when caring for and cleaning products made with Sunbrella brand fabrics and materials. By following a few simple care and cleaning steps, Sunbrella fabric will maintain its good looks for many years to come.

Background Information

Sunbrella® fabrics are made from 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic yarns. Solution-dying is the process of adding color to acrylic fibers during manufacturing while they are in a liquid state. This characteristic of Sunbrella® fabrics is the key to locking in color, easy cleaning and long life.

Mold and Mildew

Sunbrella® fabrics will not support the growth of mildew, but dirt on the fabric can lead to mildew growth, which makes regular cleanings important. No set timetable exists for when fabric should be cleaned, and the local environment has a great deal to do with determining cleaning frequency. Cleaning is required less frequently in a dry environment than in a humid one with heavy foliage.

Basic Cleaning

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

Thorough Cleaning

When it's time for a thorough cleaning, Sunbrella® fabrics can be cleaned while still on an awning frame or a boat or, size permitting, they can be removed for cleaning in a washing machine.

When cleaning Sunbrella® fabrics, it is important to observe the following:

  • Always use a natural soap (like dishwashing liquid). Never detergent.
  • Water should be cold to lukewarm. Never more than 100 degrees.
  • Air dry only. Never apply heat to Sunbrella® fabrics.

    If you are cleaning Sunbrella® while still on a frame, follow these simple steps:
  • Brush off loose dirt.
  • Hose down.
  • Prepare a cleaning mixture of water and mild, natural soap (no detergents).
  • Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
  • Allow soap to soak in.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Air dry.

    If stubborn stains persist, you can use a diluted chlorine bleach/soap mixture for spot cleaning of mildew, roof run-off and other similar stains.

    Prepare a special cleaning mixture:
  • Four ounces (half cup) of chlorine bleach.
  • Two ounces (one-fourth cup) of natural soap.
  • One gallon of water.
  • Clean with soft bristle brush.
  • Allow mixture to soak for up to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Air dry.
  • Repeat if necessary.

    Remember to protect the area around your Sunbrella® if using a bleach solution. Carpet or other fabrics that are not Sunbrella® may have an adverse reaction to the bleach.

    If an awning or boat cover is suitable in size for a washing machine, these steps should be followed:
  • Use only natural soaps. No detergent.
  • Wash and rinse in cold water.
  • Air dry. Never put Sunbrella® fabrics in your dryer.

Re-treating the Fabric

As part of the finishing process, Sunbrella® fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish, which enhances water repellency. This finish is designed to last for several years, but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. Based on test results, Glen Raven recommends 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ as the preferred re-treatment product for Sunbrella® fabrics. Fabrics should be retreated after thorough cleaning or after five years of use. Check with your local Sunbrella® dealer or distributor for more information.

Applying 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™

As part of the finishing process, Sunbrella® fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish, which enhances water repellency. This finish is designed to last for several years, but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. Based on test results, Glen Raven recommends 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ as the preferred re-treatment product for Sunbrella® fabrics. Fabrics should be retreated after thorough cleaning or after five years of use. Check with your local Sunbrella® dealer or distributor for more information.

Professional Cleaners

You may have access to professional cleaning firms that service awnings. In evaluating the services of a professional firm, you should inquire about a firm's experience in working with Sunbrella® fabrics and knowledge of cleaning and retreatment requirements.

Sunbrella Stain Cleaning Chart

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

BEERliquid detergent, white vinegar
BERRYliquid detergent / ammonia (3-6% water)
BLOOD (DRIED)detergent / ammonia (3-6% water)
BUTTERvolatile solvent (acetone)
CHARCOAL, PENCIL MARKSvacuum, then liquid detergent
CATSUP OR MUSTARDliquid detergent
CHEWING GUMvolatile solvent (acetone)
CHOCOLATEliquid detergent, ammonia water
COFFEEdetergent, white vinegar, volatile solvent (acetone)
COLAliquid detergent
CRAYONpaint, oil or grease remover
EGG (RAW)liquid detergent
GRAPE JUICEliquid detergent
GRAVYliquid detergent
GREASE (CAR)volatile solvent (acetone)
INK (PERMANENT, INDIA,BALLPOINT)paint remover, volatile solvent (acetone), detergent
IRON RUSToxalic or citrus acids, water
LIPSTICKpaint, oil or grease remover
MASCARApaint remover, volatile solvent (acetone), detergent, water
MILDEW1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of water
MILKliquid detergent
NAIL POLISHvolatile solvent (acetone)
OILvolatile solvent (acetone)
ORANGE DRINKliquid detergent, water
PAINT (LATEX) WETliquid detergent, water
PAINT (LATEX) DRIEDpaint, 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 LOTIONPine Power® or pine oil detergent
TEAliquid detergent
TOMATO JUICEliquid detergent
TREE SAPturpentine, liquid detergent
URINEliquid detergent, white vinegar
VOMITdetergent, water, white vinegar
WATER COLORliquid detergent, water, white vinegar
WAX (CANDLE)apply heated iron over towel, volatile solvent (acetone)
WINEliquid detergent / ammonia (3-6% water), white vinegar