How to Clean a Sun Shade

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A well-placed sun shade can make time outdoors around your home comfortable by providing shade on sunny days or blocking rain on wet days. To keep your sun shade in working order, you’ll want to clean it once or twice a year to avoid dry rot and mildew from damaging your fabric. If possible, spread your shade out flat to clean it, or use a ladder carefully to wash your sun shade where it is installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Borax
  • Hose

Fill a spray bottle with a qt. of warm or hot water. Add in a tsp. of liquid dish detergent followed by a tsp. of borax. Close the spray bottle and swirl it around to mix the borax and dish liquid well without creating suds.

Spray over the entire sun shade to saturate the material fully. Let the solution soak into the fabric for 20 minutes.

Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to rinse the sun shade and remove the soap solution. If your shade is still mounted to an exterior wall, then spray it down from the top to the bottom to let the soap run off completely.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 if you see stubborn stains, mildew or bird droppings that weren’t lifted the first time. Allow the shade to dry fully in the sun for two to three hours or longer before retracting or closing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a plastic bristle brush after Step 2 to scrub at the sun shade, if necessary, to loosen stuck on debris. As you scrub the shade, avoid applying too much pressure.

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References

  • "Cleaning Plain & Simple”; Donna Smallin; 2005
  • “Clean It Fast, Clean It Right”; Jeff Bredenberg; 1999
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