Awning is the secondary covering attached to the exterior wall of a building, but it becomes a primary task to clean it once it’s installed. An awning may be located over a window, on an entryway, or over the zone along a sidewalk. However, the priority of awning cleaning should always be at the top if you want them to serve you for long.

This piece of writing will give you the answer to ‘How to Clean Awnings?’ along with some awesome awning cleaning tips.

Let us get started.

Pre-cleaning tips

  1. Water

Beginning the cleaning process without water at your side will cause you to waste a lot of time and effort. Before starting the cleaning process, make sure that the site would get enough water supply. That also aids in setting up the cleaning site well.

  1. Prepare the work site

Chances are that your valuable belongings may get damaged during the cleaning process. So, moving anything from the work site that you might trip over will be a good idea. Immovable items like stereo speakers, ceiling fans, and light fixtures can be covered to reduce the chance of them getting ruined.

Once you are done with arranging the work site, it is high time to wet down plants around the awning area. Rinse the leaves to save your plant from burning and soak the roots to prevent probable damages.

  1. Choose the right cleaner and dilution

After the work site is all set for cleaning, you need to ensure that the cleaners you choose are safe for the type of awnings you have. You may not be sure about the type of cleaner (if it suits your awning) and the amount of cleaner solution to use. In that case, you can conduct a test by applying the solution to a similar object, to determine the amount required and dilution to be used.

  1. Pre-Clean Inspection

If you are thinking of hiring a professional awning cleaner to get the job done, you should know that this step is carried out during the quoting process. And the problem is, 3-4 weeks or even a month passes away between the quoting process and the cleaning day. So, a proper inspection on your own before the cleaning process can be beneficial.

You should consider keeping an eye on the interior and the exterior for tears, paint or other stains, and also look for sun burning and stitching.

  1. Put out the smokes

You should know it better, how rapidly a dropped chunk of ash or cigarette can burn a hole in an awning. You don’t want to put your valuable awning at risk just for the sake of smoking, do you? You can always find a spare time to smoke, right? So, I personally suggest you to stop smoking around at least till you are done with cleaning.

Interior Cleaning

  • Access the inside

You might have noticed that your awning has a covering at its bottom. That covering is there to give a finished look to the awning and hide the light fixtures too. Awnings, that are manufactured well, can have those coverings removed easily to gain the access to the inside.

Vinyl under-liners, egg crates, and soffit screening are the most common materials used to gain access to the inside (of the awning). Those materials can be screwed in place of a  panel and hinged on a side for your convenience. If egg crates are easily available, they can be laid n place on an aluminum frame.

  • Apply Chemicals

Applying  an even amount of chemical over the entire interior surface and at the bottom of the awning surface can be helpful for an effective cleaning.  Let the surface dry for about 5-15 minutes, depending upon the amount of chemicals used and the temperature.
Spraying the chemicals for the second time, but only in extreme cases, is suggested by some cleaning experts.

  • Scrubbing

Generally, it is not an obligation to scrub the insides of the awning. Dirt and dust on the interior does not hurt the interior as much as it does to the exteriors. But occasionally, you may encounter bothering stains, mold spots, and webs of the spider that won’t come out with proper rinsing and scrubbing. An eight-inched brush or even an extension pole can help you in such cases.

  • Rinsing the Inside

It is a must to rinse the surface thoroughly to remove the soap residues, dirt, and bugs from the interiors of the awning. While you rinse the canopy of your home, hotels, or any building, start from the highest point and slowly move down towards the face of the coverings, to ensure a better result.

Exterior Cleaning

  • Apply Cleaners to a Dry Awning Surface

If you don’t let the surface of the canopy dry, the cleaners or the solution can’t prove its effectiveness. However, things could be less critical if you’ve been cleaning the awning on a regular basis. Some additional tips to apply cleaners are:

  1. Apply cleaner only to a small portion of the awning to avoid drying. Protective coating of the covering can get damaged when an excess amount of cleaners dry and form a layer.
  2. Apply cleaners from the bottom to the top always. Cleaners running down from top to bottom leave a dangerous and impossible to remove streaks in the covering.
  3. Apply cleaning solution evenly to prevent dirty pock marks.
  • Scrubbing

A soft sponge bath will be the best way to clean a vinyl awning. That is the simplest of the available ideas where brushes, soft scrub pads, and elbow grease can come in handy.

  • Rinsing

Some basic rinsing tips during the cleaning process are:

  1. Rinse from the top down. If you don’t, you will splash the wall and dislodge dirt which will slowly streak the awning.
  2. Take your time to get the cleaner off. Not rinsing the cleaner thoroughly will leave the chemicals behind that will ruin your canopies.
  3. Leave the sidewalks, walls, and windows properly cleaned, after the completion of the process. The dirty water will stain whatever surface it comes in contact with, and is a slip hazard.
  • Wrapping up: Final Inspection

This is the period during cleaning when the real use of professional cleaners comes into use. This step should be handed over to the pros to ensure the best results.

  1. Let the pros inspect their work as the crew is winding up. Ask them to take notes on the problem solved and future problems that may occur to bother you. Ask them for proper cleaning and maintenance tips.
  2. Ask the professional cleaning crew to help you move things to their respective places, which were moved prior to cleaning.
  3. A self explanatory but worth mentioning point- ask the cleaning personnel to check all their belongings before leaving the work site.

Awesome Awning Cleaning Tips

  • Working from the ground

It is the fastest cleaning idea. You just need to attach a brush to an extension pole and you are ready for any commercial or residential awning cleaning.

  • Working from a step or an extension ladder

If you are in a team of two (or more), it is the safest and fastest way to go. The person on the ground handling the ladder can assist the one who is on the ladder, in this method of cleaning. Typically, the person on the ladder is the one who does most of the cleaning as the person on the ground doesn’t have access to every part of the canopy.

  • Working from the rooftop

It can be a bit riskier, yet a great time saver, to clean the areas of the coverings which are tougher to reach from the ground, by standing on the rooftop. In cases when the awnings are large, you can have another person on the roof just to apply cleaners and rinse them. However, high degree of coordination is an essence to prevent the soap/solution from streaking.

  • Working on the awning surface

This method of cleaning should be attempted if and only if you are a professional cleaner. Remember, awning cleaning is a risky thing, so why DIY just to save few bucks. What I mean is, awning cleaning by professionals is a wonderful idea. I would suggest you to find a reliable cleaning service provider, if you are to prevent any accidents and gain a well-cleaned awning at the same time.

  • Working from bucket trucks

It is the safest, fastest and most efficient way of getting your awning cleaned-if you possess this piece of equipment.


Remember, in some extreme cases, where none of the cleaning ideas work effectively, use of Sodium Hypochlodite may come into use. The solution is mostly used in damp and humid areas to treat the mildews present there.


These are some basic tips and ways of cleaning the secondary coverings attached to your exterior wall. Hope your awning cleaning becomes successful after implying all these awning cleaning tips.

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