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The Outdoors

The OutdoorsThe space outside your home is a window to the inside. Keeping it clean and appealing makes it soothing and inviting to the eyes. Everything from the lawn, to the plants, to the garden furniture, ought to be cleaned and tidied often to prevent the garden being in a state of disarray.

When you go to someone's house, if you see their lawn and porch all cluttered, with leaves strewn everywhere, and a hose with running water lying in the middle of the parking area, it is not very pleasant, isn't it? Neither should you allow that to happen to your own garden.

It is important to work out a schedule to clean and keep the outdoors of your home neat and tidy. It could be a weekly outdoor cleanup, with a regular touching up of the garden furniture, the garage and the lawn, to keep everything looking shipshape.

Cleaning and Maintaining the Outdoor Furniture

Just like the indoor ones, outdoor furniture needs to be equally taken care of. Usually, cleaning the outdoor furniture starts at the beginning of spring. Made out of various types of substance, like wood, wicker, fabric, wrought iron, resin, steel and even aluminum, outdoor furniture needs to be cleaned according to the maintenance method required for each kind.

Wooden furniture should be painted with a coat of exterior-grade varnish, which makes it easy to clean. The furniture then can be cleaned using plain soap water, and later rinsed with clear water. Furniture made of cedar and teak should be stored indoors during the winter.

Wicker outdoor furniture can be cleaned easily by spraying off the dirt using a pressure washer. You could also use mild soap to clean the surface, but don't forget to rinse and wipe it dry later. Apply wax to make it water-resistant, and bring a shine to the frame.

Acrylic cushions should be removed from the furniture frames before cleaning them. Spots can be cleaned with a sponge and mild soapy water. To cleanse mildew stains, soak the cushions in a solution of detergent and water, or even by spraying them with the solution.

Aluminum steel frames and wrought iron furniture should be cleaned with mild soap and water. Although the modern metal frames are corrosion-free and corrosion-resistant, the ones that are not can be cleaned or waxed to protect the metal from eroding and corroding, as they are out in the open.

Big garden umbrellas and covers need proper maintenance whether they are in use, or in storage. They can be washed with soft-bristle brushes and mild soapy water.

Garage and Shed

Clean the shed and throw away any junk or trash that has been accumulating over time. Check the lighting facility and replace the bulbs or lighting fixtures. In addition, tools should be put in their toolkits to make it easier to use them whenever needed.

Garden and Lawn

Since most of the outdoors cleaning is done during the spring season, the lawn is the first thing that should be attended to. Spruce up and maintain the lawn by regular mowing and weeding. Garden plants need to be watered, weeded and fertilized regularly for their optimal growth.

Birdbaths and Feeders

It is very important to clean birdbaths and feeders. Left untended, they become unhygienic and very smelly. Birds are usually fastidious about their cleanliness, and will not bathe or feed in grime. All their paraphernalia can be cleaned quite easily using a mild bleaching agent, which does not have too strong an odor.

Hints on cleaning outdoor items

  • Oil Stain removal from Wooden Deck - Wash vegetable oil stains with mineral spirits or naphtha. You should polish the deck occasionally with paint thinner, depending on the finishing of the deck. It is a good idea to try it out first in a small area before applying it all over.

  • Unlaquered Brass Lights - Make a paste out of equal parts of salt, flour and ample vinegar. After spreading a thick layer on the brass object, let it dry, then rinse it off. You could also use half a lemon and rub it on the item, and then rinse it with cold water. Buff it with a soft cloth and give it a coat of silicone car wax to keep it shining.

  • Gutter Washing - Clean all the leaves and debris from the gutter with a small broom. Use a hose to flush out the remaining rubbish. You could use hot water to remove the muck and filth that is too difficult to get rid of. Do not forget to wear gloves while cleaning the gutter as the sharp edges could bruise your hands. Be careful when you use a high-pressure hose on the gutter, as this could dent the aluminum, also causing it to lose its paint.

  • Barbeque - Clean and dry the barbeque for future use. To remove stains left by mustard, grease, sauce, etc, use the multipurpose cleaners available in the market

The lawn is a favorite spot for everyone in the family. Kids and pets use the area as a playground. Older people like to relax and soak in the sun on a nice sunny day. It is used for throwing barbeque parties. The entire outdoor area could serve as a picnic spot for the family. Hence, care should be taken to clean and maintain the outdoors to create a pleasant environment. So much so, that being outdoors becomes more pleasant than being behind the four walls of the house.

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