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  • Writer's pictureOcean Tailors

Say Goodbye to Mildew and Bird Droppings: Tips for Cleaning Your Awning and Boat Canvas


Retractable Awning Valance

Half clean and half dirty Retractable Awning valance white, green and pink striped awning fabric
Retractable Awning Valance, Before and After Cleaning

Mildews & Don’ts

  • Do recognize when mildew and mold appear on your fabrics

  • Don’t ignore it; mold and mildew won’t go away by themselves

  • Do have your items cleaned, or clean them yourself

  • Don’t hesitate to call on us with your questions or concerns

Mildew and mold, which are classified as fungi, are simple microscopic organisms that can thrive anywhere in a warm, moist environment. Mildew refers to a surface fungi, usually appearing as powdery, patches of grey or white. Mold looks fuzzy or slimy, and comes in various colors. Once it appears on your outdoor fabrics, it must be removed or it can cause fabric decomposition and an unhealthy condition. It’s also unsightly! Soil provides the food for this unwanted growth. That’s why we recommend regular fabric cleaning, and storing of items in a dry, well-ventilated area.


Lichens are organisms consisting of fungus and green algae, growing together in a symbiotic relationship. When organic particles such as pollen settle onto the surface of trees or rocks, for example, under the right conditions they can grow into green algae. Add air- or water-borne fungus microorganisms such as mold, and you have a recipe for lichens. Lichens can grow on outdoor fabrics too, as it appears on these awnings, if not regularly maintained. Extra care must be taken to clean items covered with lichen, but with the proper cleaning and post cleaning treatment, great results can be achieved.


Lichen growing on Green Door Awning Fabric with close up of Lichen
What Lichen growing on your Awning fabric may look like

Clean your own Canvas (DIY) Instructions:


If you'd like to clean & retreat your own canvas, there are products & support available for you!

If you have the time and want to make the effort it is doable. If your Awning or Boat fabric is Sunbrella, follow the care and cleaning recommendations listed on their website. Their website is very informative, is updated often and has specific recommendations based upon the type of dirt or stain you want to clean. If you have additional questions call us for assistance.



Let us take care of the dirty work


Cleaning Awning and Boat fabrics may seem fairly basic, but anyone who’s ever tried knows it’s not as easy as it appears.

Ask us about a professional canvas evaluation for repairs and cleaning. The canvas is washed by hand, giving extra attention to stubborn stains. Once the fabric has been air-dried, an application of water repellant with stain, mildew and UV inhibitor protectants, are applied. The methods and procedures used are proven to remove mold, mildew, bird droppings, environmental dirt, and soil that results from everyday use. Your outdoor fabrics can once again look attractive, creating a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere for your enjoyment.





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