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How to Retreat Sunbrella Fabric

All Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish that makes them water-resistant, but after years of being out in the elements and being pelted by rain the finish can wear off. If you notice that your Sunbrella® fabrics aren’t beading water like they used to, it’s probably time to retreat them and restore their water repellency. We’ll show you what to use and how to retreat your fabric so it repels water again.

To restore the water repellency of your Sunbrella fabric we recommend using 303® Fabric Guard. Actually, 303 Fabric Guard is also the choice of the manufacturers of Sunbrella as the best treatment to restore water repellency. 303 Fabric Guard also protects against stains and provides UV screening without affecting the color, feel or breathability of the fabric. While 303 is great for canvas like Sunbrella, it should not be used on vinyl, zippers, plastics, rubber, fiberglass or imitation suede, so be careful when applying it to canvas near these other materials.

How do you know when to retreat your Sunbrella? We recommend always retreating your fabric after a thorough cleaning and also when you notice the fabric stops beading water. Do a quick test of your cover every couple of months by flicking a small amount of water on the cover and see if the water beads up and runs off or soaks into the material. If the water soaks in, it’s time to retreat.

In this video we’ll show you step-by-step how to retreat a boat cover with 303 Fabric Guard. Also included is a brief discussion of the differences between the different lines of Sunbrella fabric and how to tell which side should face out on your projects (hint: for most Sunbrella fabrics, it doesn’t matter!).

You can find 303 Fabric Guard and other products for cleaning and caring for your fabrics at Sailrite.com

Do you use 303 Fabric Guard on your Sunbrella fabric? Share your experiences with it in the comments.

Sur Last® is one of our most popular fabrics. This solution dyed-polyester is great for a variety of cover applications from boat covers to patio furniture covers. It has a urethane coating on one side of the fabric that provides added stability, minimizes shrinking and stretching, and increases water and mildew resistance. The coated side should be the inside of the fabric when used in an application, but sometimes it can be really hard to tell the difference between the coated and uncoated sides. In fact, this is actually one of our most frequently asked questions!

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We made a quick video to show you an easy, fool-proof trick for determining which side is the inside, coated side and which is the outside, uncoated side. Ready for our tip? Sprinkle water on the fabric! The outside of the fabric will cause the water to bead up on the fabric’s surface while the inside will soak in the water more, just like in the photo above. This trick works on all Surlast fabrics, no matter the color.

If you have older Sur Last that has been out in the weather for a while you can restore this water resistance with 303® Fabric Guard   This easy to apply spray will make the top of your fabric repel water so it beads up and runs off your cover again. The video will also show you what a great job this product does at restoring water resistance. We recommend treating your Sur Last whenever you notice water not beading and after each time the fabric is washed.

Learn more about Sur Last fabric and if it would be right for your next cover project at Sailrite.com.

Is this something you struggled with before? How did you figure out which side was which? Share your experiences in the comments!

 

One of the big selling points of Sunbrella® fabric, besides its legendary durability, is how easy it is to clean. It won’t be stained by chocolate, marker, red wine or other hard to remove stain causers. With regular, light maintenance Sunbrella fabrics will stay looking great for years to come. We’ve put together this handy guide for you to know exactly how to care for your Sunbrella fabric so you won’t have to worry about life’s messes!

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General Cleaning

All Sunbrella fabrics need to be cleaned now and then to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. Different uses and lines of Sunbrella have slightly different general care methods.

Sunbrella® Upholstery fabric can be used indoors on upholstered furniture pieces but also on removable items like pillow covers, cushion covers, slip covers and draperies. To clean these removable pieces, you can wash them by hand or toss them in the washing machine. To hand wash, soak the fabric in a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to agitate fabric if necessary and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Sunbrella can also be machine washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Always allow Sunbrella to air dry.

For general care of Sunbrella Upholstery fabric on outdoor furniture, brush off any loose dirt from the fabric and prepare a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to clean, allowing the solution to soak into the fabric. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow to air dry.

Sunbrella® on your boat covers and tops requires some routine maintenance, too. To clean your marine tops, brush off loose dirt from the surface of the fabric and hose down. Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap like Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid or spray with 303® Fabric Cleaner. Clean with a soft bristled brush allowing the cleaning solution to soak into fabric. Rinse to remove all soap and allow to air dry.

Spot Cleaning

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Stains happen and sometimes you’ll need to clean your indoor and outdoor upholstered fabric pieces. Here’s how to spot clean your Sunbrella.

To spot clean upholstered pieces, apply a light mist of mild soap and water to the spot using a spray bottle. Remove any stains with a very soft bristle brush or a sponge and rinse the area to remove soap residue. Wet-vacuum or blot away excess water and allow to air dry. Repeat steps if necessary.

Heavy Cleaning for Stubborn Stains and Mildew

While Sunbrella does not promote mildew growth, dirt on the fabric can grow its own mildew. To remove it and other set-in stains, you may need to clean with bleach. To do this, prepare a solution of 1 cup bleach and 1/4 cup of mild soap per gallon of water and soak the stained area for 15 minutes. Use a sponge or brush to remove the stain until all the soap residue is gone and allow fabric to air dry.

You can alter the bleach quantities if the stain is especially severe. For cleaning recommendations on specific stains, see Sunbrella’s stain removal chart.

Re-Treating Fabric

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Sunbrella fabrics are coated with a special finish that helps them to be stain and water resistant. After a thorough washing, the fabric should be re-treated to keep this finish fresh. After your fabric has completely air dried, apply a coat of 303 Fabric Guard.

Additional Tips and Hints:

  • • Do not iron Sunbrella with a steamer or an iron set to steam. If you need to iron out wrinkles, use an iron set to “synthetic fabric.”
  • • Protect the area around your Sunbrella when cleaning with bleach.
  • • Removable outdoor pieces like cushion covers and umbrellas can be machine washed in cold water. Still allow them to air dry.
  • • Be aware of the environment when cleaning marine tops with bleach. If a bleach cleaning of your fabric is needed, it’s best to move the fabric away from bodies of water.
  • • Cleaning with bleach may affect your thread in a sewn project.

Learn more at Sailrite.com.

Many outdoor fabrics, like Sunbrella®, are water resistant naturally. But over time, after washing and being pelted by rain, some of that water resistance starts to wear away. One question we get asked a lot is “can I restore water resistance to my fabric?” The answer is yes, you can! We’ll show you what to use and when and how to apply it in today’s post.

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You can bring back the water resistance to your fabric with a spray-on treatment. Our favorite is 303® Fabric Guard. This product will restore water repellency, protect against stains and provide UV screening without affecting the color, feel or breathability of the fabric. It is safe to use on boat covers, awnings, patio cushions and much more. 303 Fabric Guard should not be used on vinyl, zippers, plastics, rubber, fiberglass or imitation suede, however.

How do you determine when and if your fabric needs treated? The best way to tell if you fabric needs treated is to do a quick test. Flick a small amount of water onto the fabric and watch how the water reacts. If the water is soaked into the fabric almost immediately, your fabric needs treated. To be diligent with your fabric, you can run this test every couple of months. You should also always retreat your fabric after a thorough cleaning.

How to Apply 303 Fabric Guard:

  1. Thoroughly clean your fabric and let dry completely before applying the fabric guard.
  2. Test the colorfastness of the material by spraying the fabric guard in an inconspicuous area and wiping the area while wet to see if the color transfers.
  3. In a well ventilated, area spray overlapping sprays until the fabric has been evenly misted (two light coats works better than one heavy coat). Be careful to avoid overspray on zippers and clear vinyl, as the fabric guard will harm these materials.
  4. Allow to air-dry and cure for 8 to 12 hours, depending on weather conditions. It will dry best in the sun on a hot day.
  5. Mist with water to test. Water should bead up on the fabric.

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You can find 303 Fabric Guard and other great fabric cleaners and protectants at Sailrite.com.

Do you use a fabric guard to restore water repellency to your fabrics? Leave us a comment and share your experiences!

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Mother Nature is unpredictable and sometimes, despite our best efforts, she can get the better of us. There’s nothing worse than a pop-up rain shower or bird droppings wreaking havoc on your outdoor cushions and pillows. We’ve found that a great way to protect your outdoor fabrics from water and stains is to pre-treat them with a fabric guard.

Fabric Guards are usually spray-on products that help add water resistance and stain repellence to a fabric. They can also offer mildew resistance and UV screening to control fading. A good pre-treatment will not affect the color, feel, or breathability of your fabric and will provide protection from water, stains, and UV rays.

If you already have some outdoor cushions in use, it’s not too late to treat them as well. Fabric guards will restore water repellency to outdoor fabrics after washing as well, including Sunbrella Fabrics.

How to Apply Fabric Guard:

  1. Test the colorfastness of the material by spraying in an inconspicuous area and wiping the area while wet to see if the color transfers.
  2. Apply on a clean and dry fabric.
  3. Spray overlapping sprays until the fabric has been evenly misted.
  4. Allow to air dry and cure for 4 to 72 hours, depending on weather conditions. (Dries best in the sun on a hot day).
  5. Mist with water to test. Water should bead up on the fabric.

We’ve found 303® Fabric Guard to be a great choice for fabric protection. It is safe to use on almost all fabrics from acrylic to cotton, even wool, suede and fine leathers. Additionally it is environmentally safe, and non-toxic and odorless when dry.

A little spritz now can make a big difference later! To get your own 303 Fabric Guard or some new outdoor fabric, head on over to Sailrite.com.

Do you pre-treat your outdoor fabrics? Leave us a comment and share your experiences!

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