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Described in poetry as early as 50 BC and originally made using hemp, canvas awnings are extremely durable, and provide shade and protection from weather.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

Dressing in Layers and Still Looking Great

Even if you live in a warm climate, you can still dress in layers using thin materials. Dressing in layers can add visual ...

Discover More

Adding a Garden Water Fountain

Adding elegance and visual interest to any garden, a water fountain also provides the relaxing sound of trickling water. ...

Discover More

How to Pick Men's Formal Shoes

Instead of buying them, you may choose to rent men's formal shoes for an elegant evening affair. Visit a reputable tuxedo ...

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 Grill

Just because it's not inside the house doesn't mean that your grill doesn't need to be cleaned. Like any other item used ...

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 ...

Discover More

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
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 nine more than 7?

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.