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How to Clean RV Awnings in Under 5 Minutes

Published on March 30th, 2019 by Jim Harmer
This post was updated on November 26th, 2021

Owning an RV means that cleaning RV awnings is part of the deal. This RV maintenance can be a chore. But I have a safe and easy way to clean RV awnings under five minutes.

I love sitting out under the awning in my camping chair during the day while watching the kids play. And I love the shade my awning brings. But I don’t like the dirt that my awning collects. This technique for cleaning my awning in under five minutes has changed my life.

How to Clean RV Awnings in Under 5 Minutes

So, how do you clean your RV awning in less than 5 minutes?

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  1. Spray the underside of your awning with a soap and water mixture.
  2. Roll it up let it sit for an hour.
  3. Roll the awning back out, rinse it off
  4. Let it dry.

This is the best way to spend about 5 minutes cleaning RV awnings, and they come out like a brand new, dust-free awning.

The total time for this method takes about an hour. Bu the total time that you actually spend working on it takes about 5 minutes. It’s a great project while cleaning out your RV.

Make sure that you pick a sunny day to clean RV awnings. The whole thing will need the sun to dry it. Rinse off your awning and let it mostly dry before you clean it. Or, just unroll your awning and get started.

Step One: Prepare the RV Awning Cleaner

Find an old spray bottle or sprayer. Make sure that it is cleaned out and then mix together two parts cleaner to eight parts water. You can really use any cleaner that you like.

Some people like to use dish soap when they clean their awnings. It’s a softer soap and they feel more comfortable using it around the paint that is on their RV. Dawn Ultra Dish soap is a popular option. However, there are many different types of soap you can use.

The safest RV awning cleaners include:

  • Camco RV awning cleaner
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap
  • Simple Green
  • Automobile wash
  • Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover

Step Two: Spray the Bottom of Your Awning

After you get your cleaning mixture set up, spray the entire underside of the awning.

Step 3: Roll Up Your Awning

Next, roll up your awning. Let the mixture sit there for about an hour. This works for both automated awnings and manual, retractable awnings.

Step 4: Unroll Your Awning and Rinse it Off

After you have waited an hour, unroll your awning. Use your hose to rinse it off top and back. This shouldn’t take very long. Make sure that you get all of the soap off of the awning.

Step 5: Let the Awning Dry Out

After rinsing your awning, let it stay open. The sun will dry it.

Once your awning is dry, roll it back up. Your camper is ready to go.

Extra Steps To Clean Extra Dirty RV Awnings

If the RV awning hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, try these two steps for stubborn stains.

Extra RV Awning Cleaning Step 1

If you have a vinyl awning then use a soft brush. Be gentle. Don’t scrub off any of the vinyl coating. If you have an acrylic awning then you can use a stiffer brush for those tougher places.

I may use a bleach mixture the first time for really dirty awnings. Let it sit for an hour. Then unroll the awning and use a brush connected to a long pole to scrub the top and the bottom of the awning.

As mentioned above, you will:

  1. Unroll your awning
  2. Spray it down with a 2 part soap 8 part water solution
  3. Roll it back up
  4. Let it sit for an hour
  5. Unroll the awning and rinse it off,
  6. Then let your awning dry.

Extra RV Awning Cleaning Step 2

  1. Reapply your cleaning solution and roll up your awning.
  2. Let your awning sit at least 30 minutes this time. If the awning is really bad you can wait an hour.
  3. Then unroll the awning and rinse it off
  4. Let your RV awning dry.

These two steps take extra time. But once you’ve done it once you shouldn’t have to do it again. The 5-minute cleaning should be all your RV awning needs next time.

I like to do this every fall when I am already cleaning out my RV. This way, I can just spray the awning and clean out the RV while the mixture is sitting. By the time I’m done cleaning it’s time for the awning to be rinsed off.

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3 thoughts on “How to Clean RV Awnings in Under 5 Minutes”

  1. Thanks for this! Is there something I can treat the underside to help resist the stubborn stains I am facing? Seems the vinyl has been compromised by previous owner.

  2. Just read your article. We have LOTS of dawn here, LOL. Can’t wait to try it but rain is predicted here the next 10 days. I’ll let you know what happens when I try it.


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