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How to Clean Mold & Milldew From Outdoor Awnings

Melynda Sorrels

Awnings provide a source of shade from the summer sun and a protective cover from rain when the weather isn’t as pleasant as we would like. Mold and mildew come from spores that are natural to the environment.

While these spores serve a useful purpose in nature, they aren’t so useful when they attach themselves to our belongings. For the sake of aesthetics and health reasons, mold and mildew should be removed promptly from awnings.

  1. Don gloves, a mask and protective glasses before you clean up mold. Mold can lead to potential health issues so use caution and protect yourself.

  2. Take down the awning, or put it in such a position that the affected area is accessible. If it’s retractable, make sure it is extended out all the way.

  3. Use a brush to scrape away loose mold spores. Make sure the residual mold doesn't fall on patio furniture or other surfaces. Lay down a tarp if needed to protect other belongings. Dispose of residual mold in the trash as soon as possible.

  4. Sprinkle baking soda all over the stained area. Use enough baking soda to cover the entire area.

  5. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and soak the baking soda. Vinegar and baking soda react to each other, causing a lot of bubbles and fizzing.

  6. Scrub the area again with a cloth to take advantage of the bubbles to aid you in removing the mold and mildew.

  7. Rinse the area with clean water and assess the progress. If any mold or mildew remains, saturate the area with white vinegar and allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.

  8. Scrub the area to loosen the residual mildew and mold and rinse again with clean water.

  9. Allow the awning to air dry. Do not retract it or close it up until the area is completely dry. You can hurry the process along by covering the damp area with baking soda. The baking soda will help absorb the moisture and draw it out of the awning. Brush it away when the area is dry and discard it. The baking soda will also help to draw out any lingering odor from the mold and mildew.

  10. Tip

    Mold and mildew need moisture to survive. Avoid closing up or storing a wet awning.


    Be sure to remove all traces of mold and mildew from your living area as it can be potentially hazardous to your health.