How to Clean Sunbrella Fabric

How to Clean Sunbrella Fabric

Whether you summer on the Cape or dine alfresco on cool spring evenings, your outdoor space should be just as inviting and comfortable as your stylish interiors. 

But, outdoor furniture demands enhanced durability. Enter the Sunbrella fabric HC Luxury Outdoor uses on every outdoor cushion adorning our luxe seating pieces. The fabric resists the elements without sacrificing comfort or style.

Fabric care isn’t always straightforward, however—so, if you’re scratching your head about the best ways to keep your textiles looking fresh, we’re here to help. 

In this guide, we’ll teach you how to clean Sunbrella fabric to keep your cushions (and awnings, pergolas, umbrellas, and curtains) vibrant, stain-free, and attractive season after season. 

Cleaning Your Sunbrella Textiles: Routine Maintenance

Sunbrella boasts countless devotees for their comfortable, durable, and peak-quality fabrics that last from season to season. But even top-of-the-line textiles deserve a little TLC.

Regular, light, but thorough cleaning can help you extend the lifespan of your Sunbrella textiles. With a few routine maintenance tasks, you can keep your outdoor furniture looking vibrant for longer.

Every Sunbrella cleaning kit should include:

  • A gentle cleaning brush (avoid stiff bristles and scrubbing materials)
  • Two soft, damp sponges
  • High-quality household dish soap or mild soap
  • A spray bottle or garden hose with a misting nozzle

Once every few weeks, do the following to keep your Sunbrella textiles clean:

  1. Use your soft bristle brush to sweep dirt, sand, and dust off your fabrics.
  2. Wipe the entirety of the textile with a damp sponge (don’t use the scrubbing side) and a dime-sized amount of dish soap.
  3. Wet the fabric with your spray bottle or hose, and use your clean sponge to wipe up any remaining soap residue.

Let your textiles air-dry or, if you’re cleaning cushions, lay down a clean towel before you sit. We know how difficult it can be to put off a sunbathing session. 

Major Spills & Stains

You do your best to clean your Sunbrella fabrics regularly. But stains on your outdoor furniture are inevitable when you’re hosting an event or hanging out with spill-happy kids. 

Since you’ll likely encounter a variety of different stains (from popsicle drips to red wine spills), gather a cleaning kit that can tackle them all. In addition to the materials listed in the previous section, you’ll need:

  • A bucket
  • Household bleach
  • Corn starch or a commercial grease absorber (like Resolve or a strong degreaser)
  • White vinegar
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Paper towels or reusable cleaning cloths
  • Extra sponges and soft-bristle brushes (soft toothbrushes are excellent for small stains)

As you manage spills, Sunbrella recommends:

  • Fast action – Treating stains as quickly as possible—even if you don’t have time to clean the whole outdoor cushion or curtain—can help you make headway on a stubborn stain until your next cleaning session.
  • Complete coverage – Cleaning the whole cushion, awning, or curtain from seam-to-seam or end-to-end can prevent water rings, uneven fading, and mold growth. (While Sunbrella fabrics are mold- and mildew-resistant, these organisms can grow on lingering dirt and grime that sits on your fabric for an extended time.)
  • A full soak – Try soaking your fabrics completely in lukewarm water for in-depth cleaning and stain removal.

Keep these supplies and Sunbrella recommendations in mind as you keep your Sunbrella fabric cushions looking new. 

Oil Spills

Summer barbecues can be a stain factory—you should expect drips from greasy grill food and sauces. 

The following tactics can help you remove oily, stubborn stains and spills from your Sunbrella upholstery:

  1. As soon as you notice the stain (or immediately after it happens):
    1. Use cornstarch or a commercial degreasing product on the spot
    2. Wait ten minutes for the product to absorb as much of the grease as possible
    3. Scrape up the solvent with a butter knife, ruler, or metal spatula
  2. Once you have time for an in-depth clean:
    1. Completely soak the stained textile in water
    2. Mix 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup of dish soap per gallon of clean water in a bucket
    3. Use a soft sponge or brush to clean the entire cushion or piece of upholstery with your solution
    4. Wet the fabric with a spray bottle or a garden hose
    5. Use a fresh sponge to wipe up any remaining solution residue
    6. Air-dry your textiles and properly dispose of your solution

Dirt & Sand

Whether you track in sand from the beach or plop down in your chaise after a long day of gardening, your Sunbrella cushions are going to get dirty—especially if you have children. 

Luckily, it’s easy to remove dirt and sand from your Sunbrella upholstery:

  1. If you have limited time, use a gentle, soft bristle brush to sweep loose dirt off of the fabric
  2. If you have fifteen minutes to spare:
    1. Completely saturate your entire cushion with a hose, bucket, or spray bottle
    2. Prepare a solution of ¼ cup of dish soap per gallon of water in a bucket
    3. Use a soft sponge and your cleaning mixture to wash the whole cushion
    4. Wet the cushion with a spray bottle or a garden hose
    5. Use a fresh sponge to wipe up any remaining solution residue
    6. Air-dry your cushions and properly dispose of your solution

Mold & Mildew

Sunbrella fabrics are specially designed from mold- and mildew-resistant fibers. But, spores can still grow if:

  • You leave stains or dirt on your textiles without cleaning them for an extended period
  • You let wet towels (that aren’t made from mold-resistant textiles) sit on your cushions
  • You store wet upholstery in an enclosed area (like a shed) without drying them completely

If you notice mold or mildew growing on your Sunbrella fabrics, take the following steps (you shouldn’t need more than about 15 minutes to complete them):

  1. Completely soak the stained cushion in lukewarm water
  2. Mix 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup of dish soap per gallon of water in a bucket
  3. Use a soft sponge or brush to clean the entire cushion with your solution
  4. Wet the cushion with a spray bottle or a garden hose
  5. Use a fresh sponge to wipe up any remaining solution residue

After properly disposing of your solution, dry your upholstery as quickly as possible by placing it in a sunny area, warming it with the lowest heat setting on your hair dryer, or blowing it with a leaf blower. 

Wine Stains

While we recommend skipping red wine if you plan to lounge on your Sunbrella upholstery, a perfect summertime sangria is simply hard to resist—even if it results in inevitable spillage. 

Try to take care of wine stains as quickly as possible, and clean the whole cushion if you have time. But, if you notice a stain in the midst of a party, start by spot-cleaning by mixing the following products into a gallon of water:

  • ¼ cup of dish soap
  • ⅓ cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide

As you spot-clean, resist the urge to scrub or use a stiff-bristled brush—this is where soft-bristled toothbrushes come in handy. Instead of rinsing the solution after spot-cleaning, let it sit until you have time to use it for a seam-to-seam cushion cleaning. 

Why Not Use the Machine?

Sunbrella fabric cleanings don’t necessarily require lots of elbow grease and DIY concoctions. 

In fact, all of Sunbrella’s textiles are machine-washable—you can clean your Sunbrella curtains, cushion covers, and more without sacrificing your precious time (which is always better spent lounging by the pool with a refreshing cocktail):

Here’s how to wash the Sunbrella cushion covers that see so much action in your outdoor space:

  1. Remove the cushion covers from your furniture.
  2. Close all the cushions’ zippers before placing them into the washing machine.
    1. This helps prevent snags as your fabrics agitate in the washer.
    2. Closing your zippers also reduces the likelihood of bending the metal teeth.
  3. Add a typical amount of mild, dye-free laundry detergent.
  4. Throw in one cup of bleach if your cushions are mildewy.
  5. Run your washing machine using cold water and agentle cycle.
  6. Air-dry your fabrics before putting them back on the cushions.

If you prefer a more “set it and forget it” approach to cleaning, Sunbrella delivers on simplicity. 

The Fabric that Cleans Up—and Holds Up

Sunbrella textiles are easy to clean—and easy to love—given their durability. Is sunbrella fabric waterproof? Yes! Plus, they’re durable, fast-drying, and UV resistant too.

These essential textiles withstand the sun, seasonal changes, and the realities of hosting events or spending quality outdoor time with our children. 

Other benefits of Sunbrella fabrics include:

  • They’re easy to clean with water, household products, and simple tools
  • They’re resistant to mold and mildew
  • They’re engineered with built-in stain resistance and a protective finish
  • Their stain-fighting power stands up to wash after wash
  • Sunbrella fabrics hold up against the harmful effects of sun, rain, humidity, and wind
  • Their stabilized pigments prevent fading, even in the hot, bright summer sun

Simply put, the combination of quality construction, proprietary fibers, and innovative dye formulas make Sunbrella fabric’s durability second to none. There’s no question—Sunbrella’s fabrics, and HC Luxury Outdoor’s top-quality materials and assemblies are a match made in poolside heaven. It’s the reason why the Sunbrella fabric is the best fabric for outdoor furniture.

HC Luxury Outdoor: Elegant, Inviting, and Durable Furniture for Outdoor Families

With the right products, tools, and diligence, Sunbrella fabric cleanings are a simple way to keep your Sunbrella fabric cushions looking brand new season after season. Whether you simply love lounging poolside or you’re a semi-pro of pool party hosting, the tips and tricks above will help you maintain your Sunbrella cushions for years to come. 

That level of longevity is what we’re all about at HC Luxury Outdoor—that’s why we created the best outdoor furniture on the market. Our pieces are made from high-quality materials (like the Sunbrella fabric used in our cushions), they ship fast, and they’re covered by our robust warranty and hardware replacement policies. 

For luxury lounging, picturesque alfresco dining, and elevated outdoor fun, it doesn't get any better than HC Luxury Outdoor



 SFGate. Cornstarch Stain Removal.

Sunbrella. Performance. 

Sunbrella. Clean Sunbrella Upholstery. 

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