Use cleaners that are specifically formulated for vinyl or fabric materials.
Note: If awning is still not clean, repeat the above process.
Garden hose or pressure washer. Pressure should not exceed 300 PSI.
Thoroughly rinse the awning until the water runoff is clear. Residual cleaner may leave a chalky appearance on the awning after it dries.
Pressure cleaning is a common cause of permanent awning damage, and it is very ineffective. A pressure washer can be used as a water delivery system for rinsing your awning after cleaning or for removing debris (cobwebs, bugs, leaves, etc.) from the inside of the awning. Pressure should not exceed 300 PSI.
If limited mildew exists, then a chloride-free “mildew cleaner” can be used. If mildew is severe, than diluted liquid chlorine is necessary. ALWAYS do a Q-tip test in a hidden spot to make sure the material is colorfast.
When using chlorine:
Vinyl sealers are typically water-based silicone products and will last from two to four months.
The best way to apply the sealer is with a small pump sprayer. Lightly mist the product on the awning and rub with a sponge or clean terry cloth towel.
The sealer is a barrier between the elements and the environment. They offer UV protection, slow the growth of mildew and leave the material supple and shiny. Another benefit is that they make future cleaning easier.
Fabric sealers can be water- or solvent-based products. The water-based products last six months, are easy to work with and easy to clean up. The solvent-based sealers offer the longest protections.
The sealer is a barrier between the elements and the environment. They offer UV protection, waterproofing, slow the growth of mildew and make future cleanings easier.
It is usually not necessary to seal the bottom side of a fabric awning. If you are trying to waterproof a patio awning, then sealing both sides can be very helpful.