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How to Clean Your Awning Fabric

Your awning fabric is made of solution dyed 100% acrylic, manufactured by Sunbrella®. One of the best ways to keep your awning looking good is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This helps prevent dirt from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric and eliminates the need for more frequent vigorous cleaning. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years. Awnings are an investment, and one that serves you well for many years if you take care of it. A little routine maintenance helps keep your awning clean and presentable. You'll be able to enjoy your time under the shade if you take a little time to care for the fabric that shelters you from the sun and other elements. Awnings from Eclipse Shading Systems are made from Sunbrella® fabrics, which have UV protection and resist mold and mildew. Even so, it is still ideal if the awning gets regular cleaning to stay fresh.

Download Cleaning Instructions PDF

When it’s time for a thorough cleaning, Sunbrella® fabrics can be cleaned while still on an awning frame or, size permitting, they can be removed to aid in the cleaning of stubborn stains or for professional cleaning.

General Or Light Cleaning

To clean the fabric while still on an awning frame:

• Brush off loose dirt.
• Hose down.
• Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid.
• Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
• Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
• Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
• Air dry.

May not require retreatment depending on the age of the fabric.

If stubborn stains persist, you can use a diluted bleach/soap mixture for spot cleaning of mildew. For roof run-off or other similar stains a strong degreaser may be required.

Heavy Cleaning For Stubborn Stains And Mildew

Sunbrella® fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. To clean stubborn stains:

• Prepare a solution of 1 cup of bleach and one fourth cup mild soap per gallon of clean water.
• Allow mixture to soak into fabric for up to 15 minutes.
• Clean with soft bristle brush.
• Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
• Air dry.
• Repeat if necessary.
• Retreatment of fabric for water and stain resistance will be necessary after using bleach solution.

Remember to protect the area around your Sunbrella® if using a bleach solution. Carpet or other fabrics that are not Sunbrella® may have an adverse reaction to the bleach.

Retreating Sunbrella® Fabrics

Sunbrella® fabrics are treated with a proprietary water and stain repellent finish that is designed to last for several years, but may require replenishing after a thorough cleaning. Glen Raven® (Sunbrella®’s parent company) recommends 303® Fabric Guard™, available in stores and online.

Applying a retreatment:

• Clean Sunbrella® fabric, using one of the cleaning methods.
• Allow Sunbrella® to completely air dry.
• Apply retreatment in a well-ventilated area following instructions on the container.

Professional Awning Cleaners

You may have access to professional awning cleaning firms. In evaluating the services of a professional firm, you should inquire about a firm’s experience in working with Sunbrella® fabrics and knowledge of cleaning and retreatment requirements.

Helpful Cleaning Hints

Protect the area around the awning when using a bleach solution – bleach may discolor non-Sunbrella® fabrics. Always rinse Sunbrella® thoroughly to completely remove bleach.

Please be aware of the environment when cleaning with bleach. Bleach can have harmful effects on the natural environment around you. We do not advise using bleach if you are surrounded by a body of water or other environment that could be affected.

Sunbrella® should only be allowed to air dry.

Awnings from Eclipse Shading Systems are made from Sunbrella® fabrics, which have UV protection and resist mold and mildew. Even so, it is still ideal if the awning gets regular cleaning to stay fresh.

Routine Cleanings

Try to hose down or wash your awning with water monthly, at least during warmer seasons. Regular hosing with water helps prevent dirt from settling in and becoming deeply embedded in the fabric. Do this every few weeks, and you will have an easier time when it becomes necessary to do a deeper clean. It’s a good idea to hose down the awning at the beginning and end of each season to freshen the fabric and prepare for a season rolled up in the housing.

Spot and Light Cleaning

Inevitably, dirt will show up in streaks where rain has fallen or spots where trees or birds have made messes. Try to tackle these during your regular cleaning or before too long has passed. The longer dirt sits on the fabric, the deeper it sets in and makes it difficult to clean.

You can clean your awning while it is still on the frame, or take it down and lay it on the patio or lawn if possible. Start by brushing off loose dirt and hosing the fabric down so you can see the stains you are dealing with.

Use the same soft bristle brush and a cleaning solution of mild soap such as Dawn dishwashing liquid to lather the fabric and let it soak in for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and allow it to air dry.

Heavy Cleaning

Sunbrella® fabrics are treated to inhibit mildew, though it may grow on dirt that builds up on the awning. Wash using the same technique as the spot cleaning with a solution of one cup of bleach, one-quarter of a cup of mild soap per gallon of water. Lather and allow to sit for 15 minutes, clean with a soft bristle brush and rinse thoroughly.

Sunbrella® fabrics can be retreated with 303® Fabric Guard™, available in stores and online.