How to Remove Sand From an Umbrella Base: A Step-by-Step Guide

patio base with umbrella

Garden umbrellas are a must and chances are you’ll find one in every and each personal green area anywhere you look around. They are easy to handle, maintain and are terribly effective at serving their purpose of keeping you cool when you chill in your outdoor furniture. Sometimes we also need to move them around, or store them for winter. This can be a little bit tricky as their bases are often pretty heavy due to the dry sand, wet sand or water that they contain (the weight makes them solid on their feet. So how can you remove sand from the umbrella base ? Don’t worry, with the right tools and technique, you can easily do it.

The Tools You’ll Need

Before getting started, gather the necessary tools to make the process easier. You will need not necessarily all, but a couple of these: a broom, a brush, a bucket, water, a tarpaulin storage bag, and a cleaning solution such as vinegar or dish soap.

Emptying the Sand

The first step in removing sand from an umbrella base is to remove the umbrella. Do it carefully and store it aside safely. Then, open the top lid or cap or your umbrella base if there is one. You can start removing the sand little by little with a small shovel for exemple, so you don’t need to lift and tilt a base that is potentially too heavy for you. Often though, there is only one hole to fill or empty the sand/water and to secure the umbrella. In this case, with care, tilt the base into a tarpaulin previously placed near the base, and start emptying it. It will become lighter and lighter until you can safely pick it and flip it upside down completely. After that, shake the base gently. Depending on the amount of sand, you may need to scoop out the sand using a small shovel or spoon.

Once you’ve emptied out the sand, use the broom to sweep out any remaining sand particles from the base. You may need to use a smaller brush to get into tight corners or hard-to-reach areas.

Cleaning the Base

After emptying out the sand, it’s time to clean the base. Start by mixing a cleaning solution of water and vinegar or dish soap in a bucket. Dip a brush into the solution and scrub the inside of the umbrella base, making sure to get into all the corners and crevices.

If the sand is particularly stubborn, you may need to let the cleaning solution sit in the base for a few minutes so that the sand can soak in and to loosen up. After scrubbing, rinse the base with water and let it dry completely. It’s important to let the base dry completely to prevent any moisture from causing mold or mildew to grow.

Store it properly

Once your base is completely emptied, clean and dry, cover it up or place it in a storage bag. This will prevent dust build up. If you’re not using your umbrella for an extended period of time, store it in a dry, cool place.


Removing sand from an umbrella base may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and technique, it can be done quickly and easily. It’s really easy, and unless you suffer from back or physical problems (in which case you can ask a relative or a neighbour), it should be quite easily done. Couple of tools and steps to follow, that’s it. By following the steps outlined above, you can have a clean and sand-free umbrella base in no time. 


Can I use a pressure washer to clean my umbrella base?

While a pressure washer may be effective in removing sand from an umbrella base, it can also damage the surface of the base. It’s best to stick to a gentler option like a brush and cleaning solution.

Can I use bleach to clean my umbrella base?

Bleach can be harsh and can also damage the surface of the base and potentially discolor it. Unless the base was heavily soiled (wild animal scat for exemple), it’s best not to use it

How often should I clean my umbrella base?

It’s a good idea to clean your umbrella base at least once a season, or more frequently if you use it often and like it shiny

Can I use a vacuum to remove sand from my umbrella base?

While there are vacuums made on purpose for the outdoors, and they may be effective in removing sand from a surface, it may not work as well in the tight corners and crevices of an umbrella base. Plus, you may risk damaging it. If you really want to use, it’s best to save it for the finishing part, once you removed the major part of the sand and are looking to perfect the job

What should I do if I can’t get all the sand out of my umbrella base?

If you’re having trouble getting all the sand out of your umbrella base, try using a toothbrush or a toothpick to get into the tight corners and crevices. Try also to soak it in water for a little while, it will loosen up the sand and make it easier to clean

How to move a heavy umbrella base?

To move a heavy umbrella base, you can use a dolly or furniture sliders to slide it along the ground. Alternatively, you can use a PVC pipe or broomstick to lift the base and roll it to a new location.

How to empty sand from a basketball base?

To empty sand from a basketball base, start by unscrewing the cap on the bottom of the base. Then, use a scoop or shovel to remove the sand from the base. Once the sand has been removed, rinse the base with water to remove any remaining particles.

How to drain a Purple Leaf umbrella base?

To drain a Purple Leaf umbrella base, start by unscrewing the cap on the bottom of the base. Tilt the base to pour out any water that has accumulated inside. Use a sponge or towel to soak up any remaining water, and then let the base air dry completely before storing it.

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