How to Clean a Garden Umbrella

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Garden umbrellas can be quite convenient in offering that well-sought shade in the garden. They ensure that you enjoy the warmth of the sun without necessarily getting a sunburn. Not only are they convenient in providing shade in a garden setting the can also be used to provide shade in outdoor patios. Some even say that they are a fashion statement to complete the outdoors décor. The charcoal gray patio umbrellas are particularly a favorite when it comes to making statements.

This means that the Umbrella needs to be kept looking pretty and tidy. For this regular cleaning is essential. So the question begs, how do I clean my Outdoor umbrella without damaging it?

For starters, it is advisable that you clean your garden umbrella regularly. The recommended span between each clean is at least once monthly. However, umbrellas that are placed under trees or shrubs may require cleaning more often because of the dirt and debris that accumulates from the trees.

So, to begin the cleaning process, it is important to note that the canopy and the umbrella stand or base and frame need to be cleaned differently.

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Cleaning the Umbrella Canopy

For non-removable fabric umbrella canopies, move the canopy from the sun into a shaded area so as to prevent the soap from drying up before you complete cleaning it.  

  • Begin by taking the canopy and laying it on a protective surface
  • Then dust off or vacuuming any loose dirt on the canopy. Avoid using a hard bristle brush as this pushes the dirt deeper into the fabric.
  • Next, pour in a quarter cup of laundry detergent into a gallon of luke-warm water.
  • Then use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub the fabric in a circular motion.
  • Leave the detergent on for about fifteen minutes. This will give the detergent enough time to work on and loosen the dirt
  • Eventually, rinse it out thoroughly. It is recommended that you use a hosepipe or sprayer to rinse the canopy
  • Move the umbrella under the sun to allow it completely dry.

For umbrellas with a removable fabric, carefully remove the canopy from the frame, shake it thoroughly to remove any loose dirt and dust. Check the umbrella for any washing and drying instructions. Wash the canopy according to the given instructions and dry accordingly before replacing the canopy on the stand.

Cleaning the Umbrella Frame and stand

The main types of frames found in garden umbrellas are wood and aluminum. The two have different ways of cleaning. However, most umbrellas come with the manufactures instructions on how to clean the frames. These instructions must be adhered to for the longevity of the umbrella.

Wooden frames – usually a mixture of a mild dishwashing detergent and water will do the trick. Dilute the detergent as much as possible then dip a soft cloth inside the water. Squeeze out any excess water.

Next, use the cloth to gently wipe the frame and stand. Then completely rinse out the cloth in clean water and repeat the procedure. You may opt to rinse the material out a second time and wipe the frame again to ensure that all the detergent has been removed. Leave it to dry under the shade.

Aluminum frames – begin by gently removing any surface dirt before using a soft cloth to gently wipe the frames and base with a mild solution of water and dishwashing detergent. Thoroughly rinse the cloth before wiping the frame again to remove any traces of detergent.  

For water spotting or calcium build up, clean by wiping it down with a solution of one part vinegar to nine parts water. Again use a well rinsed out cloth to wipe it down. Ensure all the traces of the solution are rinsed out. Let the frame dry in an airy shaded place.


Because of their nature of being exposed to the outside elements, garden umbrellas accumulate dust, dirt, and other elements. So, if you want to keep your umbrella in tip-top shape, you must ensure that you clean it regularly. This will also ensure that your umbrella lasts longer. And don’t forget to give it a clean before tucking it in for the winter season.


  1. Jennifer Barr says

    good tips

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