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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

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

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