How to soft wash canvas awnings, canopies & umbrellas (video)

September 27, 2016

How to soft wash canvas awnings and umbrellas (video how-to)

How to soft wash canvas awnings and umbrellas

We've been asked about the best ways to soft wash canvas canopies, awnings and umbrellas to remove green and black staining.


Benz Lightning Cleanze can be used on canvas at a dilution of 10:1 but we only suggest using it as a “rescue” cleaner on old canvas that is in a very bad way.

Click below to watch our how-to video about soft washing canvas


    (Lightning Cleanze is the new name for "Blackwash" mentioned in the video, and Bio Cleanze is the new name for Biocidal Wash)

    Be very careful when soft washing canvas awnings and umbrellas, because ...

    1. Treating canvas could change the colour. A small unseen test patch will tell you what the results will be. It all depends on the condition of the canvas, whether natural or synthetic, and if the material it has a protective coating.

    Quick tip: If the canvas has recently been treated with a good quality protective water-proof coating then it will probably be safe to soft wash it.

    2. Lightning Cleanze could potentially damage natural fibres like cotton and hemp, and could lighten the colouring of non-porous artificial materials. This is especially true if used to regularly maintain canvas.

    Over time stitching and natural canvas fibres may start degrading.

    To reduce the possibility of damaging the canvas, keep the contact time of Lightning Cleanze to a minimum and rinse thoroughly.

    3. Benz Bio Cleanze diluted 40/50:1 is our preferred choice for cleaning canvas canopies, awnings and umbrellas, especially for repeated maintenance treatments.

    Bio Cleanze will take longer to work than Lightning Cleanze. So we suggest treating the canvas, allowing it to activate and dry for up to a couple of hours, then lightly rinsing it.

    Quick tips:
    1) Bio Cleanze does not usually need rinsing. But when treating canvas canopies, awnings and umbrellas we strongly suggest rinsing. This is because rinsing will avert any possibility of diluted Bio Cleanze dripping onto people who sit under the canopy when it's raining. The danger is extremely small but better to be safe than sorry.

    2) If needed, it's a good professional practice to spray canvas with a water-proofing agent following cleaning. Waterproofing agents for canvas are often added during manufacture but tend to wear off over time through natural weathering and repeated cleaning.


    Click here to get more practical soft washing how-to tips

    How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).

    You can order Benz Softwash chemicals & equipment online or by phone:

    GB (England, Scotland, Wales)

    Phone: 0800 70 74 222 


    Ireland and other countries

    Phone: 00353 214 622 978


    Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm

    Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)

    We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,

    Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony

    PS: After completing the first soft wash treatment, put your customer on a "Clean & Maintain" ongoing maintenance programme. Your customers will enjoy a permanently clean property and you will enjoy a steady stream of repeat business.

    This is clearly a win-win arrangement for both customer and contractor.


    Click here to explore the extensive range of Benz softwash cleaning chemicals & equipment

    Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up. Please revisit to read our response.

    Also in Benz Trade Tips

    A simple but highly effective way to get more soft washing customers
    A simple but highly effective way to get more soft washing customers

    November 25, 2022

    After moving to a new home people are emotionally and financially invested in the property. Why is this important for soft washing contractors?

    Click the link on this page to find out ...

    View full article →

    Understanding the complex world of softwash product approvals
    Understanding the legalities of softwash product approvals

    November 18, 2022 2 Comments

    In today's world of "false facts" how can you know which softwash products are legal to use and which are not?

    Click the link on this page to find out ...

    View full article →

    How to keep children and pets safe when soft washing with Benz Bio Cleanze?
    How to keep children and pets safe when soft washing with Benz Bio Cleanze?

    November 11, 2022

    When will paths, patios and drives soft washed with Bio Cleanze be safe for children & animals?

    Click the link on this page to find out ...

    View full article →