Fabric Info

Cleaning Fabrics

One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella® 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 embedded 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.

If you are cleaning Sunbrella® while still on a frame or on a boat, follow these simple steps:

  • Brush off loose dirt
  • Hose down
  • Prepare a cleaning mixture of water and mild, natural 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 and other similar stains:

  • Prepare a special cleaning mixture:
    • Four ounces (half cup) of chlorine bleach.
    • Two ounces (one-fourth cup) of natural soap
    • One gallon of water
  • Clean with soft bristle brush
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Air dry
  • Repeat if necessary

When cleaning Sunbrella® fabrics, it is important to observe the following:

  • Always use a natural soap. Never detergent.
  • Water should be cold to lukewarm. Never more than 100 degrees.
  • Air dry only. Never apply heat to Sunbrella® fabrics.

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

  • Always use a natural soap. Never detergent.
  • Wash and rinse in cold water.
  • Air dry only. Never put Sunbrella® fabrics in your dryer.

After a thorough cleaning, Sunbrella® fabrics should be treated to re-establish water repellency. Sunbrella® fabrics are treated with fluorocarbon-based water repellency chemicals during manufacturing, and it is recommended that a fluorocarbon product be used for retreatment, such as Apco, Uniseal or Sunseal.

Fabric Specific Cleaning Facts

Furniture Fabrics

Sunbrella® features a soil and stain-resistant finish, so it’s very easy to clean. Spot wash by sponging briskly with a soapy solution of natural soap in lukewarm water. Rinse thoroughly with clear water to remove the soap and let the fabric air dry. For stubborn stains or suntan lotions, use a fabric spot remover, following the directions on the container.

These solution dyed yarns do not promote mildew growth. However, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. To remove mildew stains, prepare a mild solution of one cup bleach plus two caps full of a natural soap per gallon of water. Spray on entire area and allow to soak in. If necessary, scrub vigorously with a sponge or clean rag. Sponge thoroughly with clean water, and let air dry.

Awning and Marine Fabric

Sunbrella® fabric should be cleaned regularly before substances such as dirt, roof particles, etc. are allowed to accumulate on and become embedded in the fabric. The fabric can be cleaned without being removed from the installation. Simply brush off any loose dirt, roof particles, etc.; hose down and clean with a mild solution of natural soap in lukewarm water (no more than 100º F). Rinse thoroughly to remove soap. DO NOT USE DETERGENTS. Allow to air dry.

For more stubborn cases: Soak the fabric for approximately twenty minutes in a solution of no more than 1/2 cup of a non-chlorine bleach and 1/4 cup natural soap per gallon of water at approximate 100º F. Rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove all of the soap. Note: excessive soaking in non-chlorine bleach can deteriorate sewing threads. This method of cleaning may remove part of the water repellency and the fabric should receive an application of an air-curing fluorocarbon water repellent treatment, if water repellency is a factor.

Sunbrella® is made from 100% solution dyed acrylic fiber which is thermoplastic. NOT SUBJECT TO EXCESSIVE HEAT.

When Sunbrella® fabric is stored, it should be cleaned, allowed to air dry, and stored in a dry, well ventilated area.

Acrylic and Polyester Prints

This fabric features a DuPont Teflon soil and stain resistant finish that makes cleanup a breeze. Spot wash by sponging briskly with a natural soap in lukewarm water. Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove soap and air dry. DO NOT USE BLEACH OR HARSH CLEANSERS ON PRINTS.


  • Prepare cleaning solutions using 1 tbsp. liquid dish detergent and 2 tbsp. household bleach mixed in a gallon of water. Clean fabric using sponge or soft cloth dipped in solution.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water and air dry.
  • Avoid direct contact with suntan oils or similar lotions, which may cause accelerated aging of fabric. If direct contact occurs, clean promptly.
  • Regular maintenance of your MarineTex fabric will ensure extended life and enjoyment of your casual furniture. We recommend cleaning once or twice yearly for moderate family use, more for busy pool areas.