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Described in poetry as early as 50 BC and originally made using hemp, canvas awnings are extremely durable, and provide shade and protection from weather.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

Cleaning a Sleeping Bag

Washing a sleeping bag can be tedious and time-consuming. The key to keeping your sleeping bag useful and in great condition ...

Discover More

Roast Pork with Quick Mashed Potatoes and Tomato-and-Onion Salad

Choose a pork butt roast when making roast pork. Although it is called a butt roast, the roast is taken from the shoulder ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Flies without Chemicals

You don't need to use harsh pesticides or chemicals to get rid of flies. Mix up a solution of three parts Ivory liquid soap ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!

MORE CLEANING TIPS

Hot Tub Cleaning

Does your hot tub have scum? Make it disappear with some forethought and a little effort. Hot tub cleaning isn't actually ...

Discover More

Removing Iron Stains from Vinyl Fencing

One of the more difficult types of stains that you will occasionally need to remove from vinyl fencing is an iron or rust ...

Discover More

Cleaning Pool Water

Have you ever noticed that there are times that, no matter what you try, you just can't seem to get your pool water clean? ...

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 for this tip:

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. 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 7 + 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
Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

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.

Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Printable Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share