Sunday, March 18, 2012

Things You Need to Clean a Patio Umbrella

Patio umbrellas are created to protect us, our patio furniture sets, and some patio decorations. Though some of these beneficial outdoor items are designed to withstand the torturous sun, rain, wind, and other outdoor elements, they are not completely protected. They somehow break down in a short span. Even the most expensive commercial patio umbrellas will have limited lifetime.

The best thing we can do to extend the life of an outdoor umbrella is proper care and maintenance. And, the biggest part of this regimen is cleaning. Another great benefit of cleaning is to make an item look new which is why we clean things up and usually we do it for a new season and for an expected events such as parties and get-together.

To help you get started cleaning, you need the following items.

  • A long handled brush with soft bristles – The long handle help you clean hard to reach portions especially with a large umbrella. The reason why we need soft bristles is to avoid corrosion on the fabric. What we are going to do is to maintain the good looks and prolong the life of your umbrella, so beware of the brush you use.
  • A bucket of cleaning solution – Helps soften dirt and stains to remove easily. Different types of dirt and stain require different solutions. Solutions will be discussed later in this article.
  • A plastic spray bottle – You will need this for spot cleaning where you need a special solution for hard to remove dirt and stain.  Solutions will be discussed later in this article.
  • Your garden hose with a spray nozzle – This will help you quickly remove surface dirt and solids, and will be the tool for finishing the work.

Now let's get to the action. Cleaning is really easy to do when you have the helpful tools as listed above. Let's do this step by step.

The very first step we need to do is thoroughly spray wet the umbrella canopy. This initially removes dirt from the surface and softens some solids. While still wetting the canopy, use your long handled brush to remove initially sticking dirt and any solids that softens.

If the umbrella is thoroughly wet, it's time to use the soapy cleaning solution. Use your brush to apply the solution and brush gently. The solution will soften the remaining dirt so that it will be easily removed by brushing.

Now to the other side. The inside of the umbrella is not much that dirty so cleaning is easy. Gently brush clean the canopy, umbrella ribs and frame.

Finally, remove all of the suds by spraying it off with clean water thoroughly. It is important to remove completely traces of cleaning solution because it may have affects on the umbrella materials later on. Leave the umbrella fully open to air dry completely. Buff off any water spotting on the frame and ribs with clean soft cloth.

Cleaning Solutions You Can Use:

2 ounces (1/4 cup) mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water.

2oz. dishwashing liquid (or Goo Gone Grease Cutter)
1 Gallon lukewarm water

2 oz. turpentine
2 oz. dishwashing liquid
1 gallon lukewarm water

Pine Oil Detergent, Diluted as directed on packaging.

1 cup Bleach
2 oz. dishwashing liquid
1 gallon lukewarm water

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