Retractable Awnings - Cleaning and Care
Window Awnings: General information
Generally, retractable awnings don’t require any care or maintenance. The solution-dyed acrylic fabric is fade-resistant and not prone to mildew, rot, or decay. There can be times when the awning fabric may need to be cleaned, particularly from outdoor dirt, tree sap, fallen buds and leaves, and other things. Here are some helpful hints if you want to clean your awning fabric:
- Never use detergents on retractable awnings.
- Use a mild, natural soap and lukewarm water to wash the retractable awning fabric.
- Let the awning fabric dry before closing the awning unless, of course, there are high winds.
- The fabric does not need to be removed from the retractable awning frame in order to be cleaned.
- Make sure the awning pitch is steep enough so that the water runs off.
- Do not use excessive heat on awning fabrics; this can cause the solution-dyed acrylic, which is heat-sensitive, to shrink. This means that you should never use hot water when cleaning the awning, put awnings in the dryer, or use a steam press on awnings.
Basic Retractable Awning Cleaning
Retractable awnings’ fabric should be cleaned regularly if it is in an area where dirt, roof particles, leaves, and other substances can build up on or stain the awning fabric. How frequently this is done depends on where the patio covers are installed.
Cleaning Stains on Retractable Awnings
- Brush or sweep off any loose dirt and leaves.
- Wet or hose the awning.
- Use a mild, natural soap to wash the fabric. Make sure that the temperature of the water is no higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is lukewarm.
- Rinse the awning thoroughly, removing all soap and suds from the fabric. Make sure that the awning pitch is steep enough so that the water runs off instead of pooling.
To clean persistent stains on the retractable awning fabric, make a special cleaning solution:
Use the solution to clean the fabric:
- 1/2 cup (4 oz.) of bleach
- 1/4 cup (2 oz.) natural soap
- 1 gallon of lukewarm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
Be very careful to avoid using too much bleach or to let the awning soak too long in the bleach solution. Bleach will destroy the threads binding the seams in all retractable awnings.
- Soak the awning fabric in the cleaning solution for about 20 minutes.
- Rinse the awnings’ fabric thoroughly in cold water to remove all the soap.
- Using the bleach-soap solution can remove some of the sealant that helps awnings repel water. To restore the ability of awnings to repel water, apply an air-curing treatment such as 303 Hi Tech Fabric Guard.
Dry Cleaning an Awning
SunSurrender II retractable awnings can be dry-cleaned. Like cleaning for stains, however, dry-cleaning removes the water repellant treatment from the awning fabric. If the awning is dry-cleaned, apply an air-curing treatment such as 303 Hi Tech Fabric Guard.
Storing Retractable Awnings
To store a SunSurrender II retractable awning:
- Clean the awning thoroughly.
- Allow the retractable awning to air dry completely, then retract it.
- Unmount the retractable awning.
- Store the awning (fully retracted) in a dry and ventilated location.