What’s the Easiest Way to Clean an RV Awning?
Camper awnings are notorious for getting moldy and dirty quickly. If you aren’t diligent about airing out the awning on your RV, trailer, camper, van, or pop-up camper it may grow mold every year. A lot of people don’t know this about their awnings and often when you buy a used RV the awning will be covered in mold and mildew and will need a good scrub combined with RV awning cleaner or even replacing.
When we bought our first trailer it’s awning was black from mold so it needed to be sprayed with awning cleaner like the ones on this list and also scrubbed. Scrubbing a trailer awning is a lot of work and very tiresome, but if your camper awning has gotten to that point it needs to be done.
The good news once your awning is clean you will only need to soak it with RV awning cleaner when it starts to get dirty and then spray it off. If you don’t let it get too dirty cleaning an RV awning is easy, especially with a good cleaner. I’m going to review some of the best RV awning cleaners around that you can use to keep your awning looking fresh and clean.
I’ve also included some products you can spray on after cleaning that help stop mold to keep your campers canopy mold-free even longer.
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RV Awning Cleaner Reviews and Info
The Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover+Cleaner is one of the most effective marine/outdoor upholstery, vinyl, and acrylic fabric cleaners on the market today. If you have a nasty RV awning, tent, boat, or pop-up tent that needs some serious help Star Brite is your best choice.
Their formula is powerful and for most mold and mildew stains you only need to spray on the awning cleaner and let it sit until the mold and stains start to disappear. Once gone you just spray it off. If there are still a few extra tough stains you may need to apply a second coat and do a bit of scrubbing but for the most part Star Brite cleaner makes cleaning a camper awning sweat-free.
Now you don’t get these kinds of results without some heavy-duty chemicals and this RV awning cleaner is not going to be safe to use on your lawn or around plants. It is also recommended to wear safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing when using it. I would especially wear safety glasses because you will be spraying upwards when cleaning your camper’s awning.
Star Brite is safe to use on camper awnings, fiberglass, wood, concrete, drywall, siding, tile, grout, roofs, vinyl upholstery, most acrylic fabrics, and other moldy surfaces. Because there is some bleach in the RV awning cleaner make sure you test a small area of fabric, to see if any discoloration happens before applying all over.
Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover+Cleaner is made in America and is one of the best mold and mildew cleaners on the market today. For especially difficult camper awnings and pop-up camper mold that reoccurs often, you can use their effective mildew blocker to stop the future growth of mildew and mold.
- Cleans & Removes Stains at the Same Time.
- Easy Spray-On & Rinse-Off
- Works on Multi-Surfaces Including Acrylic Fabric
- Works Inside and Outside
Duragloss Marine & RV Cleaner is another powerful mold and mildew remover to revive and clean even the moldiest of camper awnings. All you have to do is spray it on, wait 1-2 minutes, then rinse off. This stuff has some strong chemicals in it so don’t let it sit longer than 2 minutes at a time as it may begin to break down stitching on your RV awning. You can spray and rinse multiple times until the mold, dirt, and mildew are gone.
For extra tough spots, you can use a brush or sponge to remove deep stains. Because this contains bleach and strong surfactants use eye protection, gloves, and protective clothing when you use it. It may damage plants and kill grass so don’t use it on the front lawn, backyard, or near water like rivers, lakes, and streams.
You can use this RV awning cleaner on almost any non-porous surface like fiberglass and vinyl. It is recommended to keep the cleaner away from polished aluminum surfaces as it can dull the aluminum.
Duragloss Marine & RV Cleaner is another great option for surfaces that get moldy and stained often. You can use it during your yearly RV cleaning to keep your camper awning looking new. It will also work to keep away mold on pop-up campers inside and outside.
- Easy Spray-On & Rinse-Off
- Cleans & Removes Stains at the Same Time
- Works Inside and Outside
The Camco RV awning cleaner is a great option for those who have an awning that is a little bit moldy but not so much that they need super strong chemicals to get the job done. That being said this RV awning cleaner does contain hazardous chemicals and safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing should be worn when using it.
Unlike some of the other cleaners on this list, the Camco RV awning cleaner does not have the mildew stain remover and black streak remover mixed in. If you want those you need to buy and apply the black streak remover and mildew stain remover separately.
To apply you first need to spray off your camper’s awning to remove any dirt. Mix 4 oz of the RV awning cleaner with 1 gallon of water and use a sponge or soft brush to apply the cleaner. Do small sections of the camper awning at a time and rinse immediately after. Do not allow the product to dry.
Sometimes you need to scrub your camper awning no matter how strong the chemicals are and the Camco RV Awning Cleaner is a fantastic option for that. It also works great on pop-up campers and even tents. It’s also a little more affordable than other kinds of RV awning cleaners and a good product to include in your regular RV or trailer cleaning schedule.
- RV Awning Specific
- Not Too Harsh for Tent Fabric
The 30 Second Cleaner is known for its fast results and ability to clean more surfaces than most other mold and mildew cleaning products. It’s designed to hold better on suspended surfaces like camper awnings and it is safe to use around plants and lawns.
There are a few of the 30 Second Cleaner’s products you could use to clean your camper’s awning but the Outdoor Multi-Surface is the most effective and very easy to use. Simply mix one part concentrate with one part water and spray down your RV or trailer’s awning. Let it sit for up to 3 minutes then spray it off with a hose. You can even do this safely on your driveway because the 30 Second Cleaner is not harmful to lawns. You can reapply and brush extra-tough mold and mildew stains as needed.
30 Second Cleaner does contain a small amount of bleach but there are no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and it will be safer to use than other harsher RV awning cleaners.
When it says multi-surface it means it. This cleaner can be used on almost anything. From metal, plastic, cloth, painted, and fiberglass surfaces. To wood, composite, concrete, bricks, tile, and asphalt. It’s great for RV and homeowners and not only eliminates but also removes stains from algae, mold, and mildew.
The 30 Seconds Outdoor Multi-Surface Cleaner is a perfect choice for those who don’t want to use harsh, hazardous chemicals when cleaning their camper’s awning. If you have a very moldy dirty surface it may take a little more scrubbing than the stronger cleaners but it’s not going to kill your lawn which is a definite pro.
- Lawn and Plant Safe
- No VOC’s
- Can Be Used On A Large Number of Surfaces
- Easy Spray-On & Rinse-Off
The 303 Products Multi-Surface Cleaner is for making awning fabrics and surfaces look shiny and new again. It’s more of a cleaner and a polisher. If your camping awing has old deeply rooted mold growing on it you will need a stronger cleaner like the Shine Brite. But if you have some new mold growing or are maintaining your awning this is going to be an excellent choice.
For RV or travel trailer owners this is going to be the ultimate cleaner because it can be used on fabrics, vinyl, and even metal. It also helps guard against UV rays. You can clean your awning, camping chairs, grill, and the outside of your trailer or RV with one chemical.
To use simply spray it on and gently scrub with a brush or sponge. Once the cleaner has dried spray it off with a hose and you will be left with a better looking surface.
The 303 Products Multi-Surface Cleaner is multi-purpose and makes RV awnings look new again. It a great way to maintain an awning once you’ve put all the work into cleaning it. It’s safe for metals which is usually not the case with cleaners and can even be used to polish stainless steel or clean rubber. This is the ultimate RVers multi-surface cleaner.
- Can Be Used on Shiny Metals
- Brightens Awnings to Look New Again
Wet & Forget is a little different than your standard RV awning cleaner. Like the name states all you are required to do is spray it on the dirty moldy surface and you’re done. It contains no bleach and is biodegradable, which is very uncommon in mold and mildew removers.
I love the idea of being able to spray on a clean then just leave it but if your camper awning is dirty and moldy you may want to rinse it off at least once to remove the loosened grime. The Wet & Forget cleaner is perfect for maintaining already clean or new RV awnings. If you spray it one once or twice a year you will have no problems with mold and you won’t ever have scrub or heavily clean your awning.
If you are looking for a mild cleaner free from harsh chemicals and bleaches then the Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner is your best option. After all the easiest way to clean your camper awning is to not let it get moldy in the first place. Just spray this on every once in a while and your RV awning will be worry-free and just like new for years to come.
- Perfect Awning Maintainer
- No Rinse Required
- Comes Ready to Spray
There is nothing more frustrating than buying a mold remover that just doesn’t work. You end up spending all day scrubbing to remove the mold and it just comes back because the RV awning cleaner you bought doesn’t actually kill mold. Star Brite has made a cleaner that works and is so powerful it requires minimal or no scrubbing and brushing.
Star Brite is my number one choice because I’m guessing your awning is looking pretty bleak like mine did when I bought my travel trailer. At first, I tried just a bleach and water mixture and a day of scrubbing but the stains were still there. After that frustrating day, I decided it needed something more powerful and I turned to Star Brite. My awning looks fresh and new again and scrubbing was not necessary.
After using a mold killer like Star Brite and your camper awning is looking new again using less harsh options like the Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner to maintain the awning will keep it mold-free forever.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an awning?
Awnings are the vinyl or canvas shade structures that are normally placed over windows, doors, and patios. Almost every travel trailer and RV has one and they are used to create a large shaded area outside the door of the camper. Awnings that extend over slide-outs are becoming more popular and large trailers and RV’s will often have multiple awnings that cover the entire door side of the camper.
How do I use RV awning cleaner?
The best awning cleaners are the kind you spray on, let sit for a minute or two, and spray off. Sometimes camper awnings are very moldy and dirty and sometimes they are so destroyed they need to be replaced. For awnings like these, you may need to do some scrubbing with a soft brush or sponge no matter how strong the awning cleaner is.
Always read the instructions for the specific cleaner and wear safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing when dealing with harsh chemicals like the ones used in RV awning cleaners.
What do I do if my camper’s awning is cracked and has holes in it?
Sometimes a camper’s awning has been neglected so long the mold has eaten through the vinyl and it is beyond repair. The good news is replacing and awnings fabric is easy to do and can be done at home with common tools. To replace your RV awning make sure you measure and buy the correct length.
For more detailed information and a video on how to replace and RV awning check out this article.
Have any more questions about RV awning cleaner? Leave a comment below.