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Old 05-24-2006, 10:54 PM   #1
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Need Awning Cleaner, Stat!

If you don't help me out, I'm gonna have to spring for 21 feet of new awning. Some GDPO soaked my awning with a canvas waterproofing solution. The outcome is an awning that attracts dirt and smells like the inside of a GP tent. Okay, I admit the smell does evoke some fond memories, but the appearance is ratty and disgusting.

I need an industrial strength degreaser that will cut the oily waterproofing without eating the fabric and etching the aluminum Airstream beneath. Here's what does not work:
(1) Simple Green Degreaser
(2) White Lightening Degreaser

Some left over pink garage floor cleaner worked great on the first six feet; but I ran out, and I don't know what it was.

Ken L
2007 Classic Limited 30 (Sold)
2007Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:32 AM   #2
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I suspect your floor degreaser was a strong alkaline solution, try "Purple Stuff" degreaser, but be careful, I am pretty sure if it hits the clear coat it will most likely etch it. Possibly try a dilute solution in small amounts first.


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Old 05-25-2006, 06:27 AM   #3
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Our awnings tend to spend most of their lives rolled up tightly next to our trailers/ motor homes. How about just opening it up for a few weeks and letting it air out out? We did this with ours and it greatly improved its odor; however the stupid A&E still does not work!
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:01 AM   #4
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You may want to search for the instructions for cleaning Sunbrella fabric. I clean huge sails in my bathtub. Remove and soak in a tub or bathtub with mild soap. Scotch Guard when done.

Good Luck Jim
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:22 PM   #5
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hi kelvan

i agree with ck....let it air may evaporate.

next i'd try dawn dish 50/50 strength with water....use a soft brush to do a foot square area....and rinse. is this works use a soap sprayer to soak the awning....roll it up for a few and rinse.

the cloth is many solvents will damage it.

degreasers are bad for the metal parts....

call zipdee if the dawn doesn't work....

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:06 PM   #6
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I'm looking to buy a new awning for my 68 Overlander. Any suggestions on which brand or company to work with. How about Awning Outpost?
Thanks Bob in Taos NM
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:52 PM   #7
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Potassium Hydroxide; Will it Damage Aluminum

Thanks everyone. I'll try the Dawn shortly, 2Air.
In the meantime, I think the mystery cleaner that worked so well may have been some Marine Clean from POR-15 that was left over from my Willys restoration.

It says it safe of fabrics, but does anyone know if Potassium Hydroxide is safe on aluminum?
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2007Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
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Old 05-28-2006, 10:34 PM   #8
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If it's a Zip Dee you might want to look at this:

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Old 06-22-2006, 07:30 AM   #9
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Try Purple Power from your local Wal-Mart automotive section. Works great removing bugs from the front also.

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Old 06-22-2006, 07:49 AM   #10
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Purple Power

Purple Power and similar products are great cleaners/degreasers, but they are all strong alkalines (sodium or potassium hydroxide solutions). Any metal or painted surface should be wetted first before applying it (you really don't want to use it on paint!) and then it should be rinsed off thoroughly after cleaning. It has etched/discolored the aluminum heads & valve covers on some of my Volvo engines... but nothing that a little polishing won't take care of.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #11
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(Okay, it's an old thread, but there aren't many on cleaning awnings).

ZIP DEE makes an awning cleaner (so I"ve read today), and in another thread with the words "clean" and "awning" there is linked a video on cleaning. There is not quite agreement on products to use, but I will be trying a mild dish soap and CALGON water softener in lukewarm water for the extendable pole brush. Detergents are not recommended, and I would not use the automotive degreasers on acrylic fabric.

Rinsing appears to be of concern. Twice, at a minimum, top and bottom. And the awning left open to dry.

I'd rather wash it several times over a period of days or weeks than use something too strong.


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