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Clean Sunbrella® Upholstery

Download Cleaning Instructions PDF

One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella fabrics looking good is to brush off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabrics and wipe up spills or clean soon after a stain occurs. The quicker you clean spills and stains, the easier they can be to remove. 

 

Try This First...  With a New Spill or Stain on Your 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® or Dawn®) and water. 
  • Rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove all soap residue. 
  • Air dry. 

Try This Next...  If Your First Try Doesn't Get the Stain Completely Out: 

Though Sunbrella fabrics can be used both outdoors and in, your cleaning methods should differ because of the fabrication and manufacturing of the furniture. We recommend using the appropriate cleaning instructions for your application. 

 

Indoor Upholstery 

  • 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, moving 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. 

Professional Cleaners 

Inquire about a firm's experience working with Sunbrella fabrics and knowledge of cleaning and retreatment 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. 

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 in a circular motion on the stain. This method, along with an extractor, may be required to avoid water rings and residue. 

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. 

For other spills, products such as 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner, Dawn® or Resolve® are applicable. Specific information on spill cleaning is available in our Cleaning Guide.


Outdoor Upholstery 

Cleaning Removable Fabric 

Hand Washing 

Soak fabric in a solution of 1/4 cup 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 1 cup of bleach. Allow fabric to air dry. 

Cleaning Non-Removable Fabric 

Prepare a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a soft bristle brush to clean, allowing the cleaning solution to soak into the fabric. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow fabric to air dry. 

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 in a circular motion on the spill. This method, along with an extractor, may be required in order to avoid water rings and residue.

Mold and Mildew 

Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances if not removed from the fabric. To remove mold or mildew: 

  • Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 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 residue. 

For other spills, products such as 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner, Dawn® or Resolve® are applicable. Specific information on spill cleaning is available in our Cleaning Guide.

Retreating Sunbrella Fabrics

Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a proprietary water and stain repellent finish that is designed to last for several years but may require replenishing after a thorough cleaning. For indoor upholstery, Glen Raven recommends retreating with an appropriate retreating agent after repeated cleaning or extended use. For outdoor upholstery, Glen Raven® recommends 303® Fabric Guard™, available in the United States, and Tex’Aktiv, available internationally.

Applying a retreatment:

  • Clean Sunbrella fabric, using one of the cleaning methods.
  • Allow Sunbrella to completely air dry.
  • Apply retreatment in a well-ventilated area following instructions on the container.

Helpful Hints 

While Sunbrella fabric offers excellent protection against stains, full removal is not always guaranteed if spills are not addressed promptly.

Avoid scrubbing, hard bristle brushes or any other abrasive cleaning method. 

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. 

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