It's not just you and your family who will appreciate the respite from the sun that awnings create. However, although perching birds may also appreciate these installations, they're more likely to leave their excrement behind as a token of appreciation, which presents a cleaning dilemma. If you've got bird poo on your awnings, find out how to get rid of the problem with the following three methods.
Small areas of bird poo will often disappear with some vigorous brushing. Wait until the poo is dry, or you will simply spread the muck further around the canvas awning. Use an old toothbrush on small spots or a wire household brush to tackle larger deposits. Take care not to inhale the dust created, as bird droppings can carry more than 60 diseases.
Household soap or laundry liquid
You'll often need some household soap or laundry liquid to get rid of stubborn or substantial stains. Brush any dry material off first, then apply warm water to the stain. Get a bar of household soap, dampen the end, and rub it over the stain, creating lather across the entire stain. Leave the rubbed in soap for around half an hour, then rinse with clean water. You may need to repeat the process a couple of times.
Laundry liquid soap can tackle bad stains. Check the care instructions on the canvas before you use any type of detergent, as you'll probably need to use only a mild soap. Again, brush away any dry poo, then dampen the canvas with warm water. Apply the laundry liquid with a trigger spray, and allow the liquid to soak for around 30 minutes. Again, you may need to reapply.
You can only use a pressure washer on some types of canvas, especially thicker, more durable awnings. Check with the supplier before you use these devices to clean awnings or you may damage the material.
Salt and lemon juice
A paste of salt and lemon juice can also get rid of a bird poo stain. The acidity in the mixture will break down the bird droppings, allowing you to rinse them away.
Brush away the loose droppings, then dampen the affected area with warm water. Create a paste with juice from a lemon and salt, and make enough to cover the entire bird poo stain. Leave the paste in the sunshine, and wait until the paste hardens. Finally, rinse away the dried paste, and the stain should also disappear.
Bird poo will leave an unsightly (and sometimes smelly) stain on your canvas awnings. Talk to an awning supplier for more specialist advice about cleaning and maintenance.