Rihanna may have told you to stand under her umbrella (ella ella eh eh), but she didn’t give any hints on how to keep it clean over the summer. Now that it’s getting warmer, your family is starting to spend more time outdoors entertaining guests and lounging around in the sun. While you’re soaking up the rays, your umbrella is taking a beating from the elements. Take time to clean your patio umbrella on a regular basis to keep it looking brand new throughout the season.
First, check to see if your canopy is attached to your umbrella staff. Most umbrellas make regular maintenance easy with detachable canopies. If you can detach it, spread the canopy out over a protective surface like a blanket or tarp and get ready for some cleaning. If the canopy is attached, carefully open the umbrella and lay it down on the protective surface.
Next, spray your umbrella down with your outdoor hose. If you don’t have access to a hose, take your umbrella to a ‘do-it-yourself’ car wash and use their water pressure washer. Even if you do have access to a hose, using the car wash water pressure hose is fun. It feels like cleaning with super powers plus seeing people’s facial expressions as you bust out your umbrella is priceless. This is the easiest and fastest way to loosen dust and dirt.
Replace your abrasive cleaners with mild soap or laundry detergents. Harsh cleaners can destroy the finish of your umbrella. Using mild, warm, soapy water, scrub each section. Give the stained spots and places where your local birds did target practice some extra elbow grease. If you’re washing at a car wash, use the brush to scrub down each section directly. When you’re done, spray your umbrella down again with the hose or pressure washer to rinse off the soapy residue. Consider an outdoor furniture protectant that will help repel water and protect against sun damage. Apply the solution as directed.
After re-attaching your canopy to the umbrella base, reposition it in the base and let the sun do its job. If you washed your umbrella at a car wash, you’ve now discovered the challenge – getting your soaked umbrella back home without creating a mess. Carefully wrap it up with the tarp or blanket and place it back in your vehicle. Now would be a good time to say that if you’re planning on taking your umbrella to the car wash, it might be a good idea to use your phone-a-friend option for some help.