If you have an outdoor awning, you need to keep in mind that it is being exposed to all elements at all times.
Wind, rain, storms, snow, sleet, insects, and outdoor animals like squirrels and birds, etc. Here are some ideas for maintaining your awning keeping it in tip top shape.
General Cleaning Guidelines for Sunbrella Fabric:
Brush off loose dirt
Hose it down
Prepare your cleaning solution of water and mild soap such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid
Clean awning with a soft bristle brush
Make sure to let cleaning solution soak into the fabric
Thoroughly rinse off until all the soap is removed
Let air dry
We use Sunbrella fabrics on the awnings we install because they do not promote mildew growth. Although mildew can grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the awning fabric.
If you find a stain or mildew, you can use diluted bleach and soap mixture for spot cleaning. Make sure to use caution when cleaning the coated (underside) of Sunbrella Plus Supreme, or Clarity with the bleach solution and thoroughly rinse. Remember to protect other fabrics and other materials that are not Sunbrella fabric while using the bleach solution. They may have an adverse reaction to the bleach solution. You may view the Sunbrella fabric stain chart if necessary.
To Clean Stains or Mildew:
Prepare a bleach solution of 1 cup bleach and ¼ cup mild soap per gallon of clean water.
Let solution soak into fabric for no more than 15 minutes.
Use a soft bristle brush for cleaning. Avoid this step if cleaning the coated side (i.e. back side or underside) of Sunbrella Plus, Supreme, or Clarity products.
Thoroughly rinse all residue.
Repeat if needed.
Re-treatment is necessary after cleaning with a bleach solution for water and stain resistance fabrics.
Please note: When using the recommended bleach solution on the coated (underside) of the awning fabric, please use caution. That side should not be brushed or scrubbed. The bleach solution recommended should only be sprayed on and rinsed off completely,
Additional Cleaning Instructions:
Bleach can be harmful to the natural environment. We strongly advise you not using bleach while surrounded by bodies of water and environment that could be affected.
Aged fabric or non-Sunbrella components may be impacted. Deterioration of sewing thread or other components while using bleach.
Always make sure to check the fabric of your awning for any wear or tears. To prevent any further damage, be sure to have all wearing and tears patched or repaired.
Re-treating the Fabric:
Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish that enhances water repellency. The finish is made to last for several years, however, you must retreat after every thorough cleaning. The re-treatment product recommended is 303 Fabric Guard.
When using the 303 Fabric Guard, let your awning first be completely dry before applying in a well-ventilated area while following the instructions on the bottle.
Apply a thin even coat and allow to dry. When dry apply a second coat. (Two thin coats are more effective than on heavy coat)
Storing your awning:
To avoid any risk of mildew or rotting developing, never store your awning damp or wet. Be sure your awning is completely dry on both sides.
Store your awning in travel position when you leave the site. Do not leave out unattended.
Seamless Exterior provides professional awning cleaning and awning installation services. We have experience in working with Sunbrella Fabrics and are very knowledgeable in cleaning and re-treatment. If you’re more of a DIY’er, give us a call to purchase any of the cleaning products mentioned in this article.