Otter Creek Awnings

Awning Care & Cleaning and How to Remove your Valance

In Vermont, spring and fall weather bring seasonal chores! Here at Otter Creek Awnings, it means a fond farewell to another season and the opportunity to connect with our customers who call to inquire about the care of their awning.

Awnings do not require a lot of maintenance; they are more or less a worry-free product and Otter Creek Awnings are the best of the best. Yet even the most durable materials can benefit from a little care and attention, enhancing appearance and extending the lifetime of the product:


The first of spring and fall are the best times to clean an awning.  Here are some great tips to keep your awning looking like new:

  • Don’t wait until awning is too dirty to clean. Even on mildew-resistant fabric, mildew can grow on accumulated dirt or foreign materials, which will eventually stain the fabric.
  • Wash the awning by brushing lightly with a cloth or soft brush.  Adding a lot of pressure will weaken the fabric.
  • Use a solution of lukewarm water (at least a gallon) and non-detergent soap like Ivory or Dreft, found in the supermarket. IF your awning is made from Sunbrella fabric like Otter Creek’s Awnings, you can add 1 cup of bleach to the solution to kill mildew.  Sunbrella is a color-fast fabric and can handle 100% bleach (don’t worry, we’ve tested this ourselves).  For stubborn stains you can use Tilex or Oxi Clean.
  • Do not overlook small rips or tears. Usually they can be handled on site with a repair tape manufactured specifically for different types of fabric.  We have some available for purchase in our showroom.
  • Wipe down the frame and hood with a sponge and some Simple Green or a similar solution (a rough sponge or detergent may scratch the surface).


Remove the valance of the awning in the fall and store it for the winter so it does not get weather beaten.
Here are the steps to remove the valance:

  • use a screwdriver to take off the plastic end cap of the front bar.
  • Loosen the fabric lock screws inside the track on each end of the valance, (these look like a little bullet) using a screwdriver or an allen wrench/hex key depending on the type of screw.
  • Slide the valance out of the track and roll it up.  Do NOT fold the valance as the small pvc piping will bend and make it hard to slide it back in when springtime come.
  •  In addition, do NOT remove the pvc piping from the hem of the valance. The piping is much harder to get back into the valance than one would think.
  • Be sure to replace the end caps and store the screws (bullet-like screw) from the track in a safe place.
  • Finally, store your valance in a dry place such as your garage, basement or attack for spring.

Additional tips to help preserve the life of your awning:

  • Hose awning down occasionally with a garden hose on a hot summer day (be sure it is dry again before you retract it).  Do NOT use a power washer as it will stretch the fabric creating pockets.
  • Keep the underside of awning free from spiders, cobwebs, and bird nests. Simply brush them away with a household broom.
  • Keep shrubbery and vines away from awnings since many bushes contain an acid that can be harmful to fabric.
  • Do not allow water to stand on awning as it could cause the fabric to stretch.

If you have other questions or if you would like information about professional awning cleaning, give Otter Creek Awnings a call at 802-864-3009 or 888-284-4680.