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post #1 of 6 Old 06-11-2009 Thread Starter
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cleaning canvas covers

I just bought a Ranger 29 and the covers are very stiff and dirty. They seem to be in good condition for the most part. The boat has not been out of the water since 2003 and I bet it's been at least that long since the covers have been cleaned. Do these need to be professionally cleaned? What are some tips and tricks from out there? Is is possible to throw in a wash machine with some oxyclean or will this ruin the plastic? These are just some ideas I have been bouncing around. Thanks to anyone who can help.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-11-2009
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Try washing it with some water and see if it helps. Then go onto strong detergents.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-11-2009
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woolite and a bath tub, let em soak. pull them out if there is still spots of dirt try a soft brush, then rinse real well.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-13-2009
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I work in a canvas shop and we clean sunbrella pieces all the time.

We use a large vat and soak the pieces in a detergent bleach solution to clean. The ratio is 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water.

If the plastic pieces are small (like a bimini view window) you could use a commercial front load washer. Use cold water, never put sunbrella in a dryer.

Using the 'soak in vat or tub' method you would then rinse out the soap solution, dry well and then the pieces need to be re-waterproofed. There are several products on the market for this available at marine supply places. We use a product called Aqua Tite and it is sprayed on the outside of the canvas. The pieces need to "cure" for 48 hrs before they get wet in order for the waterproofing to be effective. Sometimes that is difficult with the daily rain showers and/or storms we get.

Most people are surprised you can use bleach on dark colored canvas, just remember to dilute well and mix before adding the fabric. Don't scrub too much with a brush. Sunbrella is great but does not hold up well to chafe.

It is a good idea to clean and rewaterproof your canvas every 3 to 5 seasons depending on color, exposure to elements and if your boat is moored where there are alot of planes that fly over. Jet fuel leaves nasty stuff on everything.

If you take good care of your canvas it can easily last for 12 to 15 years.

Another point, never use silicone on the zippers but a zipper lubricant will prolong the life of your canvas.

Cleaning the isenglass pieces with vinyl cleaner and a soft cloth regularly will also help. Never use a product like "windex" on them. Hope this is helpful

Saltwater Suzi

Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry


"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry


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Last edited by LarryandSusanMacDonald; 06-13-2009 at 07:21 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-16-2009 Thread Starter
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Very helpful. Thank you.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-16-2009
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Is the canvas you're talking about Sunbrella? If so, you may try using the these products, recommended by Sunbrella.

See here:

Sailrite: Cleaners, Protectants & Polishes for All Your Marine Needs

303 Prodcuts Inc: 303 Products Inc.: Products

Just did all my Sunbrella yesterday, cleaning it well before waterproofing it is imperative, adding some bleach as L&SM above recommend is good especially if there is any sign of mold. Buy the big container of the 303 Fabric Guard, you will need it. It is also great for interior fabrics, especially if you have kids

FYI: Do not use the 303 Aerospace Protectant on fabrics, see link above for uses.

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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Last edited by T37Chef; 06-16-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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