With winter on our door steps and summer on our minds it might be time to start thinking of how you can bring your outdoor umbrella back to life after being beaten down by nature and all her wonders. Wind, rain, bird droppings, pollen, dirt, leaf residue and pollution, all left untreated can result in unwanted stains or spots of mould begging for attention.
When cleaning your outdoor sun umbrella there are two things to keep in mind. How old the umbrella is, and how frequently the umbrella is in use. The older the umbrella, the more likely that dirt would have worked its way into the acrylic fibres, allowing for the build-up of mould, in which case a deeper clean would be needed. Also, how often you have it open determines the amount of exposure the umbrella will have to such components. If left open for long periods of time where these components can rest atop of the umbrella, once again a deeper and more attentive clean would be needed.
Although a cover bag for the umbrella protects the umbrella while closed and unused, this does not protect the cleanliness of the fabric while the umbrella is used.
To follow is a brief cleaning guide on how to clean your outdoor umbrella and maintain the fabric with what we recommend based on different levels of usage and time available.
General or light cleaning of your outdoor umbrella
To avoid a more vigorous cleaning at the beginning or end of a season, a regular light brush down can remove loose dirt that has found its way atop of the umbrella. This is for those that have the time and use the umbrella frequently throughout the year. This can be done with a soft to medium bristle brush and hose down with fresh water. This should be done with care as to not work dirt into the fabric.
Cleaning your umbrella at the end of summer
If you find that you only really use the umbrella during summer then we recommend that you use either “303 Fabric Cleaner” or a non-detergent soap like Sunlight Soap along with lukewarm water, and work this into the canopy. Allow some time to pass for the solution to soak into the fabric fibres and dirt, then thoroughly rinse out all of the soap and dirt from the umbrella fabric using a hose and soft bristled brush. You can purchase 303 Fabric Cleaner from Shade7.
Once you have cleaned your umbrella and washed any soap or cleaning solutions out, allow time for the umbrella to completely air-dry before putting a cover bag back on.
Re-treating the fabric
Our European made Recasens acrylic canvas fabrics go through what is called an “Infinity Process” when manufactured which gives the fabric enhanced water repellency and also helps to protect the fabric against the build-up of dirt being able to settle into the fabric.
This treatment is designed to last for several years, but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. Shade7 recommends the use of 303 Fabric Guardtm as the preferred re-treatment product for our Recasens acrylic canvas fabrics. Fabrics should be re-treated after thorough cleaning or after three to five years of use as the fabric starts losing some of its original water repellency.
For more information on how to clean your outdoor umbrella visit the Sunbrella website which contains excellent information about how to clean Sunbrella acrylic canvas fabric. This information is also equally applicable to Recasens acrylic canvas fabrics which makes this a great resource for Shade7 customers.