Features December 2011 Issue

Caring for Marine Fabrics

To remove mildew, makers suggest using a weak bleach-water or bleach-detergent-water solution.

To keep your Biminis, dodgers, and sail covers clean and in service for the long haul, regular maintenance is a must. Here are some best practices and care tips we’ve picked up over the years:
•  Use a soft cloth or brush to knock off loose dirt and then, hose down and clean with a mild solution of natural soap in lukewarm water. Rinse with fresh, cold water.
•  These faux-canvas fabrics should never be dry cleaned or put in a washing machine.
•  Never roll up wet enclosures or sail covers for storage; this will lead to mold and mildew stains. Store them in an area that’s dry and well-ventilated to prevent mold growth.
•  If you plan to trailer your boat for a long trip, remove dodgers and Biminis to prevent damage and chafe.

Fabric-specific cleaning

•  Wash with lukewarm water using a mild detergent
•  Thoroughly rinse to remove all soap residue
•  Air dry
•  To remove mildew stains: Mix 1 cup bleach with a half-cup detergent per gallon of water
•  Apply, soak, and flush clean with fresh water
•  Do not use heat in the drying process
•  Dry dusting and brush off
•  Pre-soak in lukewarm fresh water (less than 100 degrees)
•  Wash with mild soap or Woolite, allowing cleaning solution to soak into fabric.
•  Rinse thoroughly and air dry; never apply heat.
•  May use 1 cup chlorine bleach per gallon of water to clean stains, mold, and mildew
•  After major washing or several years use, treat with 303 High Tech Fabric Guard (after complete cleaning and drying)

Comments (1)

Is the 1 cup of bleach per gallon a typo? Seems like an awfully strong mixture.

Posted by: Steven W | December 9, 2011 5:52 PM    Report this comment

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