Awnings are a simple and affordable solution to provide a weatherproof and shaded area for your patio or garden. However, like anything else situated outside, your awning will attract dirt, dust and unwanted matter such as bird droppings, which will detract from its appearance, and may cause damage when retracted. Here is a simple guide to keeping your awning clean and attractive.
Brush off loose matter
You may find objects such as leaves or twigs on your awning, as well as smaller particles of dirt. Use a soft brush to remove these objects; you can use a smaller brush, such as an old toothbrush, to get rid of pieces of dirt or earth. Do this before retracting the awning, to stop the dirt from embedding itself into the fabric. Dirt that seems to be stuck from the fabric can be loosened by spraying it with water before brushing it off.
Hose it down
Hose the awning down from time to time - probably you will only need to do this a few times a year. An ordinary garden hose will do the trick. Do this on a fine day though, as the fabric will need to dry out completely before you retract it; otherwise, you risk attracting mould.
Use a mild soap
If necessary, you can clean your awning using a mild soap in lukewarm water. You should not use detergents or harsh cleaning agents. Rinse the fabric thoroughly after cleaning to ensure that all traces of the soap have been removed, and do not allow water to collect on the awning. Again, the awning should be allowed to dry out thoroughly before it is retracted.
Any stains on your awning should be cleaned off as soon as possible. Use soap and lukewarm water, or if you really have trouble, try soaking the stain in a solution of half a cup of non-chlorine bleach and a quarter of a cup of mild soap in a gallon of lukewarm water.
Use the professionals
If you really have trouble with stains on your awning, or you are not confident about cleaning it yourself, there are professional cleaning companies who will be happy to clean it safely and give it a new lease of life.
With a little care and occasional cleaning, your awning will continue to provide an attractive and weatherproof cover for your home for many years to come