How to Clean A Canvas Gazebo Canopy in 4 Steps

By   | Last Updated :   September 9, 2021 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

Dust, grime, pollen, tree sap, rainwater, mould, and mildew—almost everything can make your canvas gazebo canopy dirty.

But replacing the canvas isn’t your only option. You can clean it once or twice a year to keep it looking almost as good as new.

You don’t need fancy equipment and cleaning supplies. A mild detergent, vinegar, soft brush, and water are often enough. So, pick a warm and sunny day and start cleaning!

How to clean a canvas gazebo canopy the easy way

Gather all your essential supplies—mild detergent, a soft brush, nylon scrubber, and water bucket. Next, follow this easy step-by-step guide.

Step 1 – Prepare a soapy solution

Pour warm water into a bucket and add a mild detergent to it. The dirtier the canvas, the stronger the soap solution should be. Stir the solution till it begins to lather.

Step 2 – Brush the canopy

Dip a soft brush into the solution and use it to clean the canopy. Start by gently scrubbing all dirt and stains.

Be careful around the stitches. Aggressive brushing can damage them and cause leakage.

Step 3 – Scrub stubborn stains

If the stains are stubborn, use a nylon scrub to clean them. Scrub in a circular motion so you don’t damage the canvas.

Let the solution sit for a few minutes before you wash it off. Repeat the scrubbing several times until you get rid of all stains.

Step 4 – Rinse and dry

When you’ve finished cleaning, rinse the soap residue well. You can use a garden hose for this.

Important: Let the canvas canopy dry completely in the sun. This will also keep mould and mildew from growing on the canvas.

How to clean a non-canvas gazebo canopy

Canvas isn’t the only fabric used for gazebo canopies. Other popular materials include polyester, vinyl, and acrylic. All these different materials have different cleaning routines. But don’t worry, none are hard.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Polyester canopy

Polyester is durable and water-resistant, making it an ideal choice for gazebo canopies. To clean it, you will need a mild laundry soap and a brush for scrubbing.

Begin by scrubbing all surface dirt and debris. You can also use a solution of vinegar and water to clean the stains.

Tip: Brush well but be careful not to damage the fabric.

Vinyl-Coated canopy

Vinyl-coated canopies are made of canvas laminated with vinyl. They can be easily cleaned with warm, soapy water. Simply dip a soft cloth in the soapy water and wipe the fabric.

Tip: For tough stains, use a mix of 10% bleach and 90% water. But test this mix over a smaller area before to make sure it doesn’t discolour the fabric.

Acrylic canopy

Acrylic canopies are made of weather-resistant synthetic fabric. This fabric is one of the easiest materials to clean.

Begin by brushing off any loose dirt. Then use a laundry detergent to treat heavy stains. Allow the canopy to dry before using it again.

How to remove mildew from a gazebo canopy

mildewed canopy

Don’t let unsightly mildew creep up on your gazebo. Credit: Shutterstock

Mould and mildew can creep up on your gazebo canopy, especially if you live in a humid climate. Even lack of sunlight can encourage their growth.  But you don’t have to make peace with these unsightly spores. There are quick and efficient ways to get rid of them.

Step 1 – Scrape the spores

Use a stiff-bristle brush to scrape away loose mould and mildew. Do this in an open area to avoid spreading the spores.

Step 2 – Mix a cleaning solution

Pour some lukewarm water into a bucket. To this, add a cup of chlorine bleach and one-quarter of a cup of laundry detergent.

Step 3 – Scrub off stains

Apply the cleaning solution over the mildewed area with a rag or sponge. Scrub the canopy thoroughly.

Let the solution sit for a few minutes. Then scrub the tough stains with the brush.

Step 4 – Rinse and dry

When you’re happy with the cleaning, rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove all residue. Let the canopy dry in a sunny place.

How to clean gazebo covers

Your gazebo cover, whether canvas or vinyl-coated, can gather dirt and debris over months of use. To keep it looking good season after season, you’ll have to clean it. Not eventually, but regularly!

Step 1 – Prepare your cover for cleaning

Before you get into the actual cleaning, take a good look at your cover. Check for any damage (rips or tears) in the fabric and fix them first.

Next, use a soft brush and remove all build-ups of dirt, grime, or muck. Flip the cover and brush the underside, too.

Step 2 – Scrub the cover

Prepare a cleaning solution using warm water, some vinegar, and bleach-free detergent. With a rag, apply this solution to the cover and begin scrubbing.

Avoid using a stiff-bristled brush. It can scratch the fabric and cause leaks.

Step 3 – Rinse and air-dry the cover

Now, rinse both sides of your cover with water. Make sure no soapy residue remains.

When you’re finished, let the cover air-dry before storing it away.

How to wash gazebo covers

You can also machine wash gazebo covers if that’s easier for you. But don’t just throw them into the washing machine. Follow the steps below.

Step 1 – Inspect your cover

Before you machine wash your gazebo cover, inspect it well. Look for any rips in the fabric and repair them. Clean mould, mildew, and surface grime.

Make sure the fabric is safe for machine washing. Also, check that your washing machine has enough room to spin the cover. You don’t want to throw in any extra clothes.

Step 2 – Wash the cover

Use cold water for machine washing. Pour your regular detergent and a cup of white vinegar for extra cleaning.

Important: Avoid using bleach as it can stain most fabrics.

Step 3 – Air-dry the cover

After washing, it’s best to air-dry the cover. Using the dryer can shrink the fabric, making it difficult to put back on your gazebo.

Make sure the fabric has dried completely to keep mould and mildew from attacking it again.

How to clean a gazebo

While your gazebo canopy and cover are drying in the sun, why not clean your gazebo? You’ll enjoy it all the more after.

Step 1 – Clean the gazebo frame

Begin by cleaning your gazebo frames and stakes. Use a soapy solution and scrub them well with a rag or sponge.

Make sure to rinse and dry all the metal components.

Step 2 – Clean the interior

Look for pollen, dirt, and grime in the gazebo. Scrub the floor with a mild soap. Avoid using any fragrant soap as it may attract bugs.

Remove cobwebs with a long-handled broom. Check for wasps and other insect nests and remove them too.

Step 3 – Fix any damage

Scrape old paint off the poles and posts and repaint them.

Look for signs of cracks and splits in the framework and fill them with metal or wood putty. Yes, it’s going to take a bit of time, but not only will it make your gazebo look better, it’ll last longer too.

Keep your gazebo fresh

A gazebo in your garden is a serene place for you to unwind. But being exposed to the elements all day, it can gather dust, grime, pollen, mildew, and more. In other words, it can start looking old and weary after a while. Inhaling pollen can cause nasal congestion and irritation. Spores can cause fungal infections. Even dust particles can make your eyes feel dry.

Clean your gazebo every six months to keep it clean and fresh. A clean gazebo is also a healthy gazebo.

In the end, by keeping your gazebo fresh and clean, you will keep yourself and your family healthy.


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