You Should Really Be Cleaning The Outdoor Patio Umbrella. Here's How To Do It

Outdoor umbrellas offer a balance of form and function by protecting you from the sun while adding interest to your patio space. Nature can be hard on fabrics — even those specifically made to withstand the elements — so it may be time to clean your umbrella with a few basic supplies you already have around the house.

Not only does cleaning your outdoor patio umbrella make it look nicer, but it can also extend its life. If yours is starting to look dingy, you may feel like you need to replace it. No one wants to relax under a dirty, moldy umbrella. Yuck! Thankfully, in about the amount of time you could spend going to the store to pick out a new umbrella, you can clean the one you have. And by cleaning your existing outdoor patio umbrella, you can keep it out of the landfill while saving money. Here's how to easily clean your patio umbrella.


Start the process of cleaning your outdoor patio umbrella by gathering your supplies. To keep the surrounding area clean and your umbrella from getting grass and mud on it while you wash it, lay out a clean tarp and secure the corners. Then, grab a small hand broom, your water hose, and a clean bucket to make your cleaning solution. In your bucket, combine 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 2 cups each of white vinegar and warm water. Vinegar works well to remove mold without potentially damaging your fabric like bleach would. Lastly, you'll need a standard handheld scrub brush to gently scrub away the debris from your umbrella.

Most umbrella covers can be removed by gently pulling the top pocket of the fabric off the arm of the frame. Remove the cover from all the arms and disconnect any velcro that may help keep the umbrella in place. Lay your umbrella fabric flat on the tarp.


While the umbrella is still dry, remove all loose dirt and debris by gently sweeping it with the broom. Then, thoroughly soak the fabric with your hose. This will help loosen old stubborn dirt and grime. Let the water soak in for about 10 minutes to make scrubbing easier, then grab your handheld scrub brush. Outdoor fabric is tough, and scrub brushes generally have soft bristles, so you can use some elbow grease on those extra dirty spots. Scrub the fabric in small circles from one end of the umbrella to the other. And don't be stingy with your cleaning solution — make sure every area of the fabric comes in contact with the cleanser. Use a drop of dish soap and scrub with water for extra stubborn spots

Once you are finished cleaning your umbrella, allow the solution to sit for about 15 minutes to really let it soak in and loosen any dirt that did not come loose during the scrubbing process. Use the jet setting on your hose end sprayer (if you have one) to thoroughly rinse your umbrella clean of cleanser and filth. Reattach the fabric to the frame and enjoy your "new" patio umbrella.