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How to Clean Awnings and Outdoor Fabrics with Wet & Forget

By Wet & Forget
how to clean awnings

Outdoor fabrics can easily take on a lot of organic growth, especially in moisture prone areas. As summer comes to an end, get rid of stubborn moss, mold, mildew, and algae on your awnings and outdoor fabrics.

Here we’ll cover awnings, patio umbrellas, and outdoor carpeting. Learn more about the most common types, what materials they are made of, and how to clean them with Wet & Forget.

What are awnings made of?

Most homeowners add an awning to a patio or deck to provide shade for guests and to protect outdoor furnishings from the sun.

Here’s a quick primer on the most common awnings available from home centers and manufacturer’s showrooms, today.

Awnings will come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. The two main types are:

Stationary or fixed awnings are manufactured with a sturdy metal frame. They are permanently attached to a wall or home exterior. Fixed awnings work well to provide weather protection over windows and doors.

Retractable awnings will mount to the roof or your home’s exterior. Retractable awnings will extend with a motorized control or cranking by hand. They work well on patio and decks and can be closed in case of bad weather.

Awning Covers

The most common awning fabrics are polyester and cotton. Both fabric types have either vinyl, acrylic, or laminate coating for protection from weather.

Vinyl or laminate coatings make fabrics flame and water resistant but don’t protect the fabric from fading. An acrylic color prevents fading but isn’t flame or water-resistant.

Polyester awnings block UV rays while still allowing sunlight to filter through the fabric. Polyester awning covers are easy to clean and withstand inclement weather.

Cotton awning covers are waterproof and durable. Some cotton covers can be cleaned in the washing machine.

Another option is awning panels made of a thermoplastic polymer (Lexan). Lexan is strong, durable, and blocks up to 99% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It’s also an impact resistant material.

How to Clean your Awning with Wet & Forget Outdoor

Wet & Forget Outdoor wipes out ugly mildew, mold, moss, algae and lichen on all types of awnings. Plus, it keeps growth away for a year or more.

Just spray it on and you’re done! Here’s how:

  • Mix 1 part Wet & Forget Outdoor with 5 parts water in a pump-up style garden sprayer.
  • Spray the awning with Wet & Forget Outdoor on a windless day when no rain is forecasted.
  • If you have a retractable awning, leave it open for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours after application to allow the product to dry thoroughly.

Leave retractable awnings open if possible as Wet & Forget Outdoor works with the wind and rain to eliminate mold and mildew stains overtime.

Clean patio umbrellas and awnings with Wet & Forget Outdoor

What are patio umbrellas made of?

Most patio umbrella covers have fabrics infused with a protective coating. The fabric coating helps repel dirt, moisture, stains, and fungi growth.

It’s best to avoid cleaning your umbrella with harsh detergents or chemical based products because it may weaken or remove the protective coating.

Wet & Forget Ready-To-Use is a non-caustic, eco-friendly cleaner that removes moss, mold, mildew, and algae stains from patio umbrellas – no scrubbing required!

How to clean a patio umbrella with a non-removable fabric top with Wet & Forget Ready-To-Use:

  1. Move the umbrella to a shady area, out of direct sunlight.
  2. Open the umbrella.
  3. Use a blower or soft bristle brush to whisk away surface dust or dirt.
  4. Apply Wet & Forget Ready-To-Use, thoroughly saturating the fabric.
  5. Allow the fabric to dry overnight.
  6. Return the umbrella to the original location, open it, and let it dry in the sun.
  7. Leave the umbrella open until it is completely dry.

Note: If there are stains on the underside of the umbrella where no rain hits the fabric, rinse weekly until clean.

What about using bleach or a pressure washer to clean outdoor fabrics?

Over time, bleach will fade and discolor outdoor fabrics. It can also deteriorate the protective coating.

Bleach requires lots of time consuming scrubbing to get surfaces clean. Plus, runoff of bleach will kill potted or landscape plants placed near the awning.

Water applied with high pressure can be tough on outdoor fabrics. It can cause damage to the materials, or even detach fabrics from the awning or umbrella frame. Plus, it turns your yard into a muddy mess!

Clean your outdoor fabrics with Wet & Forget

What is outdoor carpeting made of?

Outdoor carpeting is usually manufactured of either natural or synthetic fibers.

Synthetic fiber carpets include those made of polypropylene, nylon, polyester, and acrylic.

Natural fiber carpets will come in bamboo, sisal, hemp, jute, or sea grass materials.

Synthetic outdoor flooring is more inexpensive than its natural counterpart. Plus, synthetics are easy to clean, fade-resistant and stain-resistant.

Natural fiber carpeting is eco-friendly and soft underfoot. However, it can be prone to fading in direct sunlight.

Cleaning outdoor carpeting with Wet & Forget

Wet & Forget will remove any stubborn organic growth on your outdoor rugs and carpeting. Simply follow the steps below:

  • Apply Wet & Forget Outdoor when the carpet is dry.
  • Make sure to apply when there is no forcasted rain for at least 4 to 5 hours.
  • Sweep clean or use a blower to remove leaves, twigs, and large debris from carpeting.
  • Mix 1 part Wet & Forget Outdoor with 5 parts water in a pump-up garden sprayer.
  • Spray Wet & Forget on your outdoor carpet or rug.
  • Let dry overnight before use.

Wet & Forget Outdoor works with the wind and rain to eliminate moss, mold, mildew, and algae growth and stains over time.

Depending on the severity of the growth, results can take a few weeks and up to a few months.