How To Remove Water Stains On Sunbrella Fabric: Quick DIY Guide

water stains on sunbrella fabric

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Wahid

Are you familiar with Sunbrella fabric? 100% acrylic is used to make it, making it a popular fabric for outdoor decor. It can be found everywhere, from patio furniture to hot tub covers, indoor couches, & boat canvas as well.

Among the reasons for its popularity are that Sunbrella fabric is water-resistant, fade, and mold-resistant. Additionally, the fabric can be easily cleaned and has a long lifespan. When supervised properly, the original look will last for at least 10 years. Despite its many amazing qualities, Sunbrella fabric also demands regular care. The product will remain in top condition for a long time, plus you’ll enjoy a clean and tidy environment.

However, if you’re not sure how to clean water stains on sunbrella fabric, you’ve come to the right place. Read on below and this helpful guide will become your best friend when it comes to cleaning Sunbrella.

What Is Actually Sunbrella Fabric?

What Is Actually Sunbrella Fabric

Indoors and outdoors, Sunbrella fabrics are used for marine applications and awnings. It is primarily used for marine canopies, shade cloths, and marine tents. Considering its outstanding properties, it is the ideal shade cover for outdoor areas. 

  • Among US consumers, Sunbrella is considered to be the number 1, most durable outdoor fabric, due to its water-resistant and fade-resistant properties.
  • What are the benefits of Sunbrella fabric? Generally, Sunbrella fabrics are designed to withstand years of outdoor activities, spilled drinks, & sticky hands. 
  • Sunbrella fabrics make your outdoor space comfortable and welcoming, long-lasting, and unfazed by nature. 
  • Luckily, Sunbrella outdoor fabric is easy to maintain, UV protective, & highly resistant to color fade, spots, mold & mildew as well.

Water Stains On Sunbrella Fabric: Different Cleaning Methods

Different Cleaning Methods Of Water Stains On Sunbrella Fabric

Many people have questions about Sunbrella fabrics, particularly those concerning how to remove various stains on Sunbrella fabric.

A major selling point of Sunbrella cloth, aside from its superior durability, is it’s easy cleaning. You won’t have to worry about staining it with chocolate, red wine, markers, or any other difficult-to-remove stain. Sunbrella fabrics will last for years with regular, light maintenance. 

To prevent life’s messes from ruining your Sunbrella fabric, I put together the following handy checklist for you.

General Cleaning

It is important to clean Sunbrella fabrics periodically to prevent dust and grime from accumulating. There are a few differences in general care for different Sunbrella uses & lines.

  • Sunbrella Upholstery fabric is suitable not only for upholstered furniture, but also for removable items such as pillows, slipcovers, cushion covers, and draperies. 
  • Depending on how you want to clean them, you can hand wash them or in a washing machine. 
  • For hand washing, use 1/4 cup of neutral soap mixed with 1 gallon of warm water to wash the fabric. 
  • In case of need, use a soft bristled brush or a sponge to agitate the fabric and thoroughly rinse to eliminate any soap residue. 
  • In addition, a mild detergent can be used to wash Sunbrella in cold water. Sunbrella should always be dried by air.
  • In general, Sunbrella upholstery fabric should be brushed off dirt that is loose. Then, prepare a lukewarm water solution with 1/4 cup dish soap. 
  • Using a soft brush or sponge, clean, letting the solution penetrate the fabric. Dry it by air after thoroughly rinsing to remove any soap residue.
  • Keeping the boat covers & tops maintained with Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric needs regular maintenance, too.
  • When cleaning marine tops, remove any loose dirt by brushing it off and hosing it down. 
  • Use water & a mild soap or “303 Multi-Surface Cleaner” to prepare a cleaning solution. 
  • Gently brush the fabric with a small, soft brush, letting the cleaning product soak in.
  • Allow airing dry after rinsing to wash away all soap.

Spot Cleaning

It’s inevitable that upholstered fabric items indoors and outdoors will get stained from time to time. Here are some tips for spot cleaning Sunbrella fabrics.

  • Spot cleaning upholstered furniture begins with blotting liquid spills using a clean, soft, and dry cloth. 
  • When dealing with oil-based spills, use an absorbent material like cornstarch followed by a straight edge. 
  • Using the spray bottle, lightly mist the spot with mild soap & water. 
  • To remove soap residue, rinse the material thoroughly and let it air dry. 
  • If the stain doesn’t come out completely on the first attempt, try again. 
  • Once again, use a sponge or a brush with soft bristles to work the soap solution into the stained area.

Clean Stubborn Stains And Mildew

Despite Sunbrella’s resistance to mildew growth, the textile can develop mildew when the dirt is present. 

  • Depending on the type and severity of the stain, bleach may be necessary to remove it. 
  • In order to accomplish this, combine 1 cup of bleach with 1/4 cup of mild soap in 1 gallon of warm water. 
  • Then, leave the stained part to soak for 15 minutes. Clean your sponge or towel to remove any set-in stains. 
  • In order to remove mildew from all surfaces, use a sponge, soft-bristled brush, or clean towel to wipe the area. 
  • Once all soap residue has been removed, rinse the Sunbrella fabric thoroughly and let it air dry. 
  • If the stain & mildew is particularly strong, increase or decrease the bleach quantities.

Sunbrella Fabric Retreatment

  • A specific finish is applied to Sunbrella fabrics so that they are stain & water-resistant. 
  • Following a thorough wash, this finish should be retreated to keep it looking fresh. 
  • Then, once the fabric has air-dried completely, spray 303 Fabric Guard over it.

“Additional Tips”

  • Iron Sunbrella without using an iron or steamer that is set on steam. For wrinkle-free clothing, set the iron to synthetic fabric.
  • Cleaning with bleach should be done with caution around your Sunbrella.
  • Various outdoor pieces such as cushion covers, umbrellas, and tablecloths can be cleaned with cold water by machine. It is still a good idea to let them air dry.
  • It is important to keep the environment in mind when bleaching marine tops. Fabrics that need bleach cleaning, keep them away from water bodies.
  • It is harmful to clean polyester thread with bleach. The best way to clean Lifetime Thread-sewn items is with bleach.
  • Sunbrella’s product pages offer more in-depth instructions for maintenance and cleaning.


01. How Do You Get Water Stains Out Of Sunbrella Fabric?

Answer: In accordance with Sunbrella, stains can typically be removed easily with a water & mild soap solution applied directly to them. Cleaning can be accomplished using a brush with soft bristles. Yes, you read that right. To remove the remaining 2% of hard-to-remove stains, use a diluted soap/bleach mixture & spot clean.

02. Is Sunbrella Waterproof Or Water Resistant?

Answer: Just to make sure everyone is aware again, Sunbrella fabrics are water repellent rather than water-resistant. The difference is that water-repellent fabrics have been treated.

So, water won’t easily penetrate while water resistant fabric is only capable of keeping a limited amount of moisture out.

03. Does Water Go Through Sunbrella Fabric?

Answer: Shade & marine fabrics made from Sunbrella are extremely water-resistant and virtually insensitive to fresh and salt water. Regardless of where you are on the water, Sunbrella fabrics will stand up to tough conditions, whether you’re at the beach or on a lake.

04. Can Water Stains Be Permanent?

Answer: A hard water stain can turn permanent when left untreated for too long. When hard water stains appear, it’s advisable to remove them quickly. While it might be tempting to leave mild stains until cleaning time, the longer they sit, the harder they become to remove.

05. How Do You Get Tough Stains Out Of Sunbrella Fabric?

Answer: The ratio should be one-fourth cup of dishwashing liquid mixed with one-half cup of ammonia for each gallon of water. To absorb the excess, apply cornstarch, scrape the excess off with the straight edge, then wipe up any residual residue with liquid soap and water. After vacuuming, clean with a fourth cup of liquid dishwashing per gallon of water.

06. Can Sunbrella Fabric Be Left In The Rain?

Answer: Sunbrella’s latest worry-free fabrics are 100% waterproof. It is actually the material of Sunbrella Rain thread that expands when wet. When water falls on the fabric, it simply beads up, rather than soaking into the outdoors cushions and causing mold and moisture to accumulate.

07. How Long Does Sunbrella Fabric Last Outside?

Answer: The color won’t fade for years. Sunbrella fabrics have unique dyeing techniques that keep their colors vibrant, even under direct sunlight. The fabric of Sunbrella is extremely fade-resistant and maintains its vibrant colors for at least 5 to 10 years.

08. Can Sunbrella Fabric Be Left Outside Winter?

Answer: With Sunbrella fabrics that are weather, mold, and mildew-resistant, there’s no need to bring cushions inside during the winter. If you leave them outside, it’s fine–you never know, when the weather warms up, you might want to build a fire outside, & you’ll be prepared.

09. What Is Better Than Sunbrella?

Answer: Compared to Sunbrella, Olefin offers superior durability and is particularly resistant to wear and tear. In spite of Sunbrella’s tendency to be highly water-resistant, Olefin tends to wear less gradually, regardless of how often it is exposed to chlorinated and saltwater.

10. Is Sunbrella Fabric Really Worth It?

Answer: Highly durable, fade-resistant, and water-resistant, Sunbrella fabrics have superb engineering that you have to see in person to believe. A Sunbrella fabric is very easy to clean, requires very little maintenance, & mildew/mold resistant. Whenever dirt spots appear on the cushions, the covers can be washed in the dishwasher.

The End

This guide has explained everything about water stains on Sunbrella fabric as well as other difficult-to-remove stains. Regardless of whether or not you understand how to properly care for Sunbrella fabric, you will find this article helpful. Some people know how to prepare it, but don’t have the necessary ingredients, and others don’t understand the amount. No matter what approach you choose, Sunbrella fabric should be treated gently. Otherwise, instead of cleaning the fabrics, you will damage them.