Pressure washer: use it safely to avoid damage to your boat cover. 7 tips!
Do you want to clean your boat cover with a high-pressure cleaner? It is certainly possible, if it is done in the right way. Of course it goes fast. But then you have to do it the safe way.
I am happy to tell you what the best and most secure way is. But first some info about cleaning. Are you reading along?
Tip 1: Movement is needed
The dirt on your boat cover probably won't come off just like that. It will be like most people. The dirt has had a long time to fully adhere to the cloth.
To remove the dirt, therefore, more than a little rinsing with water has to be done. If not, it would easily wash away with a heavy downpour. Not only is a cleaning agent required, but also a mechanical load (movement). Consider a washing machine for mechanical loads. The laundry keeps rubbing against each other. It keeps falling apart.
Tip 2: Time is needed
Time is also important. I know. You don't have time. But that is important when cleaning a boat cover. The dirt must be given time to soak off. (It's also had time to bond, right?)
Tip 3: Chemistry is needed
If you are on time, you can clean the boat cover with only lukewarm water. But chances are you won't be on time. That lukewarm water is no longer sufficient.
In that case you need a good cloth cleaner. A cleaning agent that has been specially developed for tent canvas. A good boat cover cleaner rinses well, is safe for all types of cloth and really does what it's supposed to do. Namely cleaning!
Tip 4: Temperature is needed
That's a tricky one. You can't really add temperature to the cleaning process. After all, you have to clean the boat cover by hand. All you can do is use lukewarm water. Then think about 30 degrees.
Tip 5: You also want to go too fast?
I often see people wanting too fast. What should you do?
- Brush off the dirt first with warm water
- Brush the dirt loose with a good tent cleaner
- Then soak off the dirt with the cloth cleaner
- Rinse away the dirt and cloth cleaner
- Let the boat cover dry
- Protect the boat cover with a good impregnating agent
Instead of following these steps, you want to be done quickly. So the powerhouse is taken out of the shed. The pressure washer!
Tip 6: The high-pressure cleaner destroys more than it cleans
You start to spray the canvas off the boat cover. Of course you set the beam to the lowest setting. But guess what. The dirt is still too stuck on the cloth. And so you turn the beam a little harder. It's getting a little better, but it still doesn't help much. And so the jet goes a little harder again. And you spray a little closer to the canvas. And a little closer again. That's how it goes in almost all cases.
The result is a boat cover:
- with clearly visible spray stripes.
- with worse stitching
- with less coating than before cleaning
Does this mean that you cannot use the high-pressure cleaner at all? No, I don't want to say that. You can clean a boat cover and still use a pressure washer. That's how you do it.
Tip 7: Cleaning the boat cover with a high-pressure cleaner (Step-by-step plan)
- First clean the boat cover with lukewarm water and a soft brush. The dirt that comes off the canvas in this way is the first gain.
- Spray a good cloth cleaner (Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo) on the still wet canvas of the boat cover. Because the cloth is still wet, you can foam it well and brush it loose. Use a firm but soft brush.
- Allow sufficient time for the shampoo to act. (approximately 15 minutes) The exposure time always depends on the type of soiling and the condition of the boat cover.
- Now rinse away the dirt and shampoo. Set the pressure washer to the lowest setting. Keep about half a meter away.
- The spray jet should not be harder than the jet from a shower head. The jet should wash away the dirt.
- Now let the boat cover dry.
- Is there still dirt to be seen? Then move on to the next step.
- Spray the remaining dirt with an extra strong cloth cleaner (Power Cleaner)
- Brush the Power Cleaner well into the stains. Let it work in until you are satisfied. This can take hours with very dirty boat covers.
- Has all the pollution gone? Then rinse the boat cover again with the pressure washer on the lowest setting.
- Now let the cloth dry thoroughly.
- Protect the boat cover again with a good and strong impregnating agent.
- Many high-pressure cleaners have a nozzle with which the jet is not evenly distributed. As a result, you quickly get sharp stripes in the cloth. They are almost impossible to remove.
- Keep sufficient distance from the boat canvas. About half a meter. This prevents you from spraying the coating.
This way you can clean the boat cover and still use a pressure washer.
Just a few more tips:
- set the spray jet to the lowest setting
- keep half a meter away
- let the cleaning agents do the work.
- always clean a boat cover in a number of steps.
- give it time.
- try to work with lukewarm water.
- protect the cloth in time. Prevention is better than cure!
Also read my blog with tips for cleaning your boat cover.