Sunday, March 10, 2013

Not Perfect, But It'll Do

The precipitation started sometime after I went to bed, and I woke up to the sound of raindrops hitting the roof.  When it was time to leave for church this morning it was raining cats and dogs.  Hubby Tony dug around and found an umbrella for each of us to use.  Mine was one that's been in the house for many years--it's full sized, with alternating gores (the triangular sections of fabric) of white and maroon, and a long shaft.  I can't remember where we got it, but since two of the gores have large corporate logos it must have been a freebie.  That didn't matter though, as long as it would keep me dry.

Since the car was parked in the garage I didn't have to use the umbrella until I got out of the car on the church parking lot.  It was still raining hard, and I had trouble unfolding it without getting wet.  I probably got a little wetter than I needed to, though, because I was noticing how dirty the white portions were.

I always leave the umbrella open until it's dry, but somehow over the years it had acquired a yellow dinginess accompanied by a fair amount of scuff marks.  All the grime was cosmetic; the umbrella did the job on the way into church and again on the way out, but it really needed a good freshening up. After lunch I researched ways to clean nylon umbrellas.

There were a multitude of ideas on the Internet to choose from.  I discarded the ones (OxyClean and carpet cleaning foam) that required ingredients I didn't have in the house, and those that had requisites that couldn't be fulfilled (lemon juice and sunshine, which was nowhere to be found today).  I finally decided on hydrogen peroxide, which was cheap and already in my linen closet, and set out to clean the umbrella.

I used the bathtub for my experiment.  After mixing a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water I rubbed it on both sides of the umbrella and let it set for 20 minutes, then came back with a bowl of soapy water and repeated the process.  I rinsed off the soap, and left the umbrella open in the tub to dry.

When I was done it looked much better.  There were still some scuff marks, but they were lighter and the grime was gone.  Now I won't be ashamed to take the umbrella out in public.

Five years ago today: New Thing #59--21st Century Manicure


  1. Much fresher! ha. Laundry soap probably would have worked, too...just like washing a windbreaker. I love those huge umbrellas...they do keep you dry!

  2. Hmmm... This is wonderful information! Thank you, Kathy. I'll remember this for our umbrellas since we've been hit by a lot of rain lately.

  3. Good job Kathy. My favourite umbrella has a broken spoke but still works fine.