If your shade sail is starting to look a bit grimy and worn down, read on to find out how to remove the dirt and restore its natural luster. 

Unfortunately, maintaining a shade sail is not as simple as leaving the sale up and every now and again hosing it down with some water. Over time, sails can look dirty and some even begin to smell due to mildew buildup. Maintaining your shade sail doesn’t have to be complicated. This article will provide you with all the details you need to maintain your sail like a pro.

To clean your shade sail, you will need a few materials. First, you will need a large bucket and a hose. You will want to ensure that your hose is set on a low-pressure setting with a spray nozzle if applicable. You will also need a large area on which to spread out your sail such as a patio or driveway. There will be some scrubbing involved, so get a scrubbing brush with soft bristles and a handle if possible. You will also need some dishwashing soap. Finally, bring along a friend to help you get this big job accomplished. It may take around three hours. Be sure you have a place to leave your sail overnight to dry.

Next, it is time to get started on the cleaning. Be sure to clear your afternoon for the project. Keep all children and pets a safe distance away from the shade sail during the process. First, remove your shade sail by unclipping the D-Rings and carabiners on each corner. This is one step where having a partner will come in handy.

Lay your sail out on the ground in your designated area. Stretch it as much as possible without causing damage. Once your shade sail is in the cleaning area fill your bucket with dish soap and water. Using as low a pressure as possible, spray the shade sail all over with the hose water. Make sure it is wet everywhere. Get your scrub brush, and maybe a second brush for your partner, and begin scrubbing the shade sail all over with the soapy water. You will need to stop every few feet to rinse the sail and remove any dirt that has come loose during scrubbing. After scrubbing the whole shade sail, hose it off once more.

Once your shade sail is clean, it will need time to dry. This process may take 12 to 24 hours depending on the weather and temperature. You will want to leave it on the ground while drying. The weight of the water on a hanging sail may cause damage during the drying process.

After the sail has finished drying, hang it back up. You will need a partner to clip each corner back into its original position. This may require a tension adjustment. Now your shade sail is ready to go!

If you want to take an active approach to maintain your shade sail, there are several ways to keep your shade sail in top condition.

  • Clean your shade sail every few months while in use.
  • Scrape any debris that may have fallen into your sail off with a nylon broom.

Be sure that you only use approved materials on your sail. Bleach or harsh chemicals will lighten the color and weaken the fabric, causing rips and tears. During rain or wind, you may wish to take down your sail and store it.

Be sure never to store or hang a wet shade sail as this may cause damage. Be sure to clean and dry the sail before storage in a bag or airtight plastic bin to keep out pests.

For more information on our D.I.Y. shade sails or learn how to measure an area for your shade sail.