Can Sunbrella Cushions be Left in the Rain? Expert Tips.

This name suggests that Sunbrella cushions are suitable for use in the sun, right? Are they more durable than the name might suggest? In this article, we explore all the traits of Sunbrella cushions that set them apart from standard cushions, including, of course, whether they can be left outside.

So, can I leave Sunbrella cushions out in the rain?

Yes, it’s okay to leave your Sunbrella cushions out in all weather. The fabric used in Sunbrella’s cushions uses a unique formulation that makes the cushions more moisture, mildew and fade resistant than most other products on the market. 

The thread Sunbrella uses in their fabric has the unique ability to expand when wet. After expansion, any water present on a Sunbrella cushion’s surface will just bead up instead of seeping into the cushions’ filling.

Sunbrella’s fabric is also stiffer than standard fabric. This quality makes Sunbrella’s material even more resistant to mold and mildew. Sunbrella has so much faith in this mold-repellent technology that it offers a five-year warranty against colour fade and loss of fabric strength in the cushions.

However, this anti-mold technology can only function up to a point. 

What precautions should I take when leaving my Sunbrella cushions outside?

Maybe you just want to leave your Sunbrella cushions out during a gentle summer shower. In this case, you can prop your cushions up on your chairs, angling them so that the rainwater can run off them. Doing this will reduce the chance of moisture entering your Sunbrella cushions’ interior and prevent mold and mildew from forming. 

Should I bring my Sunbrella cushions inside?

Bringing your Sunbrella cushions inside is the best way to protect them. You may find that this is unnecessary during the summer months, even if it's raining. However, during harsher rainy and winter seasons, it is imperative that you bring your Sunbrella cushions indoors to help prevent mold or mildew from permeating their filling, and prevent the winter rays from causing the fabric to fade. 

How can I protect my Sunbrella cushions?

One option for protecting your Sunbrella cushions is spraying them with a moisture repellant. You can find upholstery protection sprays like Scotchgard in most major outdoor furniture and garden stores. These fabric protection sprays repel liquid, forcing it to run off the fabric of your cushions. They also protect from block bird droppings, mud, and other outdoor hazards, preventing them from forming stains on your cushions. Some fabric protection sprays even help protect from sun damage!

Fabric protection sprays are ideal for Sunbrella cushions that spend only some of the year outside in mild conditions. However, be aware that your Sunbrella cushions will need their protective spray coating regularly topped up, at least every three years. This can lead to outdoor fabric protection sprays becoming a more expensive option for protecting your Sunbrella cushions. 

Should I cover my Sunbrella cushions?

Covering your Sunbrella cushions with fabric cushion covers is another great option for protecting them from the elements. Not only can fabric cushion covers protect your Sunbrella cushions from the rain, but fabric cushion protection covers can also shield your cushions from the sun’s rays and provide a sound barrier against stains.

However, covering your Sunbrella cushions also adds to the cushions’ dimensions. The covers can cause your Sunbrella cushions to no longer fit snugly on your outdoor patio furniture, leading to discomfort when you sit on it.

Using protective Sunbrella cushion covers also has the disadvantage of detracting from your cushions’ aesthetic appeal, since the covers hide your cushions’ original fabric.

Many Sunbrella cushion owners find protective cushion covers worth it for the significant rain and sun protection they provide.

How do I clean my Sunbrella cushions?

Suppose your Sunbrella cushions get dirty, attract mildew, or stained. In this case, the best way to keep the cushions clean is to simply brush off any dirt and wipe up any stains as soon as you notice them, to prevent the dirt or stains from becoming embedded in the fabric. For Sunbrella cushions with more durable fabric, you can simply hose the dirt off.

If, however, the stain is a little more severe, you can carry out a spot clean on your cushions’ fabric. For this, we recommend mixing a quarter of a cup of mild dish detergent with a gallon of water and dabbing the mixture onto the stain using a cloth. Sunbrella has more specific information on this over on their site, where you can choose the specific type of stain you’re trying to clean and use the solution provided.

How should I dry my Sunbrella cushions?

Whether your Sunbrella cushions have just endured a shower or two, or you’ve just finished washing some stains off, what should you do to dry them?

The best thing you can do is let your Sunbrella cushions dry slowly and naturally. You can leave your Sunbrella cushions outside or bring them indoors to dry more quickly at room temperature. Don’t be tempted to use a hair dryer or steamer to dry your Sunbrella cushions, and never put your Sunbrella cushions in the dryer. They will come out looking worse than they were when they went in.

If you leave your Sunbrella cushions outside to dry, angle them on the chairs to allow the water to better run off them. Avoid positioning your cushions in the sun to dry, or you risk the fabric fading.

Conclusion

Your Sunbrella cushions will do just fine left in the rain now and then. However, If you want your Sunbrella cushions to last, it’s worth taking some precautions. Bringing your Sunbrella cushions in when there’s a heavy shower or major storm can go a long way in helping to preserve your Sunbrella cushions’ weatherproof properties. Prompt, proper cleaning can also greatly aid in preventing the build up of mold and mildew.

Armed with this information, we hope you get to enjoy years of happy outdoor gatherings, parties and meals with your stunning Sunbrella cushions looking as bright and new as the day you bought them! Check out our section on Sunbrella fabrics for more information.

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