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How To Clean Sunbrella Patio Furniture Cushions

Preventative Maintenance For Sunbrella Outdoor Cushions & Fabrics

How to clean patio furniture cushions easily using gloves and dryer sheet

Re-treating Sunbrella Fabric For Easy Cleaning

Sunbrella fabrics have a special finish that enhances water repellency. The finish is designed to last for several years of normal use, but may be refreshed after a thorough cleaning or extended use. Glen Raven recommends ONLY 303 High Tech Fabric Guard as the preferred re-treatment product for Sunbrella fabrics.

Applying 303 High Tech Fabric Guard

To help prevent staining and reduce the need for cleaning, 303 High Tech Fabric Guard should be applied to Sunbrella fabrics after each thorough cleaning, which typically removes the original finish and reduces the fabrics water repellency. Simply follow the instructions for one of the cleaning methods listed above and then apply 303 as directed on the product container.

Helpful Tips For Sunbrella Fabric Care

Remove loose dirt and debirs often by brushing off or vacumming.

Protect the area around your Sunbrella fabric when using a bleach solution bleach may discolor non-Sunbrella fabrics. Always rinse Sunbrella thoroughly to completely remove bleach.


Sunbrella fabric should always be allowed to air dry. Sunbrella fabric air-dries very quickly.

DO NOT USE A MACHINE WASHER OR DRYER ON YOUR CUSHIONS. DO NOT USE A STEAMER OR DRY IRON SET TO STEAM.

Professional Cleaners DO NOT DRY CLEAN SUNBRELLA FABRICS.

Cleaning Outdoor Cushions: Preparation

Before you start cleaning, do a little prep work that will set you up for success:

  • Check for a care tag on your cushions and follow any instructions from the manufacturer.

  • Test any cleaners or treatments on an inconspicuous spot to ensure the solution wont damage the fabric.

  • Pick a place in your yard where you can clean the cushions and not damage plants with runoff that contains soap and other cleaning agents.

  • Make sure the spot where you are going to clean the cushions wont get muddy. It may be best to lay down a tarp.

How Outdoor Cushions Get Dirty

Melting ice cream, muddy paws, and red wine: Some of the best things about summertime are also the messiest. Also, it’s the outdoors. Anything can happen in nature. You’re probably expecting rain, sun, snow, grime, dirt, and dust to mess with your furniture, but things like debris from your neighbor’s tree, mold and mildew, and bird droppings can cause just as many problems when it comes to keeping your cushions clean. While you can’t control Mother Nature, to keep cushions looking as new as the day you bought them, you can get to know your fabric, learn how to treat stains as they happen, and have a cleaning kit ready. No matter where you live, you can keep your in good shape year-round. The best outdoor cushions are water-resistant and machine-washable, but tough stains require more specific cleaning methods and products.


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Scrub With Mild Bleach

Bleach always seems to do the trick. Be careful to water down the solution so that you dont create spots of discoloration on your cushions. I recommend pouring 1/2 cup of bleach into a gallon of water. As always, never use bleach cleaning products if you are pregnant.

Important: Never use bleach and ammonia together. This is very dangerous and can produce toxic chemicals. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. does a good job of explaining why here.

Sunbrella Vs Mold And Mildew:

Is Patio Furniture Waterproof?

Our Sunbrella cushions do not promote mold or mildew buildup. However, if not wiped frequently, dirt and debris on the cushions may begin to promote mold growth and mildew buildup.

To remove mold and mildew, you will need a solution of 1 cup bleach and ¼ cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Next, spray the mixture on the entire surface of the cushion and allow to sit on the fabric for 15 minutes. After letting sit, you can either use a sponge, clean towel, or a very soft bristle brush to agitate the area, again, from seam-to-seam. Lastly, rinse your cushion to remove soap residue and allow to air dry completely. In more severe cases, the amount of bleach you should use can increase.


Our suggestion, however, is simply to remove any debris that may cause mold or mildew frequently to avoid the issue entirely!

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An Alternative Way To Clean Sunbrella Cushions

I’ve just recently tried an alternative way to scrubbing them with a cleaning solution to clean them much more quickly. I simply took a power washer and sprayed them with a 30-degree nozzle. After the cushions are washed, place them on their side and dry them in the sun.

Note: Drying the cushions out took about three days. So, if you’re going to want to use the cushions, plan ahead so they’re dry!

Create A Cleaning Toolkit

The easiest way to keep a clean patio all year long is to keep a few cleaning tools and products on hand. This way, everything you need will be easy to grab, and you can clean up a spill as soon as it happens. The good news is, you don’t need to shop for anything expensive. At the Neighbor showroom, we keep a furniture cleanup kit on-hand for our sample furniture that includes our handheld vacuum, a bristle brush, mild dish soap, a bucket, a spray bottle, and a few soft sponges.


A soft all-purpose bristle scrub brush can help prevent fabric stains if you use it to brush dirt, debris, and dust off your outdoor cushion covers before it becomes embedded in the fabric. Similarly, a handheld vacuum with a crevice or upholstery nozzle is perfect for quick cleanups. It’s always better to wipe up spills quickly and treat stains as they happen to keep your cushions in top shape. Keep your cleanup kit in a dry, temperate spot away from kids and pets.

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Dont Cry Over Spilled Wine Cleaning Sunbrella Is Easy

Your latest get-together was a blast. Laughter filled the air, and delicious goodies filled your guests plates. While relaxing on your stylish custom cushions, your friends and family shared stories and reminisced about days gone past. It was the perfect day until a burst of laughter tipped over that half-full glass of Merlot, red wine splashing onto your beautiful custom cushions. Thankfully, cleaning Sunbrella is quite simple!

Can I Put Sunbrella Fabric In The Washing Machine

Care Guide – How to Clean Your Patio Cushions

You can put some removable casings in the washing machine for cleaning. Since cushion construction may vary, be sure to consult your furniture manufacturer before removing the casing though.

Locate the zippers on your cushions. Unzip them and separate the casings from the cushions. Put the cushions aside and zip up the empty casings before machine washing.


It is important that you close all zippers first before you tuck the casings into the washing machine. Add normal amounts of mild laundry detergent. Set the machine on the delicate cycle, and wash with cold water.

In case the fabric has severe mold and/or mildew, add a cupful of bleach along with the mild laundry detergent. Once the cycle is complete, allow the fabric to air dry before replacing the casings.

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Does Sunbrella Fabric Shrink In A Dryer

Yes. Never dry Sunbrella textiles in your dryer. Sunbrella fabrics are coated with a fluorocarbon finish throughout the finishing process to increase their water repellency. Sunbrella is a thermoplastic or heat-sensitive fabric made entirely of acrylic fibers.

That means that whenever you clean them, you want to avoid exposing the fabric to excessive heat. Aside from dryers, you also want to avoid steam pressing it.


And How To Get Rid Of Them Before Dessert

Even the most dire stains, like wine, can be easily cleaned from Sunbrella fabric.Even the most heart-wrenching spills and stains dont have to ruin the investment youve made in quality home décor items, because Sunbrella fabric is resilient and stain-resistant.

Whether your cushions encounter run-ins with food, crayons, dirt or grease, theres a way to remove nearly any stain from Sunbrella. Before you let your friends husbands carelessness with the ketchup stress you out, check our list below for the best tips on cleaning your cushions and the top tips for cleaning Sunbrella fabric.

Weve grouped potential stains by their level of panic they tend to cause but have no fear all of these anxiety-ridden stains can be removed!

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Rinse And Dry Cushions

Once the scrubbing is complete, rinse the cushions off with a hose and place them in the garage to dry.


Most of the dirt will come out easily. The stains caused by the sap will be mostly gone, but not completely. If you really want that sap gone, here are tips on how to remove sap from almost anything.

A hand-cleaned Sunbrella cushion

After the cushion has dried out, this is the same cushion in the first picture. It’s now very clean and looks good enough to last through another season.

Care Guide For Outdoor Cushions

3 Ways to Clean Sunbrella Cushions

Youre going to love your outdoor cushions. They instantly brighten your outdoor space and keep you cozy for hours of primetime lounging. And because our cushions are covered in washable, easy-care Sunbrella® or yarn-dyed woven acrylic, you can have your fun in the sun without worrying about lifes little messes. With a few easy preventive measures, you can keep your cushions in tip-top shape season after season. Here are our most helpful tips for extending their life.

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How To Properly Wash Sunbrella Cushion Covers In Washing Machine

When it comes to cleaning your Sunbrella cushion covers, the instructions that you need to remember are relatively simple:

  • Always close zippers before placing them in the washing machine.
  • Choose a delicate washing cycle.
  • Always use cold water.
  • Add a regular amount of mild laundry detergent.
  • Dont put it in the dryer.

How To Clean Sunbrella Fabric With Mold Or Mildew

Sunbrella fabrics are made to be mold and mildew resistant. Nature has a way of asserting itself, however, and in some climates and circumstances, you may discover traces of mold or mildew on your patio furniture.

We live in Florida, so everything in our backyard seems to grow mold or mildew because of how wet the backyard stays. Decking, fencing, patio furniture covers and sometimes our furniture cushions.

Usually this occurs because the mold or mildew has found its way onto another substance which in turn has managed to find its way onto your patio furniture. Thats OK its easy enough to remove either way.

First, get a clean bucket and fill it with a gallon of fresh water . Bring that same soft bristle brush you use for other patio furniture cleaning.

Youll also need a clean, empty spray bottle and some protective household rubber gloves.

Add one cup of bleach and one quarter cup of that mild dishwashing detergent we mentioned above. Lightly stir.

Fill the spray bottle with the mixture and spray it over the entire area. Dont try to just cover the mold or mildew. If its on a seat cushion, get the whole cushion. If its something larger, spray the whole thing.

Let it soak for about fifteen minutes. You want it to work itself into the fabric before you start brushing.

If you think of what youre doing as scrubbing, youre probably pushing too hard. Think of it as exfoliating your skin or bathing a pet. You want it clean, not stripped for priming.

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Level : Complex Stains

Use these specific instructions to remove each of the following stains. Spot cleaning Sunbrella can be accomplished by applying the stain removal solution and scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Then, rinse the fabric thoroughly and allow to air dry.

  • Ink: Mix acetone with paint remover.
  • Mascara: Mix acetone, liquid dish soap and water with the paint/grease remover.
  • Bird Droppings: Use Goo-Gone or similar cleaning agent.
  • Suntan Lotion: Mix Pine Power with water.
  • Tree Sap: Mix turpentine with liquid dish soap and water.
  • Mildew: Sunbrella is inherently mildew-resistant. If some mildew does grow, mix liquid dish soap, water and bleach to stop the growth and remove the stain.

How Long Do Sunbrella Cushions Last

Maintaining Patio Furniture with 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner and Indoor & Outdoor Fabric Guard

Sunbrella is meticulously crafted for a typical lifespan of up to 10 years, which is more than twice as long as most other outdoor fabrics from other manufacturers. This means it will keep your patio furniture sets looking brilliant long past the typical expiration date of most consumer-grade fabrics. via

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How Do You Clean Mildew Off Sunbrella Fabric

To remove mold or mildew:

  • Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of water.
  • Spray on entire area and allow to soak into the fabric for 15 minutes.
  • Clean entire surface area with a sponge, clean towel or very soft bristle brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  • Air dry.
  • Soak And Scrub Cushions

    If possible, remove the cushion covers before cleaning.

    Brush some of the soapy water onto the Sunbrella fabric. Let it soak in and sit so the cleaning mixture can break down the dirt and stains. After 15 minutes, dip the brush back in the cleaning solution and vigorously scrub the cushions.

    If the cushions aren’t coming clean, spray the fabric with Woolite Oxy cleaning spray. After spraying, let the cushions sit for a few minutes and then scrub them with a bristly brush.

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    How Do You Care For Sunbrella Patio Cushions Other Methods

    In addition to regular cleaning, there are a few extra ways to care for your Sunbrella outside cushions to retain their superior aesthetics for longer.

    For starters, Sunbrella usually has proprietary fluorocarbon water and stain repellent when it leaves the factory. This is designed to last many years. Once you start deep cleaning your Sunbrella cushions, however, you are advised to re-treat the cushions with 303® Fabric Guard.

    Step 1: Allow the cushions to dry completely after deep cleaning

    Step 2: Apply a thin, even coat of the Fabric Guard in a well-ventilated area. Ensure you read carefully and follow the instructions on the label.

    Step 3: Allow the 303 fabric guard coat to dry completely, then repeat the application. Allow it to dry.

    Store your Sunbrella cushions away in a sheltered place during off-seasons when you do not use them outside. This will save you the trouble of having to care for them all year long and help prolong their life.

    How To Care For Sunbrella Fabrics

    Sunbrella How to Clean Your Upholstery
    • How to Decorate Team

    The How to Decorate Team has received quite a few inquiries on the care of Sunbrella fabric. Our customers are now using Sunbrella fabric for indoor decorating. They are having their sofas, chairs and pillows covered in the durable and lasting fabric. We thought it was a good time to post Sunbrellas Care Guide to help our Ballard customers keep their furniture looking fresh and new.

    Removable Cushion Covers and Slip Covers

    One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella® brand fabrics looking good and to delay deep or vigorous cleanings is to properly maintain the fabrics. This can be accomplished by simply brushing off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabrics, wiping up spills as soon as they occur or spot cleaning soon after stains occur.

    Hand washing
    • Soak fabric in a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water.
    • Use a sponge or a soft bristle brush as necessary.
    • Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
    • Air dry.
    • Machine wash in cold water with mild laundry soap.
    • Allow Sunbrella to air dry.
    Spot cleaning upholstered pieces
    • Apply a light mist of mild soap and water using a spray bottle.
    • Remove stain with a sponge or very soft bristle brush.
    • Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
    • Wet-vacuum or blot excess water.
    • Air dry, Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all soap residue is removed.
    For stubborn stains and/or mildew

    *If stain and/or mildew are severe, bleach quantities may be increased. See our Stain Chart for removal of specific stains.

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    Bleach Solution Works On Strong Mildew

    Here youll be working with a big mixing bucket where youll have 1 gallon of water, one cup of bleach, and ¼ cup of dishwashing soap.

    • One cup of bleach will be approximately 236ml, and ¼ cup of mild soap will be approximately 60ml. Stir the mixture up and have some of them in a sprayer.
    • Just like the above method, youll also be spraying the mixture on the fabric and letting it sit for the next 15 minutes.
    • After 15 minutes, the mildew will be removed. And youll remove them using a sponge or soft bristle brush. After mildew removal, remove the cleanser by spraying clean water and rinsing away. Now, dry the fabric.

    When weve mildew on a specific part of the fabric, we decide to treat that specific spot. Treating the whole piece can form water stains on sunbrella fabric and water rings.

    Cleaning Sunbrella Outdoor Cushions & Fabrics

    General or Light Cleaning Instructions

    First, leave the cushions on the frame throughout the entire cleaning process. Brush off dirt or vacuum before using any cleaning product. Prepare a cleaning solution of not more than 2 ounces mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water . If you use too much soap, it will be hard to get it all out. Using a sponge or a soft bristle brush, clean the material and allow cleaning solution to soak into fabric. After youve cleaned the cushion, rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Finally, take the cushions off of the furniture and stand up on their sides to allow fabric to air dry thoroughly before use. Dry off the wet frames to prevent water spotting.

    Spot Cleaning Instructions

    First, brush off dirt or vacuum before using any cleaning product. Apply a light mist of mild soap and water using a spray bottle. Work the solution into the stain by lightly scrubbing the area with a sponge or very soft bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Blot excess moisture with a clean, soft towel or sponge. Wet-vacuum or blot excess water. Finally, allow fabric to air dry. If you still see some spotting, repeat these steps and ensure all soap residue is removed. If you use a spot cleaner, please test in an inconspicuous area first.

    Heavy Cleaning For Stubborn Stains and Mildew

    If stain and/or mildew are severe, bleach quantities may be increased. View the stain chart for removal of specific stains.

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