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What You Need to Know About Outdoor Fabrics

What Are Outdoor Fabrics?

 "Outdoor Fabrics refer to woven textiles manufactured from a variety of synthetic fibers (acrylic for example) specially for outdoor use. These breathable fabrics are made “water repellent” by a chemical treatment process during manufactur­ing. The treated fabric repels (beads) water, resists soiling, protects against both water and oil based stains, and impedes mildew formation.

With time and use the original repellency treatment is dimin­ished, making periodic cleaning and re-treatment necessary. The key to keeping your fabric looking great and extending its life is periodic cleaning followed by repellency re-treatment. 

Common Outdoor Fabric Uses:

  • Patio Furniture: Cushions, umbrellas, canopies,awnings.
  • Boating: Enclosures, biminis, T-tops, dodgers, boat andsail covers.
  • Automotive/Recreation: Fabric convertible topping, RV fabric awnings, pop-up & tent trailers, camp tents, car & RV covers.

Add Years To The Life Of Your Outdoor Fabric

Quick and easy maintenance goes a long way. All outdoor fabrics require periodic cleaning and re-treatment.

The best time to clean and re-treat is BEFORE the outdoor fabric becomes heavily soiled and stained. Heavily soiled and stained fabric requires harsher cleaning chemicals and methods which can diminish service life.

Simple Cleaning - It's Easy!


  1. While dry, brush, shake or vacuum off loose dirt.
  2. Hose down to remove remaining loose dirt.
  3. For best results: Use manufacturer-recommended 303® Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner™ or 303® Fabric Cleaner™ in lukewarm water (100º F max). To loosen soiling & stains, use soft bristle brush, sponge or cloth to apply and work in the cleaning solution. Rinse DOUBLE-THOROUGHLY to remove both loosened
    soils and all cleaning agent residue. Repeat if necessary.
  4. Allow to air dry.

It’s now time to re-treat using 303® High Tech Fabric Guard™, recommended by and for Sunbrella®


303® High Tech Fabric Guard restores lost water repellency and stain repellency to factory new levels. It stops leaks, resists soiling, protects against both water-based and oil-based stains and impedes mildew formation.

Click Here - for manufacturers who recommend 303® Products

With 303® High Tech Fabric Guard re-treating is easy, quick, inexpensive and lasts a long time.

It's Easy With 303® High Tech Fabric Guard

  • Use only on new or newly cleaned, dry fabric.
  • Spray on 303® High Tech Fabric Guard until wetly damp, overlapping sprayed areas.Do Not Saturate.
  • Allow fabric to dry thoroughly before using or storing. 

Be sure to re-treat in warm weather. At least 70º F (the hotter the better), always with the fabric heated up from the sun.

Coverage: For Sunbrella®, “canvas” convertible topping and similar weight fabrics, apply at a rate of 50-75 sq. ft. per 16oz. trigger sprayer, 500-800 sq. ft. per gallon. Expect greater coverage on lighter weight fabric, less on heavier fabric & carpeting.

Maintenance Tip: About once a month, use a water hose to gently spray off any dirt that has settled. Do this regularly and you will have to clean and re-treat less often.

Stubborn Stains and Mildew: With Sunbrella® and other acrylic fabrics it is advised to add bleach to the cleaning solution for stubborn stains and when mildew is present. Soak the stained fabric up to 10 minutes in a solution of ½ cup bleach and ½ cup 303® Fabric Cleaner per gallon of warm water (100° F). Rinse thoroughly before fabric dries. Repeat if necessary. Non-chlorine bleach is recommended for Sunbrella “Plus” because of the urethane coating. Caution: Excessive soaking in bleach can deteriorate seam threads. For special cleaning problems and mildew on other (non-acrylic) fabrics, contact the fabric manufacturer.

Tip For New Fabrics: During the fabrication process the factory finish can be worn causing the new fabric to “wet”, most commonly at the seams. To prevent or correct seam leaks, treat the seam with 303® High Tech Fabric Guard.

Warnings: Silicone “water repellent” products are not recommended. These products are not compatible with the outdoor fabric’s factory finish and actually promote staining. Water “sealants” for wood and masonry also are not recommended.

Before using 303® High Tech Fabric Guard, read the label directions and warnings.

Sunbrella®, made from 100% solution dyed acrylic fiber, is the world's largest selling outdoor fabric.

303® High Tech Fabric Guard™ is powerful enough to protect fabrics in the harshest environment...outdoors. Yet 303® High Tech Fabric Guard is safe for the finest fabrics, wool, silk and fine leathers including suede.