A Stepwise Guide to Cleaning Outdoor Awnings

Awnings add color and life to every place they are installed. Since most awnings are outdoors, they have to weather the vagaries of changing climate. Though most awnings are manufactured to remain unaffected by these extreme weather conditions, cleaning them once in a while, like once or twice annually will surely add years to their life. People install awnings for different reasons. Some do it purely to enhance the outdoor appearance of their homes or offices, while some do it for additional shade and protection. Whatever be the reason, cleaning them is always a good idea.

In most cases awnings is an outdoor adornment, exposing them to elements like dust, smoke, sunlight, rain, snow, debris from trees, etc. Irrespective of metal or fabric, they tend to start looking dirty over a period of time. Collection of dust, pollen, debris, etc. on awnings is not visible from a distance but can be seen if observed closely. The best and easiest way to clean an awning is using a powerful garden hose. You can use a normal one that is used in gardens and allow the spurt of water to do the cleaning. At the most you may have to use a ladder to reach out to the top most part of the awning.

If this does not work and the awning still looks grimy, then you probably have to use a mild detergent and a brush to scrub off the dirt. For fabric awnings you can use a brush with soft bristles meant for fabrics while you can use a harder one for metal awnings. If there are trees growing near the awning, then it is quite common for dried branches, twigs and leaves to find themselves on the awnings. You can either brush these off or if you have a ladder, you can also remove them by hand.

In addition to such commonly occurring dirt, sometimes you may find some stubborn grime on your awnings. The best way to deal with such stains is applying on the spot techniques. You can try soaking the area with some fabric or laundry cleaner and then scrub it clean. You can use the usual cleaning agents like detergents that are used at home for cleaning. If none of these seem to work for you, then you can always hire professional help for cleaning and who are equipped with tools to render the awnings sparkling clean.

This is how you can go about cleaning awnings:

  1. Gather the right equipment like a broom, brush, ladder, a bucket of warm water, detergent, and a garden hose.
  2. Next you need to set up the ladder close to the awning, so that you are able to approach the entire area you are planning to clean.
  3. Remove all debris and dust with a broom, before you wet the awning.
  4. After this prepare a solution of equal quantities of water and detergent. You can also add a small amount of bleaching powder to it. Test this solution on a small area of the awning to check whether the solution works well or not for an hour or so.
  5. If the patch you have tested appears clean, you can start with the cleaning process, by first applying the cleaning solution on the awning, letting it soak for a while and then scrubbing it. Finish off with plain water, either from a hose or bucketfuls. Remember to wash off well, to remove every residue of the cleaning solution completely.
  6. Let the awning dry before you roll it up again. If any dampness remains, it may lead to mildew or mold.