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How to Clean Canvas Awning

How to Clean Canvas Awning

There is no doubt having an attractive awning on your home or business can transform the building’s appearance. This addition will also add real value, but only if you make sure to keep the awning in great condition.

Accomplishing this doesn’t have to involve hours of hard work. Just plan to devote enough time for cleaning canvas awning a couple of times each year, and remove loose debris occasionally between those cleanings.

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4 Steps to Cleaning Canvas Awnings

You can have a clean canvas awning if you follow four simple steps. Plan to do a thorough cleaning twice a year (every six months). Between these cleanings, use a broom to sweep away leaves and other loose debris, and remove any other troublesome items like spider webs. These steps are essential to maintaining your property, whether you’re the owner of a small business or an individual who wants to clean an awning on a house.

Canvas awnings for residential use, or for commercial buildings such as shops and restaurants, deliver practical benefits and add to the appearance of your property. But, you’ll need to perform some basic maintenance to keep your awning looking great. Here are four simple steps you should take:

  • Remove leaves, dust, spider webs, and other debris
  • Prepare your cleaning materials
  • Clean the awning
  • Maintain canvas awning between cleanings
clean canvas awning

Step 1 – Remove Leaves, Dust, Spider Webs and Other Debris

This is an important step if you want to learn how to clean your awning. It’s a step many property owners leave out of the process. You should perform this step between more thorough cleanings, to help maintain the appearance of your awning and make twice-a-year cleanings much easier. Use a broom to sweep away leaves and other loose debris, and remove any other troublesome items like spider webs. With this step, you will save yourself a lot of trouble when cleaning canvas awnings with your solution.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Cleaning Materials

The most effective cleaning solution for cleaning canvas awnings is very simple. You can make this with good dish soap and tap water. For best results, put warm water in a bucket and mix in soap. Equal parts will probably work best, though you’ll want to make sure your mixture will work in a spray bottle.

Fill a spray bottle with the mixture from the bucket. For an awning with major mildew/mold problems, as a general “rule”, you can add one cup of bleach to each gallon of soap/water mixture. This may be the best solution if you haven’t been cleaning canvas awnings for some time.

Step 3 – Cleaning Canvas Awnings

Spray the surface of the awning and allow it to soak into the fabric. This should take 10 to 15 minutes. You may want to do this to both the top and underside of the canvas. Use a sponge or soft-bristle brush to clean the surface. Rinse to completely remove soap residue. A low to medium-force spray from your garden hose may work well but do not use a pressure washer as it will most likely damage the fabric and possibly the frame. Allow the awning to air dry before closing assuming it is a retractable awning.

Step 4 – Maintain Your Awning

Once the awning is air-dried, you can take this extra step to keep it in great condition. Many manufacturers recommend a sealant or coating made specifically for canvas products. These are designed for outdoor use. Apply it to your awning according to directions.

Be sure to perform this important maintenance step immediately after the awning is thoroughly dry. It’s important not to allow dust and debris to build up, which would make the sealant less effective. Remember to use your broom or soft brush to keep debris and dust off the awning between regular cleanings. 

clean canvas awnings supplies
Step What To Do
Preliminary Cleaning Use a broom to remove debris, leaves, dirt, spider webs etc.
Prepare Cleaning Materials You will need: a bucket, water, dish soap, bleach, spray bottle, sponge, soft-bristle brush
Cleaning Canvas Awnings Spray cleaning solution on top and underside of awning. Allow to soak for 15 minutes. Use sponge or brush to clean. Air dry 
Maintain Your Awning Apply recommended sealant/coating immediately on dry canvas. Use broom or brush to keep debris off both surfaces


Canvas awnings purchased from a leading supplier such as, and installed carefully, can be durable and will require only a small amount of maintenance. You can, however, keep them looking great and maintain their value by caring for them on a regular basis. Preventative maintenance is always the best policy when, like most people, you are interested in preserving the value of your property.

Perform Step 1 on a monthly basis between complete cleanings, and make sure you include it as the first step in your major cleaning twice a year. You will enjoy a long service life from your awning when you invest a bit of time and effort into cleaning and maintenance. 

You probably have all the supplies and cleaning materials you need to get this job completed correctly. Follow the recommended steps in detail and add to the enjoyment of clean canvas awnings. 
If your canvas awning has not been cleaned on a regular basis, or if it has reached the end of its useful life, you should consider purchasing a new awning. There will be a time when these basic cleaning methods won’t restore your awning to its beautiful appearance. When that time comes, work with specialists who offer the finest awning-related products. Dedicate a few minutes to reading reviews of quality awnings on my website.