How To Clean Canvas Awnings

Canvas awnings are a great addition to any outdoor space, providing shade and protection from the elements. However, over time, they can become dirty and stained, detracting from their aesthetic appeal. Fortunately, cleaning canvas awnings is a straightforward process that can be accomplished with a few basic tools and techniques. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to cleaning canvas awnings and restoring them to their original beauty.

Step 1: Remove Loose Debris

The first step in cleaning canvas awnings is to remove any loose debris, such as leaves, twigs, or dirt. Use a soft-bristled brush or broom to gently sweep the surface of the awning, working from top to bottom. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this could damage the fabric.

Step 2: Apply Cleaning Solution

Next, you’ll need to apply a cleaning solution to the awning. There are a variety of commercial cleaners available that are specifically designed for canvas awnings, or you can make your own using a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Apply the solution to the awning using a soft-bristled brush, working in small sections.

Step 3: Scrub and Rinse

Once the cleaning solution has been applied, use a scrub brush or sponge to gently scrub the surface of the awning, paying particular attention to any stains or areas of heavy soiling. Rinse the awning thoroughly with a hose, making sure to remove all traces of the cleaning solution.

Step 4: Allow to Dry

After rinsing, allow the awning to air dry completely before retracting or folding it. Do not use a dryer or other heat source to speed up the drying process, as this could cause damage to the fabric.

Step 5: Apply Waterproofing

Once the awning is dry, you may want to consider applying a waterproofing treatment to help protect it from future stains and damage. There are a variety of waterproofing products available that are specifically designed for canvas awnings, or you can use a general-purpose waterproofing spray.

Step 6: Regular Maintenance

To keep your canvas awning looking its best, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. This includes removing debris as soon as you notice it, spot cleaning any stains as they occur, and cleaning the entire awning at least once per year.

Step 7: Store Properly

Finally, when the outdoor season is over, it’s important to store your canvas awning properly to prevent damage. Make sure it is completely dry before folding or rolling it up, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.


  • Can I use bleach to clean my canvas awning?
  • No, bleach can damage the fabric and cause discoloration. Stick to mild detergents and cleaning solutions specifically designed for canvas awnings.

  • How often should I clean my canvas awning?
  • You should clean your canvas awning at least once per year, or more often if you notice significant staining or soiling.

  • Can I pressure wash my canvas awning?
  • While pressure washing can be effective for removing dirt and debris, it can also damage the fabric if not done carefully. It’s generally safer to stick to manual cleaning methods.

  • Can I use a fabric softener on my canvas awning?
  • No, fabric softeners can damage the fabric and reduce its water resistance. Stick to mild detergents and cleaning solutions.

  • What should I do if my canvas awning has mold or mildew?
  • If your canvas awning has mold or mildew, you’ll need to use a specialized cleaner or treatment designed to eliminate these growths. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


With a little effort and the right tools, cleaning canvas awnings is a simple and straightforward process. By following these steps and performing regular maintenance, you can keep your awning looking great for years to come.

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