How to maintain your Sunbrella awning
According to the Sunbrella site:
One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella fabrics looking good and to delay deep or vigorous cleaning 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.
View the Sunbrella fabric stain chart for recommended cleaning solutions.
When it’s time for a thorough cleaning, Sunbrella fabrics can be cleaned while still on an awning frame or, size permitting, they can be removed to aid in the cleaning of stubborn stains or for professional cleaning.
Download the Awning fabrics cleaning (pdf).
General or light cleaning
To clean Sunbrella fabric while still on an awning frame:
Brush off loose dirt.
Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid.
Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
May not require re-treatment depending on the age of the fabric.
If stubborn stains persist, you can use a diluted bleach/soap mixture for spot cleaning of mildew. For roof run-off or other similar stains a strong degreaser may be required (see our Stain Chart for specific recommendations).
“Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric”.
Heavy-duty cleaning for stubborn stains and mildew
To clean stubborn stains:
- Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of clean water.
- Allow mixture to soak into fabric for up to 15 minutes.
- Clean with soft bristle brush. (Note: This step should be avoided when cleaning the coated side (Back side) of Sunbrella Plus, Supreme, or Clarity.
- Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
- Air dry.
- Repeat if necessary.
- Re-treatment of fabric for water and stain resistance will be necessary after using bleach solution.
Note: Use caution when cleaning the coated (underside) of Sunbrella Plus, Supreme, or Clarity with the recommended bleach solution. The coated side of the fabric should only be sprayed with the recommended bleach solution and rinsed thoroughly.
Remember to protect the area around your fabric, if using a bleach solution. Carpet or other fabrics that are not Sunbrella may have an adverse reaction to the bleach.
View the Sunbrella fabric Stain chart.
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® Fabric Guard™ as the preferred re-treatment product for Sunbrella fabrics.
Fabrics should be re-treated after thorough cleaning or as needed.
*For more information on re-treatment products, please visit www.303products.com.
Applying 303 Fabric Guard
303 should be applied to Sunbrella fabrics after each thorough cleaning, which typically removes the original finish and reduces the fabric’s water repellency.
- Clean fabric, using one of the cleaning methods.
- Allow fabric to completely air dry.
- Apply 303 Fabric Guard in a well ventilated area following instructions on the container.
- Apply 303 in a thin, even coat and allow fabric to dry completely.
- Apply a second thin, even coating of 303. (Two light coatings are more effective in restoring fabric water resistance than a single heavy coating.)
- Note: A 16-ounce bottle provides coverage of up to 75-100 square feet of fabric depending on material and application method.
*For more information, please visit www.303products.com.
Additional Cleaning Instructions
Professional Awning Cleaners
You may have access to professional awning cleaning firms. 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 re-treatment requirements.
- Protect the area around your fabric when using a bleach solution – bleach may discolor non-Sunbrella fabrics. Always rinse the fabric thoroughly to completely remove bleach.
- Please be aware of the environment when cleaning with bleach. Bleach can have harmful effects on the natural environment around you. We do not advise using bleach if you are surrounded by a body of water or other environment that could be affected.
- Sunbrella should only be allowed to air dry.
- Use of bleach and/or advanced age of the fabric application may impact the deterioration of the sewing thread and other non-Sunbrella components.
For more information, call (704) 333-1581 or visit the Sunbrella site at http://www.sunbrella.com/en_us/how/cleaning/
Sources cited: Sunbrella