How to Clean Sunbrella Fabric: 3 Ways and Step by Step Guide

Ever heard of Sunbrella fabric? It is made of 100% acrylic materials and it is one of the most used outdoor décor fabrics. You will find it everywhere on patio furniture and as a hot tub cover, indoor couches, and boat canvas.

There are several reasons behind its popularity such as it is water-resistant, fade and mold-resistant. Moreover, this fabric is easy to clean and comes with a longer lifespan. If it is supervised properly, it can stay in its original look for up to 10 years.

how to clean sunbrella fabric

With all these amazing features, this versatile fabric also requires regular cleaning. It will ensure product quality for an extended period and additionally, you will enjoy neat and clean habitat every time when using it.

However, if you don’t know about how to clean Sunbrella fabric, you’re in the right place. Keep up reading and this handy guide will be your great companion while cleaning Sunbrella.

How to Clean Sunbrella Fabric: 3 Ways & Step-by-Step Guide

Sunbrella fabric can be cleaned in several ways. I sum up everything in three key methods that will help for cleaning any type of dirt and debris from your fabric.

Let Me Tell You All The Accessories You’ll Need Throughout The Process:

Soft cloth (towel can be an alternative)
• Vinegar
• Ammonia
• Cornstarch
• Dishwashing soap (mild nature)
• Spray bottle
• Bristle brush (the soft one)
• Water
• Bucket

Method One: Your Sunbrella Fabric Needs Care

Regular cleaning will prevent damage to your Sunbrella fabric. The tricks below will give you a fast solution.

Step 01: Get Rid of The Regular Dirt and Frequent Grim

Use a soft bristle brush to remove those regular grim and dirt from your fabric. It’s vital to remove them soon as you notice. I know it’s a bit ridiculous as you won’t be looking after your cushion all day long.

As an alternative method, make a cleaning routine for the fabric when you regularly do your cleaning job.  Since you realize the regular cleaning necessity, it’s time to think about the weekly care according to a weekly routine. You’ll be spraying a solution of soapy water over your fabric and rub the sprayed solution using a sponge.

The solution will work as a cleanser. As for the soap, you can go for any basic dishwashing one. Please choose the mild nature of soap. Does it sound complicated? Go for the one you use for hand-washing the dishes.

Step 02: Stains Need an Additional Cleaning Mixture

When it comes to strong stains, the above cleanser won’t be enough, and you’ll need another one. If you can detect the stain type, choose a cleanser that is specifically for that stain. After spraying the cleaner, rub the fabric like in the above process. Be gentle when you’re rubbing the fabric.

Soapy cleanser won’t be affecting much mildew. You shouldn’t pick one that has harsh bleach. Some acute bleach cleansers can damage the color of your Sunbrella fabrics.

Step 03: The Step of Rinsing & Ultimately Drying The Fabric Up

After you clean the dirt, it’s time to remove the cleanser residue. Spraying or pouring water on the fabric will do the job. It would help if you continued spraying water or rinsing off the fabric till all the soap solution is out. Remember to use clean water. And at the end, dry it completely.

Drying the fabric completely doesn’t mean placing the fabric under the sun. In fact, you have to avoid that plan. Direct sunlight will cause discoloration and color fading.

Step 04: Gentle Treating is Necessary

Gentle treatment prevents scrubbing, tugging, and pulling your fabric. And that’s the very reason I mentioned a soft bristle brush earlier instead of a firm brush. That’s the way your fabric can have a longer lifespan.

Instead of rubbing or pulling a towel across your Sunbrella, soak up the fabric using a dry towel for gentle drying.

Method Two: Dealing with basic mildew & stains

If you have removable Sunbrella fabric and the cushion or pillow, and the manufacturer recommends machine washing, you can follow the below steps.

Step 01: Use of Washing Machine

It’s vital to know how to wash Sunbrella in the washing machine?

First, close all the zippers of the removed fabric. Put them on the washing machine, aiming at the cold wash cycle. For running a delicate cycle, take mild laundry detergent in the usual amount. Once the cleaning is over, remove the fabrics and dry them up in natural air.

Avoid using a dryer as it can overheat the fabrics and discolor them.

Step 02: Bleach Solution Works on Strong Mildew

Here you’ll be working with a big mixing bucket where you’ll have 1 gallon of water, one cup of bleach, and ¼ cup of dishwashing soap.

  • One cup of bleach will be approximately 236ml, and ¼ cup of mild soap will be approximately 60ml. Stir the mixture up and have some of them in a sprayer.
  • Just like the above method, you’ll also be spraying the mixture on the fabric and letting it sit for the next 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, the mildew will be removed. And you’ll remove them using a sponge or soft bristle brush. After mildew removal, remove the cleanser by spraying clean water and rinsing away. Now, dry the fabric.

When we’ve mildew on a specific part of the fabric, I decide to treat that specific spot. Treating the whole piece can form water stains on Sunbrella fabric and water rings.

Step 03: Preparing a Water Cleanser & a Basic Soap

Here you’ll find a solution formula that will deal with many basic stains.

  • Take ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid in 1 gallon of water. Choose a mild dishwasher.
  • Now, spray the solution using a sprayer and rub using a sponge, soft bristle brush, or soft towel. Focus on the stains while you’re rubbing, and then rinse the residue with clean water.

You can get rid of ketchup stains, mustard stains, raw egg stains, coffee stains, tea stains, soda stains, grape juice stains, chocolate stains, charcoal stains, and pencil marks. While working on a pencil mark or charcoal, vacuum those stains first.

Read Next: Tips on How to Remove Hot Glue From Fabric & Clothes: Step by Step

Method Three: Dealing with Tough Stains

Some stains are difficult to remove but don’t worry. You can do it efficiently, simply follow the guide.

Step 01: Removal of Wine Stains

Does the word ‘tough stain’ already make you exhausted? It’s okay; we’ll be dealing with it pretty quickly.

  • Make the stain saturated by spraying clean water on it. After that, spray those tough stains with soapy water and rub that spot using a bristle brush. In that way, the soap will get deep down into the stain.
  • Now, spray more of the clean water and rinse to remove the solution. Take a soft cloth for patting the spot and dry it a little. Air dry will do the rest. Vacuuming the area using a wet vacuum will ensure a deeper cleaning.

Step 02: Cleaning The Bloodstains

Sometimes it becomes a struggle if the split blood dries in the fabric. Let’s make a solution that is worth capable of fighting with those stains. At first, try the soapy water and remove the stain as much as you can.

  • Now, take ¼ cup or 60ml of dishwashing liquid, and ½ cup or 120ml of ammonia, and mix them in 1 gallon or 3.78 liters of water. This is your bloodstain cleanser.
  • Spray it over the bloodstain and rub. Next, rinse off the surface using clean water.

Step 03: Preparing a Cleanser of Soapy Vinegar

Having a problem with strong-smelling stains? Here’s the real deal. Make a solution of vinegar and soap.

  • Take 60ml or ¼ cups of dishwashing liquid, 80ml or 1/3 cup of white vinegar, and 3.78 liters, or 1 gallon of water.
  • Spray the solution on the smelled stain using a sprayer.
  • Rub that with a sponge or bristle brush as you see convenient and rinse the residue using water.

The soapy vinegar solution will clean those stains. This solution works great on the stains of vomit, beer, berries, urine, and food coloring.

Step 04: Removal of Oil-based Stains

Dry the oil-based stains using cornstarch first. It doesn’t matter if your stain is oil, butter, grease, or any other oil-based stain.

  • Spread cornstarch over the oil-based stained surface to absorb it and make the spot dry.
  • Scrape the additional cornstarch after it ends, absorbing the grease. Now, it’s time for the old technique.
  • Spray soapy water over the stain. Rub the fabric gently using a sponge and soft bristle and rinse the soapy solution out.

The method works on paint, tree sap, tomato juice, liquid shoe polish, suntan lotion, and salad dressing.

Read Also: 3 Ways to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric & Clothes


How to Wash Sunbrella Fabric in The Washing Machine?

Use cold water, and mild laundry detergent to wash the fabric on a delicate cycle. Take a cup of bleach if there is any tough mildew.

After completing washing, choose air drying for drying the stuff instead of putting the fabric in direct sunlight.

Does Sunbrella Fabric Promote The Growth of Mildew?

Normally, it doesn’t. But molds and mildew may grow on grim, dirt, and other foreign substances if not washed from the fabric. So, maintenance is a must even if the fabric itself doesn’t promote mold.

How Long Will My Sunbrella Cushions Last?

Usually, this fabric typically lasts for 10 years. The time is double the lifespan of other fabrics out there used for outdoor purposes. This means your patio furniture will have a gorgeous or classy look for a decade or more if taken good care of.

Also Read: How to Clean Fabric Softener Dispenser Step-by-Step Guide

Final Words:

Whether or not whether or not you know the right ways to clean Sunbrella fabric, this article will help you either way. As many know what is necessary but don’t know the required amount whereas others don’t know the needed ingredients.

This guide has explained everything for beginners and expert cleaning also. It doesn’t matter which method you choose, be gentle with your Sunbrella fabric. Otherwise, you will damage the fabrics instead of cleaning them.

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

1 thought on “How to Clean Sunbrella Fabric: 3 Ways and Step by Step Guide”

  1. I will be trying your method for removing oil stains. I have not tried cornstarch yet. We had a bottle of sunscreen explode all over our hot tub cover and I can not stand how gross it looks but also can not justify the cost of purchasing a new one. Thanks for the tip.


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