How to Clean Awnings: The Ultimate Guide

Adding an awning to your home improves your patio’s function and appearance, giving you a place to enjoy all year long. But do you know how to clean canvas awnings? If you’ve never had an awning before, use our maintenance guide to keep yours looking great and providing shade for years to come.

How to Clean Canvas Awnings

You should clean your awning every three months, or more frequently if you have a lot of trees in your yard. Before you begin cleaning, wipe all the debris off the top of the awning. You may need a ladder to reach the whole surface. Once you finish, use your hose to spray the canvas with water.

To get the awning clean, create a solution from laundry detergent and warm water, or use a commercial product designed for cleaning fabric or vinyl in cars. You can apply the solution by putting it in a spray bottle and spraying onto your awnings, or by dipping a sponge in the solution and applying it by hand.

Keep the cleaning product on the canvas for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Make sure to clean both the top and bottom of the awning. Once you finish scrubbing, pull out the hose again and spray off the soap.

Sometimes you need a little extra elbow grease to remove things like bird droppings or mildew. Try these tactics:

  • For mildew, apply a mild dish detergent, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub with a soft brush.
  • For bird droppings, apply a harsher, grease-fighting dish detergent before scrubbing.
  • For oil, use acetone, but start by testing it on a corner of the canvas to ensure it doesn’t damage the material.
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How to Clean RV Awnings

Cleaning an RV awning isn’t much different from cleaning canvas awnings. Some RV owners prefer to use dish soap as the cleaning solution instead of laundry detergent. Either will work, but if you have tree sap on your awning, the cleaning process will require extra effort. Try smearing turpentine or isopropyl alcohol on the stain, then scrub gently. Let the awning air-dry before storing it.

Awning Maintenance Tips

When you put a few minutes each month into awning maintenance, you won’t have to spend as much time cleaning. Here are a few things you can do to keep your awnings in good shape:

  • Remove debris from the top of the awning once a month.
  • Lubricate the awning hardware once a year for smooth operation.
  • Wipe the awning frame with a soft cloth every six months.
  • Trim back surrounding tree branches or shrubs that may grow into the awning.
  • Never retract the awning when it’s wet, whether it just rained or you just finished cleaning. Closing the awning while wet can encourage mildew and mold growth.

Finally, never use a pressure washer on your awning, as the spray is too powerful and can damage the canvas.

Are you interested in adding a new awning to your home? Contact Shading Texas today to learn more about our options and schedule a free on-site estimate.