One of the great aspects of summer is having a few extra outside “rooms” for entertaining, but outdoor living means investing some time in outdoor cleaning. Here are a few tips to help you keep your outdoor areas looking their best.
Make cleaning your patio or deck easier by removing everything from the area. If that’s not possible, move your furniture, grill and flower pots off to one side so you don’t have to continually maneuver around everything. Start by sweeping the entire area, including under mats and rugs — you’ll be amazed by the amount of dirt and bugs trapped under them! A straw or corn broom is perfect for this job because the bristles are aggressive enough to remove ground-in dirt yet agile enough to get in between small spaces. Go over posts, stairs and even patio furniture to remove spiderwebs and dust.
Clean flowers of their dead blooms and yellowed leaves. This will not only make the area look tidy, but will also keep dead flowers from dropping onto your clean patio or deck.
Cover or remove any items that are not waterproof. Use a high-power hose attachment to clean the entire area. Start close to the house or doorway and work away from the structure. You don’t want to spray the dirt and debris onto the house and create more work for yourself.
Clean outdoor furniture with a microfiber cloth and a mixture of white distilled vinegar, grain alcohol and borax (recipe below). Wet the entire piece of furniture with water then work in small areas so the cleaner doesn’t dry on the piece.
Spray a small area with the cleaner and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Rinse the entire piece and then dry it with a microfiber cloth. Your freshly cleaned furniture will look inviting to your guests.
Leave enough time for the entire area to dry before your guests arrive. Put everything back in place once it’s dry. Keep a microfiber cloth handy in case you need to wipe off glass-topped tables.
Outdoor Furniture Cleaner Recipe:
- Filtered water
- White distilled vinegar
- Essential oils for scent
Start with 1/2 cup filtered water heated to boiling in the microwave. Add 1 tablespoon borax and stir until it’s totally dissolved. In a separate bowl, add 16 drops of any essential oil to 1/2 cup of vodka. Stir well. Add in one cup of white distilled vinegar. Top off with the borax mixture. Place in a spray bottle.
Photo credits: Leslie Reichert