Caring for the fabric on your awning or shade product is an important, yet easy thing to do. Proper care and cleaning will ensure that your awning or shade product will withstand the elements for a long time.
Caring for Sunsetter Woven Acrylic Fabrics
Sunsetter woven acrylic fabrics are made of 100% solution-dyed acrylic fiber and have a special finish that delays the formation and accumulation of dirt. To preserve this finish, cleaning of the fabric must include the following.
- Thoroughly remove the dust from the dry awning fabric by vacuum cleaning, gently beating, or brushing.
- Then clean with prolonged spraying of lukewarm water and a mild soap while gently brushing. Rinse thoroughly to remove soap.
For more stubborn cases, a general solution of no more than 1/2 cup (4 oz.) of bleach and 1/4 cup (2 oz.) of mild soap per gallon of water is normally recommended. Do not leave this mixture on the fabric for more than 20 minutes. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with cold water to remove all of the mixtures.
Caution: Bleach can deteriorate sewing threads. The fabric should be rinsed thoroughly to remove all of the soap. This method of cleaning may remove part of the water repellency of the fabric. Therefore, if water repellency is important, the fabric afterward should receive an application of any air curing fluorocarbon water repellent treatment, such as 303 High Tech Fabric Guard.
Applying 303 High Tech Fabric Guard
303 should be applied to Sunsetter woven acrylic fabrics after each thorough cleaning, which typically removes the original finish and reduces the fabric’s water repellency.
- Allow the clean 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 the fabric to dry completely.
- Apply a second thin, even coating of 303. Note: Two light coatings are more effective in restoring fabric water resistance than a single heavy coating. A 15-ounce bottle provides coverage of up to 50 square feet of fabric. For more information, please on 303 products, click here.
Caution: If an awning is retracted while wet, open it as quickly as possible and allow the fabric to dry. Although the fabric is mold, mildew, and rot-resistant, this procedure is necessary because atmospheric pollution deposits on the surface of the fabric can mold and mildew under damp conditions.
Caring for Sunsetter Laminated Fabrics
Protecting the Sunsetter Laminated Fabric From Mildew
If is necessary to roll the awning up wet, be sure to extend it out to dry when the weather is better. While the awning fabric itself won’t mildew, note that mildew can form on the dust and dirt allowed to accumulate on the fabric. If the fabric is rolled up and stored when wet, the moisture will promote the formation of mildew. Do not use caustic cleaners.
Cleaning the Laminated Fabric
Cleaning the awning regularly with mild soap and water will extend the life of the fabric and prevent the formation of mildew. Call 800-670-7071 to order a Sunsetter Cleaning and Maintenance Kit.
Caring for Sunbrella Shade Fabric
General or Light Cleaning
To clean Sunbrella while still on an awning frame:
- Brush off loose dirt.
- Hose down.
- 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.
- Air dry.
- May not require re-treatment depending on the age of the fabric.
If stubborn spills persist, you can use a diluted bleach/soap mixture for spot cleaning of mildew. For roof run-off or other similar spills, a strong degreaser may be required. Specific information on spill cleaning is available in our Cleaning Guide.
Heavy Cleaning for Stubborn Stains and Mildew
Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. 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.
Retreating Sunbrella Fabrics
Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a proprietary water and stain repellent finish that is designed to last for several years but may require replenishing after a thorough cleaning. Glen Raven® recommends 303® Fabric Guard™, available in the United States, and Tex’Aktiv, available internationally.
Applying a Retreatment:
- Clean Sunbrella fabric, using one of the cleaning methods.
- Allow Sunbrella to completely air dry.
- Apply retreatment in a well-ventilated area following instructions on the container.
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.
While Sunbrella fabric offers excellent protection against stains, full removal is not always guaranteed if spills are not addressed promptly.
Protect the area around the Sunbrella fabric when using a bleach solution – bleach may discolor non-Sunbrella fabrics. Always rinse Sunbrella 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 another 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.
Caring for Sattler Fabrics
Care & Cleaning
Our fabrics are designed for outdoor use. To keep your fabric looking its best, we recommend cleaning the fabric at the first signs of dirt or stains.
For routine maintenance of your fabrics, we recommend cleaning each spring season.
1. Remove loose dirt with soft bristle brush or hose down with cold water.
2. Clean with mixture of water and mild soap. Rub in mixture with soft brush and allow to thoroughly soak into the fabric.
3. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and air-dry.
4. Never use water over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not machine-dry. For light cleaning, avoid the use of detergents.
1. Before bleach cleaning, make sure fabric is dry and has been vacuumed, and that space is ventilated.
2. Prepare a 10% bleach solution in water.
3. Test the solution in an inconspicuous location first before applying over the rest of the fabric.
4. Apply the cleaning solution using a misting spray bottle.
5. Work the solution into the affected area by lightly scrubbing the area with a sponge or soft bristle brush. Make sure to work from the outside of the stain inward so as not to spread the stain and rinse your sponge or brush frequently.
6. Allow cleaning solution to linger on the stain no more than 1 hour.
7. Rinse thoroughly to remove all residual bleach from the fabric.
8. Allow fabric to air dry.
9. Repeat process if necessary.