If you've just had new awnings installed on your house, you might be wondering how to keep them clean. Some awnings cannot be removed, but it's certainly not impossible or even all that difficult to give your awnings a thorough cleaning. It takes some basic equipment and a fair amount of elbow grease, but soon enough your home's awnings will be clean and bright again.
Check the weather forecast and aim to do the work on a sunny day in order to allow the awnings to dry. You will need a ladder, a bucket, a plastic bristle broom, some liquid soap or detergent and your garden hose.
Extend the awnings to their full length. Soak them with the garden hose. Though nutrient polluting phosphates in detergent have been phased out in Australia, you might want to use an ecologically friendly liquid soap or detergent as there could be runoff onto your lawn which could conceivably make its way into local waterways. Prepare a bucket of soapy water.
Using a plastic bristle broom (which is unlikely to damage the awnings), gently agitate the soapy solution into the underside of the awning. Use the ladder to do the same to the upper side. A spare pair of hands can be helpful at this point to pass you materials as needed.
Then you just need to spray the awnings with your hose to remove the soap and allow them to dry. You can then retract them to your preferred position.
While this is a basic (yet effective) method of cleaning, what about when mildew is present? Soapy water and scrubbing are unlikely to remove the problem.
Though introducing bleach into your cleaning solution might feel like a logical way to remove mildew, this is not without risks. Many types of chlorine bleach can discolour your awnings and damage the UV protectant applied to the awnings. This not only means that UV light can damage the awning, but it also reduces the ability of the awning to protect you and your family from the sun. It can be wise to simply visit your local hardware shop to purchase a specialist cleaning product designed to remove mildew from canvas and synthetic awnings. Such a product would need to be used in conjunction with basic cleaning.
It's not particularly complicated to clean your awnings, but it requires a reasonable amount of effort to do the job right.