How To Clean A Patio Umbrella

green patio umbrella

Patio umbrellas are designed to be incredibly durable, but that does not mean that they should not be looked after. For example, you would certainly want to give the shade-providing construction a clean every now and then.

To freshen up a patio umbrella, you should first remove any loose dirt and treat the stains. A removable cover can be washed in a washing machine; if the fabric cannot be taken off, simply use a hose to rinse the construction.

Below you will find easy-to-follow guides on how to clean your patio umbrella.

How To Clean A Patio Umbrella?

The cleaning process would depend on whether your umbrella has a removable fabric or not.

Cleaning An Umbrella With Removable Fabric

The fabric on your umbrella might have care instructions on its tag (or you can find those on the manufacturer’s website). The following step-by-step guide is suitable for machine-washable fabric umbrellas:

  1. Remove the fabric from the frame.
  2. Give the fabric a shake to remove the loose dirt. Use a soft-bristle brush to get rid of the more stubborn debris.
  3. If there are stains on the fabric, you would want to first treat those. Apply a special stain cleaner or regular laundry soap to the stains.
  4. Gently scrub the area with a brush and leave the solution on the umbrella fabric for the recommended time (usually, you should allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes).
  5. Place the fabric in the washing machine. Use a heavy-duty detergent and cold water.
  6. Leave the cover outdoors to dry.
  7. If you have a washing machine with a center agitator, then the fabric might develop quite a few wrinkles. To get rid of those, you can simply spread the fabric out on a smooth surface and use a steamer or an iron after the cover had dried.
  8. Rub the frame down with a cloth.
  9. Reattach the umbrella cover to the frame.

Cleaning An Umbrella With Attached Fabric

Take note of any care tips that might be mentioned on a tag attached to the fabric.

  1. Move your outdoor umbrella to a shady place and put it on a surface that can be made wet (the driveway might be the perfect location).
  2. Remove the loose dirt with a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner.
  3. To get rid of the stubborn dirt, bird droppings, and any bugs, use a cloth soaked in warm water.
  4. Mix warm water with laundry detergent in a bucket.
  5. Gently scrub the umbrella’s fabric with soapy water in circular motions.
  6. For the stains that can’t be removed with laundry detergent use stain removers (be careful, as the chemicals might change the colors of the cover).
  7. Leave the stain treatment for up to 20 minutes and then use a hose to rinse the umbrella.
  8. Thoroughly rub the frame down with a cloth.
  9. Put the umbrella in the sun and allow it to air-dry (don’t close the construction until it’s completely dry).

Removing Mildew From A Patio Umbrella

Your outdoor umbrella would be prone to mold and mildew growth if you prefer to leave it outside all year round. Mildew can also become an issue if you have stored the patio umbrella away while it was still damp.

To get the mildew off the canvas, you would have to use white vinegar.

  1. Remove the loose dirt with the help of a soft-bristle brush.
  2. Use the same brush to scrub the areas that have been affected by mold and mildew.
  3. Mix warm water and vinegar (1:1) in a bucket.
  4. Dip your brush into the water-vinegar solution and scrub the mildew spots in circular motions (make sure to cover one small area at a time).
  5. Scrub the canvas until all mildew is removed.
  6. Use a hose to thoroughly rinse the umbrella, and leave it to air-dry.

You can follow the same steps to remove green scum.

How to Prevent A Patio Umbrella from Becoming Dirty

  • Use a waterproofing spray on your umbrella – such a product will help repel stains and oils.
  • Periodically, empty the umbrella of standing water.
  • When you don’t need the umbrella, store it away in a dry place (don’t forget to make sure that the actual umbrella is completely dry before putting it in storage).
  • Brush any debris off the umbrella on a regular basis – if dirt, oily leaves, and bird droppings are left on the fabric for too long, they might stain the cover.
  • If it’s possible, try installing the umbrella away from trees.

Final Thoughts

To clean a patio umbrella, all you would have to do is get rid of the dirt, stains, and mold, then rinse the cover, and leave the construction to air-dry.

There are a few tips that you can follow to make sure that your umbrella remains fresh for longer, but you would still have to give the thing a clean at least a few times per year.

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