Fabric Care and Cleaning Instructions

Some of the most frequently asked questions about Sunbrella® fabrics concern care and cleaning. The good news is that Sunbrella® is designed to be easy to maintain. By following a few simple care and cleaning steps, the fabric will maintain its beauty for many years.

Important Background

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. Because Sunbrella® fabrics are woven, they are also highly breathable, which is why they dry quickly with only air exposure. It's also important to know that Sunbrella® fabrics are treated with a flourocarbon finish, which enhances water repellency. This finish requires replenishment after vigorous cleaning. Sunbrella® fabrics will not support the growth of mildew, but dirt on the fabric can lead to mildew growth, which makes regular cleaning 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.

Sunbrella® awning fabrics carry a five-year limited warranty. With proper care and cleaning, you can expect excellent service from Sunbrella® fabrics far beyond warranty periods.

Cleaning

One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella® fabrics looking good and to delay the need for deep or vigorous cleaning is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. Th is practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded into the fabric and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleaning. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years. When it's time for a thorough cleaning, Sunbrella® fabrics can be cleaned while still on an awning frame, size permitting they can be removed for cleaning in a washing machine.

When cleaning Sunbrella® fabrics is it important to observe the following:
  • Always use mild soap i.e. Ivory Snow, Dreft or Woolite. Never detergent.
  • Water should be cold to lukewarm. Never more than 100 degrees.
  • Air dry only. Never apply heat to Sunbrella® fabrics.
Care and Cleaning Instructions

If you are cleaning Sunbrella® fabric while still on the frame, follow these simple steps.

  • Brush off loose dirt.
  • Hose the awning down thoroughly.
  • Prepare a cleaning mixture of water and mild 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 or other similar stains.

Prepare a special cleaning mixture:

  • Four ounces (half cup) of chlorine bleach.
  • Two ounces (one-fourth cup) of mild or natural soap.
  • One gallon of water.
  • Clean with soft bristle brush.
  • Allow mixture to soak in for up to 20 min.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Air dry.
  • Repeat if necessary.

If an awning cover is suitable in size for a washing machine, these steps should be followed:

  • Use only mild 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. Fabrics should be retreated after thorough cleaning or after five years of use.