Care & Cleaning

General Care and Cleaning Procedure for Marlen Textile’s Fabrics

General Care

All Marlen Textiles products are finished to resist the growth of mildew. However, it should not be folded and stored while wet. Dirt and animal droppings which can support growth of mildew and result in fabric staining, should be removed periodically by recommended cleaning methods.

Periodic reapplication of AQUA-TITE® GREEN water & stain repellent, or a similar post treatment water repellent, should be done. Frequency should be at least once a year and/or after every cleaning. Doing this will help the fabric’s longevity.

The pigmentation in Marlen Textiles' fabrics should not migrate onto upholstery vinyls. If some surface rub-off should occur, it can be removed with vinyl cleaner of mineral spirits. In areas where vigorous movement of the fabric against a hard surface will occur during use, use of a buffer strip is recommended.

General Cleaning Procedure

The described cleaning procedure can remove the majority of stains generally encountered on outdoor fabrics (awnings, boat covers, etc.). Typical stains can occur from oils, dirt, bird and animal droppings, dust smears, food, or grease.

Marlen Textiles recommends using a soap and not a detergent. Soaps and detergents are similar in that they both contain substances called surfactants that make water "wetter." Surfactants, or surface active agents, reduce the surface tension of water so that dirt, grease and grime dissolve and wash away more easily. Soaps and detergents are made from a fat or oil combined with a caustic substance such as lye. The primary difference is that soaps are made from naturally occurring animal fats or vegetable oils, while detergents are surfactants derived from synthetic sources, such as petroleum. Typically, detergents work better on stains that are harder to remove. The issue is that when using a detergent, because of the surfactants, it will be very difficult to completely remove the residue causing the effectiveness of any post treatment water repellent to be greatly reduced. Some common soaps are Woolite, Ivory Flakes and Ivory Snow. Anything that says “soap” and not “detergent” can be used. If you are dealing with a stubborn stain or dirt and you need to use a detergent, Marlen Textiles has had success using a 10% solution of Mean Green via a spray bottle. Just remember to take extra care when applying the post treatment water repellent.

Cleaning Procedure For Typical Stains

Industrial Washer:

  • If possible, select appropriately sized washing equipment to avoid crushing or creasing of the fabric.
  • Load material into washer and select warm cycle, temperature range 100-120˚F (do not use high temp or hot cycle). If possible, a gentle cycle should be selected to avoid strong spinning or tumbling of the fabric.
  • Dissolve 1 cup of mild soap, plus 2 cups baking soda in 1 gallon of warm water and add to washing machine.
  • Before the end of the drain cycle inspect the fabric for remaining stains. The mild scouring action of baking soda and a mild soap should loosen most stains. If necessary, use a soft bristled brush to scrub in a light circular motion around any remaining stains. For more stubborn stains you will likely need to use a detergent; Marlen Textiles has had success spraying a 10% solution of Mean Green via a spray bottle. (As mentioned above, a detergent will negatively affect the application of a post treatment water repellent). Spray the solution onto the stains using a spray bottle application. Use the same scrubbing directions listed above to loosen the stains.
  • If necessary, repeat above steps to remove any remaining stains.
  • After removal of all stains, use a multiple rinse cycle to thoroughly clean all soap from the fabric. Rinse once with warm water and three times with cold water. Visually inspect to ensure all soap has been removed, if not, continue with a cold rinse cycle until only water remains.
  • To dry material, avoid excessive spinning or tumble drying. Hang material to dry (or follow manufacturer’s recommendations if fabric is not a Marlen Textiles product). A post treatment water repellent, such as Aqua-Tite Green, must be applied after cleaning. Allow fabric to fully dry before storing or applying this treatment.

Hand Cleaning:

  • Use a container large enough to avoid crushing or creasing the fabric. If you cannot find a container large enough for your cover, follow the below steps performing them on a section of the cover that can comfortably fit and repeat until all sections are clean.
  • Fill a large container with warm water between 100-120˚F. Dissolve 1 cup of mild soap and 2 cups baking soda.
  • Soak the stained material in the cleaning solution for 3-5 hours. Avoid crushing or creasing of the fabric.
  • Gently swirl or agitate the material every half hour.
  • At the end of the soaking period, visually inspect for remaining stains. The mild scouring action of baking soda and a mild soap should loosen most stains. If necessary, use a soft bristled brush to scrub in a light circular motion around any remaining stains. For more stubborn stains, Marlen textiles has had success using a 10% solution of Mean Green via a spray bottle (this is a detergent and will negatively affect the application of a post treatment water repellent). Spray the solution onto the stains using a spray bottle application. Use the same scrubbing directions listed above to loosen the stains.
  • If necessary, repeat above steps to remove any remaining stains.
  • After removal of all stains, use a multiple rinse cycle to thoroughly clean all soap from the fabric. Rinse once with warm water and three times with cold water. Visually inspect to ensure all soap has been removed, if not, continue with a cold rinse cycle until only water remains.
  • Hang material to dry (or follow manufacturer’s recommendations if fabric is not a Marlen Textiles product). A post treatment water repellent, such as Aqua-Tite Green, must be applied after cleaning. Allow fabric to fully dry before storing or applying this treatment.

Cleaning Procedure For Mold & Mildew Growth

Procedure describes a hand cleaning method for removing mold and mildew growth. Please note that most mold and mildew has to be removed by some kind of soak. Scrubbing will likely not remove it.

  • Use a container with a lid and large enough to avoid crushing or creasing the fabric. If you cannot find a container large enough for your cover, follow the below steps performing them on a section of the cover that can comfortably fit and repeat until all sections are clean. Fill the container with a with warm water between 100-120˚F. For every 25 gallons of water, dissolve ½ cup of mild soap, ½ cup baking soda, and ½ gallon of bleach (safety note: wear gloves and eye protection while handling bleach). For best results, weight the piece down with jugs of water or the like (something that won’t bleed on the fabric or degrade in bleach) to completely submerge the piece.  NOTE:  If your cover has any vinyl windows, DO NOT SUBMERGE THEM!  Bleach will mar or cloud them permanently.  You can, however, soak the areas around the window a little at a time.  Seal over all grommets, snaps, or metal fasteners as bleach will cause these to dull and tarnish.  Reusable rope caulk weather-strip or clear fingernail polish works best.
  • Soak the fabric for 24 hours under a closed lid. Avoid crushing or creasing of the fabric.
  • Gently swirl or agitate the material every half hour for the first 2 hours and the last 2 hours of the total 24 hour soak.
  • At the end of the soaking period, visually inspect for remaining stains. The mild scouring action of baking soda and a mild soap should remove most stains. If necessary, use a soft bristled brush to scrub in a light circular motion around any remaining stains.
  • If necessary, the cycle can be repeated once more to remove residual mold and mildew growth.
  • After removal of all mold and mildew growth, use a multiple rinse cycle to thoroughly clean all soap from the fabric. Rinse three times with warm water and three times with cold water. Visually inspect to ensure all soap has been removed, if not, continue with a cold rinse cycle until only water remains.

Hang material to dry (or follow manufacturer’s recommendations if fabric is not a Marlen Textiles product). A post treatment water repellent, such as Aqua-Tite Green, must be applied after cleaning. Allow fabric to fully dry before storing or applying this treatment.