How to Clean an Outdoor Awning

Anne Kinsey

Outdoor awnings provide a charming touch to the exterior of many homes, creating a look that echoes back to European towns and times gone by. Many homeowners enjoy the additional shade and protection that awnings add to their homes.

Clean an Outdoor Awning

Some even use outdoor awnings as a way to completely change the look of their homes with the seasons. Whatever the reason for installing awnings, knowing how to properly clean them will keep them looking nice and extend their life.

  1. Set up your ladder near your awning so that you can comfortably reach the awning. Make sure that your ladder is stable. You may need to move your ladder occasionally as you work on your awning. When you do so, make sure that the ladder is positioned on stable ground.

  2. Fill a bucket with warm water and 3 to 4 tbsp. of dye-free dish detergent or vinegar. Test a small amount of your mixture on a sample piece of awning material or in an inconspicuous area of your outdoor awning. Check back after an hour or so to make sure that your cleaning solution is compatible with the material on your awning.

  3. Take your bucket of cleaning solution, broom and scrubbing brush out to your ladder. If you can find someone to hand things to you as you are working, it will make cleaning your awning easier, safer and more time-efficient.

  4. Sweep all debris from your outdoor awning with your broom. You do not want any debris to remain on the awning when you get it wet. This helps to prevent rot and mold.

  5. Use your brush and cleaning solution to scrub down the awning until all of the stains and gunk are removed. Your awning may be very wet with your cleaning solution when you are done.

  6. Hose down your awning. Be thorough and take your time, making sure to get all of the cleaning solution off of your outdoor awning. Allow your awning to dry.

  7. Tip

    Be sure to pick a dry, sunny day to clean your awning. It will make the process much easier.


    Do not use cleaning solutions that contain bleach. If at all possible, stick to all-natural, environmentally friendly dish detergents.