Awning Cleaning

Victor Hayes - The ExpertBy
Power Equipment Expert
Ultimate Washer Inc.
Last Updated: 2013-04-22

Awnings on a building can make a statement to visitors. If it is clean, vibrant and the color pops, people are left with a good feeling. If it's dirty, the immediate impression is that a business simply doesn't care about its image.

Awnings can add a touch of class to buildings and add what we like to call entrance appeal, making homes and businesses alike welcoming. Many awnings are made from aluminum and they give a polished, professional look and feel to windows, providing an aesthetic frame for a window. This amounts to an awesome first impression. But without proper upkeep, that awesome introduction to your business can quickly become an eyesore. Whether you are a power washing company looking to expand your services or a business owner, learning how to properly clean awnings will make clients or your business shine!

Awning cleaning is not for the faint of heart. Depending on the material, they can be delicate or solid. With metal awnings, many people think aluminum awnings are somehow impervious to staining. Wrong! The elements — be it rain, sun, snow, hail and wind — constantly assault the exterior of buildings. In addition, pollution can cause damage. Obviously there are many substances in the atmosphere that can collect on awnings and if not removed quickly, problems will develop rapidly. Cleaning awnings may not be a high priority for a business owner but with each passing day, dirt, grime and film accumulate and can degrade your investment.

Another notorious problem with aluminum awnings is the staining that occurs from water dripping from a gutter or roof area above the awning. The streaks will give the appearance of dirty lines or rust stains. Not good. Even more attention should be paid to lighter colored awnings, as streaking is much more noticeable. In addition, clean materials will help the awning better resist damage.

Awning Cleaning


Step 1: Pre-rinse

Cleaning aluminum isn't rocket science. To effectively clean an awning and canopy, the first thing is determine the type of material it is made of ??? which will help you select the appropriate cleaning chemical to help break down the dirt and grime. Make sure that the detergent you select is biodegradable and friendly to the earth. , making sure it is the correct type for the specific material. Next, rinse the awning using clean water from a low pressure power washer.

Step Two: Use A Detergent

After rinsing, use a pressure washer detergent cleaners, and depending on the amount of dirt and buildup, you may need to use a gentle scrubber attachment. It is important to note that you should start from the bottom, as this will prevent streaks from the chemicals running down the awning. After you are through cleaning, you will give the awning a rinse. For rinsing and washing, it is recommended not to exceed 500 PSI so as not to damage the delicate surface.


Awnings Cleaning

Step Three: Rinse

After thoroughly cleaning with a soap, you'll want to rinse the surface to remove the soap and all the grime that has been loosened up. It's really that simple! Pre-rinse, soap, rinse, done.


1. Don't forget the over hang cleaning!

One often forgotten step is to the clean the underside of the awning. Birds and bees and other life forms quickly make homes underneath and if you don't clean the underside, you'll soon have an ever expanding extended family. In fact, in a recent poll, mud dauber wasps clearly expressed a preference for building their nests on aluminum framing. Cleaning the interior/underside of the awning and canopy is pretty much the same as cleaning the visible exterior portion. One caveat when cleaning the underside of an awning — check for lighting fixtures and make sure it is safe to clean with a pressure washer.

2. Protection Options for the Awning

After the awning is clean, there are several recommended steps to take to further protect the awning. You may want to consider using a sealer, waterproofing agent, UV-ray protectant and/or a re-vinylizer for non aluminum awnings. All of these steps will help protect your investment and help it last as long as possible.

There are many, many types of awnings made out of many different materials. Here are just a few:

  • Retractable Awnings
  • Window Awnings
  • Cleaning Siding
  • Patio Awnings
  • RV Awnings
  • Deck Awnings
  • Overhang Cleaning
  • Sun setter Awnings
  • Door Awnings
  • Canvas Awnings
  • Vinyl Awnings
  • Aluminum Cleaning
  • Canopies

3. Cleaning Attachments

There is an attachment that allows you to extend your reach to the second floor and higher - the pressure washer telescoping wand. This is one of the safest ways to clean structures that are higher than the first floor and are ideal for cleaning awnings — in fact, some extend up to twenty four feet. Never put yourself in the position of cleaning from a ladder. Telescoping wands allow you to clean with your feet on the ground where it is much safer. The internet is full of video's showing people falling off of ladders when cleaning and I personally can't recall the last time someone fell off the ground.

4. Aluminum Siding

As an aside, many homes or businesses have aluminum siding. Cleaning siding is as easy as cleaning the awnings. Follow the same steps and make sure that you don't over exceed the recommended PSI so as not to damage the aluminum siding.



The publisher of these pages is in no way responsible for any damage caused to you, your pressure washer, anyone else, your property, or anyone else's property by trying to implement or by successfully implementing the above-mentioned performance and services.