How to Clean and Maintain Canvas Window Awnings

What You'll Need
Dish soap
Spray bottle

While canvas window awnings can be quite resilient, and require little maintenance, it is still possible to increase their aesthetic value and make their lifespans longer by taking care of them properly. Preventative care can do a great deal to keep your canvas awning in good condition. In addition, regular cleanings can help the awning to look its best. While both of these tasks will take a little bit of effort, you probably have all of the supplies required to perform them already. What follows should give you everything you need to know to get started.

Step 1 - Preparing the Materials

While there are many things that you can use to keep canvas clean, the best and simplest is made from two things you probably already have in your home—dish soap and water. Mix an equal amount of dish soap and warm water in a bucket, then fill your spray bottle with the resulting mixture. Save the bucket full of soap and water for later in case you manage to empty your spray bottle.

Step 2 - Preparing the Awning

Next, you need to get the awning ready to be cleaned. Use a long handled broom to knock any dirt, dust, and spiderwebs off of the bottom of your canvas awning. Do the same for the top. While you will not be able to even get close to getting your awning clean this way, you will save yourself a lot of trouble when actually cleaning it.

Step 3 - Cleaning the Awning

Now it is time to put your cleaning mixture to work. Use your spray bottle to coat the top of your awning with soap and water. Once you have done this, go over the entire top of the awning with your brush. You should be able to remove most of the dirt that has built up in this way, and loosen the rest. If there are any spots that are too far back to reach with a brush, use your broom to scrub them.

Once you have done this to your satisfaction, rinse off the entire top of the canvas awning with your garden hose.

After you have cleaned the top of the awning, you will need to clean the bottom of it as well. Use the same techniques to clean it. Spray with soap and water, scrub with whatever scrubbing tool is the most convenient, and rinse.

Step 4 - Maintaining the Awning

At this point, your awning should be clean. However, there is still more you can do to keep it in good condition in the long term. First, choose a commercial sealant that is designed for outdoor use on canvas and apply it to the clean awning. It is important to do this immediately, as you do not want to seal in dirt or dust, especially because this will make the seal less effective.

In addition, you should use your broom to remove debris such as spiderwebs or leaves from your canvas awning regularly. You should only need to clean your awning every 6 months at most, however.