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Old 12-17-2012, 12:19 AM   #1
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Cleaning Canvas Covers

Quoting to replace 2 canvas covers, the covers man said he could re-sew the aft flybridge rail surround canvas cover (about 25ft long) for $150. He advised removing it and cleaning with a pressure cleaner to remove dirt and failed stitching. So I did, giving it a spray with detergent first. It came clean, most stitching still in place, not as hard on the cover as I thought it might be.
In the past I cleaned and scrubbed the "breeze" mesh covers by hand. I plan giving them the same "Karcher" treatment. Easier, faster, and I think kinder to the covers.
Many covers will accept a full restitch, greatly extending their life.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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I bring our Sunbrella covers home and wash them the washing machine...warm water to wash, gentle cycle and a cool rinse with about half the normal amount of detergent. Then I air dry them. I've done that for years and have had covers that lasted for many years.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #3
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Not sure I'd go along with power washing canvas if what one was after was longevity. We do what GFC does and then treat with 303. With our oldest pieces of canvas-- I suspect approaching 20 or more years now-- we hand wash them in a tub.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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advise: wash in the washing machine but no dryer, dry in the place to not shrink
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
I bring our Sunbrella covers home and wash them the washing machine...warm water to wash, gentle cycle and a cool rinse with about half the normal amount of detergent. Then I air dry them. I've done that for years and have had covers that lasted for many years.
I have tried the washing with both canvas and mesh covers, it was not fully effective. Our washing machine is a front loader, it may be too gentle for this kind of work. And this is a really big cover.
I went and checked the cover, the water blaster does not seem to have done any harm, the covers man said it would "dissolve" failed stitching but almost all is still there. Covers get hammered on the boat, exposed to wind,rain sun,hail etc, so I reckon they should be able take it. But I understand the caution.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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A neighbor was pressure washing his house one day and complained that while it did a good job it was lifting paint and such. I showed him how to use the built in pressure regulator and also hinted that backing a foot or two away from the wall while keeping the wand moving wasn't such a bad idea either.

That was 5 years ago, he uses it twice a year now with no worries of damage...

Not sure but have a feeling it may somehow apply to boats and canvas too.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:45 AM   #7
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........... Our washing machine is a front loader, it may be too gentle for this kind of work. .......
Not "too gentle", it just doesn't let the fabric soak in water very long. I also have a front loader but I soak covers, docklines, etc. in a plastic tub with detergent and (when appropriate) bleach for a few hours or even a few days, agitating them by hand several times, before putting them in the washing machine. This seems to help.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #8
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A neighbor was pressure washing his house one day and complained that while it did a good job it was lifting paint and such. I showed him how to use the built in pressure regulator and also hinted that backing a foot or two away from the wall while keeping the wand moving wasn't such a bad idea either.

That was 5 years ago, he uses it twice a year now with no worries of damage...

Not sure but have a feeling it may somehow apply to boats and canvas too.
When I first bought a pressure washer I did a lot of damage. It takes a while or some good advice to get good enough with it to use it on something expensive like a boat.

I would not use one on canvas. No way.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #9
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Sunbrella cleaning instructions here:

http://www.sunbrella.com/en/pdf/clea...ops-covers.pdf

Direct from the horse's mouth.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Sunbrella cleaning instructions here:

http://www.sunbrella.com/en/pdf/clea...ops-covers.pdf

Direct from the horse's mouth.
Are you kidding? What would the horse know? You have to talk to twenty five cowboys who's grandfather's had the only correct way of doing it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Sunbrella cleaning instructions here:

http://www.sunbrella.com/en/pdf/clea...ops-covers.pdf

Direct from the horse's mouth.
Had someone less polite than JD commented, it might have been (incorrectly) suggested the source was the other end of the horse. The Sunbrella advice is good, appreciate the input; covers are expensive and need careful maintenance. And yes, front loader machine often don`t get things wet enough long enough. I will try tub soaking next time.
When using the water blaster I use the detergent mix option to spray with washing up detergent mix, leaving to wet in a while before the violence with the blaster. I just cleaned the mesh "breeze" covers that way, came up quite well, spotting a few areas with bleach where birds "visited".
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