Shade sails are a lovely addition to almost any home. They offer effective protection against the sun without being obtrusive, and of course they're less expensive than a patio. Like anything that permanently stays outdoors, they have a tendency to become dirty, and this is of course more obvious with sails that are lighter in colour. When your sails begin to look past their prime, it's time for a bit of cleaning.
The more often you clean your sails, the less likely they are to develop significant stains, but even these strong stains can be removed. So how exactly do you clean your sails?
For General Cleaning
1. Visit your local supermarket and get a soft-bristled scrubbing brush and a mild biodegradable dishwashing detergent.
2. Fill a bucket with water and add a small amount of the dishwashing detergent until the water is slightly frothy - just like the sink when you wash dishes.
3. Carefully climb a ladder and take a close look at the fabric of the shade sails. You'll need to brush in a direction that does not cause the weave of the fabric to become misaligned or mushed up. It's like shaving with the grain - your movements should cause the minimum amount of disruption possible.
4. Gently work the soapy water into the fabric, and then rinse it off with a garden hose. Set the water pressure to fairly low, since you want to rinse the shade sails, rather than blast the soap off them. Choosing biodegradable detergent will ensure that the runoff won't harm your garden or any local waterways.
When Deeper Cleaning Is Needed
Go to your local hardware store and obtain a specialist product for cleaning shade sails. You will essentially need to follow the same steps as for general cleaning, but you will need to leave the product on the sails for a few minutes before rinsing, or as directed. Do not use harsh household cleaners, as they often contain bleach or chlorine, which can damage the UV protection capabilities of the sails. Cleaning with a high pressure water cleaner can do the same, which is why a garden hose is sufficient.
For Extra Strong Stains
If your shade sails have become significantly discoloured or are blighted by mould stains, you don't necessarily have to replace them. A professional cleaning service can get them back into great shape. They will use specialist products not available for general retail, which can shift those stains without affecting the sail's level of UV protection. They can also use a water cleaner with a higher pressure than your hose, although it will be a cleaner with a rotating head that won't damage the sails.
There's no need to sit under dirty shade sails, since cleaning them really isn't that difficult. Contact a company like Shades of Blue Shade Sails to learn more,