PVC Fabric Cleaning
Essentially, looking after coated PVC fabrics is quite simple, but knowing the exact type of coated PVC fabric makes a big difference. Un-lacquered coated PVC’s tend to attract more dirt as the surface finish can trap the microscopic dirt particles. Whereas lacquered coated PVC’s use the protective lacquer or varnish to smooth out the surface and make it less easier for these microscopic particles of dirt to lodge in the surface.
With lacquered coated PVC’s you need to make sure that the detergent or cleaner will not strip off the lacquer. Having a lacquer on the surface also stops the loss or migration of plasticiser from the fabric. When a coated PVC fabric loses some of the plasticiser it can become stiff and brittle and crack.
The ideal cleaning programme is to inspect and rinse the fabric regularly with water to remove any loose dust, dirt, bird droppings and other solid particles.
To more thoroughly remove dirt and debris, mix a weak concentration of non-abrasive pH neutral detergent in warm water (maximum water temperature of 50 degrees centigrade). The detergent must not contain any solvents as this will not only damage the protective lacquer and will also accelerate the loss of plasticiser. You can apply this mixture with a soft cloth, soft-bristle brush or soft mop.
After washing is completed, rinse off thoroughly with plenty of fresh water.
It is recommended that the fabric is rinsed regularly enough to prevent a build up of dirt and debris; the exact timing will depend on the prevailing conditions.
There are many different PVC cleaning solutions available, please check the ingredients of the cleaning solution and if you are still unsure, ask the manufacturer or request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This will detail all the ingredients of the cleaning solution & which will tell you what solvents, acids or alkaline chemicals are used.
Again, if you do use such cleaning solutions, please carefully follow the product’s application instructions.