Though you may not realize it, any awnings you have may be in sad condition. Dirt, leaves, dust, and even mold and mildew can collect on awnings. If not maintained regularly, your awning can end up both damaged and an eyesore. As always, with cleaning anything, cleaning your awning regularly and keeping it in good condition to prevent problems is always a better idea than waiting until things get bad to clean it. Luckily, cleaning your awning is something you can do easily on your own with ordinary materials. What follows should help you clean your awning, no matter what type you have.
For a cloth awning, you should use a bristle brush soaked in a mixture of detergent and water. Use a bucket filled with 1 gallon of water and add 2 ounces of detergent to it, then mix thoroughly. Soak your brush in it.
When you use a ladder to get up on your awning, be sure to have someone else spot you. Additionally, do not lean your ladder against your awning — it isn't designed to support that much weight.
Go over the cloth awning with your brush thoroughly. If you are worried about damaging it, test the mixture in an inconspicuous spot to see if it causes problems. It should be fine however. Once you are done cleaning your cloth awning, get down from your ladder and put your materials away. Then, use your garden hose to rinse your awning off thoroughly before letting it air dry.
For routine cleanings to remove dust and leaves, you can simply use a broom handle to reach up and poke the cloth awning until they are dislodged.
Vinyl awnings can be cleaned with the same mixture of detergent and water that is used on cloth awnings. With a vinyl awning, however, using a hose attachment to deliver the mixture can save you a great deal of time and effort, especially when you consider that you can avoid using a ladder altogether.
When doing this, avoid hitting the building with a hose, particularly if it uses a type of siding that is vulnerable to water damage.
Metal awnings are probably the easiest to take care of. They collect the least grime, and require the least frequent cleanings.
A pressure washer is a great way to clean a metal awning. However, using a brush and a ladder is also a perfectly good way to keep your metal awning clean. Either way, use the same mixture of 1 gallon water, 2 ounces detergent.
Special Tips for Motorized Awnings
While the steps for cleaning a motorized awning are going to be almost identical to cleaning another type of awning of the same material, a few special precautions are a good idea. If possible, disassemble your awning and remove the parts that need to be cleaned, then clean them separately. If this is not possible, be sure that your motorized awning is disconnected from all sources of power before you clean it.
In all cases where you have trouble, it may be best to consult with a professional to solve your problems.