Yes... YOU can clean your own Day & Nights
As we all know, eventually our RV shades are going to get splattered with food or other unintended substances. I recently took my fiver out of 10 month storage only to find a big stain on my kitchen sink Day & Nights. It wasn't there when it was put in storage last fall, but I think time and high temps dryed and discolored the clear substance (soap?) that had gotten squirted on it last summer. Knowing it would be difficult to replace the exact shade now on a 6 y/o trailer I decided to try and find a cleaner that would do the job with dry cleaning chemicals. What I found out was that, if it couldn't be cleaned in their machines they would not clean it. Thus I was forced to figure out how to clean these shades myself. Below is a recap of how I did it. It seemed intimidating before I got started. The shades were a light tan and off white color with redish brown stains on both day & night sections. However, once I got started, I developed a method of disposing of even the stubborn stains that required bleaching. The shades look good as new now, so I wanted to share my experience for anyone who might also be in this situation in the future.
Day & Night Shades – How to clean
Carpet cleaning vacuum-setup for hand tool suction only with a crevice tool.
Small brush and/or soft toothbrush
Spray bottle of warm/hot water
Dawn dishwashing soap
Setup carpet cleaning vacuum for hand tool suction only with a crevice tool.
Prepare a clean surface to work flat on. Or cover one with plastic to make sure it is clean.
Vacuum shades first on both sides with a furniture brush to remove any dust or other loose dirt.
When using carpet cleaner, press shade cloth flat against work surface (this provides better suction and more thorough cleaning)
The below method uses a sequence of cleaning solutions meant to avoid using anything stronger than necessary to clean the stain, thereby reducing the chance of discoloring the fabric. (As always – test shade cloth in an inconspicuous area for color fastness. Then let dry to determine if the tested cleaner will discolor the fabric. This will greatly reduce the chances of damaging your shades.)
First – (water rinse only)
Spray a little warm/hot Water
on stain only. Rub water into stain with small brush or finger. Vacuum liquid back out of cloth. If this worked, do it several times until stain is removed and then a couple times more to be sure you got all the foreign material and water caught in the fibers.
Second – (if water didn’t work)
Put a few drops of Dawn
in a bowl with a couple drops of water. Use a small semi-stiff brush (0.25-0.50 ” wide) to mix it into a paste then brush it into the stain for 30 seconds. Vacuum soap back out of cloth. If this worked, do it several times until stain is removed and then do 3 or more rinse cycles (as above) to remove all foreign material and soap caught in the fibers.
Third – (if water and soap didn’t work)
Mix a small amount of OxyClean
crystals in a cup with warm/hot water. Once it activates you will see foaming on top of the mixture. Use a small brush to apply the concentrated solution onto the stain. Work it into the stain with the brush. Wait a couple minutes for it to bleach the stain. Vacuum solution back out of the cloth. If this worked, do it a couple more times until stain is removed and then do 3 or more rinse cycles (as above) to remove all foreign material and OxyClean caught in the fibers.
I hope this works as good for you as it did for me, but I cannot guarantee results and no warranty of any kind is expressed or implied in the sharing of this information.
Below are Before and After pics of the my stain.