Washing the Cover on Your Punch Frame
It's surprising how much dirt the cover from your Punch fit-up can hold. I use the bath and scrub away with a small scrubbing brush. Covers become heavy when wet and hard to handle - and easily get dirty again when wet. The bath at least keeps the cover clean. Better than hanging it on a washing line. Whatever you do, avoid detergent. It leaves residues which are not only difficult to remove but their presence repels waterproofing treatments. Result - when it rains you get 'windows' on the cover, areas which are not waterproof. You can see them when wet - a sort of light coloured window.
Use only pure soap to wash the cover. You can buy it as a liquid at camping shops or make up your own using pure soap flakes. LUX was the domestic brand for years but I've nor seen it for some time now. Most supermarkets have a brand of soap flakes somewhere amongst the liquids and powders. Dissolve it in some water and scrub away. The rinsing is the most important part. Wash the soap out thoroughly. If it's a clear day and you can get the cover on the frame outdoors, try using a hose. Once clean and perfectly dry it can be re-waterproofed. Again, camping shops supply the liquid. The cans of brush on are more effective than the spray cans. Several very thin light coats are more effective than a heavy coat which only goes through and drips down and is wasted.
Contributed by Tony James, Sept. 2004