How to Keep Your Boat Canvas
Looking Brand Spanking New
Boat Canvas Maintenance Tips - by Jeff Almas
So you wanna keep your boat looking as new as when you pulled it off the lot. Well, there are some key things to consider in order to keep its youthful beauty. Biggest thing is canvas maintenance.
Canvas maintenance is a very important part of your boat as well. Good Canvas costs a lot of money and is worth taking care of clearly. The product we will talk about is Sunbrella since it is the most popular canvas choice by far.
The care of Sunbrella is important and needs to be done correctly.
When cleaning Sunbrella always use a mild soap like Ivory snow, woolite or dreft. Some of these are harder to find than others but all will work. Keep the water cold to look warm never hot. Never more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius. After washing with the soap then make sure that you thoroughly rinse to get all of the soap residue out. Never apply heat to the fabric ever.
To grab a bottle of Sunbrella, click here.
There are two types of cleaning a boater needs to consider, light and heavy. One leads to the other. If you take care of the light stuff, you won't have to worry about heavier stains and mildew building up.
So first let's talk how to handle light cleaning around your boat.
General or light cleaning
You can also clean Sunbrella while it is on the boat.
First, you should brush off any loose dirt, then hose the fabric down, and clean it with a mixture of water and the soaps that we talked about above.
Once again never use detergents. Then use a soft bristle brush ( soft ). Brush the cleaning solution into the fabric and let it soak in, then you need to let the solution soak into the Sunbrella and again rinse very thoroughly until you get all of the soap out.
Air dry only, never put Sunbrella in a dryer. After this procedure you may have to re-waterproof by using 303 or Aqua-tite fabric guard but that will depend on the age of your canvas.
If you have some stains that will not come out, you can use a diluted chlorine bleach/soap mixture like talked about above. This solution can be used for cleaning mildew, roof run off or other tough stains.
Next, let's take of the tougher, bigger cleaning jobs.
Heavier Stains and Mildew
Sunbrella does not promote mildew growth, but it can happen because dirt and other things get on the top that do promote the growth of mildew. To clean these you have to get a little tougher.
Remember that if you use the bleach solution make sure to protect everything else around the Sunbrella because it may have negative results on the other things that are not Sunbrella.
Proper bleach solution for your boat:
1) Put 1 cup of chlorine bleach and ¼ cup of mild soap and 1 gallon of water into a container or bucket and mix together well.
2) Clean the stain with a soft bristle brush. Let the the solution sit on the fabric for up to 15 minutes and once again rinse very well until you get all of the solution out of the fabric.
3) Air dry and retreat with 303 or Aqua-tite.
You will definitely have to re-treat the fabric with the fabric guard for sure.
If you can get your Sunbrella canvas into the washing machine put the mild soap and/or mild detergent and add 1 cup of bleach if you have heavier stains. Make sure to wash and rinse in cold water, and once again air dry do not put Sunbrella in your dryer or apply heat in any way. Also remember you will have to re-treat the Sunbrella canvas with 303 or Aqua-tite fabric guard.