The camping holiday is over. Before the awning is stored, it is time to clean the awning. You can read here what needs to be considered, including tips and tricks for cleaning different RV awing materials and stains.
1. Self or professional cleaning?
In the case of stubborn dirt or when a deep cleaning is needed, professional cleaning can be an advantage, especially if the tent then has to be impregnated and sealed again. Basically, everyday cleaning of the awning is simple and can easily be done by yourself.
2. What and when needs to be cleaned?
The rule of thumb is: always after the camping trip or before stowing away everything: floor, tarpaulin, windows, ropes, pegs and any rods that may be present.
In particular, these signs require a little more intensive cleaning:
Green growth (algae, moss, lichen, or other chlorophyll-containing microorganisms growing and spreading over the material)
Mold stains (dark stains caused by moisture damage, which mainly occur when the tent is stored in a damp place; these usually have a musty smell)
Mold (fungi, which often go hand in hand with mold stains and can multiply well in moisture)
Below we show you how.
3. What is the best way to clean your awning?
Cotton, polycotton and fabrics with/without coating
Cotton and polycotton are simply brushed off, if possible without water.
Coated fabrics (PVC, acrylate, PU) are best cleaned with lukewarm water and a cloth or a soft brush so that the coating is not damaged.
For more stubborn stains, a gentle washing-up liquid or a gentle tent cleaner (available in the camping store) diluted with water can be used; However, please note that after using special cleaning agents, a follow-up treatment with impregnating or sealing sprays may be necessary.
Vinegar cleaner can also be used on uncoated fabric.
Green growth, mold stains, mold
There are special removers for green growth: Depending on the extent of the infestation, the agent is concentrated in warm water in different concentrations and is best spread over the entire tent with a spray bottle. It usually takes 24 hours for the entire plaque to die off (recognizable by the brownish color); then everything can be washed away. Most removers offer protection against new soiling after just one application.
The most common agents used to treat mold stains are vinegar-based cleaners, alcohol, or chlorine-based bleach—all of which will damage the coating. Therefore, first try to counteract this with special tent cleaners.
The same applies to mold: fungicides that do not attack the tent fabric are also commercially available.
4. Clean windows, ropes, pegs, poles from awnings
Wiping tent windows with a soft brush and warm water is also sufficient. To avoid streaks, it is best to wipe them dry with a cloth instead of letting them air dry. Never use window cleaner for PVC windows! These could become brittle with regular use.
Poles and cables can also be easily wiped down, it is important that this is completely dry before reassembling/packing away.
Anyone who had to resort to more aggressive cleaning agents (see above) to clean the awning should think about re-impregnating in the event that the tent coating was damaged.
Most waterproofing products are sprayed on or diluted in water and the tent soaked in it; the awning must be dry before treatment. After application, you must allow the material to dry completely and not rinse it off again.
Many manufacturers sell their own impregnation products, which are then best suited for their awnings.
If this is not the case, you have to make sure when buying that the respective agent is suitable for the material of your awning.
6. More tips & tricks for cleaning the awning
When cleaning, always make sure to wash off all soap residue carefully!
Green growth, mould, mildew stains and many other things can be avoided through correct storage:
Always let your awning dry completely after cleaning and before storing it! You need a dry, well-ventilated place for this.
The tent is then best stowed away in a cotton bag in a dry, well-ventilated room; Pack rods separately.
Never use pressure washers or wire brushes for cleaning.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning agents to prevent any damage to your awning. In addition, you can test the product on a small area before use.