We spent a lot of time in the backyard this summer! With our new fire pit and all the bird feeders we added, the patio was a main attraction. Unfortunately, those cute little birds left their droppings all over the place, and the patio umbrella was looking pretty dingy! There was also lots of dirt, dust, and pollen on the umbrella that I didn’t even notice until I started moving it around.
This cleaning project turned out to be much easier than I had expected, and I’ll definitely do this every year before storing it for the winter!
First of all, you’ll want to see if you can remove the cover from the umbrella frame. Mine slipped off the ends, but was attached at the top. If you can remove the canvas, then just throw it in the washing machine! Wash it in cold water, with your normal amount of detergent, and then let it air dry – keep it away from the dryer!
Before you get started, open the umbrella and set it on the lawn on its side. I put a tarp underneath, and it kept all the grass and dirt out of the way. Before using any cleaner or water, take a dry, stiff brush and rub any dirty spots. You can get a lot gunk off of of the surface and can remove any leaves or other debris. You’ll notice quite a bit of dust coming off already! You’ll have to turn the umbrella a couple times to reach every section, but mine wasn’t too hard to handle once it was on the ground.
Next, get out the hose and spray down the umbrella, front and back! Hopefully you can take advantage of a sunny day. :-) If you have a hose attachment that sprays in a stream, you’ll want to use it. Otherwise, stick your thumb over the top of the hose to give it some pressure! You can take the umbrella to a self-serve car wash if you prefer, but be sure to bring a bucket for the wet umbrella on the way home. :-)
Once the umbrella is soaked, grab a stiff brush and a mild cleaner. I used a simple multipurpose spray: 2 tablespoons of castile soap in 2 cups of water – it worked really well! Spray any spots, stains or dirty areas, and give them a good scrub! My umbrella was looking great at this point, but if you have some really dirty spots, then you can use Resolve stain remover. Spray, scrub and let it sit for a few minutes.
Now that the umbrella is clean, you’ll just have to rinse it! Start from the top give it a really thorough rinse! Remember to rinse the back and front sides, making sure there are no suds.
Let your beautiful, clean umbrella dry in the wind and sun, keeping it up until it’s completely dry and then pack it away for the season!
What projects do you need to do before winter?