Learn How to Clean Your RV Awning (In Detail)

If you have an RV, you know how important an RV awning is for camping. RV awnings protect you from heat, rain, and dust. Hence, it is normal that the awning will get dirty or damaged after months and years of use. But if you properly clean it from time to time, you can extend its lifespan.

Choose the right solution (Soap, bleach, water) to clean the RV awning. Before that, you should clean the dirt and debris from the awning. Next, you have to apply the cleaning solution and brush it thoroughly to get rid of all the stains.  


What Do You Need to Clean RV Awning?

You may have left the RV in the garage, or have not cleaned it for a while. So, obviously, the entire RV will be dirty, including the awning. Cleaning the RV awning will need some preparation. Fortunately, none of these things are too expensive or hard to get. 


Here is what you need:

  • You need a solution for cleaning. You can buy it from a store or make it with soap, bleach, and water.
  • Garden Sprayer/ Trigger sprayer
  • A soft bristle brush
  • A shady spot
  • A bucket and a cloth or towel
  • Protective glasses and hand gloves
  • A step stool and leader

Step By Step Guide To Clean RV Awning 

When you have got all the things you need to clean your RV awning, it is time for you to get prepared to clean it. Start by inspecting the RV awning to find out how dirty or damaged it is. Then follow these steps below: 


Step 1: Find Out The Material Of The Awning

RV awnings are made of two different fabrics, which are acrylic and vinyl fabrics. It is crucial to know the fabric of your RV awning to use a balanced solution of soap and bleach. 

If you cannot identify the fabric, you can take help from the user guide that came with your RV. The guide may also contain what you can use or cannot use on the awning fabric.

Awnings made of vinyl fabric are easy to clean. Just a mix of detergent and water can do the trick. If the stains do not want to get off, you can add some bleach to the solution. On the other hand, acrylic awnings may need a stronger solution. 


Step 2: Open up the Awning to inspect

Now that you know about the fabric of your awning, get your RV outside. Unfold the RV awning to clean. But make sure you are cleaning your RV on a sunny day because it has to be dried naturally after washing. 

May RVs have window awnings, so open them as well if you have any. Use a ladder or high stool to see the awning properly. Then, look carefully for dirt, molds, stains, and torn parts. Understanding all the problems will mentally prepare you to solve them. 


Step 3: Clean The Dust And Dirt

Do not start applying solutions right away on the awnings. It will be easier to get all the stubborn stains if you clean the dirt and molds beforehand. Use a bristle brush to gently clean off the dry grimes before cleaning them with water. 

Vinyl fabrics catch dirt easily. When rainwater mixes with the dirt, it can cause molds. So, you must rub them off with the brush. Do not forget to clean the window awnings. After brushing, you can use just water to remove other residues from the awning. However, you do not have to if you think it’s unnecessary.


Step 4: Patching Torn Parts

Nothing is invincible. Your RV awning will also get damaged over time. When you inspect, you might find holes. The fabric might be even torn in some places. These issues should be taken care of as soon as possible. 

Patch the holes and torn parts before you apply solutions on the awning. It can make the fabric weak, and affect the holes. So, use pieces of similar fabric to patch up the holes and then apply the solution. 


Step 5: Prepare A Solution 

Get a bucket and mix detergent or dish soap and water. Then, test the mixture on the stains of your RV awning. If the solution gets rid of the stain, use it on the entire awning. But, if the solution does not work, you have to add some bleach. 

Besides, there are many RV awning cleaners available in the market. Moreover, these solutions are made for various fabrics. If you are using two parts of a solution, add eight parts of water. The mixture has to be mild as it can damage the fabric of the awning or environment.


Step 6: Apply The Solution And Let It Dry 

Put the solution in a garden spray bottle or trigger bottle. Spray the solution on the awning from beneath. You can use a ladder/ high stool to spray from above. The mixture may get into your eyes, so wear protective glasses. Also, try to avoid spraying on the RV. The bleach in the solution can damage the exterior of the RV. 

After applying the solution, let it sit for a while. If you keep the awning open, the solution will dry under the sun. Therefore, roll up the awning. Leave the mixture for an hour. It will soften the tenacious stains so that you can easily clean them. 


Step 7: Gently Scrub 

When an hour is over, unfold the RV awning again. Then use the long bristle brush to clean it. Be extra gentle on the weak or torn parts. Since the solution makes the fabric soft, you may damage it even further by scrubbing it too hard. Too much brushing can also damage the protective coating of the surface. 

Start small and clean each part with care. Cover the entire awning with the solution. You can lower it to get the upper part of the shed. Clean the window awning the same way. Again, if you think there is no need for scrubbing after applying the solution, you can avoid the step. 


Step 8: Rinse Thoroughly

The solution and grimes of your RV awning have to be cleaned completely. You can use a towel or rag to clean the awning again to wipe off any stains left after scrubbing. It will also wipe off the soap.

Rinse the RV awning well with lots of water. You can use a garden hose to clean the solution. Bleach can damage your RV awning if you leave it. Eventually, the awning fabric can get cracked and tear apart. So, clean the top and underside of the canopy meticulously.


Step 9: Let the Awning Dry

Finally, let the RV’s awning dry. Just let the awning open as long as it takes to dry. The natural air and sunlight will dry it. 

Avoid using any dryers to dry the awning because it can cause more damage to the fabric. It might take a few hours to dry. So you have to be patient. When it dries completely, you can apply a protective coating over it. However, you do not have to do it if the protective coating is not damaged.  



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