Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Permanent Vacation
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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 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 06:21 PM.