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Can You Use A Magic Eraser To Clean Your RV Awning?

This post was updated on May 11th, 2024

RV awning

Use A Magic Eraser To Clean Your Awning

RV awnings will give you a patch of shade wherever you go. But these awnings are exposed to the elements, and they get dirty just like everything else. Sometimes it may be daunting to clean them because you’re not sure what will and won’t work. For example, will a Magic Eraser be effective?

Yes, you can absolutely use a Magic Eraser to clean an RV awning! This is one of the most common tools that RVers use to keep their awnings clean and fresh. The cleaning process is quite simple, and you don’t need a lot of supplies to get it done. The only downside is that a Magic Eraser probably won’t be enough to budge tough stains like tree sap.

The Magic Eraser really lives up to its name when you use it for an awning. It’s so easy and effective, it’s almost like magic! Of course, there are other things you can use to clean the awning if you don’t want to use this product. We’ll cover the basics of using a Magic Eraser below, as well as an alternative cleaning method for those who need it.

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Pre-Cleaning prep

Before you actually start scrubbing the awning, you’ll need to do a bit of prep work to make the whole process easier. Most awnings just have a little bit of buildup that’s pretty easy to wash away. But sometimes they have stubborn stains that require some extra elbow grease.

Gather supplies

First things first, you’ll need to gather your cleaning supplies so that everything is within easy reach. If you plan to use a Magic Eraser as your main tool, the supplies you need include:

  • Magic Eraser (The mop or cleaning pads work best for awnings)
  • A hose
  • A bucket
  • Clean towels

If you want to go for an alternative route, the supplies include:

  • A hose
  • A bucket
  • A bristle brush (for acrylic awnings) or a sponge (for vinyl awnings)
  • Gloves
  • An awning-specific cleaner
  • Clean towels

We’ll get more in-depth about the different types of cleaners you can use below, but this is the basic equipment you’ll need. Depending on your awning setup, you might also need a small ladder to be able to reach the top. Just make sure you have someone who can spot you/keep the ladder steady.

Lower awning

Next up, it’s time to prepare the awning for its cleaning. With most RVs, you can fully extend the awning and tilt it downward so it’s easy to reach the top. In other cases, you may need to use a ladder to access the top.

Finally, you can detatch the awning from its supports and lay it out on the ground, but try to avoid this if possible. Putting the awning on the ground usually just makes it more dirty, and it’s a hassle to pull it off and on. Give the awning a quick sweep with a broom to remove loose debris, then get ready to start cleaning!

Treat tough stains first

A Magic Eraser usually does a great job of removing dirt and other debris from the awning. However, it isn’t always powerful enough to dislodge the tougher stains. Tree sap is one of the most annoying substances RV owners deal with, and a Magic Eraser usually can’t treat this by itself.

For this reason, you may need to spot-treat stubborn stains before you clean the rest of the awning. Soak the stains with a strong, awning-specific cleaner to loosen them up.

A good option is the Camco 41024 Pro-Strength Awning Cleaner. Apply a generous amount to the stain and let it sit for at least five minutes. Then you can scrub it away with a sponge or washcloth.

This prep work should get the worst of it, and the Magic Eraser can take care of the rest!

How to clean Your RV Awning with a magic eraser

Now that the awning is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to pull out the star of the show. You can decide what type of Magic Eraser to use, but most RVers prefer to use the mop format because it has a long handle and gives you better reach. You can also use the cleaning pads, but it will require more work.

Begin by spraying the awning with the hose and allowing it to soak for a few minutes. This should wash away the majority of the dirt, pollen, bird poop, and anything else that may be stuck to the awning. Once everything has been loosened up, pull out the Magic Eraser and dip it in the bucket of water. You can add a gentle cleaner like Dawn dish soap to the bucket if you want, but the eraser usually does a fine job all on its own.

Wring out excess moisture from the eraser, then just wipe it across the surface of the awning. You can use any pattern you want, as long as you cover every part of the awning. Moving from top to bottom is usually good though because it prevents dirty water from running over the clean parts.

If the Magic Eraser starts to falter, just dip it back into the bucket, wring it out, and repeat the process as many times as necessary. You can usually clean the awning in just a few minutes with this tactic!

Once you’re satisfied with the level of cleanliness, use the hose to rinse away any leftover soap. Leave the awning out to dry and pack away your cleaning supplies for another day. If you want to speed up the drying process, use some clean towels to wipe off the excess moisture. Just remember that the awning must be completely dry before you roll it up again!

How to clean your awning without a magic eraser

A Magic Eraser makes the cleaning process quite easy, but you can also clean your awning with other products if you need to. Follow all the prep steps listed above and spray the awning with water from the hose.

Now you’ll need to select a good cleaning product. If you can, try to avoid harsh cleaners and products that use bleach. These can sometimes stain or damage the material of your awning and will cause more harm than good. Luckily, there are plenty of commercial cleaners that are safe for a variety of surfaces and materials, including awnings.

Some good alternatives to a Magic Eraser include:

You can also use general cleaners like dish soap or vinegar and baking soda. As long as it’s not corrosive, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing an awning cleaner.

Apply your product of choice to the damp awning and let it sit for at least five minutes (or as long as the directions advise). Then you can use a bristle brush or a sponge to scrub the canvas and remove any lingering stains. Use a bristle brush is you have an acrylic awning and a sponge/soft cloth if you have a vinyl awning.

Now you can rinse the awning again and let it dry, just like the method above. Once the canvas is fully dry, you may also want to apply a waterproofing treatment in case you stripped away some of the built-in protection during your cleaning. Look up the type of awning you have to see if this step is necessary.

Track your RV maintenance

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.

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3 thoughts on “Can You Use A Magic Eraser To Clean Your RV Awning?”

  1. We just did this a couple of weeks ago, and it worked great. Went over it two times. First to scrub it, then the second time to rinse it off.

  2. It’s a product made by Mr Clean. Like a sponge but a white microfiber. They tend to shed pieces and are not designed for rough surfaces. Usually come in boxes of 2. Many people use them on interior walls to remove crayon marks.

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