How to Clean Mildew From a Retractable Awning

Launie Sorrels

Retractable awnings can be a great space saver. However, like anything that must endure the elements, these awnings will attract mold and mildew. Mildew will cause a bad odor and can damage the awning itself.

Don’t be afraid of the mildew that is coming to attack your awning; have the knowledge you need to defeat it at its source.

  1. Sprinkle salt all over the mildewed area. The salt helps to draw the mildew out of the awning fibers, and acts as a minor abrasive for cleaning.

  2. Spray lemon juice over the mildewed area. The lemon juice causes the pores of the awning to expand, allowing the salt to enter into the pores and absorb the mildew spores.

  3. Use a scrub brush and clean the affected area thoroughly.

  4. Spray down the area with a hose to remove excess debris.

  5. Place the awning in direct sunlight to finish killing any other spores that may have survived. If you cannot place the awning into sunlight, then repeat the process above.

  6. Clean the brush thoroughly before storing it. Placing it in bleach for 30 minutes is a surefire way to kill any remaining mildew spores.

  7. Tip

    As a preventive measure, it is a good idea to clean your awning once a month to avoid the accumulation of mildew spores.


    Wear protective gloves when working with bleach.