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How can I clean my canvas patio parasol which is stained by an overhanging tree?
Never, never, never use bleach or alcohol on canvas. Not only will it break down and eventually destroy the fabric, but it will also cause yellowing.
Never use harsh detergents or detergent anything. Use Woolite or natural cleaners without detergents.
Try natural orange cleaner (in a spray bottle, found at your local hardware store). This product doesn't have detergents.
Hose down the umbrella so it's saturated. Spray the surface with orange cleaner or a solution of water and woolite if you prefer. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to allow it to break down the mildew or sticky substance from the trees. Hose it down. Do it a second time if necessary, or you use a large car washing sponge to gently wipe down the surface.
I recall reading somewhere that the orange cleaner works well on canvas umbrellas, awnings, etc. I haven't tried it yet myself but the most important is to avoid using harsh detergents unless you want to shorten the life of your fabrics.
Spray with vinegar, allow to soak, spray again and scrub with a bristle brush. Hose off and allow to dry ( repeat if necessary. -- you can spray it , after the first clean, and let it sit over night if it is badly stained, then rinse and dry)
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Does anyone know how to clean a patio umbrella? Can they be painted or dyed? Thanks.
By Robbevan from Sayreville, NJ
I've had good luck cleaning similar items by taking them to a do-it-yourself car wash. (Not the automated ones where you sit in your car and drive through!) I'd open the umbrella and with it lying on it's side, spray it with the detergent wash cycle. When it's clean, rinse it with the plain water. Start out cautiously. Some may have very strong water pressure that could tear or damage fabric or vinyl, if you put the nozzle too close to the surface you're cleaning! If that's the case just spray from a distance farther away. Let it dry thoroughly before folding up and storing away. (09/06/2005)
By Grandma Margie
Get a new or very clean trash can that is taller than half the height of your closed umbrella (including the little piece of center post). Fill up the can with water, add clothes detergent (and a cup of bleach if your canvas is color safe). Dip the top half of the umbrella into the can, swish it around and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then lift out the umbrella. Let it drain, turn it over and do the same to the "stem" end. If you can find a can that is taller than the total length of your umbrella you only have to do it once. Open up the umbrella, rinse it with a hose, let it dry thoroughly and you are ready to store. (09/07/2005)
I found a fantastic way to clean it. I inadvertently left my umbrella out all winter and it was incredibly gross. I starting trying to clean it and discovered I could slip the canvas covering off the wood frame and decided to clean it in my washing machine on high with hot water, detergent and plenty of Oxiclean. It came out fairly clean, but I decided to go further. I found a trash can and filled it with water and plenty of bleach and soaked the cover for about an hour. I then washed it again and the canvas is sparkling white. (06/11/2008)