Menu Search
Basket
Top

How to Care for Your Outdoor Fabrics

5th June 2017

Sunbrella fabric care is important for keeping your furnishings looking new for even longer. Plus, the sooner you act, the better the results.

Here's the top advice given for keeping your indoor outdoor fabric looking its best, wherever you keep it.

Upholstery Care and Cleaning

One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella fabrics looking good is to brush dirt off before it becomes embedded in the fabric. First, wipe up spills or clean them soon after a stain occurs. This is when they're the easiest to remove.

New Spills or Stains on Sunbrella Fabric

  • Blot (don’t rub) liquid spills with a clean, dry cloth.
  • For oil-based spills, apply an absorbent such as corn starch, then remove with a straight edge.
  • Spray on a mild cleaning solution of soap (such as Woolite) and water.
  • Rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Air Dry.

If the Stain Remains

Though Sunbrella fabrics can be used both outdoors and in, your cleaning methods should differ slightly
indoors and out because of the fabrication and manufact

Subrella fabric is suitable for indoor and outdoor use but cleaning methods vary. This is due to the furnishings. Here's how to deal with both indoor and outdoor fabric usage.

Outdoor Upholstery Fabric

Cleaning Removable Fabric

Hand Washing

Soak fabric in a solution of quarter cup of mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or very soft bristle brush to lightly agitate the stain. Then rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue, and allow fabric to air dry.

Machine Washing

Some removable casings can be washed in the washing machine, however consult the furniture manufacturer before removing the casing as cushion construction may vary.

To wash, first close all zippers. Machine wash in cold water on the delicate cycle with normal amounts of mild laundry detergent. For severe mold or mildew, add one cup of bleach. Allow fabric to air dry.

Cleaning Non-Removable Fabric

Prepare a solution of quarter cup of mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a soft bristle brush to clean, allowing the cleaning solution to soak into the fabric. Then rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow fabric to air dry.

Mould and Mildew Stains

Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth. Mildew, however, may grow on dirt and other foreign substances if not removed from the fabric.

To remove mold or mildew:

  • Prepare a solution of one cup of bleach and a quarter cup mild soap per gallon of water.
  • Spray on entire area and allow to soak into the fabric for 15 minutes.
  • Clean entire surface area with a sponge, clean towel or very soft bristle brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Air dry.

For severe mold/mildew growth, bleach quantities may be increased. It is best to clean the entire surface area of the fabric to avoid water rings and stains.

For information on cleaning other popular stains, see the Stain Chart below.

Indoor Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric

  • Apply a light mist of mild soap and water using a spray bottle.
  • Work the solution into the stain by lightly agitating the entire surface area of the fabric. Move from seam to seam, with a sponge or very soft bristle brush. Avoid scrubbing, and do not use a hard bristled brush or anything that will abrade the fabric.
  • Rinse the entire fabric thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Blot excess moisture with a clean, soft towel or sponge.
  • Blot or wet-vacuum excess water from the entire surface area of the fabric, moving from seam to seam.
  • Air dry. Repeat rinsing and blotting until all soap residue is removed.

For removing specific or severe stains, see the Stain Chart below.

Professional Cleaners

Inquire about a firm’s experience working with Sunbrella fabrics and knowledge of cleaning and re-treatment requirements.

Machine Washing

Some removable casings can be washed in the washing machine, however consult the furniture manufacturer before removing the casing as cushion construction may vary.

To wash, first close all zippers. Machine wash in cold water on the delicate cycle with normal amounts of mild laundry detergent. Allow fabric to air dry.

Oil-Based Stains

Immediately apply an absorbent such as corn starch directly on the oil-based stain. Let sit for 10 minutes and remove the excess using a straight edge or ruler. This helps remove the stain and prevents it from being pressed into the fabric. Then proceed with the cleaning process.

Seam-to-Seam Cleaning

When cleaning upholstered pieces, clean the entire surface area of the fabric, from seam to seam. Instead of rubbing the fabric, use a circular motion on the stain. This method, along with an extractor, may be required in order to avoid water rings and stains.

Sunbrella Fabric Care

Helpful Hints

  • Avoid scrubbing, hard bristle brushes or any other abrasive cleaning methods.
  • Sunbrella should only be allowed to air dry.
  • Protect the area around your Sunbrella fabric when using bleach or other chemical solvents that may discolor non-Sunbrella fabrics. Always rinse Sunbrella thoroughly.
  • Bleach can have harmful effects on the natural environment around you. Please follow all safety and environmental precautions according to the bleach label.
  • If fabric has some wrinkling, use an iron on the synthetic setting. As iron temperatures may vary, first test a small inconspicuous area before ironing the entire piece.
  • DO NOT use a steamer or an iron set to the steam setting.

Retreating Sunbrella Fabrics

Sunbrella fabric is treated with a proprietary water and stain repellent finish that is designed to last for several years. It may, however, require replenishing after a thorough cleaning. Glen Raven recommends 303 Fabric Guard. For more information, visit www.303products.com.

Applying 303 Fabric Guard

  • Clean Sunbrella fabric, using one of the cleaning methods.
  • Allow Sunbrella to completely air dry.
  • Apply 303 Fabric Guard in a well-ventilated area following instructions on the container.
  • Apply 303 in a thin, even coat, and allow fabric to dry completely.
  • Apply a second thin, even coating of 303. (Two light coatings are more effective in restoring fabric water resistance than a single heavy coating.)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Outdoor Living Design Inspiration

Our favourite outdoor designs including gardens, rooftop terraces, decks, patios, and poolsides.

How to Use Outdoor Fabrics Indoors

The benefits of outdoor fabrics, how to use them inside and outside your home and the best collections.