Here you will find some helpful information regarding cleaning your shadecloth. This information is supplied in good faith based on information gathered from various shadecloth manufacturers. Australian Shade Wholesalers Pty Ltd (trading as The Shade Centre) takes no responsibility for any technical advice given.
Like many outdoor structures, over time shade fabric can appear to be dirty.
Shadecloth products are manufactured from High Density Polyethylene or HDPE.  This material is quite inert to dirt, moisture and some chemicals, which is great, because dirt doesn’t stick to the individual yarns in the fabric additionally, HDPE won’t rot like canvas and similar products.
When exposed to dust & moisture, shadecloth may appear grey and look like mildew which gives the appearance that the fabric is rotting.  This is not the case; it is the dirt & moisture which is trapped in the knit pattern which gives this appearance.
Periodic cleaning of shade fabrics (hosing, pressure cleaner) will stop the build-up of dirt particles.
Shadecloth can be cleaned with 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 acidic chemicals or solvents as this can weaken the fabric’s resistance against UV radiation. Apply this using a long soft bristled mop or brush and rinse with a strong flow of fresh water.
The best method for cleaning shadecloth may involve removing the fabric and placing this on a smooth flat surface and washing with a high pressure water cleaner.
Care must be taken so that the fabric is not damaged during removal, during washing and re-installation.  We always suggest you seek advice from the manufacturer of your shade structure and re-install the fabric when it is dry.
There are many different fabric cleaning solutions available, so please check the ingredients of the cleaning solution to make sure they don’t contain any halogens (chlorine, bromine, iodine etc) or strong alkaline or acids. 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 cleaning product’s application instructions.
*Note: This cleaning information does not apply to All Weather Shadecloth.