Cleaning boat canvas covers is difficult unless you know the secrets. Here are some tips to assist your so you can get out on the water where you belong.
Dodgers, cockpit cushions, sail covers and sails must be cleaned because salt water leaves a residue on fabric that attracts and holds moisture on the surface. Caring for canvas when cleaning boat canvas, they key is to be gentle. Never use detergents to clean canvas. Using a soft- bristled brush to prevent damage, apply a mild solution of Lux, Ivory soap or Borateem in water no hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The soap Boat Books recommend is Sudbury Boat Zoap. It works great on Sunbrella materials. Starbrite makes two products: Vinyl Shampoo for cleaning and Vinyl Polish for cleaning pre-coated canvas. After light scrubbing, rinse thoroughly with cold water.
For more stubborn cases, soak the canvas in a solution of one-quarter cup Clorox, one-quarter cup Ivory soap and one gallon of warm water for about 20 minutes. Again, rinse with cold water to remove all soap. After you've washed the canvas, let it line-dry in a well-ventilated area. The material will shrink if heat-related drying methods are used. Never try to fold or store canvas while it's still wet; this can lead to premature wear and damage. Keep in mind that washing canvas may remove its ability to repel water. Be sure to reapply a water-repellent after. There are several canvas coatings you can buy and they can be easily bought as over the counter canvas coatings or as exclusive marine products. Never use a brush on clear vinyl windows. Use Meguiar's Mirror Glaze in the white bottle to remove cloudiness and fine scratches. Never roll up canvas covers while they are wet. To remove soda stains use water with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
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