How to Clean a Polypropylene Awning
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How to Clean a Polypropylene Awning

Polypropylene has emerged as a popular material in the lawn and garden area. Gardeners use the material for ground cover to keep weeds down and the woven fabric is also popular as awning material. A surprising amount of grime gets caught in the weave of a polypropylene awning, and knowing how to clean the material keeps it looking like new and protects your awning investment.

Awnings pick up a surprising amount of dirt. It seems like they would stay pretty clean, they're up in the air, no one really touches them and not much can get spilled on them, since spills don't normally flow up. However, when you pull an awning down after a season, the outside will usually be coated with black, grimy stuff. Plain water won't take it off either, if it did, the rain would wash it away. You need to add cleaner to the plain water and even throw in a bit of elbow grease to get your polypropylene awning looking like new again.

Take it Down

It is really hard to properly clean a polypropylene awning when it is above your head. You need to take it down to be able to really see the dirt. Before you take your awning down, check for holes and damaged areas. If you see anything on the awning that needs to be repaired, mark the hole with a small piece of duct tapeon the underside of the awning to make it easy to find later. Then, spread the awning out on the ground and take a good look.

Start Cleaning

Take a step by step approach to cleaning your polypropylene awning.

  1. Grab the garden hose and spray the entire surface of the awning with clear water. Really soak it, then let it sit for about five minutes while you prepare the cleaner. If you are working in bright sunlight, spray the awning again, as needed, if it starts to dry.
  2. In a bucket, mix about two tablespoons dish detergent and half a bucket of water.
  3. Grab a sponge mop and coat the surface of the awning with detergent and water. Don't scrub yet, just get a good layer of detergent water all over the awning. Allow the detergent to soak into the grime for two or three minutes.
  4. Start mopping the awning. As long as the detergent had long enough to soak in, you won't have to do much scrubbing. However, sometimes there are spots that are hard to clean, so grab a broom and use the bristles to scrub tough grime until it dissolves.
  5. Rinse the awning with clear water. If it looks good, let it dry either where it is or hang it over a strong clothes-line. If you still see grimy spots, repeat the steps to complete the task.
  6. Put the awning back up after it dries completely.

A polypropylene awning lasts a long time with proper care. Making simple repairs and cleaning your awning regularly will keep it looking like new for a long time.

White and purple awning image courtesy of kevinrosseel and MorgueFile.

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Comments (1)

An excellent article Laure and so detailed.  Thank you.

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