Summers are for enjoying lazy mornings and relaxing afternoons outdoors. As much as we love that, so do the birds flying above our heads. For them eating the abundance of fruit, seeds, berries, and bugs during summer means that we’ll be cleaning bird poop off from our patio umbrella.
Everyone that owns patio furniture both loves and hates bird droppings on their patio umbrellas: they hate it because it leaves unsightly stains on the fabric, yet at the same time they are relieved that the umbrella shielded them from the dive-bombing bird and its poop. Some people hardly give a second thought to the bird poop on their patio umbrella, only for it to permanently stain and spoil their umbrella’s fabric top.
The reality is that it doesn’t take a flock of birds to ruin a patio umbrella’s fabric top. In most cases, it is just one or two birds that most frequent our gardens that leave their calling cards on our umbrellas. As we’ve mentioned, stains are treatable if cleaned regularly but the majority of patio umbrella owners will leave their untreated for those stains to permanently cause marks.
To know how best to clean bird poop off your patio umbrella, you need to first know what fabrics and materials you will be cleaning as that will then determine which cleaning products will be best suited. Most patio umbrellas are made from treated acrylic fabrics, while canvas is found on most luxury patio furniture umbrellas. Solid vinyl, vinyl mesh, and even specialty materials (which offer faux straw or thatch styles) are found more for commercial products. While patio furniture makers know of the dangers of bird poops, they do commonly treat the materials with a coating to repel moisture, stains, and mildew. However, those repellents are no match for a bird with an upset tummy…
Fortunately, bird poop on a patio umbrella can be cleaned and treated without too much effort. Read on to learn just how to return your patio umbrella’s fabric top back to looking good as new.
Table of Contents
Materials and Tools Needed:
1) dishwashing liquid
2) pet stain remover
3) soft cloth
4) plastic knife or spoon
5) spray bottle with warm water
6) soft-bristle brush
7) laundry detergent liquid
8) washing machine
How to Clean Bird Poop Off Patio Umbrellas:
To help ensure your patio umbrella stays as clear of stains and marks, read on to deep dive into our proven steps to clean bird poop off patio umbrellas:
The first step is to determine whether your umbrella has a removable or non-removable fabric top. For those with a removable fabric top, your cleaning job involves slightly less elbow grease as you’re able to pop the fabric top into your washing machine. If it has a removable fabric top, carefully dismantle and remove the fabric top from the umbrella’s frame.
For both umbrella top types, use a soft-bristle brush to remove the excess dirt, dust, and caked-on bird poop.
If the bird poop is fresh, by using a plastic knife or plastic spoon you can scrape as much of the bird poop off without spreading the stain.
Depending on the severity of the dive-bombing and the number of bird poop sites on your patio umbrella, you can either use a spray bottle or a bucket of warm water.
Pre-treat the stain as you would for dirty laundry: for both non-removable and removable fabric tops, mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent liquid into your spray bottle of warm water and squirt your solution onto the affected areas.
For non-removable fabric tops, grab your soft-bristled brush again and work the solution into the fabric’s fibers. If the stains aren’t readily lifting, use a soft cloth and spray more detergent onto that area and wipe your cloth in circular motions to irritate the fibers to release the bird poop.
You might need a bit of elbow grease depending on how many bird dropping stains your patio umbrella has, but the results of your effort will be worthwhile. Once you’ve attended to all the affected spots, allow the solution to work for about 15 to 20 minutes: the cleaning agents in the detergents will work to loosen the bird poop from the patio umbrella’s fabric’s fibers.
For your removable fabric umbrella tops, simply drop it into your washing machine. If you’re unsure of how to set your washing machine to wash it, place your washing machine to an eco-cycle with a cold water wash and throw in a cup of your preferred laundry detergent.
Before your patio umbrella’s fabric top dries, rinse it with clean water to remove all the soap and its foam. While doing that, if you spot a few stubborn stains, you might need to use a stronger cleaning agent. The best bet is to visit your local pet store or DIY store to buy pet stain remover.
Before using it on your patio umbrella’s fabric top, check that its cleaning agents don’t include those chemicals that are harmful and damaging to materials and fabrics. For those hard-to-remove bird poop stains, use the pet stain remover by repeating Steps 2 and 3.
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve removed the bird droppings, allow your patio umbrella’s fabric top to sit in the sun to air dry. For removable fabric tops cleaned in the washing machine, hang it out to dry in the sun too.
You might notice wrinkles on the fabric after the machine wash, but don’t worry about those: once the umbrella top’s dried, you can use an iron on low heat to remove those wrinkles without damaging the fabric or the treated colors.
While the fabric top is drying in the sun, you have an opportunity to clean the frame. The two most common types of frame are aluminium tubes and wooden bars or rods. For both of those, wash with warm soapy water to remove the dirt and grime that might have collected over time.
Use a towel or thick cloth to dry it off. You can allow the aluminum frame to dry in the sun for a while longer, but don’t let the wooden frame into direct sunlight as its damp bars/rods might crack so rather let it air dry in shady areas.
Patio umbrellas are a must-have item of furniture during summer months to keep the harsh effects of the sun’s rays away. An umbrella allows us to increase our living spaces to the outdoors while enjoying the outdoors. To remove the unsightly stains from patio umbrellas is a pretty straightforward process, it needs to be regularly undertaken to maintain its fabric tops in the best condition and remain looking neat and tidy. Of course, the best way to keep bird poop off of patio umbrellas is to store the umbrella when not in use just as you would your outdoor furniture’s cushion covers, the dive-bombing birds won’t make your patio umbrella the scene of their next target practice session.
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