How Do You Store a Patio Umbrella?

Patio umbrellas are manufactured to withstand harsh weather conditions, but this does not mean that they should be left outside during storms, strong winds, or the winter season. If you leave your patio umbrella outside during such conditions, it might develop some mechanical problems or mold and mildew will develop on it. 

A patio umbrella can be stored indoors or folded then covered outdoors. Permanent umbrellas are the ones that are left outside but covered. You are advised to clean and dry a patio umbrella before storing it indoors. This is because a dirty and wet fabric always attracts molds and mildew. 

In this article, I am going to give you a procedure of properly storing a patio umbrella

Procedure For Storing a Patio Umbrella 

Step 1: identify/create the storage space 

You should look at the size of your patio umbrella and create adequate space for it. Many people use the basement or the garage. 

You should ensure there are no falling objects around the space created. This is because some of these objects might be heavy and they can break the umbrella. 

You should also know the type of your patio umbrella because some are easy to store while others may take more space.

Step 2: Clean the umbrella 

This is the most important step because your patio umbrella might have accumulated some dust, leaves, or small debris during the summer season. 

How to Clean a Patio Umbrella 

What you need 

  • Soft brush
  • Gallon of clean water 
  • Garden hose 
  • Chlorine bleach 
  • Ordinary washing detergent 

Step 1: Close the umbrella and remove the covering fabric. 

Spread the fabric on a well-leveled ground. Make sure there are no sharp stones or any object that can tear the fabric. 

Using a broom remove the loose soil and dry leaves from the fabric. Use a soft-bristled brush to prevent driving the loose soil deeper into the fabric. 

Add ¼ a cup of ordinary detergent in a bucket of water and shake vigorously until bubbles appear. 

Step 2: Wash the Patio Umbrella

Dip the soft brush into the solution and start scrubbing in a circular motion. Avoid using excess soap and water because they can also stain the fabric. 

If mold and mildew are present dilute ¼ a cup of chlorine bleach and gently scrub the area. Make sure you use the recommended amount of bleach because excess of it might cause sunspots or fading. 

Rinse off the soap using a garden hose and sun-dry the fabric. 

When the fabric is totally dry and clean apply fabric guard spray and allow it to dry again. 

Step 3: Make sure the fabric is totally dry 

Open up the umbrella and allow it to dry as a bone. Do not close up the umbrella immediately after washing it. This might make the moisture build-up from the inside and in turn, it may lead to a bad odor when the umbrella is opened again. 

Try to add heat from the hairdryer if the sun heat is inadequate. If you are using a hairdryer, use a controlled amount of heat to avoid damaging the fabric. 

Step 4: Wrapping up

Just like patio furniture, umbrellas also come with covers. There are special covers for patio umbrellas. Close down the patio umbrella and put on the umbrella cover. Make sure the cover fits the umbrella tightly. 

You can also use a plastic sheet to wrap your patio umbrella. If you are using a plastic sheet make sure it is larger than the umbrella. 

Wrapping the patio umbrella prevents mold and mildew from developing. It also keeps the umbrella arms in a fixed position. Do not snug the umbrella on any object, because doing so can break your patio umbrella. 

Step 5: Storage 

Place your wrapped patio umbrella in a dry place you located earlier. Try and avoid areas that can be damp or wet without your knowledge. 

Put your umbrella either flat-lying or straight standing while avoiding falling objects that can bend it. By doing so your umbrella will be ready to cover you when the next dry season arrives. 

Tips on Maintenance and Caring of Patio Umbrellas

  1. Clean the umbrella fabric 

Quickly sweep off dry leaves and dust as soon as you see them. If you allow the dust and leaves to stay on the fabric for long they will turn into stains that are hard to remove. 

Use warm water and ordinary detergent to wash off any small stain you notice. Use chlorine bleach if you see molds and mildew on the fabric. 

  1. Clean and paint umbrella frames 

Patio umbrella frames can be made of either wood or metal. Both of these materials require regular cleaning and painting. A wooden frame is cleaned and painted for it to remain strong for a long time. While a metallic frame is cleaned and painted to avoid rust which can make the frame weak. 

  1. Make sure you store a clean and very dry umbrella 

When it is off-season, umbrellas are kept indoors to avoid rough weather conditions. You should ensure you store a very dry umbrella fabric. If you do not do so, you will find mold and mildew when you open it again. And these molds and mildew always make the fabric smell bad and weakens it too. 

  1. Do not force open or close a patio umbrella 

When your patio umbrella is hard to open up or close, apply lubricants to the joints. Patio umbrellas always become hard because of rust that develops in the joints. Lubricants will reduce the friction and your umbrella will be soft again. Or else if you force it, it can break which is a huge loss. 

  1. Use waterproof spray and sun resistant spray on the fabric 

Patio umbrella fabrics are always manufactured with waterproof ability and sun resistance. But over time, these resistances reduce. This is why you should regularly apply waterproof spray and sun resistance spray. Doing so will increase the useful life of your patio umbrella. 


Many homeowners recommend that patio umbrellas should be stored when it is off-season or when you notice a storm or strong winds a few hours ahead. Make sure you store a clean and dry umbrella to avoid mold and mildew. 

Patio umbrellas are very helpful during hot sunny days and storing them gives you a chance to enjoy them for a long time.