In this blog post we will be showing you how and why you should clean and maintain your canvas awning fabrics.
While installing new awnings can really help with reducing the heat that penetrates your home, they can also complement and enhance the look and style of your home. Many people have their canvas awnings installed and are really excited with the new look, but can then forget about maintaining them.
A canvas awning should and will last for 25 years or more if properly maintained. Keeping your canvas awning clean and looking new doesn’t have to be a task.
If you do neglect your canvas awning they can become an eyesore and then detract from the look of your home’s appearance.
As a general rule, your canvas awnings should be cleaned once or twice a year (the more regular the better).
Why do I need to clean my awnings?
You should clean your canvas awnings regularly to remove any residues that will remain in contact with the canvas causing permanent stains; such as bird droppings, fungus and mildew. These items can also deteriorate the sewing threads over time, causing the canvas awning fabric to eventually come apart, permanently destroying and shortening the life of your awnings.
Also particles of air pollutants, dirt and grime can become embedded in the woven fabric of the canvas awning. Over time with the fabric moving in the wind and from being raised and lowered, the dirt acts as tiny little razor blades, slowly grinding away and tearing through the threads of the canvas fabric. Eventually the fabric will weaken (generally along the bottom where the fabric creases and moves the most) and in some in some cases (either on a windy day, or when you next move the blind) can completely tear making your canvas awnings inoperable.
General tips for maximising the life of your canvas awnings:
- Keep the fabric clean by brushing regularly, both inside and outside, with a soft brush and by hosing occasionally with clear, cold water. You should start at the lower edge of the fabric and work upwards.
- Do not apply soaps, detergents, cleaning fluids or insecticides.
- Keep petrol, solvents, kerosene and other similar fluids away from the fabric.
- Do not allow bird droppings, earth, sand or vegetable matter to remain in contact with the fabric.
- Ensure that the canvas is thoroughly dry before rolling up and putting the awning away.
- Should mildew spots appear, brush them off before they become attached.
- Persistent mould or mildew growth should be treated with White King® solution, strictly in accordance with the instructions outlined on the following page.
- Canvas, which has been cleaned extensively, may require reproofing. You can usually tell if this is required when you notice water penetrating the fabric rather than beading off it. If reproofing is required you can buy products from camping or hardware stores for canvas products. Reproof should be carried out after the cleaning is performed and the fabric has completely dried.
How do I clean the canvas awning fabric?
For the best and safest results when cleaning your awnings, try not to work in direct sunlight, in the heat of the day or when it is windy. Before you commence cleaning ensure you check all the stitched seams on both sides and ensure the thread is sound and will withstand cleaning. Canvas awnings that have not be cleaned for many years may fall apart and/or rip while attempting to clean them.
We recommend the use of White King as a cleaner, however, you may use other products available on the market. The instructions below are applicable for all products, but the quantities used may vary.
When working with White King® care must be taken that it does not come in contact with anything other than the canvas. If it does, you will need to wash it straight off. It may be safer to put the solution in a spray bottle and spray the solution onto the fabric. The solution will yellow your lawns, however, this will grow out.
So here we go….
Step 1. As some fabrics may not be colourfast, it is best to test an inconspicuous section of the canvas fabric first.
Step 2. Ensure the awning is down and the fabric is taught.
Step 3. Remove any dust and dirt by lightly brushing. Heavy soiling should first be washed off with clear warm water – do not use soaps or detergents!
Step 4. Dilute the White King® with water; 1 part White King® to 3 Parts water.
Step 5. Apply the solution evenly to the outside at a rate that will penetrate the fabric, working the solution into the fabric with a soft brush or a broom.
Step 6. Hose off the solution thoroughly after 15 minutes, continuing to hose down until the water run-off is completely clear.
Step 6. Let the awning completely dry before rolling up.
…..and there you have it, clean awnings looking refreshed and new!
Please note that these tips are for general purpose and you should always follow the specific instructions of the manufacturers safety guidelines. Blockout Blinds takes no responsibility if these cleaning guide lines are followed and any damage occurs to yourself, blind, fabric or property.