How to Clean Sunbrella Fabric: A Comprehensive Guide

Sunbrella fabric is a popular choice for outdoor furniture and awnings due to its durability and resistance to the elements. However, like any material, it requires proper cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking its best. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of cleaning Sunbrella fabric, ensuring that your outdoor investments stay in pristine condition.


Sunbrella fabric is renowned for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, UV rays, and everyday wear and tear. To prolong its lifespan and maintain its vibrant colors, regular cleaning is essential. Whether you have Sunbrella cushions, umbrellas, or boat covers, our expert advice will help you achieve outstanding results. Let’s dive into the world of Sunbrella fabric care.

1. Understanding Sunbrella Fabric

Sunbrella fabric is made from acrylic fibers that are dyed before they are woven. This unique manufacturing process ensures that the fabric’s color runs through and through, making it exceptionally fade-resistant. Additionally, it’s water-repellent, mold-resistant, and easy to clean.

2. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you start cleaning, gather the following supplies:

  • Mild detergent
  • Soft bristle brush or sponge
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Sunbrella fabric cleaner (optional)

3. Remove Loose Dirt and Debris

Begin by shaking or brushing off any loose dirt and debris from the Sunbrella fabric. This initial step prevents these particles from becoming embedded during cleaning.

4. Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Mix a solution of water and mild detergent. For stubborn stains or mildew, you can use a specialized Sunbrella fabric cleaner. Refer to the product’s instructions for the correct dilution ratio.

5. Test in an Inconspicuous Area

Before applying the cleaning solution to the entire fabric, test it in a hidden or inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage.

6. Apply the Cleaning Solution

Dip a soft bristle brush or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the stained or soiled areas. Work in a circular motion, applying light pressure.

7. Rinse Thoroughly

Using a bucket of clean water, rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Make sure to rinse until the water runs clear.

8. Allow to Air Dry

After cleaning, allow the Sunbrella fabric to air dry completely. Avoid using heat sources like hairdryers or direct sunlight, as they may cause shrinkage or fading.

9. Reapply Water Repellent Finish

If your Sunbrella fabric originally had a water repellent finish, consider reapplying it after cleaning. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best results.

10. Storing Sunbrella Fabric

During the winter months or when not in use, store your Sunbrella fabric items in a dry, well-ventilated area. Use covers or storage bags to protect them from dust and debris.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I machine wash Sunbrella fabric?

A: It’s best to avoid machine washing, as it can lead to shrinkage and damage. Hand cleaning is the recommended method.

Q: How often should I clean Sunbrella fabric?

A: Cleaning frequency depends on usage and exposure to the elements. Generally, a thorough cleaning once or twice a season is sufficient.

Q: Can I use bleach to clean Sunbrella fabric?

A: No, bleach should be avoided, as it can damage the fabric. Stick to mild detergent or specialized fabric cleaners.

Q: What if mildew develops on Sunbrella fabric?

A: Mix a solution of water and mild detergent, then apply it to the affected area. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

Q: Is Sunbrella fabric suitable for indoor use?

A: Yes, Sunbrella fabric is versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Q: How can I protect Sunbrella fabric from bird droppings?

A: Clean any bird droppings as soon as possible to prevent staining. Follow the cleaning steps outlined in this guide.


With proper care and maintenance, your Sunbrella fabric items can remain beautiful and functional for years to come. By following our expert guide on how to clean Sunbrella fabric, you’ll not only preserve its longevity but also enhance your outdoor enjoyment. Keep your Sunbrella investments looking as good as new!

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