How to Clean Stains on Performance Fabrics

Life happens — food spills, crafting messes, and all sorts of accidents. But if upholstered in one of our performance fabrics, you can easily clean up most stains with dish soap and water. Some stains can be more stubborn, and even those can be removed with a combination of household cleaners. We’re sharing how we cleaned a few hard-to-remove stains on a white sectional, plus Sunbrella’s full cleaning chart for when you’re in a pinch.

Coffee spilled on breakfast banquette upholstered in performance fabric | Ballard Designs
Simply blot the stain, spray with a mixture of soap and water, dab or softly scrub with a gentle brush, rinse, and let air dry. Viola!

Wine Stains

Wine stain on performance fabric | Ballard Designs
If you’ve ever been afraid of having a white couch, now is the time to take the plunge. Even red wine is no match for our collection of performance fabrics. On their stain chart, Sunbrella recommends using a mixture of 1/4 cup dishwashing soap, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide diluted in a gallon of water. We bet you have all of those household cleaners around the house. Simply mix it up in a bottle, spray on the stain, blot or gently scrub, and you’ll be relieved too see it come right out!

Marker Stains

Cleaning marker stains on performance fabric | Ballard Designs

If you’ve got kids, we bet you’ve been faced with stray marks from craft hour. If you’ve got a sofa, ottoman, or chair upholstered in one of our performance fabrics, there’s no reason to fear if your kids start coloring outside the lines.

Crayon Stains

Clean crayon stains on performance fabrics | Ballard Designs
Crayons are surprisingly tricky to clean when they’ve gotten on fabrics because they’re waxy. That wax makes them adhere. Because of that, Sunbrella suggests first rubbing the stain with rubbing alcohol. Then, treat the stain with a mixture of dish soap and water to finish removing the stain.

Food stain on performance fabric | Ballard DesignsFor the full Stain Removal Chart, visit here. Or browse our collection of performance fabrics — Ballard Designs Performance Fabrics by Sunbrella, see why we love using performance fabrics in our home, and listen to our podcast episode with two experts from Sunbrella.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.