CANOPY FABRIC CARE & CLEANING
SOLUTION DYED POLYESTER (SDP)
SDP is a woven fabric and will not support the growth of mildew. Mold and mildew needs “food” to grow on, and polyester isn’t a desirable substance for mold. Dirt or dust on the fabric is a perfect “food” for mildew growth, which makes regular cleaning important.
There is no set time for when a fabric should be cleaned. The local environment has a great deal to do with determining cleaning frequency. Cleaning is required less frequently in a dry environment than in a humid one with heavy foliage cover. SDP has a finish applied to the fabric to deter mold and mildew growth, but does not make it mold-proof. Keeping the fabric free of dirt is important to deter mold growth.
FLOE SDP fabrics will provide excellent protection to your boat from harmful sun exposure. Also, the combination of heat-sealed seams and the water repellent fabric will minimize rain from entering the boat. Heavy and/or persistent rainfall can increase the likelihood that a limited amount of water could pass through the fabric. It is recommend that the canopy be kept taut using FLOE’s horizontal fabric tensioner and Quick-Clip with elastic tension belt system. A taut canopy fabric promotes water runoff and will minimize water penetration. Also, applying water repelling fabric treatments such as 303 may increase the water repellency further.
One of the best ways to keep SDP looking good and to delay the need for deep cleanings is to hose fabric off on a monthly basis with clean water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years. To thoroughly clean SDP fabric, follow these simple steps:
1. Brush off loose dirt.
2. Hose down.
3. Prepare a cleaning mixture of water and mild natural soap (no detergents).
4. Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
5. Allow soap to soak in.
6. Rinse thoroughly.
7. Air dry completely before storage.
Size permitting, SDP fabric can be cleaned in a large commercial washing machine with mild natural soap and water.
RE-TREATING THE FABRIC
SDP fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish which enhances water repellency. This finish is designed to last for years but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. The fabric manufacturer recommends 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ as the preferred re-treatment product. Fabric should be re-treated after a thorough cleaning or after five years of use. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ can be purchased at most marine supply stores or online at 303-products.com.
If a canopy fabric has any build-up of dust or dirt in the pores and it is in a moist environment where it cannot dry out regularly, it may cause mildew to grow on the fabric. Although this mildew can be removed, it can be very difficult or even impossible to remove the stain on the fabric left by the mildew. With darker colored fabrics, even if such a stain occurred it is much less visible to see.