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How To: Clean Up the Backyard Without Breaking Your Back

According to Reader’s Digest, over 30% of people would rather upgrade their outdoor living space than go on a weeklong vacation. So take an hour and spruce up your backyard, deck and patio. You’ll be ready for whatever spontaneous outdoor parties come your way!

lawn chairs

1. Clean Your Plastic Lawn Chairs: To rid your plastic chairs of caked on dirt, spread foam shaving cream onto the furniture to soften the dirt. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then hose the furniture down to rinse away the dirt.

cleaning your grill
2. Clean Your Grill: Fire up your grill for 10 to 15 minutes to burn off any grease that has accumulated. Don’t cook anything; just let the grill’s heat eliminate the grease. Cleaning out grease will make your burgers taste better, and will also prevent potential fires because grease is flammable.

cleaning outdoor cushions
3. Clean Your Cushions: To clean your cushions, first lay them out on a clean, hard surface. Don’t lay them out on grass or dirt. Spray the cushions with a hose. If you don’t have a nozzle connected, then place your finger over the hose to form a spray. Use dishwashing soap, and pour a small amount on a sponge. Scour the patio cushions with the sponge from left to right. Once all the dirt is lifted, then rinse the cushions. To remove the dish soap, spray the cushions again with your hose. Remove most of the water by kneeling on each cushion, pressing firmly from the top of the cushion to the end. Then let the cushion dry completely in the sun. It’s best if you hang the cushions to dry, but if that isn’t possible, be sure to flip them every few hours to thoroughly dry both sides.

cleaning your patio umbrella
4. Clean Your Patio Umbrella: Place an old sheet or two on the ground, and then spread your opened umbrella out on the towels. Scrub the fabric thoroughly with soap water, and then rinse it off with your hose. Let the umbrella dry naturally in the sun before putting it back up. You want it to dry thoroughly, because a closed, slightly damp umbrella could breed mold and mildew.

cleaning your deck
5. Clean Your Deck: You can find deck cleaners at your local hardware store for about $15. If you have small children or pets that will be on the deck, opt for a toxic-free cleaner. They will be slightly more expensive. These over-the-counter cleaners will kill mold and mildew on you deck, too. Be sure to wear long pants and shoes while you’re cleaning to protect your skin. Once the cleaning solution is on your deck, distribute it evenly on your deck. After 15-20 minutes, rinse the cleaner off of your deck with a hose.

cleaning your wicker furniture
6. Clean Your Wicker Furniture: Wicker furniture gets dingy and dirty with age, especially if it’s white. To clean it, use a mild soap like Murphy Oil Soap to clean inside the woven furniture surface. Use a scrub brush to dislodge the stubborn stains, and then rinse the furniture with a hose.

cleaning your walkway
7. Clean Your Walkways: To remove stuck dirt and grime on your walkway, use dishwashing detergent. Liberally sprinkle the detergent over the walkway, and then pour hot water onto the detergent. Scrub the detergent into the walkway, and then rinse it with clean water. Let it fully dry.

cleaning patio furnitureFirst, remove rust. To do this, add a few drops of kerosene to a steel wool pad. Apply pressure as you scrub, and rub the rust spots until the rust loosens and falls off the wrought iron. Apply wax to your wrought iron to protect it from water or snow. Use a soft cloth, and apply an even coat of wax, which you can find at your local hardware store. Check the weather, and give your wax coat ample time to dry. We recommend you wax in the evening, and let the iron dry overnight. If you’re interested in changing the color of your iron, be sure to use paint that’s intended for wrought iron use. You’ll find suitable paint at your local hardware store.

9. Clean Your Hammock: First, unhook your hammock and then spread it over a large, clean surface such as a patio, deck or driveway. Hose the hammock down with water, and then use a sponge and warm, soapy water to remove any dirt. Once you’ve loosened and remove dirt, hose it down until the water is clear. Turn over your hammock and then hose down the other side. Make sure the hammock dries completely before re-hanging it.