The Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning Outdoor Shades
If you're like most homeowners, you probably love the convenience that outdoor shades bring to your patio or deck. However, with regular exposure to the elements, you’ve likely noticed that these shades can quickly become dirty and unsightly. But don't worry — cleaning outdoor shades is a straightforward process that, when done correctly, will leave your coverings looking as good as new!
The Bloomin' Blinds team is here to guide you through the steps you need to take to get your outdoor and solar shades looking great again. So grab your cleaning supplies and let's get started!
Read more: Can Exterior Shades Save on Energy Costs?
Assess the Type of Shade
Before you roll up your sleeves and start cleaning, you must determine the type of shade you have. Exterior shades can be made of a variety of materials such as:
- Shade cloth (solid or woven)
- Knitted mesh
Read your shade’s label, instruction manual, or give your Bloomin' Blinds installer a call to figure out what material your shades are made of. These resources may also include important information regarding how to clean the product.
Gather Cleaning Supplies
Now that you have an understanding of the type of shade you have, it’s time to gather your supplies:
- Feather duster
- Vacuum with soft brush attachment
- Warm water and soap
It is important to note that some cleaning products can damage or discolor certain types of fabric, so it’s best to stick to a mild soap — most dish detergents will do the trick!
1. Inspect and Dust Your Shades
Outdoor shades are dust magnets! In order to make the cleaning process easier, it’s important to get the top layer of dust and dirt taken care of first. Do this with your feather duster — reaching every corner of the fabric!
2. Vacuum Your Shades
Once you have finished dusting, you may notice that a tougher layer of debris remains. Use the soft attachment of your vacuum to gently pass over the entire surface of the outdoor shade for a good, thorough cleaning.
3. Wet Outdoor Shades
Now it’s time to bring out the water! Wet the shades with a garden hose. The stream should have a low, even pressure. This will help wash away any dirt and debris that the feather duster and vacuum loosened up.
Remember, you should never use a pressure washer on fabric outdoor shades as this could cause significant damage.
4. Apply Soap Solution
Now, it’s time to apply your mixture of warm water and mild soap or detergent. Wet a soft sponge, wring out excess water, and gently scrub away any stains or discoloration.
It is important to note that certain outdoor shades should not be cleaned with water and soap. Be sure to read your label or instruction manual carefully before taking these steps!
Finally, grab your hose and rinse the entire shade off with the same low, even pressured stream you used before!
How to Dry Outdoor Shades
The good thing about drying outdoor shades is just that — they’re outdoors! This makes the drying process relatively straightforward. Leave your shades as they are, allowing them to air dry.
Before beginning this process, it is a good idea to check the weather report for any signs of rain!
How Do You Remove Mold from Outdoor Shades?
Mold is an occasional problem for outdoor shades, especially those made of fabric or other porous materials. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can also pose a health risk to you and your family.
To clean mold off outdoor shades, first, put on gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold spores. Then, mix a solution of one part white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. Spray the affected areas generously with the solution and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the mold away, being careful not to damage the shade. Rinse the shade thoroughly with a hose and let it dry completely before closing it again.
How to Keep My Outdoor Shades Clean
For optimal results, it is recommended to have a weekly cleaning schedule for your exterior solar shades. This type of shade is exposed to more dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris and therefore needs to be cleaned more often than other types of shades. Use your feather duster and vacuum to clean them at least once per week, and use a sponge and water once per month. This will keep them in top condition and will reduce the need of deep cleanings, thus avoiding any permanent stains or discolorations.
Between these more involved cleanings, one of the most important things you can do is to roll up your shades when they’re not in use. This will avoid unnecessary exposure to debris and will protect them from the elements!
How to Motorize My Outdoor Shades
Motorizing your outdoor shades adds a level of convenience homeowners love. Whether controlled by a timer, sensor, or from your phone, motorized outdoor shades will shade your patio or deck during the day and stow away when not necessary.
Outdoor Shade Maintenance
If your outdoor shades aren’t performing as they should, it’s best to call in the professionals for repairs! The Bloomin' Blinds team has the experience, knowledge, and resources to get your shades working properly again!
Whether you’re in need of outdoor shade installation, maintenance, or cleaning, make Bloomin' Blinds your first call!