My step by step for how to clean Sunbrella Cushions so they look brand new again, plus my most important tips you don’t want to miss.

It’s that time of year when you want to start sprucing and cleaning up your outdoor spaces.  I always cringe a little bit at this task because that means I have to do some heavy duty scrubbing of our outdoor cushions.  

Ive been doing this for so many years I basically have it down to a science.  And even though it takes a bit of elbow grease – our cushions always come out looking almost brand new!  

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions - all my tips and tricks in this post!
Cushions before cleaning! Yuck.

If you have Sunbrella cushions and you are wondering how to clean them, then stay with me.  You’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to buy any weird formulas for this job either.  In fact, you probably already have everything you need.  

What is Sunbrella? 

Sunbrella fabrics are designed to take a beating.  They resist mold and mildew and won’t fade with repeated exposure to UV rays.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t get dirty and need to be cleaned!  

I’ve bought Sunbrella fabric and used it to make outdoor pillow covers. Check out Sunbrella fabrics here. They also sell on other retailers websites, like Etsy and Pottery Barn.

If you have sunbrella cushions that can be zipped off and thrown in the wash, that might be the easiest route.  We have a sunbrella Adirondack chair cushion that I machine wash and dry.  However, our Sunbrella couch cushions are not able to be zipped on and off.  Which means I have to clean them by hand every year.  

What to Use to Clean Sunbrella Cushions

You need three products to clean your cushions; warm water, Dawn Soap and Bleach. 

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions

Wait – bleach!?  Yes, bleach.  Sunbrella fabrics are bleach cleanable because of the way the fabric is colored.  They won’t lose their color or stain.  I have ivory Sunbrella cushions and have been cleaning them with bleach for years and the color always stays true.  If you are nervous, you can spot test an inconspicuous area to make sure.  But even Sunbrella recommends bleach!

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions - all my tips and tricks in this post!

You will also need a few other things:  a bucket (or spray bottle if you are spot cleaning), a clean soft bristle scrub brush and a hose.  

Related Post:  Screened in Porch Decor Ideas

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions

Before we begin; I want to mention a few important points. 

You want to clean your cushions on a warm, sunny day.  I always achieve the best results when the sun is high and bright in the sky.  These cushions will take forever to dry otherwise.  I also find the sun helps the bleach solution to remove those dirt spots.  

Keep your Cushions Laying Flat at All Times.  You might be tempted to lean the cushions up against the wall to dry when you are done scrubbing – nope!  Please take my advice and don’t do this.  Keep them flat on the ground.  Here’s why.  

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions - all my tips and tricks in this post!

The water inside the cushions will inevitably sink towards the bottom thanks to gravity.  If you lean them up, you are going to get nasty water rings that dry like that (see photo).  Then you’ll have to clean them all over again.  To save yourself the headache, once you’re done scrubbing them, just leave them flat (right side up) to dry in the sun.  I do this on my driveway so I don’t kill any plants/grass in the process.  

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions - all my tips and tricks in this post!
Avoid these dreaded water drip lines by keeping cushions flat in the sun while they dry.

If you are wondering, ok for the seats but how does this laying flat business work for the back cushions? And I see what you are thinking but somehow laying them flat just works and I don’t get water rings (for me at least). The back cushions dry pretty quickly compared to the seat cushions.

Related Post:  How to Clean Terracotta Pots 

My Favorite Cleaning Products

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions

My Step by Step Cleaning Process:

  1. Mix your Solution:  In a clean bucket, mix a gallon of warm water, ¼ cup of Dawn and 1 cup of regular bleach.  If you are using a spray bottle, you can start with 2 cups of warm water to 1 tablespoon of bleach.  By the way, this solution is not random, this is your standard bleach cleaning solution recommended on various websites like Clorox, CDC etc.  
  2. Remove your cushions and place them on a flat surface outside in the sunlight (a driveway or sidewalk works).  
  3. Dip your scrub brush in the solution and start scrubbing your cushions.  You can also pour some of the cleaning solution on your cushions and let it sit for about ten minutes or so.  Then scrub away.  This is where that elbow grease comes in!
  4. When you are satisfied with your cleaning job; take a hose and rinse your cushions.  Then, let them be (nice and flat) to dry in the sun.  My cushions took about 6 hours to fully dry.  Whatever you do, just keep them laying flat until they are fully dry.  
Screened in Porch with sunbrella cushions, outdoor pillows and amazon outdoor rug.  How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions - all my tips and tricks in this post!
Cushions after cleaning! Much whiter and brighter. 🙂

And they look completely brand new and ready for someone to take a nice nap on them.  I hope these tips helped you!

Until next time, 

Xo Karen

How to Clean Sunbrella Cushions

Karen Sloan

Karen Sloan is the founder, editor and syndicated content writer of She offers hints of inspiration for everyday living, including home ideas, DIY projects and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared on Google News, MSN, Pioneer Woman, Apartment Therapy, and Bustle, among others.