How to spotlessly clean your outdoor patio umbrella

From tropical rainstorms to Midwestern winters, bad weather is unpredictable; however, we deal with it from time to time. When bad weather strikes, you want your outdoor furnishings to be protected from the external elements, especially your outdoor patio umbrella. Be it aluminum, fiberglass or wood, clearing the dust and debris build up on a periodical basis is highly important. Cleaning and maintaining your patio umbrella appropriately will lengthen its usefulness for years; here are some tips on them.

Taking apart your patio umbrella

  • Remove the canopy fabric from the umbrella, simply unscrew the top of the umbrella and the fabric will slip off, this can be done in as little as a few minutes.
  • Irrespective of the type of umbrella you use, (auto-tilt umbrella or push-button tilt umbrella) this can be given a DIY approach. Make sure that you don't let the umbrella touch the ground directly, lay it down on a protective surface.
  • Drive the pin that holds the umbrella to the upper pole with the help of a screwdriver to take apart the umbrella from the pole. While performing this act, secure the top section, by having someone hold to prevent falling over.
  • Now lift it to set the outdoor patio umbrella to the side. Now that you are done, you can clean it without restraint.


  • Rinse the canopy down to slacken off dust, dirt and stain.
  • Make use of mild soap and scrub lightly all over the umbrella, paying attention to stains.
  • Rinse again thoroughly to take off all soap residues.
  • To clean the Sunbrella canopy fabric you can use upholstery cleaner such as resolve. However, for best cleaning results, it is highly recommended that you clean the stain as soon as they occur. Tough stains will have need of professional cleaning. When you are done cleaning with the commercial cleaner, rinse the fabric thoroughly with plain water.
  • Set it back into its base and let it dry naturally

Tips and Warnings:

  • Depending on the canopy fabric, there are chances for the exterior coating on an umbrella to fade and wear out if you use harsh detergents, so it is highly suggested that you stick with a gentle cleanser. In case, if your umbrella is covered with green mold and mildew, then consider using some light bleaching agent.
  • In view of the fact, that some canopies are machine washable and some are not, always check, you can confirm this by reading the manual. If not, you will end up damaging the fabric. If it is machine washable, always start with the lowest setting, seeing that most machines are powerful enough to cause damage to sensitive fabric.
  • For tough stains, soak the canopy in warm water (do not use hot water, use warm to lukewarm water) and scrub them to remove dirt if any and repeat the process if necessary.
  • Note: in order to ensure that the umbrella canopy color is not affected, do a patch test on an unnoticed swatch of material on the inside of the umbrella first. Read the manual to remove the material and replace it.

From the finial to the base, clean all parts of the umbrella and imperatively make sure that you store them right when they are not in use.

An outdoor umbrella as such is designed to combat outdoor elements, including blazing sunlight, harsh winds, rain and dust, but periodical cleaning and maintenance is what makes them look appealing even after years of usage. When you fail to do that, they deteriorate significantly over time. Take time and follow the above instructions to keep your patio umbrella looking new and vibrant all season.

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