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How to Clean
a Patio Umbrella

July 5, 2022

Now that it’s getting warmer, your family is starting to spend more time outdoors entertaining guests and lounging in the sun. While you’re soaking up the rays, your umbrella is taking a beating from the elements. If you want to keep your outdoor area looking good summer after summer, you’ll need to know how to clean a patio umbrella.

We recommend cleaning your patio umbrella about once per month. If your outdoor umbrella is under trees, check it weekly and clean it if needed to prevent stains. Learning how to clean a canvas umbrella or one made with Sunbrella material is straightforward, but wrangling in a 12-foot umbrella may be another story!

How to Clean a Patio Umbrella With a Removable Canopy

Many umbrellas make regular maintenance easy with machine-washable detachable canopies. Check the fabric care tag for any special instructions, then use these tips to get it clean:

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  • Remove the canopy and shake it vigorously outside. Use a nylon brush or vacuum cleaner to remove the rest of the dust and dirt.
  • Rub a little liquid detergent into any stains using your fingers. Let the stain remover work for 15 minutes, then use a nylon brush on stubborn stains.
  • Put your patio umbrella canopy into the washer along with a capful of liquid detergent. Wash the umbrella in cold water on the most gentle cycle.
  • DO NOT put your outdoor umbrella in a dryer! Instead, reassemble the umbrella, open it up, and let it air dry to prevent mold and mildew.

If your outdoor umbrella features a washable canopy, keeping it clean couldn’t be much easier, could it! But what if you have a patio umbrella you can’t throw in the washer? Don’t worry because you can still learn how to clean an outdoor umbrella with only a little more work.

How to Clean an Outdoor Umbrella Without a Removable Canopy

Even if you can’t enlist your washing machine when learning how to clean a patio umbrella, you can still get the job done. And your regular laundry detergent will make an ideal outdoor umbrella cleaner. Here’s how to clean a patio umbrella outdoors:

  • Close the umbrella, remove it from its stand, and lay it on a tarp.
  • Use a ShopVac or nylon brush to remove excess dirt and dust.
  • Spray your umbrella down with a hose.
  • Use liquid detergent to treat stains.
  • Using liquid laundry detergent and warm water, scrub each section and give stains some extra elbow grease.
  • Spray your umbrella to rinse off the soapy residue, re-attach your canopy to the umbrella base, and let the sun do its job.

Consider investing in an outdoor furniture protectant that will help repel water and protect against sun damage. Cleaning your umbrella outside isn’t too much more work. Unless you have mold…

How to Remove Mold and Mildew From a Patio Umbrella

If your outdoor umbrella stays closed for a while and it’s damp, you’ll want to know how to clean outdoor umbrella mold. Mold can be a health hazard, so wear gloves, goggles, and a facemask. All you need is a soft nylon-bristled brush, distilled white vinegar, and water to get rid of mold naturally:

  • Brush off excess dirt and dust from areas with mold or mildew.
  • Mix equal parts of warm water and white vinegar in a container, dip a nylon brush into the solution, and scrub away.
  • Rinse the umbrella with a hose until the water runs clear. Then open the umbrella and let it dry.

A little outdoor preventive protection makes cleaning an umbrella easier for a low-maintenance outdoor space.

When you need to know how to clean an outdoor umbrella or almost anything in your home, you can count on The Maids®. Whether you use our pro housekeeping guides or our popular residential cleaning services, you can enjoy a clean home more often. Get a free online estimate today, and let’s talk cleaning!

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