Free UK delivery for all Clara products! Free Norfolk Leisure delivery for orders over £150

How to clean your shade sail and fold/pack away for winter

How to clean your shade sail and fold/pack away for winter


As the summer draws to an end, it is a great idea to make use of some of the remaining warm sunshine to clean and properly dry out your sail before safely packing away for winter.

Taking down your shade sail in principle is very easy, however in practice things can get a bit dis-organised and you could end up with an unclean, crumpled up mess.  

There are a few dos and don’ts for cleaning and I have also made a quick video showing you how to fold the sail as it can be difficult!

Top Tips for Cleaning your Shade Sail

Tip 1 - Two people are better than one - regardless of the size of your sail, it will always be much easier to shake, clean and fold if there are two of you.

Tip 2 – Take it down only when it is dry and preferably when it is sunny, this will avoid you having to store away a damp and dirty sail.

Tip 3 – Unhook one corner (if Triangle), two corners (if Square) first,  then use the two remaining corners which are still hooked to support the sail as you start to clear any debris from the sail fabric.

Tip 4 – While the sail is hanging from two of the hooks, use a soft brush to remove any leaves, garden debris or small marks that can be brushed off.

Tip 5 – Remove more stubborn marks by wiping with a very soft sponge soaked in warm water and use only a very mild detergent, such as fairy liquid.  Always rinse away any residue left over from the detergent.

Tip 6 - Don’t ever use bleach or caustic cleaners and don’t machine wash as this will remove the waterproof and the UV protection. 

Tip 7 – You can use a hose to wash the sail down, but be careful not to overdo it with the really strong power hoses.

Tip 8 – Ensure your sail is 100% dry before you pack away.  This is why choosing a sunny day to pack away is best so that you can leave out in the sun to dry.  If no sun, then ensure you fully dry it inside somewhere.

How to fold and pack away your shade sail

Tip 1 – Once your sail is clean and perfectly dry, you will want to fold it with purpose, to avoid it slipping and creasing. 

Tip 2 – If you have one of the smaller sails, simply remove from all hooks, pull tight at both ends and then fold in half.  Find the longest, straight line of material and work from there.  Fold in half way from the non straight side the curved sides, D rings and awkward triangle ends so you can get a nice straight line down each side.  This will make the next folding much easier and neater.  Depending on size, keep folding the full length in until it is a neat and tidy long and thin rectangle which is the width of the carry case.  Once you have this, you can then start one end and start to fold in about a foot at a time.  Once you have done this about 3-4 times, do the same starting the other end.  Then the last fold will be the two folded ends placed on top of each other.  See our video above for more help.

Tip 3 – For the larger sails, you may need to put the sail down somewhere clean before folding as per Tip 2 above.  Remember to fold with purpose and don’t be afraid to put pressure onto the folded material to remove as much air as possible.  A large table is perfect.

Tip 4 – Once fully folded, place into the original plastic carry case or else find another suitable bag to keep the sail nice and contained, dry and convenient for putting away for the winter.

Tip 5 – Always store you folded sail somewhere dry over the winter months.

Tip 6 - Sails are an investment and folding them properly is important to their longevity.

Good luck :)

Any questions please just get in touch.