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How to Clean and Maintain Your Folding Arm Awning

Folding arm awnings are a fantastic option for adding value, function, and beauty to your home, and you have finally had yours installed. You are now enjoying all the benefits of your awning and admiring how great it looks on your home in Perth, WA. One thought that may have crossed your mind is how you can keep your awning looking and working like new for longer.

Like any outdoor furniture, outdoor awnings are at the mercy of the weather and the elements. Wind, rain, hail, and the hot Perth, WA summer sun will all take their toll on your awning. Folding arm awnings have a few moving parts, so there is also wear and tear to consider.

Soltex supply awnings created from the highest quality materials, but they are not indestructible, and they can collect dust and debris over time. We are confident you are going to be using your awning as often as possible, so a little care and maintenance from time to time will add years of service life to your investment.

Common Causes of Damage and Wear and Tear on Soltex Folding Arm Awnings

Soltex has been supplying shade solutions to the local Perth, WA community for many years, and over those years, we’ve noticed there are a few common reasons awnings can sustain damage.

Extreme Weather Conditions

Perth, WA is no stranger to wild weather, and balmy summer days can often turn into wild stormy weather. Strong winds and hail can damage even the hardiest of outdoor furniture. When you notice the weather turning foul, the best course of action is to retract your awning to keep it safe from wind and hail. Not only will you protect your awning, but you will also be adding an extra layer of security to your windows.

Pooling Water

Awnings should be extended at a suitable angle to ensure rainfall cannot pool in the fabric. Fully extending your awning will also prevent the material from sagging. Water is quite heavy, and while your Soltex awnings are built sturdy, they are not designed to handle the weight of a few gallons of water.

Heavy Objects

It doesn’t often happen, but there have been a few instances where heavy objects placed on an extended awning have caused damage, either by bending the arms or warping the fabric.

Fire and Heat Damage

If your awnings have been installed close to an outdoor entertainment area with barbeques or
outdoor heating close by, you will want to ensure that there is no chance the fabric can get damaged by the fire or heat. You will also want to check that glowing embers aren’t able to float down onto the extended awning. Always retract your awnings when you’ve got nearby heat sources to prevent any chance of fire or heat damage.

Forceful Movement of the Arms

Improper or forceful movement of the awning arms has also been responsible for a few damages. Always take care to follow the instructions when retracting and extending your awnings.

Preventative Maintenance

Now that you have a good idea about the most common causes of damage, you can take steps to protect your awnings with a little care and maintenance.

Always Retract Your Folding Arm Awning When Not in Use

Retractable awnings should be fully retracted if strong winds are on the way and under no
circumstances should you let water pool in the fabric. Folding arm awnings are designed to work best during calm sunny weather. When they are not in use, retracting them out of harm’s way will ensure you get the maximum life out of them. Don’t hang or attach any objects to the awning arms when they are extended, such as wet washing, cables or lights as these could cause damage.

Regular Cleaning

Like any outdoor furniture, dust and debris can affect the performance and appearance of your folding arm awning. A build-up of salt and dirt on powder-coated metals can reduce their lifespan, especially if you live in a coastal environment. A quick wash with tepid soapy water using a mild, biodegradable detergent and soft bristle brush will ensure your awnings always look their best. Rinse off with clean water when you are finished.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Carefully applying a light spray like WD40 or similar, will ensure a long working life for the moving parts of your folding arm awning. Use only small amounts and be careful not to get any on the fabric as it may stain. If you aren’t comfortable doing this maintenance yourself, a representative from Soltex will be happy to offer you guidance and advice.

Clean the Fabric Regularly

You should remove any dirt from the fabric with a soft, dry brush. If there is ingrained dirt and dust, you can try removing it with the garden hose with light pressure. Be sure that you never use any harsh scrubbing on the fabric as this may cause more damage. If any organic matter falls onto the material, such as grass clippings, leaf litter, or bird droppings, remove it immediately. There are a few leaf species that will stain your fabric if they get wet.

Dealing with Mildew

Clean up any signs of mildew as soon as it appears. Treat it first with diluted chlorine bleach. One-part White King bleach to 4 parts of water will give you a 1% solution that won’t damage the fabric. Gently brush the mildew affected area with the chlorine solution, followed by thorough rinsing with clean water from the hose. Let the awning fully dry before you retract it. To prevent mildew from forming in the first place, you can treat your awnings with a Scotchguard brand Fabric Protector. There are also some wax-based solutions approved for canvas treatments but always be sure to follow the advice provided by Soltex.


At Soltex, we design folding arm awnings that are low maintenance. However, as with all things that feature moving parts, occasional maintenance is necessary to prevent damage and ensure the long life of your units. If your awnings have suffered damaged, need servicing, or you would like professional advice from an experienced team, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.




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