Maintaining a caravan is more than just cleaning the interior and changing the anode every so often. One of the regular caravan cleaning items to tackle is the awning, which can be prone to getting dirty, dusty and even mouldy.
Ensure the longevity of your outdoor living with these caravan awning cleaning tips and step-by-step instructions.
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How to Clean a Caravan Awning
Step 1 – Pull the Awning Out
Firstly, the awning will need to be completely rolled out so that you can access the entire length and width of the awning fabric.
Tilt the awning down to the ground so that you’re able to reach up as far as possible for cleaning.
Step 2 – Dry Brush
Use a dry, soft bristle broom to brush over the awning. This will help to remove any leaves, dust and dirt before you bring the hose out.
Step 3 – Hose the Fabric
Use a hose to wet down the top side of the awning and remove as much dirt as you can. This also helps to ‘soak’ the dirt, which will make cleaning much easier.
Step 4 – Clean the Awning with a Broom
Starting at one end of the awning, use a soft bristle broom to scrub the awning fabric clean.
Work your way from the top of the awning (where it attaches to the caravan), making your way down to the bottom in sections. Once you’ve finished that section, move across to the next section and so on until you’ve covered the entire top side of the awning.
If you have a second person handy (and aren’t on water restrictions), it’s helpful to have them continuously hosing the awning fabric, which will keep it wet while you’re brushing.
|Can You Use Detergent on a Caravan Awning?|
|You can use a bucket of water with a mild detergent on your caravan awning, however, it’s important to avoid truck washes and harsh detergents as they will compromise the integrity of the waterproofed fabric.|
Step 5 – Hose the Awning Clean
Once the topside of the awning fabric has been completely scrubbed with the broom, hose the fabric down to remove any leftover dirt and grime.
Step 6 – Clean the Awning Underside
Now it’s time to clean the underside of the awning. You may need to tilt the awning back up a little so that you have easy access without hitting your head.
Repeat the previous steps of wetting the fabric first with the hose, then brushing it clean with the broom. Once done, give the awning underside a hose down with some water.
Step 7 – Dry the Awning
Once both sides of the awning have been hosed and brushed clean, it’s time to leave the awning open until it has completely air-dried.
This step is vitally important in preventing your caravan awning from going mouldy.
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Cleaning Mould off the Caravan Awning
In a perfect world, the caravan awning would always be dry before rolling it up. However, the reality is that often the awning can still be damp from morning condensation or rain when pack-up time comes around.
The most important thing is that you pull out the awning as soon as you can and allow it to dry if you do need to roll it away while it’s still damp.
DON’T Use Bleach to Clean Mould
Although many people think that bleach is the best thing to kill mould, that is actually a myth.
Bleach will work against the surface mould and strip its colour, giving the illusion of the mould being cleaned. However, bleach will not get through to the membrane underneath, which is essential for permanently killing the mould.
In addition, bleach actually encourages further mould growth as the mould will see the bleach as an attack and come back even stronger.
Using Vinegar to Clean Awning Mould
White vinegar, which can be found in any supermarket, is the best product for cleaning caravan awning mould. Vinegar contains a mild acid, which is effective in killing around 82% of different mould types.
The biggest benefit of vinegar is that it’s completely natural and safe to use as a cleaner and non-toxic around kids and pets.
Some people like to dilute vinegar with water to clean mould, however, since it already contains 90 – 95% water, I’m of the belief that stronger is better when tackling mould spores.
Cleaning Mould from a Caravan Awning:
- CLEAN awning with water and soft bristle broom
- ENSURE awning is completely dry
- FILL a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar
- SPRAY the mould-affected area
- LET the vinegar sit for 1 hour
- SCRUB the mouldy area with a brush (to break up the mould)
- CLEAN the awning with warm water to rinse all vinegar & mould off
- SPRAY with more vinegar
- ALLOW the awning to dry completely before rolling away