SUNBRELLA® CUSHION CARE & MAINTENANCE
SUNBRELLA® CUSHION CARE – Online Replacement Cushions standard cushion fabric is Sunbrella®, a durable outdoor fabric manufactured in North Carolina from 100% solution dyed acrylic fiber. Sunbrella® is resistant to fading and loss of strength from exposure to the elements. Sunbrella® outdoor furniture fabric allows water to pass through the fabric allowing the cushion to release moisture and dry more rapidly. The manufacturer of Sunbrella® has a standard set of recommended care instructions which follows.
WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT THE FABRIC COVER REMAIN ON THE FOAM INTERIOR. DO NOT REMOVE THE FABRIC COVER FROM THE FOAM INTERIOR. IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO GET THE COVER BACK ON ONCE IT IS REMOVED.
SUGGESTED CARE DIRECTLY FROM SUNBRELLA®.For optimum appearance and performance Sunbrella® should be cleaned regularly before substances such as dirt and food particles are allowed to accumulate on and become embedded in the fabric. The fabric should be cleaned without removing the inner foam core by simply brushing off any loose dirt and cleaning with water and a mild soap solution of no more than 100º F. After sponging briskly with the soap and water, rinse thoroughly and air dry completely before storing. DO NOT USE DETERGENTS. Joy® liquid soap is acceptable. The recommended cleaning solution for most stains consists of .5 ounce of antibacterial dishwashing liquid to 22.5 ounces of lukewarm water. Spot wash with this solution by sponging briskly on top of the stain. For stubborn stains and suntan lotion, a fabric spot remover can be used. Follow the directions on the container. Sunbrella® is thermoplastic and heat sensitive. When washing or cleaning, DO NOT SUBJECT TO EXCESSIVE HEAT as the fabric will shrink. DO NOT STEAM PRESS OR DRY IN ELECTRIC OR GAS DRYERS, but allow to air dry. Solution-dyed acrylic does not promote mildew growth. However, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. To clean mildew stains, prepare a mild solution of one cup bleach plus two caps full of a mild 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 air dry.
For additional stubborn stains, please consult the Stain Chart on Sunbrella’s website. (www.sunbrella.com)
SOME ADDITIONAL CUSHION CLEANING TIPS FROM ONLINE REPLACEMENT CUSHIONS – We include here some additional tips which various members of our family have found helpful in cleaning the Sunbrella® fabric cushions. Cushions in a light or almost white Sunbrella® fabric are popular, and many clients have concerns that these will not stay clean and sparkling white. Let us allay your fears! It is possible to keep white cushions white with regular care and maintenance. The following tips have performed magic on very soiled cushions of every color which have come out looking brand new. Don’t lose hope!
A NOTE ABOUT STAINS – Trees are often the biggest culprit for debris on cushions, particularly oak trees whose leaves contain strong tannins. Insect repellants and suntan lotions can also stain acrylic fabrics. Avoid damage by wiping clean and removing debris as soon as possible.
GENERAL MAINTENANCE FOR CLEAN CUSHIONS – Access to a hose with a high-pressure attachment (not a power washer) is very helpful. Periodic washing with a jet stream will keep the cushions clean. You can try a mild soap if there are stains present. We recommend using Meguiar’s® Gold Class Car Wash and Shampoo on both the furniture frame and cushions for regular maintenance. Car wash soaps gently foam away tough dirt and contaminants without compromising the furniture finish. We prefer using a car wash soap versus a dish washing liquid soap on the cushions as you can clean both the cushions and frame at the same time. Liquid dishwashing detergents are more aggressive and not ph balanced and will make stains on the finish more difficult to remove. A lot of the stains and dirt may actually be mildew (Sunbrella® is not guaranteed against mildew). However, we have found that if you can’t get it out with the high pressure water hose you likely can’t get it out with mild soap.
TO CLEAN MORE STUBBORN STAINS – We have found that a solution of bleach and water is the most effective mixture for cleaning. Diluted chlorine bleach will not affect the coloration of the fiber or cloth and is therefore acceptable for stain removal. We have found a mixture of one part bleach to two parts water to be more effective (Sunbrella® recommends a 4:1 solution). Saturate the cushions with a diluted solution of bleach in a spray bottle. Let the bleach do the work. You don’t want to repeatedly scrub the fabric (because it will pill), although you can also apply the bleach with a very soft scrub brush. You will see the stains begin to disappear in a matter of minutes! Thorough rinsing is essential. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO COMPLETELY RINSE THE BLEACH FROM THE CUSHION. CHLORINE BLEACH WILL EVENTUALLY AFFECT THE STRENGTH OF ANY FIBER OR CLOTH. We do not recommend bleaching cushions in place on the furniture frame. Chlorine bleaches are very aggressive and corrosive and could damage the finish. Please note: These suggestions are for Sunbrella® fabric only. If your designer furnished the fabric for your cushions, please refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
HELPFUL TIPS ON CLEANING SUNBRELLA® CUSHIONS – The best time to clean cushions is after a storm has deposited dirt and debris on the cushions while they are still wet. Cushions can often be maintained by regularly hosing cushions off with a garden hose before dirt and debris are allowed to dry and set in the fabric.We recommend using a gentle automotive car wash such as Meguiar’s® Gold Class Car Wash and Shampoo for both the cushions and frame. This is preferable to using a liquid dish washing soap on the cushions when washing cushions in place on the frame. Liquid dish washing soaps are effective on Sunbrella but are too aggressive for the furniture frame. Cushions dry quicker when placed on their side. NEVER remove the fabric cover from the foam interior.
MOLD AND MILDEW STAINS
Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances if not removed from the fabric. To remove mold or mildew:
- – Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and one fourth 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.
For severe mold/mildew growth, bleach quantities may be increased. MOLD AND MILDEW IS NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY.
It is best to clean the entire surface area of the fabric to avoid water rings and stains.
MACHINE WASHING YOUR SUNBRELLA COVERS IS NOT RECOMMENDED.