How to Care for a Boat’s Canvas Enclosures and Clear Vinyl

Canvas enclosures, such as cockpit covers, help shut out bugs in the Spring and provide shade from the sun in the Summer. But to keep them for years of trouble-free use, canvas fabric and sections of clear vinyl, Eisinglass, Plexiglas, or strata glass need to be treated and cleaned properly. Shurhold Industries offers some pointers and products to ensure owners do just that.

Cleaning canvas is simple. Owners just brush off loose dirt, hose down the fabric and clean with a mild solution of natural soap, such as Shurhold’s Brite Wash in lukewarm water. If the canvas requires deep cleaning, the technique depends on the type of canvas. However, it should never be dry cleaned or put in a washing machine.

Taking care of clear vinyl is also just as easy. After flooding the area with water to rinse off dirt, owners use their hands and water to dislodge any caked dirt or mud. Then, with a soft, clean microfiber towel and a non- abrasive soap or detergent, owners wash the vinyl. Finally, owners can blot the area dry with a clean, damp microfiber towel. Fine scratches can be removed with Shurhold’s Pro Polish, followed by Serious Shine.

Dry cloths, dusters or glass-cleaning solutions should never be used on clear vinyl. Solvents containing acetone, silicone spray, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, fire extinguisher fluid, dry-cleaning fluid, and lacquer thinner should also never be applied to this material.

Both canvas and clear vinyl should be rinsed with fresh, cold water after each use, especially in saltwater areas. Clear vinyl scratches easily, so it needs to be handled carefully. To keep it soft and flexible, a UV- screening agent, such as Shurhold’s Serious Shine, should be applied with a microfiber towel.

Many owners make the mistake of rolling up wet canvas enclosure panels for storage. This causes fog and stains on the window panels. Canvas panels and Eisenglass need to be fully dried before they’re rolled up for storage. They should not be folded.

Mold growth can be prevented by storing the enclosures in a dry and well-ventilated area. Canvas enclosures should be removed for trailering to avoid damage.

When unfastening the canvas, unsnapping it as close to each button as possible helps prevent damage to the fabric. The canvas shouldn’t be yanked from one edge to remove it.

Dedicated to educating boat owners, Shurhold provides key tips for boat value preservation at Inventor of the One Handle Does It All system, Shurhold manufactures specialty care items and accessories to clean, polish and detail.