Industry Insight

How to Properly Store Your Patio Umbrella

The nice weather’s behind you, and it’s time to put away the swimsuit, beach toys, and hammock. Of course, the setting sun also means you need to tuck away that patio umbrella and save it for next year.

How can you ensure it stays in good condition? What are some useful tips and tricks? Roll up your sleeves – it’s time to properly store your patio umbrella!

Tips for Putting Your Patio Umbrella Away

Tips for Putting Your Patio Umbrella Away

It’s time to get ready for the cold weather ahead and store your patio umbrella in the garage or shed. Follow these tips to ensure you’re putting it away properly:

  1. Figure out your patio umbrella’s style.
  2. Make sure it’s clean.
  3. Close with the pole on the outside.
  4. Cover the exposed pole.
  5. Store your patio umbrella in a dry, clear area.
Tips for Putting Your Patio Umbrella Away

Step One: Know Your Style

Before you can store your patio umbrella away, it’s helpful to understand its style. Some are easy to put in storage, while others might require you to block out a chunk of your day for the task.

What Are the Different Types of Patio Umbrellas?

There are 7 different patio umbrella styles that you typically see on a person’s deck or patio. They include:

  • Table
  • Tilting
  • Cantilever/Off-Set
  • Tiki-Style
  • Sail
  • Commercial
  • Cobana Solar LED

Step Two: Clean Your Umbrella

After you’ve determined your patio umbrella’s style, it’s time to get it squeaky clean. This will save you a lot of headaches when you take it out next summer.

How to Clean Your Patio Umbrella

The canopy of your patio umbrella can be cleaned with a mild detergent and lukewarm water, while the pole will need to be coated with a protective sealant or rust-neutralizing primer. Keep in mind, some materials stain more easily than others so it helps to know what your umbrella is made from before getting started.

Canopy

Canopy

Patio umbrella canopies are commonly made from:

  • Sunbrella
  • Polyester
  • Olefin
  • Acrylic
  • Thatch

No matter what the material, these are the steps for cleaning a patio umbrella’s canopy:

  1. Step 1
    Step 1

    Mix ¼ cup of mild detergent with lukewarm water. Make sure the detergent doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals as these are damaging to your patio umbrella.

  2. Step 2
    Step 2

    Dip in a small bristled brush and use it to scrub away any stains. Don’t use too much water or soap or you run the risk of staining the canopy.

  3. Step 3
    Step 3

    If you see any mildew, dilute a ¼ cup of bleach in your water and gently scrub the area. Please note that sunspotting or fading may occur if you use too much bleach, so test a small spot first.

  4. Step 4
    Step 4

    Once your canopy is completely cleaned, cover it in a protective fabric guard spray. These are available online or at most grocery and department stores.

  5. Step 5
    Step 5

    Dry your canopy using the last few rays of the summer sun!

Now that the canopy is clean, the next step is to tackle the pole or shaft. This is slightly less time-consuming to clean, but just as important.

Pole

Pole

Patio umbrella poles or shafts are made from:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Plastic

Before you store your umbrella away, be sure to cover the pole with some kind of protective sealant.

Wood Sealant or Finish

Wood Sealant or Finish
Image Source: amazon.com

Wood

Car Wax or Neutralizing Primer

Car Wax or Neutralizing Primer
Image Source: griotsgarage.com

Metal

Plastic Polish & Sealer

Plastic Polish & Sealer
Image Source: topcoat.com

Plastic

*DISCLAIMER: You should never use too much water, soap, or chemicals to clean your patio umbrella. If possible, follow the instructions that are included or contact the manufacturer directly. This process should be handled with care and largely depends on the material of your patio umbrella.

Step Three: Close Your Umbrella Properly

The good news is it’s all smooth sailing from here! Now that the cleaning is behind you, it’s time to close up that patio umbrella.

How to Close Your Patio Umbrella

If you didn’t keep the instructions or got your patio umbrella at a secondhand shop, you might not know how to close it down. These are the main things to remember:

  • Keep the pole on the outside of the canopy.
  • Use a tie to hold the canopy in place.
  • Don’t be too forceful when taking it down.
  • Cover the canopy.
Keep the Pole on the Outside

#1: Keep the Pole on the Outside

You don’t want to tuck the pole inside of the canopy. If you do, it may end up getting scratched by the umbrella’s ribs.

Use a Tie Around the Canopy

#2: Use a Tie Around the Canopy

If your patio umbrella doesn’t come with an attached tie, invest in some Velcro or a durable string to wrap around the canopy.

Don’t Be Forceful

#3: Don’t Be Forceful

Your patio umbrella may not have feelings, but that’s not an excuse to be aggressive. Yanking on it or kicking it in frustration could cause it to tear or break.

Cover Up the Canopy

#4: Cover Up the Canopy

If your patio umbrella came with a cover, put it over the canopy. You can also use bubble wrap or any large piece of fabric like old sheets or beach towels.

Store Your Patio Umbrella for Next Summer

#5: Store Your Patio Umbrella for Next Summer

Now that your patio umbrella is clean, closed, and covered, it’s sadly time to put it away. You’ve got just one more step before the process is complete!

At the end of the day, you want your patio umbrella to be in a good enough condition to use next year. Take the time to really close it properly before getting ready to store it away.

Step Four: Cover the Patio Umbrella’s Pole

You’ve worked hard so far, but there’s one last step before you can put your patio umbrella in storage. If it has a pole, don’t overlook this important step!

How to Cover the Pole on Your Patio Umbrella

It’s pretty difficult to replace a broken patio umbrella. Luckily, you can prevent damage by covering the exposed pole with any of the following:

Cardboard

Cardboard

Tarp

Tarp

Large Piece of Fabric

Large Piece of Fabric

Bubble Wrap

Bubble Wrap

Old Beach Towels

Old Beach Towels

A good cover will prevent scrapes, dents, dust, dirt, and any other significant damage to the pole. You can use duct tape, a belt, or any other thick tie to secure the wrap in place, but no matter what, make sure the pole is completely covered before you put everything away.

Step Five: Store Your Patio Umbrella for Next Summer

Now that your patio umbrella is clean, closed, and covered, it’s sadly time to put it away. You’ve got just one more step before the process is complete!

Put Your Patio Umbrella in a Safe Spot

You’ve done a lot of work to prepare your patio umbrella for storage. Dedicate a space in your garage, shed, or basement and use any of the following to put it away:

Hooks

Hooks

Storage Bins

Storage Bins

Durable Boxes

Durable Boxes

Shelves

Shelves

No matter what you choose, it’s important to keep your patio umbrella off the ground. This reduces the risk of it getting snagged or torn when your kids grab their bikes or a raccoon gets into your trash at night.

As a refresher, here’s everything you need to do to properly store your patio umbrella!

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Can I Leave My Patio Furniture Outside in the Winter?

Can I Leave My Patio Furniture Outside in the Winter?

You should never leave your patio tables, chairs, and umbrellas outside during the winter. If you do, you run the risk of your furniture rusting because of the snow or icy rain.

According to an article in The Chicago Tribune, your umbrella won’t last more than a season if it’s left outside uncovered. Not only can the pole become damaged, but the condensation might cause staining on your canopy.

You invested a lot of money into your patio furniture. Take all the necessary precautions to ensure it’s ready for next summer!

Can I Leave My Patio Furniture Outside in the Winter?

The Bottom Line

It’s been a fun summer, but all good things must come to an end. Soak up the last few warm days and get your patio umbrella in storage. That way it’ll be ready to throw even more shade next year!

References

I Patio Umbrella. (2019). Storing Your Outdoor Umbrella. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.ipatioumbrella.com/buying-guides/storing-your-outdoor-umbrella/

Khan, C. (2012, August 9). How to Protect Outdoor Furniture from Snow and Winter Damage with the Proper Patio Furniture Maintenance. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.patioproductions.com/blog/how-to/patio-furniture-winter-maintenance/

Leverette, M. (2019, February 14). How to Clean Outdoor Umbrellas. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-clean-outdoor-umbrellas-2146926

Chotiner, M. (2015, June 4). How to Properly Store and Maintain Outdoor Furniture. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.sparefoot.com/self-storage/blog/11925-how-to-store-outdoor-furniture/

Wells, L. (2019). 10 Steps to Choosing the Best Patio Umbrella. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from https://www.hayneedle.com/tips-and-ideas/patio-umbrella-buying-guide/

Guardsman Furniture Professionals. (2017, June 14). Patio Umbrella Care and Maintenance: Bask in the Shade a Little Bit Longer. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from http://blog.guardsmanfurniturerepair.com/furniture-care/patio-umbrella-care-maintenance/

Bestek. (2017, April 10). 7 Types of Patio Umbrellas. Retrieved March 21, 2019, from https://www.bestekmall.com/7-types-of-patio-umbrella

Downs, S. (2005, October 14). Patio Furniture Needs Protecting in Winter Months. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2005-10-14-0510130339-story.html