How to Sun-Proof Fabric

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Spray-on ultra-violet fabric protection.
Spray-on ultra-violet fabric protection. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Patio furniture, umbrellas, fabric boat tops, trampolines and tents -- anything that is made of fabric and sits under a blanket of sunlight day after day is subject to fading. This fading, brought about by ultra-violet A and B rays beating against the surface of the fabric, can make bright colors look dull, drab and oftentimes worn. The application of a sun-proof spray can block the UVA and UVB rays, maintaining the true color of the fabric. As a double bonus, most sun-proof sprays are also waterproof so mildew and mold are also a non-issue after application.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp cloth
  • Sponge
  • Sun-proof spray

Clean the fabric before applying the sun-proof spray. Wipe the fabric with a damp cloth to remove soil stains and allow the fabric to dry thoroughly afterward.

Lay the fabric on a clean, flat surface in a well-ventilated area. Spray the sun-proof product onto the fabric. Continue spraying until the fabric feels evenly wet. Overlapping during spraying is acceptable.

Check the fabric after spraying for excess drips and droplets of sun-proof spray. Dampen a sponge with a small amount of sun-proof spray and wipe these areas, gently.

Allow the fabric to air-dry completely. Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the fabric after drying. If the water beads, the sun-proof coating is working. If not, spray a second even coat and allow it to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heavily soiled fabric may require scrubbing with a scrub brush or cloth and a squirt of dish soap. If cleaning requires dish soap, rinse the fabric thoroughly after scrubbing to remove soap residue. Soap residue left on the surface of the fabric may weaken the effectiveness of the sun-proof spray. Allow the fabric to dry thoroughly.
  • Some fabrics may experience discoloration after spraying. If you are concerned about discoloration, choose an inconspicuous area and apply the sun-proof spray. Check for discoloration afterward.
  • Do not apply the sun-proof spray indoors unless it has proper ventilation such as open windows and doors and an exhaust system. Outdoor spraying is preferable because there is open-air circulation. The sun-proof spray produces fumes that can cause illness. If you sick during or after spraying, seek medical attention immediately.

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