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Patio Umbrella Care & Maintenance



Caring for and cleaning your patio umbrellas is a simple process and will keep your umbrella looking new throughout the years.

How to Clean a Patio Umbrella

There are two portions to clean on your umbrella, the frame and the cover or sometimes called the canopy..

  1. The frame is comprised of the five main components: Vertical pole, either center pole or offset
    • Runner hub which is the part that moves up and down the vertical pole and holds together the small ribs
    • Top hub, which holds together the top of the long ribs
    • Ribs (usually 8 ribs), which have a long rib connecting to the top hub and a short rib connecting to the runner hub
    • Finial, which is the crown that screws into the top of the patio umbrella

    Whether these components are made of wood, aluminum or plastic, cleaning is basically the same. Each part should be washed down with a clean damp cloth. Or if real dirty use mild soapy water, then wiped down with a clean damp cloth. We don't recommend the use of any harsh or abrasive cleaners, as they may damage the finish of your umbrella frame. If you clean routinely, nothing more than mild soapy water will be necessary.

  2. The umbrella cover - can be cleaned with two suggested methods.

    1. While on the umbrella, open the umbrella and lay down on a clean towel or protective surface, not letting the umbrella cover touch the ground directly. Hose top down. Lightly scrub with a clean cloth and mild, warm soapy water. Rinse again with hose. Stand umbrella back up in base or table and allow to dry before closing umbrella.
    2. Machine Wash - A Commercial Grade (Extra-Large) Washer can be used for deep clearing, such as those in Laundry-mats and hotels. This can be used for Olefin and Sunbrella fabric. Lesser grade fabric may not fair well. Remove umbrella cover from umbrella frame. Put umbrella cover in commercial washer and run atdelicate cycle on cold with mild detergent. Remove umbrella cover and put back on umbrella to dry. DO NOT put into dryer. Once umbrella cover is dry, you may close the umbrella.

    A protective cover for umbrellas will prolong the life of your umbrella and keep it clean a longer period of time. See Protective Umbrella Covers.

Patio Umbrella Maintenance

Your outdoor patio umbrella is designed to provide shade from the sun, not to protect your furniture or you from rainstorms, winds or hurricanes. We know this sounds silly, but the better you maintain and protect your umbrella, the better it can protect and shade you from the sun.

Opening Your Umbrella

Opening an umbrella is not rocket science, but not knowing how can make it frustrating. Most patio umbrellas are designed to sit in deadlock position when fully closed. To properly open your umbrella, slightly push and separate the ribs outward from the center pole, then crank or pull your umbrella open. If you notice your umbrella not opening easily when cranking or pulling the pulley cord, it's because it stuck in deadlock. Deadlock purposeful a design of the umbrella in preventing wind from blowing upwards and opening the umbrella.

Closing Your Umbrella

If with manual or pulley mechanism, slightly pull or push umbrella upwards, remove the brass pin and lower your umbrella down. If with crank, simply crank the opposite direction from opening and lower the umbrella. In both cases, make sure there are no obstructions preventing the umbrella from closing all the way. Once all the way down, push all the ribs towards the center pole to put umbrella in deadlock position.

Bad Weather

When you first think there will be inclement weather, it is always best to close your umbrella or put it away in storage. If just putting your umbrella down, make sure it closes all the way to deadlock position. This is when the umbrella ribs are all the way towards the center pole. Deadlock position keeps the umbrella from blowing open and becoming a furniture missile. If you leave your umbrella out in bad weather, we also recommend a patio umbrella cover. Also, you should always have an patio umbrella base to keep the umbrella stable and secure.

The absolute best way to keep your umbrella looking new and lasting is putting it away when not in use. Store the umbrella upright, not laying it on the ground. Something laying across the umbrella or someone stepping on it could damage the ribs or center pole. Even when storing away an umbrella, a protective cover will keep dust and other debris off of the umbrella.

Check out our huge selection of Patio Umbrellas or maybe a Offset Umbrella is more your style. What ever type you choose please call us at 1-800-310-1525 with your questions.