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Old 12-08-2011
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Washing Sunbrella cushion covers

After two seasons, I think its time to clean my Sunbrella cushion covers. I checked Sunbrella's web site, and the instructions are that they can be washed in the washing machine using cold water, then air dried. It said use soap but not detergent, which I don't understand. What's soap? Do they mean something like Woolite that says it is for delicate fabrics?

I did see that they said not to dry clean, and not to use hot water or heat to dry it. Then I have to apply the water repellant spray. That's fine, its worth it to get these cleaned.

Anyone else try this?
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Old 12-08-2011
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Soap is may be the first cleaning agent made by humans. It is a combination of oil (or fats) with Sodium hydroxide. It is still used in Turkey and most countries. Its chemistry is different than detergents.

may be you an use mild detergents but it is best to use soap.
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I am very reluctant to take the covers off, as things like that never seem to go back together well for me. Sunbrella shouldn't shrink in the wash, but I'm still uneasy.

I wash mine in the spring with a very soft brush and spray Tuf Enuf, which use for everything, then hose them off and let dry thoroughly in the sun. Next year, I am going to apply 303 protectant afterward. 303 also makes a cleaner.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Use Woolite.
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Old 12-08-2011
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Sunbrella is an acrylic fabric. What you don't use any type of detergent. That can damage the fabric and remove the waterproofing. I follow the instructions in the link.

http://www.easyawn.com/pdf/CareAndCleaning.pdf

For Soap I use 303

303 Products, Inc.: Sunbrella Marine Fabrics Care Video
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Old 12-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
After two seasons, I think its time to clean my Sunbrella cushion covers. I checked Sunbrella's web site, and the instructions are that they can be washed in the washing machine using cold water, then air dried. It said use soap but not detergent, which I don't understand. What's soap? Do they mean something like Woolite that says it is for delicate fabrics?

I did see that they said not to dry clean, and not to use hot water or heat to dry it. Then I have to apply the water repellant spray. That's fine, its worth it to get these cleaned.

Anyone else try this?
Unless your cushions are made with an open cell foam (they shouldn't be) there is no reason to remove the covers for cleaning. Use a bucket with warm (not hot) water, Woolite and a bit of Oxyclean, and a soft brush and give the surfaces a good scrub and then flush with fresh water. Really tough spots can (usually) be removed with a shot of 409 and a splash of liquid bleach but should be thoroughly rinsed with fresh water. Then stand the cushions on edge and let them air-dry.

We have been using the foregoing method on our cushions for 10+ years with good results. If the cushion covers begin to show water absorption, you can treat them with some 303 water proofing.

FWIW...
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Old 12-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Unless your cushions are made with an open cell foam (they shouldn't be) there is no reason to remove the covers for cleaning....
True for exterior cushions but interior cushions are usually made with open cell foam.
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It just seemed easier to toss the covers into the washing machine, although I don't know what soap is available that can pour into the washer. I'll try Woolite on one cover and see what happens. Thanks everyone!
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If it's a top loader, I would be worried that the agitator would put a beating on the stitching. Not sure about the front loader either.
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