There are few moments of spring more exciting than spending that first sun-filled afternoon on your patio. But first, your outdoor space likely needs to be cleaned up a bit after weathering Seattle’s winter. From the massive rainstorms to bursts of cold and wind, our outdoor spaces have taken a bit of a beating.
Luckily, you can get it back in tip-top shape with a few simple steps. From removing dirt and grime to cleaning off mildewed umbrellas and planting your garden, spending a little time on your outdoor space now can give you hours of enjoyment throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Rinse off all Exterior Pots
You want to start by cleaning the potentially grimiest, tallest surfaces first. Often this is your exterior pots that live on patio ledges and along the edge of your patio. Using water and a stiff bristle brush, scrub the dirt and grime from them. You want to avoid using any cleaning agent that might be potentially poisonous to plants.
Give Your Teak a Wash
While Teak is a relatively low-maintenance outdoor patio furniture material, mold and mildew can build up on the outside. In order to keep it from staining the exterior in splotchy dark spots, you’ll want to wash it with warm water, mild soap, and a soft bristle brush.
Rinse Your Powder-Coated Aluminum and All-Weather Wicker
Like teak, powder-coated aluminum and all-weather wicker are both low-maintenance materials that are mold and rot resistant. While dirt and grime can accumulate over the winter, it can easily be rinsed free with water. Stubborn bits can be scrubbed with warm water, mild soap, and a soft sponge.
Banish Algae on Wrought Iron
Wrought iron is another incredibly durable outdoor furniture material. But here in the Pacific Northwest with our wet climate and heavy winter rains, algae and mold can quickly grow on its surface. Luckily, it can also be easily cleaned. Using a stiff-bristled brush, warm water, and a mild soap, scrub away any build-up.
Get Your Steps Cleaned Up
Throughout the winter, your steps can accumulate a layer of dirt and grime. Not only is this an instant curb appeal killer, it can create a slick and unsafe surface. Before you and your friends start regularly using your patio, you’ll want to clean your steps up so they’re safe to walk on.
Start by spraying your patio down with water. Next, spray them an environmentally-friendly cleaner and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Using a stiff bristle brush, scrub the dirt and grime away. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely. Finally, take stock of whether your steps need to be re-stained or re-painted.
Check Light Bulbs and Replace Any that Have Burnt Out
It’s not unusual that outdoor lightbulbs can stop working throughout the winter without you noticing. The last thing you want is to be outside enjoying your patio and suddenly discover you’re stuck in unwanted darkness. To avoid this, check your lightbulbs and replace any that have burnt out during your spring patio cleaning.
Clean Away Concrete Grime
Like all the other surfaces on your patio, your concrete floor is likely to accumulate a lot of dirt and grime throughout the winter. You want to save cleaning it for last because as you clean the other surfaces, their mess typically spills right onto the concrete.
Remove all the furniture and potted plants. Sweep any loose leaves and dirt from the surface. Rinse with a hose. (The hose rinse is easiest when done with a spray attachment, as this can help lose any stubborn dirt.)
If your concrete is still dirty, spread an environmentally safe cleaner across the surface and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Then using a broom with stiff bristles, scrub the surface and rinse thoroughly with water.
Refill Propane Tanks
Whether it’s your patio heater or your gas grill, when you want it to work, you want it to work. One of the most frustrating things is getting mid-way a grill session or half-way into a lovely evening and having either of these key fixtures run out of propane. So before you fire them up, make sure to refill your propane tank.
Spruce Up Your Cushions
Whether it’s time for a new look on your patio or your cushions have seen better days, spring is the perfect time to give them a spruce up. You can often simply replace the cushion covers to instantly give your patio a facelift.
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