Trampolines are a great source of fun and exercise with many health benefits for the whole family. It's also easy to incorporate a trampoline into your backyard landscaping for a practical and aesthetically pleasing design. Like any piece of outdoor equipment, trampolines can get dirty over time with frequent use. Luckily, a trampoline is simple to clean, and periodic cleanings can help improve your trampoline's appearance in addition to prolonging its life. If you've had your trampoline for a few years and notice a black residue on the mat, this probably can't be resolved by a simple cleaning session and may be a sign that the mat is actually wearing out.
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Check for Black Residue
Some dirt and grime are a normal and expected part of having an outdoor trampoline. However, if your trampoline is 4 to 8 years old and you notice black residue from the mat coming off on your hands, feet, and even clothes, this could indicate that the mat is deteriorating and needs to be replaced soon.
Black residue is a common aspect of an older, well-used polypropylene mesh trampoline mat, since carbon is used in the manufacturing process. As the mat wears over time, the carbon eventually wears through as well. Other types of grime and debris can be cleaned off with a few simple tools and supplies.
Clear Away Debris
If your trampoline is enclosed by a net, remove it before cleaning. Use a soft broom, dustpan, or handheld brush to sweep leaves, twigs, acorns, and other loose debris from the trampoline mat and safety padding. Be sure to check under the padding, where debris can be lodged. Next use a hose or buckets of clean water to rinse off the mat.
The water should dislodge some of the dust, dirt, and pollen that can be difficult to remove with a broom alone. A hose works best since light water pressure can help remove small bits of grime. Do not use a high-pressure spray since this can weaken and harm the fabric of the mat over time.
Add Cleaning Solution
You can use household dish soap to clean the trampoline. Don't use harsh chemicals on the trampoline mat or frame since this could damage the unit. Mix 2 tablespoons of mild dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Stir to mix thoroughly. Pour the solution on the trampoline mat to help loosen stains and stuck-on grime.
Stay away from harsh chemical cleaners since they are not necessary and may harm the trampoline mat. Use a soft cleaning cloth or sponge to scrub any tough stains, like dried-on bird poop. Avoid using a stiff-bristle brush or scrubbing too hard since this can damage the trampoline.
Rinse and Dry
Once you've removed the tough stains, rinse off the soapy water with clean water. Be sure to remove all soap and residues. The soap is gone when there are no more bubbles appearing on the trampoline.
Leaving soap on the trampoline can cause it to stiffen or even stain. It can also leave the mat slicker than usual and cause people to slip and get hurt. A hose works best for a thorough rinse; however, you can also use buckets of water to get the job done.
Dry off the trampoline with soft bath towels or beach towels. Then allow it to air-dry in the sun. Be sure the trampoline is fully dry before use. A wet trampoline is slippery and very dangerous.
Maintenance for Your Trampoline
Cleaning your trampoline more frequently will help prevent stains from caking on and makes them easier to remove. As with any room in your home, tidying your trampoline from time to time will make it easier to clean, and it will look better. Another preventive solution is to invest in a trampoline cover.
A trampoline cover can be particularly helpful during seasons when you do not use the trampoline, such as late fall and winter. It can also help during spring, summer, and fall when pollen, leaves, twigs, and bird droppings inevitably end up on the trampoline. You can either leave the cover on for a period of time when the trampoline is not in use or put it on each day after use. This can minimize stains and therefore cleaning time, and it can also help protect your trampoline from the elements and keep it looking newer and cleaner for longer.