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How do I clean a folding arm awning?

To maintain the properties of your awning fabric (solar and thermal protection, UV resistance, waterproofing) and to prolong its life and appearance, some simple cleaning and maintenance habits should be observed. With a well-maintained folding arm awning, you can enjoy your terrace in all seasons, as a real extra room to extend the house.

What should you protect your folding arm awning from?

Thanks to a specific treatment, Dickson fabrics are rot-proof and resistant to dirt. They are however exposed to numerous stresses:

  • Plant debris such as tree leaves, pollen, moss, dust, sand
  • Dirt, greasy pollution residues
  • Bird or insect droppings or urine from small animals...

So don't wait until your fabric is dirty to look after it as it should be.

Clean regularlyClean regularly

Clean your awning regularly

Carry out a simple and quick clean of your awning regularly, ideally once a month during the high season.

Use a broom or vacuum (soft vacuum), to remove dust, small bits of dirt or residue from the awning.

Only work on a completely dry awning! If you brush or rub the dirt on a wet awning, it will become embedded instead of disappearing.

Also clean the box, frame and support parts of your awning with warm soapy water and a soft sponge, then rinse well.

Clean thoroughly once a year

In addition to regular dry cleaning, Dickson recommends a more thorough cleaning of your fabric once a year. Although easy to do, this operation can also be entrusted to a professional as part of a maintenance contract. Don't hesitate to get in touch with your Dickson approved blind manufacturer or the reseller nearest you.

To work safely, always follow these basic rules:

  1. Don't work on windy days
  2. Ensure your safety: use a ladder or stepladder and always place them on a steady surface
  3. Prepare all equipment before the work.

Choose a wind-free, warm and sunny spring day. Above all, keep an eye on the weather, as it will need to remain nice to allow your awning to dry after washing it and restoring its water repellency.

Our expert advice

Before you start, move any furniture or objects that may be under the awning to prevent them getting dirty or wet.

1. Clean the structure of the folding arm awning

Start by cleaning the structure: frame, hinged arms, box etc.

Use a large soft sponge, soft cloth or non-abrasive brush. Clean with soapy water or a diluted household cleaner. When choosing your cleaner, we advise you follow the recommendations in the maintenance and warranty guide for your fabric.

Most importantly, don't use a high-pressure cleaner as this could damage your fabric!

Some tips: Water collects in the channel of the front bar and will run down the sides of the awning. We advise you use buckets to collect the wastewater so that it can be disposed of more easily and to avoid it spreading to your floors. On the other hand, clean wastewater can be reused for the garden.

2. Clean the awning fabric

  • Brushing awning fabric

Use a clean brush or broom to remove sediment: leaves, bird droppings, various dirt. Always brush from top to bottom to remove dirt.

Pay particular attention to the seams of the awning, which must be gently worked over to avoid damaging them.


  • Washing your folding arm awning

Then proceed with the 6-step thorough cleaning process:

1 - Prepare a clean sprayer with TexAktiv Clean, available in a 1 litre sprayer or a 5 litre jerrycan.

2 - Spray the fabric to cover the entire surface evenly, taking care to cross the spray in both directions to coat the entire fabric, which must be thoroughly saturated.

3 - Rub gently, concentrating on the most soiled areas to ensure that the product soaks into the fabric properly. To do this, you can use a soft sponge attached to a broom handle or a soft mop (like a string mop).

4 - Leave for about ten minutes.

5 - Rince the awning with clean water from your hosepipe: the spray must be generous but without pressure, and you should spray the awning with the hose facing upwards: the water will fall like rain on the fabric, not hammer it directly out of the spray.

6 - Allow the fabric to air dry thoroughly.


Waterproof the awning fabric

Finally, the waterproofing power of your awning fabric must be reactivated. Prepare your sprayer with TexAktiv Guard, a product designed to give the fabric all of its technical characteristics: water, stain and UV resistance.

As with the first step, work on a dry awning in good, stable weather.

Spray in misting mode, crossing in a sweeping motion. Soak the entire surface evenly.

Leave to dry and then roll up your fabric. Be careful to only roll up the fabric when it is completely dry. A wet rolled up fabric will not only warp but may also provide a good environment for mould growth.

After a few days of exposure to the sun and heat, the fabric will have recovered all of its waterproofing capacities.

Recommended products for cleaning your folding arm awning

Dickson recommends two products specifically suitable for fabrics for outdoor use (awnings, parasols, upholstery etc.). They are safe for humans and the environment and meet the strictest environmental and safety requirements of European legislation.

Tex Aktiv cleanTex Aktiv clean


Eliminates stains and get rid of bad smells on outdoor fabrics.

Tex Aktiv guardTex Aktiv guard


Protects fabrics from stains and soiling and prevents water and grease from getting in. Its colourless water-repellent effect restores shine.

Some important recommendations for cleaning to extend the life of your folding arm awning

important recommendationsimportant recommendations

1. Clean your awning regularly

2. Waterproof it every year

3. Only work on a completely dry awning

4. Check the weather forecast, which should be reliable and good

5. Never use bleach products

6. Do not use Karcher® type pressure washers


When properly cared for an awning fabric retains its colour brilliance and many properties for a long time, making it an economic investment in the long term, with low maintenance costs and low energy consumption. And what a pleasure it is to relax afterwards in the shade of a spotless awning!

You may also be interested in these expert answers


Pergola or folding-arm awning: compare their advantages


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Choosing the colour of your folding arm awning fabric ?


Creating shade on a patio: all options