Cleaning Canvas Awnings

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 20, 2009)

1

Described in poetry as early as 50 BC and originally made using hemp, canvas awnings are extremely durable, and provide shade and protection from weather. As recently as fifteen years ago, canvas awnings were truly made from canvas, which is a plain weave cotton fabric. But the majority of canvas awnings are now manufactured from synthetic, canvas-like materials made from acrylic and polypropylene fibers.

Ideally, a canvas awning should be cleaned at least once each year to remove grime, pollution, and soil, extend life expectancy, reduce the chance of fading, apply protectors, and to restore it to its original color. No matter the material of your canvas awning, the method of cleaning is the same:

  1. Cover all plants and bushes near your work area.
  2. Carefully position and climb a ladder to reach the top of your awning. Use a long broom to sweep away all debris from the awning.
  3. Sweep all of debris from your roof and gutters. If the leaves and twigs fall from your gutters onto your awning, rain and moisture will cause them to rot, subsequently causing damage to your awning.
  4. With a broom, knock away dirt and cobwebs from the underside of the awning.
  5. With your garden hose, completely wet and rinse your awning.
  6. Mix 3 ounces of dishwashing detergent per gallon of warm water for your cleaning solution. Always start cleaning from the bottom of the awning to the top. Scrub the awning in circular motions with a broom or a stiff brush until you generate quite a bit of suds.
  7. Continue scrubbing, rinsing as you go, and then move on to the next section. It is important to remember to scrub an area no larger than you can keep wet until you are ready to rinse. Never allow the cleaning solution to dry on the canvas.
  8. When you've finished completely, rinse the entire awning once more.
  9. Clean the valance last, if your awning has one. Mold and slime collect in large amounts on a valance. Continue to scrub and rinse until it is thoroughly clean.
  10. Apply a protector or a water repellant if you so choose. Follow the label directions on the product.

Never use products containing chlorine bleach when cleaning a canvas awning, since bleach will rot the fabric. While scrubbing, continue to scrub until the soap is clean. If the soap is dirty, rinse, reapply soap, and scrub again until the soap is clean. Always rinse thoroughly until all of the soap is gone. Remember that wet canvas can still look dirty. When it dries completely, it will be evident that it is clean.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Choosing a Shade Tree

Choosing a shade tree requires more thought than the labor of planting it. You need to think in terms of how it will fit into ...

Discover More

Filing Your Nails

Use clean or new emery boards, nail scissors and clippers, or metal nail files when filing your nails, and always start by ...

Discover More

Utility Rebates for Energy-Efficient Homes

The main idea behind energy rebates and incentive programs offered by utility companies is to encourage people to use more ...

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Cleaning Your Lawnmower

Fall is the perfect time of year to clean your lawn mower before storing it for the winter. If you clean your lawn mower and ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Cedar Fence

While you cannot restore cedar fencing to its original color, you can remove black stains caused by tannins, mold, and sap. ...

Discover More

Cleaning Up Your Yard

Cleaning up your yard may be a daunting and overwhelming task, but really, you just need to know the right way to go about ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 + 8?

2015-04-18 08:30:17

judy goodman

the awnings are canvas and have been up for many years. We will try to use these tips and let you know our results


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.