How To Clean A Boat Canopy

How to clean a boat canopy

So you’ve just got a brand new boat canopy from Bailey & Stone but you’ve had a bit of a spill while out on the water, or maybe your boat has been on land for awhile and has developed some nasty mildew in that time and now you are wondering how to clean a boat canopy.

Boats are just as often in working environments as they are being used for leisure so it’s not surprising they can get dirty and not looking their best. It can also be hard to work out what is the best way to clean a boat canopy without damaging or discolouring the fabric, but don’t worry, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean a boat canopy that will get your boat covers looking like new in no time at all.

Removing dirt or light spills from a boat canopy

In these cases it is recommended to simply brush off dirt or wipe up spills as soon as they are occur and in most cases there will be no harm to the canopy material.

Light cleaning a boat canopy

If a stain does occur, or you just want to give your canopy a general clean to keep it in good condition, here is some advice to follow:

  • Use a mild detergent such as a dishwashing liquid
  • Water temperature should be in the region of cold to lukewarm
  • Afterwards rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining detergent
  • Always air dry only, never apply heat to your canopy

You can give your canopy a light clean while it is still on the boat, or if you have enough room you can take it off and lay the panels flat:

  • Brush off any loose dirt
  • Hose down (a power washer at a medium setting works well if you have one to hand)
  • Prepare your cleaning solution of water and a mild detergent
  • Use a soft bristle brush to apply the solution to your canopy
  • Leave for 10 – 15 minutes for the solution to soak into the fabric
  • Hose down throughly until detergent residue has been removed
  • Leave canopy to air dry

In most cases this will be enough to bring a dirty and dull canopy back to life and looking new once again.

Cleaning a boat canopy with heavy stains or mildew

While Bailey & Stone only use the latest fabric technology for their canopies, if they are left in less then ideal locations for periods of time mildew can still form. If thats the case or you have more embedded stains you can still give your canopy a more heavy duty clean using the following solution:

  • Eight (8) ounces of chlorine bleach
  • Two (2) ounces of mild detergent
  • One (1) gallon of water
  • Mix the solution and apply to canopy with a soft bristle brush
  • Allow the solution to soak into the fabric for 15 minutes
  • Hose down throughly until detergent residue has been removed
  • Leave canopy to air dry
  • Repeat if necessary

Additional helpful hints

If using a bleach solution remember to protect any areas of your boat, upholstery etc that are near to the canopy when cleaning as the bleach may discolour other materials. it is recommended to remove the canopy from your boat for cleaning when using a bleach solution.

Remember to never apply any kind of heat to your canopy as this could damage the materials. Canopy fabrics are waterproof and therefore will dry quickly and safely when left to air dry.

We hope you found this guide on how to clean a boat canopy helpful, and if you have any questions you’d like answering on the blog, email them to and we will do our best to get the answers up.

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