How To Clean Your Canvasman Marine Grade Canvas (MGC) Cover

It is crucial to maintain regular cleaning schedule, ideally conducted twice-yearly – one session before the cruising season and one session at the end of the season, for your Canvasman cover to last as long as possible.

Canvasman Cover Care

It is  important to note that using a pressure washer to make the job easier is not recommended, because our canvas covers made with high-performance marine-grade material, can be damaged by high-pressure spraying.

Optionally, we offer a cleaning service you can read more about in the ‘repairs & cleaning service’ section, for the professional maintenance of your Canvasman product.

We offer a range of high-quality products in our ‘cleaning & waterproofing’ section so that you can effectively maintain your Canvasman products for as long as possible.
Below is our professional advice on how to clean and maintain your cover.

Part 1 – Cleaning the Canvas

First, remove the cover from the boat – preferably to somewhere the water can drain away safely without polluting waterways. Ideally, you should lay the cover on a plastic sheet or tarp to avoid scratching the windows on hard or gritty surfaces.

  1. Brush off any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Soak the canvas with a watering can or hose pipe using a sprinkler. Make sure the water is less than 30°c.
  3. Apply a canvas cleaning product with a soft bristle brush, using gentle circular motions. Don’t forget the flaps, collars and webbing straps, but avoid scrubbing the windows. They need to be cleaned separately later.
  4. Then leave it to soak for around 15 minutes.
  5. Repeat the process if necessary with more vigorous use of the scrubbing brush. Don’t be shy about using more cleaning solution.
  6. After another 15 minutes, thoroughly rinse the cover until the water runs clear.
  7. It is important to remove as many marks as possible as the reproofing process will ‘lock-in’ any remaining stains.
  8. Leave the cover to air dry naturally.

Mould and Algae

It’s very difficult to remove through general cleaning and can leave a stain on fabrics. We stock a specialist product called Iosso Mould & Mildew Stain Remover, to remove the stain and kill the mould growth whilst not damaging the fabric.

Part 2 – Cleaning the Windows

Using a specialist plastic window polish will help to restore your boat cover windows to the best condition.

  1. Remove dirt and grease from windows using a small amount of canvas cleaning solution on a clean, soft cloth. Rinse well and allow to dry.
  2. Apply a specialist plastic window polish using a clean and dry soft cloth. Use a circular motion and add polish in small amounts rather than trying to cover large areas. Always shake the bottle well before using.
  3. Avoid getting the polish on the canvas, otherwise, you’ll need to rinse it again.
  4. Once the window is completely covered with a coat of polish, let it dry.
  5. Use another clean and dry soft cloth to remove the polish. Rub well to create a shine.

Part 3- Reproofing

Many boaters make the mistake of reproofing their cover without cleaning the material first. The high-performance marine-grade fabrics we use need to be cleaned before they can be reproofed. PVC covers do not need to be reproofed.

  1. Lay the cover out in stages, proofing one panel at a time as we did earlier when cleaning it. Remember – this time you only need the treat the outside surface of the cover.
  2. Apply the reproof generously with a wide paintbrush. Start from the centre of each panel, working outwards towards the seams and remember to keep a wet edge. This reduces the chance of leaving tide marks.

Canvasman Do’s & Dont’s

DO Pick a day with good weather to do the job in one day. Stopping partway through the process can leave ugly tide marks.

DO use the right products

For the best results, check out ‘cleaning and waterproofing’ section. Don’t use washing up liquid, shampoo or any other random cleaning products as these are likely to damage the fabric.

DO regularly ventilate your cover. Especially when cooking or doing laundry as this can cause condensation, mould and mildew and, eventually, staining.

DON’T scrub too hard

Stained covers might need a little extra attention, but don’t scrub too hard as this can cause damage to the fabric and threads. 

DONT keep badly tensioned hoods, they encourage rain to pool which can damage the canvas.

DON’T rush it

Be sure to let the cover dry before starting the reproofing process as some stains will only become visible when the cover is dry.

Canvasman Tip – Beeswax

Beeswax is a useful addition to your cover maintenance kit and is ideal for waterproofing seams and stitching lines. We recommend you let the cover be soaked by rain at least six times before you use beeswax on the seams, the cover may drip a little as water finds its way through the tiny holes made by the needle during the stitching process. Allowing the thread to swell, thereby blocking the stitching holes and helping to stop these occasional drips. Beeswax can also be applied to fittings such as studs to make them easier to get on and off and can be used as a lubricant to keep zips running smoothly.

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