One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella brand fabrics looking good and to delay the need for deep or vigorous cleanings is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded in the fabric and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleanings. 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 or a boat or, size permitting, they can be removed for cleaning in a washing machine.
When cleaning Sunbrella fabrics, it is important to observe the following:
Always use a 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.
If you are cleaning Sunbrella while still on an awning frame or a boat, follow these simple steps:
Brush off loose dirt.
Prepare a cleaning mixture of water and mild soap (no detergents).
Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
Allow soap to soak in.
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 (see our Stain Chart for specific recommendations).
Prepare a special cleaning mixture:
Four ounces (half cup) of chlorine bleach.
Two ounces (one-fourth cup) of mild soap.
One gallon of water.
Clean with soft bristle brush.
Allow mixture to soak for up to 20 minutes.
Repeat if necessary.
Remember to protect the area around your Sunbrella if using a bleach solution. Carpet or other fabrics that are not Sunbrella may have an adverse reaction to the bleach.
If an awning or boat 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. Based on test results, Glen Raven recommends 303 High Tech Fabric GuardÂ™ as the preferred re-treatment product for Sunbrella fabrics. Fabrics should be retreated after thorough cleaning or after five years of use. Check with your local Sunbrella dealer or distributor for more information.
Applying 303 High Tech Fabric GuardÂ™
303 should be applied to Sunbrella fabrics after each thorough cleaning, which typically removes the original fluorocarbon finish and reduces the fabric's water repellency. After cleaning the fabric, allow it to air dry completely and then apply 303 in a thin, even coat. After allowing the first coat of 303 to air dry, apply a second thin, even coating of 303. Two light coatings are more effective in restoring fabric water resistance than a single heavy coating. A 15-ounce bottle provides coverage of up to 50 square feet of lightweight fabric. Always apply 303 to clean fabric.
Professional Awning Cleaners
You may have access to professional cleaning firms that service awnings. In evaluating the services of a professional firm, you should inquire about a firm's experience in working with Sunbrella fabrics and knowledge of cleaning and retreatment requirements.