How to clean moss on canvas awnings

Written by justin w. sanders
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Constantly exposed to rain and other wet natural elements, canvas awnings are particularly susceptible to the invasion of water-loving moss. Routine cleanings will help prevent this problem, but if you have neglected your awnings and moss has accrued, it's not too late. A little hard work and some careful planning can make your awnings look like new again.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Broom
  • Ladder
  • Oxygen bleach solution
  • Chemical sprayer or spray bottle
  • Long-handled scrub brush
  • Water hose with spray gun
  • Canvas fabric sealant

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  1. 1

    Sweep the outside of the awning clean of all dust, twigs and other debris. Use a ladder to access hard-to-reach spots.

  2. 2

    Apply oxygen bleach (such as OxyClean) to the awning's surface, placing special emphasis on mossy spots. Depending on the size of the awning, spread the bleach using either a chemical sprayer or a simple spray bottle.

  3. 3

    Scrub the awning gently with a brush until all moss has been uplifted.

  4. 4

    Rinse the awning completely clean using the spray gun on the water hose. Begin spraying at the top and work down to avoid streaks.

  5. 5

    Spread fabric sealant (such as ReggTopp) on the newly clean awning to help prevent future water and moss damage.

  6. 6

    Repeat Steps 1 through 5 on the underside of the awning.

Tips and warnings

  • There are many chemical cleaners available for awnings, as well as various chlorine bleach solutions. However, an oxygen bleach-based cleaning solution is recommended to protect nearby plants and avoid toxic runoff.
  • If you are cleaning a large awning, you might try applying the cleaner and scrubbing it in stages. Letting the cleaning solution sit for too long can have an unpleasant drying effect, resulting in streaks.

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