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Last updated: May 4, 2021
If you have a trampoline in your backyard, you will know how dirty they can get over time. Bird poop, moss, mold, leaves, black residue, you name it.
Regardless of how top-rated your backyard trampoline is, it’s standing outside so it’s exposed to the elements and therefore requires regular cleaning.
It’s important to clean your trampoline mat after winter to remove the dirt that it has accumulated during those colder months in preparation for the sunny season ahead. In this step by step guide I am outlining a bunch of detailed tips on how to properly clean a trampoline mat.
Tips to Clean Your Trampoline Mat After Winter
Before you start cleaning that trampoline mat, let’s first have a look at the equipment you’re going to need to do the job.
The right tools will not only make the process of cleaning your trampoline mat easier but will also prevent damage.
Luckily, they are simple and easy to find tools, and most of these tools are probably already present in your home right now.
Here’s what you will need to efficiently clean the mat:
- Dustpan and push broom
- Water hose
- Two buckets
- Warm water
- Mild detergent
- Sponge or soft scrub
- Two large dry towels
- Rust protection spray
Now that you know the equipment you need, here is how to clean a trampoline mat, step by step.
- Sweep away
- Do a preliminary check
- Hose it down completely
- Create a soapy water solution
- Start scrubbing
- Rinse and let it dry
Let’s discuss these steps in a bit more detail.
1. Sweep Away
Some people skip and go straight to hosing down the trampoline mat, but sweeping the mat makes the rest of the process so much easier.
Sweeping gets rid of all the dirt and debris before water comes into the equation. It helps loosen up dust and other dirt that might have gotten stuck to the mat during the winter months.
Use a dustpan to collect the resulting pile of dirt and debris and simply throw it away. You might be surprised how much dirt you will be able to sweep off the mat this way.
2. Do a Preliminary Check
After sweeping away the twigs, dust and other debris from the trampoline mat, your next step should be inspecting it for any obvious damage.
Check if there are any holes, tears, or snags on it. If you do find damage, you should have it replaced or look for ways to repair the damage before cleaning. Check out my guide to fixing trampoline mat holes for some great tips.
This step is important because cleaning it while it has tears may make matters worse. That’s another reason why it’s important to sweep before you hose it down.
Also, ensure you remove the trampoline’s net and spring pad before you apply any water.
3. Hose it Down Completely
Once you’ve established that there is no damage at all, you have the green light to now hose down the trampoline mat with plain water.
The reason we’re advocating for hosing it down is because a hose pipe conveys water at a relatively high pressure. That helps in loosening the sticky dirt and debris the push broom couldn’t remove such as bird poop and tree sap.
As a result, it makes cleaning the trampoline mat so much easier. Hose it down until it’s completely soaked, sweep away the water, and then follow the step below.
4. Create a Soapy Water Solution
To complete the process, you will now need warm and soapy water. Fill up your bucket with warm water and add a detergent to create a solution.
Ensure it’s a mild detergent, because harsh cleaning products may damage your trampoline mat. While doing this, fill up another bucket with warm, plain water and set it aside.
5. Start Scrubbing
Dip the sponge or soft bristle brush into the warm, soapy water solution you created, and start scrubbing the trampoline mat.
So far, you will have dealt with the easy-to-remove dirt and debris through sweeping and hosing the mat down. With the scrubbing, you will be focusing on the stubborn dirt such as mold, bird poop, and other nastiness.
The warm water will make the process a tad easier, but be careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause scratches or even tears.
Also, avoid going hard on the soapy solution as it might become difficult to rinse it off. Start by applying to a small section, and scrub gradually until the entire mat surface is cleaned.
6. Rinse and Let It Dry
Once you are satisfied with your cleaning work, rinse off the mat with the plain water you set aside earlier. Alternatively, you could hose it off until the water is clear. Next, use the large dry towels to dry it up.
Dry out as much water as you can and then let nature do its thing by sun drying it. Remember not to allow the kids or anyone on it until it’s completely dry. A wet trampoline mat is unsafe for everyone.
Be sure to check the mat for damage again as you may have missed some tears or holes during the preliminary inspection and the cleaning process.
This is optional, but it may be wise to spray some rust protector on the trampoline’s frame to prevent rusting, as some of the water might have splashed on it during cleaning.
When Should You Clean?
Most people clean a trampoline mat once a year, after the winter months. And that is kind of okay, but I would recommend to clean once a month, depending on the surroundings and the weather conditions the trampoline is in.
The more often you clean, the easier the cleaning job is. Not to mention the fact that you will prevent long term damage by cleaning and inspecting regularly.
The best time to clean your trampoline mat is in the morning and early afternoon. This will allow the sun to assist you during and after cleaning. Any remaining water will evaporate faster, and the mat will dry properly.
Here are some more maintenance tips to keep your trampoline in tip-top shape:
- Sweep regularly.
- Ensure its properly placed; ideally in the shade to prevent UV damage.
- Regularly inspect for damage and make repairs as needed.
- Use a winter cover if it’s not going to be used for a long time.
- Use an anchor kit to keep your trampoline from blowing away.
As you can see, cleaning a trampoline mat, especially after the cold winter months, isn’t super complicated. But it’s important to do it properly, to prevent long term damage.
The mat is the most important element of the trampoline, and in many ways it’s also the most vulnerable. Which is why it’s crucial to look after it so that you don’t need to replace it.
To make cleaning more fun, why not get your kids involved to help you out. Even if they can do only minor tasks, it just makes to process more entertaining and your kids will feel great about it too.