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    Retractable Lateral Arm Patio & Deck Awnings

     

    Retractable residential patio awnings and deck awnings are designed for sun, UV, glare & heat protection, LIGHT rain & wind up to +-20 mph (when extended) and no higher. This product type is water RESISTANT, not WATERPROOF. For residential patios, decks, courtyards, hot tubs and all types of open entertainment and outdoor living areas.

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    Retractable Pergola Canopy Covers - Awnings, Roofs & Shades

    Most retractable patio covers and pergola covers are designed for sun, UV, glare & heat protection, HEAVY rain & HIGH winds up to 175+ mph/281+ km/hr. Systems & fabric are waterPROOF meaning no water enters. Used for residential homes, outdoor living and entertainment areas, swimming pools, hot tubs and more.

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    Retractable Side Arm | Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable canopy awnings are designed for sun, UV, glare, heat protection and LIGHT wind and LIGHT rain. Solution dyed acrylic fabric used on this product type is water RESISTANT. Can be wall mounted outside any commercial, governmental, institutional or residential window or door opening.

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    Retractable Screens

    Retractable screens are designed for sun, UV, glare, heat protection & LIGHT to MODERATE wind (depending on fabric & model used) and HEAVY rain (depending on fabric & model used). For residential, commercial, governmental and institutional applications, wall mounted OR mounted on to posts around the outside of a pavilion, pergola or gazebo. Fabric can be water RESISTANT.

  • Retractable Canopies

    Retractable Canopies

    Retractable canopies are designed for sun, UV, glare and heat protection, LIGHT wind and LIGHT rain. Solution dyed acrylic fabric used on this product type is water RESISTANT. Can be wall mounted outside any commercial, governmental, institutional or residential window or door opening.

  • Retractable Free Standing Awnings | Canopies For Deck  Patio

    Retractable Free Standing Awnings | Canopies For Deck & Patio

    Most free standing retractable awnings are designed for sun, UV, glare & heat protection, HEAVY rain & HIGH winds up to 175+ mph/281+ km/hr. Systems & fabric are waterPROOF meaning no water enters. Free standing awnings are floor mounted and used for residential, commercial, institutional & government patios, decks, courtyards, restaurants, hotels, wedding events, nightclubs, pubs, swimming pools & hot tubs.

  • Awnings

    Awnings

    Welcome to Retractable Awnings! We offer a full array of electric or manual patio & outdoor awnings and covers, commercial or residential awnings. Call 1-866-438-2964 today!

  • Retractable Electric  Motorized Awnings

    Retractable Electric & Motorized Awnings

    Electric & motorized retractable awnings with an optional wind, rain, sun and motion sensors are designed for sun, UV, glare, heat protection & for light to heavy wind (depending on fabric & model used) and light to heavy rain (depending on fabric & model used). Electric & motorized retractable awnings are used for residential, commercial, governmental and institutional applications. Fabric can be water resistant or waterproof (depending on fabric & model used).

  • Retractable Lateral Arm Patio  Deck Awnings

    Retractable Lateral Arm Patio & Deck Awnings

    Retractable residential patio awnings and deck awnings are designed for sun, UV, glare & heat protection, LIGHT rain & wind up to +-20 mph (when extended) and no higher. This product type is water RESISTANT, not WATERPROOF. For residential patios, decks, courtyards, hot tubs and all types of open entertainment and outdoor living areas

  • Retractable Pergola Roof Covers

    Retractable Pergola Roof Covers

     

    Most retractable patio covers and pergola covers are designed for sun, UV, glare & heat protection, HEAVY rain & HIGH winds up to 175+ mph/281+ km/hr. Systems & fabric are waterPROOF meaning no water enters. Used for residential homes, outdoor living and entertainment areas, swimming pools, hot tubs and more.

  • Retractable Side Arm | Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable Side Arm | Drop Arm Awnings

    Retractable canopy awnings are designed for sun, UV, glare, heat protection and LIGHT wind and LIGHT rain. Solution dyed acrylic fabric used on this product type is water RESISTANT. Can be wall mounted outside any commercial, governmental, institutional or residential window or door opening.

  • Retractable Screens

    Retractable Screens

    Retractable screens are designed for sun, UV, glare, heat protection & LIGHT to MODERATE wind (depending on fabric & model used) and HEAVY rain (depending on fabric & model used). For residential, commercial, governmental and institutional applications, wall mounted OR mounted on to posts around the outside of a pavilion, pergola or gazebo. Fabric can be water RESISTANT.

  • Retractable Canopies

    Retractable Canopies

    Retractable canopies are designed for sun, UV, glare and heat protection, LIGHT wind and LIGHT rain. Solution-dyed acrylic fabric used on this product type is water RESISTANT. Can be wall mounted outside any commercial, governmental, institutional or residential window or door opening.

  • Retractable Free Standing Awnings

    Retractable Free Standing Awnings

    Most free standing retractable awnings are designed for sun, UV, glare & heat protection, HEAVY rain & HIGH winds up to 175+ mph/281+ km/hr. Systems & fabric are waterPROOF meaning no water enters. Free standing awnings are floor mounted and used for residential, commercial, institutional & government patios, decks, courtyards, restaurants, hotels, wedding events, nightclubs, pubs, swimming pools & hot tubs.

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How To Care For A Fabric Awning: How To Care For Them And Keep Them Good | RetractableAwnings.com

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How To Care For A Fabric Awning

Fabric awnings can be retractable or fixed and are used in commercial and residential locations. Regular maintenance, cleaning, and reapplying protective coatings are some of the ways you can protect your investment.

 

This post will address:

 

  • Fabric Awning Cleaning Solutions

  • Awning Cleaning Supplies

 

We will also address removing stains, and the care of vinyl, acrylic, and natural fiber awning fabrics.

 

This post will be of value to home and business owners looking to maintain their fabric awnings, and thus their investment, and also those charged with maintaining fabric awnings.

 

Awning fabric care is an important part of maintaining your awning so it will continue to offer shade and protection from the weather for years. Your awning may be a retractable model that retracts into a cassette or is covered by a hood cover to protect it, under an overhang, soffit or eave, or just a tight roll against a wall. Others such as fixed awnings are permanently stretched over a frame and exposed to the elements 24-7.

 

Regardless of the style of awning, you need to regularly clean outdoor fabric awnings. The canopy experiences temperature extremes and rain. It is exposed to airborne pollutants, dirt, grease, bird droppings, insects, leaf tannins and tree pitch, plus other substances which can stain or bleach cloth. The rain may wash some off; however, dirt can get into the weave and cause the growth of mold. Covers rolled up damp, will most likely lead to fabric mildew, even fixed material may stay damp and develop mildew.

 

Awning fabric may be made of synthetic materials like acrylic and vinyl, or from natural materials like cotton, hemp, and linen. Not all fabrics are cleaned with the same soaps or techniques, and different materials need to be coated with water-resistant or waterproof and mildew resisting solutions. You can hire a professional to maintain and clean your awnings, or do it yourself.

Fabric Awning Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning your awning can be a fun summer day activity, or there are professional services available that will do it for you. There are awning cleaning supplies you can purchase, or you can prepare your own. Before you clean a canvas awning (including acrylic or vinyl), always test the awning cleaning solution in an area that isn’t visible to make sure it won’t damage the material

 

Note: The following homemade solutions work for natural materials, acrylic, and vinyl. However, some are noted for the acrylic and natural fabric but not vinyl.

The Topside

Regular cleaning of the topside with a fabric awning cleaner helps to protect the fabric and colors. Residential awnings should be cleaned once a year and commercial ones every 4 to 8 weeks depending on their location. Some fabrics are small and can fit in a washing machine, but most won’t. Before washing the awning, sweep off leaves, cobwebs, and other loose dirt.

 

Use a mild eco-friendly liquid soap recommended for the type of fabric in your awning – the manufacturer’s instructions often have recommendations. A bucket of cold to lukewarm water with dish soap and a soft bristle brush works; a pressure washer set very, very low, or a hose work too. Wet the awning. Begin at the bottom edge and work up. Use sweeping motions with the brush or power washer on a very, very low setting but let the soap work in and lift the dirt out. Rinse from the top down, and thoroughly remove the soap and dirt. Let the material dry before retracting.

The Underside

Clean the underside in the same way you clean the topside. It’s a good idea also to wash and rinse the metal frame too. The underside often collects grease from open windows, vents, and BBQs, so use grease-cutting dish soap if necessary.

Grease and Sprays

Clean cooking grease, sunscreen oil, bug sprays, and other chemicals from awnings with mild dish soap mixed with water. It should remove it, and then wash and rinse away. If you somehow get automotive grease on natural or acrylic, use acetone to remove it, and then wash and rinse the area well. On vinyl, gently scrape or wipe the grease off. Blot the area with a dry cloth. Use dish soap and gently rub it into the area and then rinse well with warm water.

Paint

If you managed to get some paint on the awning while touching up window frames or other trim, don’t worry; it does clean up. Dab oil based paint dry as much as possible. Use paint, oil or grease remover on natural and acrylic material, and use an orange based citrus cleaner on vinyl. Work it in with a soft brush, and then wash with dish soap and rinse well. For water-based (latex) paint use a concentrated drop of liquid soap and work it into the paint, and then rinse thoroughly. You may have to do it a second time.

Stains

Leaves, fruit from trees, mildew, and algae can all leave stains on fabric awnings. There are tannins and oils in many leaves which can seep into the fabric and may be difficult to remove. The sooner the leaves are removed, the better. Wash the stain with an organic stain remover; you may want to let it sit on the stain for up to 30 minutes before gently washing and thoroughly rinsing – possibly twice. If that doesn’t work, try a solution of ammonia and water or bleach and water.

 

Note: Never mix ammonia with bleach as it creates a poisonous chlorine gas.

 

For fruit stains use dish soap and 3-6% ammonia mixture in water. Rub it in with a soft bristle brush or even your finger. Let sit for a couple of minutes, and wash and rinse the area well. Mildew requires a ½ cup of bleach mixed with a ¼ cup of dish soap in a gallon of water. Brush the mixture in, then wash and rinse completely. Algae stains can be more difficult. Mix 6 parts water with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and put in a spray bottle. Spray on the stain and let sit for 30 minutes, and then rinse off. Repeat if necessary. To help prevent the return of algae, mix equal parts of vinegar and water, spray it on the fabric, and let it dry.

Tree Pitch

Remove tree pitch from acrylic or natural materials with a mixture of turpentine and liquid dish soap. To remove sap from vinyl, use a grease remover or rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth. Work it gently into the pitch; you want to soften the sap, not spread it around. Wash the area with mild soap and water. Repeat if necessary – possibly 2 or 3 times depending on how thick the patch of pitch is.

Rust

Iron oxide or rust needs a mixture of water and citric acid or oxalic acid. Gently work it into the spot, and then wash and rinse.

Bird Droppings

Bird droppings often have berry juice mixed in. Treat the dropping, and then the berry stain if necessary. Scrape as much of the excrement off as you can with a plastic spoon. Mix dish soap with water in a bowl. Wet a soft cloth and dab the area. Blot with a dry cloth, and repeat until gone. Use a mixture of equal parts ammonia and hydrogen peroxide on stubborn spots. Blot with clean water when done, and the dry.

Waterproofing Or Water Resistant

After the acrylic or natural fiber awning fabric is clean, it should have retreatment to prevent mildew, block UV, and to either water resistant or waterproof the material.

Awning Cleaning Supplies

There are numerous commercial fabric awning cleaner products available. Some state they are for vinyl and others for acrylic and natural materials. There are general cleaning solutions and also specialty products for stains. You can purchase awning cleaning supplies or look around your house and make your own. Regardless of the cleaner, you will need a soft bristle brush, 2 to 5-gallon pail, several soft cloths, and an empty spray bottle. A pressure washer or hose may help too. Here are some cleaning product suggestions.

 

  • General Cleaning

Dish soap and cold to lukewarm water in a bucket. There are many commercial products available from $8 up to $60.

  • Cooking Grease and Sunscreen

Kitchen dish soaps are good at cutting cooking grease and most other sprays that people use on themselves. Commercial fabric awning cleaners will clean up grease and sunscreen too.

  • Automotive Grease

Use acetone or dish soap on natural or acrylic fabric, and dish soap on vinyl canopies. If selecting a commercial product, ensure it is for the material being cleaned.

  • Latex Paint

Dish soap to clean, and water to rinse.

  • Oil Paint

Use commercial paint, grease or oil remover on natural or acrylic covers. Orange citrus cleaners work for vinyl.

  • Leaf Tannins and Oils

Use an organic stain remover, and then wash with dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly. Alternatively, use a mixture of ammonia and water or bleach and water on stubborn stains.

  • Fruit Stains

Dish soap and 3-6% ammonia mixture in water.

  • Mildew

Mix ½ cup of bleach with a ¼ cup of dish soap in a gallon of water for acrylic and vinegar in water for vinyl fabric.

  • Algae Stains

Mix 6 parts water with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and put in a spray bottle for natural and acrylic, and vinegar-water mixture.

  • Tree Pitch

For acrylic or natural materials, mix turpentine and liquid dish soap. Use a grease remover or rubbing alcohol on vinyl.

  • Rust

Mix citric acid (lemon juice), vinegar or oxalic acid with water for vinyl, acrylic, or natural fabrics.

  • Bird Droppings

Mix dish soap with water.

  • Retreatment

Acrylic and natural material need to be retreated for UV and mildew protection and also made water-resistant or waterproof. Vinyl needs to be protected from UV and mildew. 

Awning Care

Fabric Type

Natural

Acrylic

Vinyl

General Cleaning

Laundry or dish soap & cold water or Canvas Commercial Cleaner

Laundry or dish soap & cold water or Acrylic Commercial Cleaner

Dish soap & cold water or Vinyl Commercial Cleaner

Cooking Grease

&

Sunscreens

Dish soap & cold water or Commercial Cleaner

Dish soap & cold water or Commercial Cleaner

Dish soap & warm water or Vinyl Commercial Cleaner

Automotive Grease

Acetone or dish soap

Acetone or dish soap

Dish soap

Latex Paint

Dish soap & water

Dish soap & water

Dish soap & water

Oil Paint

Commercial paint, grease or oil remover

Commercial paint, grease or oil remover

Dish soap

Leaf Tannins & Oils

Organic stain remover,

ammonia and water or bleach and water

Organic stain remover,

ammonia and water or bleach and water

Organic stain remover,

ammonia and water

Fruit Stains

Dish soap and 3-6% ammonia mixture in water

Dish soap and 3-6% ammonia mixture in water

Dish soap and 3-6% ammonia mixture in water

Mildew

Bleach & dish soap mix in water

Bleach & dish soap mix in water

Vinegar & water or a quality commercial cleaner

Algae Stains

Hydrogen peroxide in water

Hydrogen peroxide in water

Mixture of 30% vinegar and 70% water

Tree Pitch

Turpentine and dish soap

Turpentine and dish soap

Grease remover or rubbing alcohol

Rust

Citric acid or vinegar or oxalic acid with water

Citric acid or vinegar or oxalic acid with water

Citric acid or vinegar or oxalic acid with water

Bird Droppings

Dish soap & water

Dish soap & water

Dish soap & water

Retreatment

For UV and mildew protection, and water resistance or waterproofing

For UV and mildew protection, and water resistance or waterproofing

Use a quality surface protectant for UV and mildew

 

Conclusion

Caring for a fabric awning can be left to the professionals, or you can do it yourself. There are commercial awning cleaning solutions available, or you can use common household products and make your own. No matter the product, always test it to ensure it won’t damage the fabric. Remember, after cleaning, the material should be retreated to protect it from mildew and UV rays and made water resistant or waterproof if needed.

 

If you have any questions regarding awning fabric care or looking for a quality retractable awning for your home or business check our catalog or simply drop us a line using the online contact form!