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Old 02-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #1
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Cleaning Canvas Awning

I have recently had a new awning installed which is a canvas material rather than vinyl. What is the best things to use to clean this canvas awning stains such as bird droppings? I used the Thetford awning cleaner on the vinyl awning with reasonable success.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #2
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If it is Sunbrella, read this.
Sunbrella: Shade fabrics

If it is another brand or manuf. go to the website for that product.

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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I do boat & RV canvas repair / replacement as a small retirement business - completely agree with the advice & link provided by IWillRVToo.
After a thorough wash w/ soap (and especially bleach) you will probably want to retreat for water repellancy. Sunbrella recommends 303 High Tech Fabric Guard - you can look them up and follow directions. Be careful to use the correct 303 product - 303 Aerospace Protectant is not the same thing and will remove rather than restore water repellancy.

303 Products, Inc.: 303 High Tech Fabric Guard

Silicone based products should be avoided
- while they are great for wate proofing - they leave an oily residue that will attract dirt that will be hard - impossible to remove - ultimately shortening the life.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:36 AM   #4
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thank you for the information. How much bleach would I use so as to not harm the colour in the fabric?
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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The SUnbrella link that IWillRV2 posted contains the following:
If you forget just google Sunbrella and they have all the washing instructions, stainremoval charts and retreatment advise listed.

Heavy cleaning for stubborn stains and mildew Sunbrella Shade fabric does not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. To clean mildew, or other stubborn stains:
  1. Four ounces (1/2 cup) of chlorine bleach.
  2. Two ounces (1/4 cup) of mild soap and/or detergent.
  3. One gallon of water.
  4. Carefully clean with soft bristle brush.
  5. Allow mixture to soak into the fabric for up to 15 minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
  7. Air dry.
  8. Repeat if necessary.
  9. Re-treatment of fabric for water and stain resistance will be necessary.
Sunbrella and most synthetics are not affected by bleach - the soak time is a real key and just be sure to rinse well.
Another tick that 303 Fabric Guard recommends is to do the retreatment on hot sunny for best results. Sunbrella & other synthetics will shrink if heat excessively (100 F is safe).
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:59 PM   #6
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Canvas hasn't been used for awnings in ages. Are you sure it isn't woven acrylic fabric? Is it much more durable than canvas, but shares the same basic problem of dirt getting down into the weave, make it hard to remove. You can use a bleach solution on it, but if too strong or used too many times, you may have tore-waterproof the fabric.

I found that a good stiff solution of OxyClean worked well. Brush it on and roll up the awning, letting it soak for 30 minutes. Then unroll and brush some more, then rinse.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Yes, you are correct in the description of the fabric. The information is very helpful. I know what my job is tomorrow........

Thanks again

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