Awnings can add an attractive addition to a home exterior, and are also commonly found on Recreational Vehicles (RV's). These are expensive additions that require little work to keep clean, but every year or two a good cleaning will remove film, residue, and mould or mildew development. Commercial cleaning products are available on the market, but a homemade solution will work just as well, and save you some cash.
Rinse the Awning
First, rinse the awning to remove any loose debris. This will make the cleaning procedure much easier, as you will be working to remove only the residue that has already set into the awning fabric. This will often be all that is required to keep the awning clean, and should be done one to two times per year.
Clean the Awning
First, make a simple homemade cleaning solution. In a bucket, mix five gallons of water with five squirts of liquid dish detergent, and also add one-fourth cup of liquid bleach. It's easiest to use a long-handled brush; these can be purchased at home improvement stores, as well as RV supply stores. Dip the mop in the solution, and scrub over the awning, working from the top down to the bottom. Repeat as needed, concentrating specifically on areas with a lot of build-up or mildew development. When satisfied with the result, rinse the awning with a clear water stream from your garden hose.
Dry the Awning
To prevent mould and mildew development, it is important to let the awning dry fully before rolling it back up. After a few hours have passed, and the awning is dry to the touch, roll back up for storage. This will keep the awning clean and residue free, requiring no additional work for several months at a minimum. If the awning is extended during heavy rains, be sure to let it dry thoroughly before rolling it back up, as this will cause mildew growth, as well.