Although it might not always feel like it in Britain, but summer is here which means you’ll be spending a lot more time outside (hopefully!), enjoying the weather.
Summer is a time for BBQ’s, summer parties and picnics, therefore you’ll want to make sure your garden is in tip top condition. Not only will you want your outside surfaces clean to make pleasant surroundings for friends, family and visitors, you’ll also want to clean up to avoid people going outside and bringing half the garden back inside with them on their shoes.
Here’s our guide to getting your outdoor space as clean as indoors – and keeping it that way!
We always keep the inside of our windows clean and smudge free, but with the rain and all the outside elements to battle with, the same can’t be said for the glass on the outside. To ensure your windows (and any other glass furniture articles in your garden) are sparkling clean, mix water, a cup of white vinegar and a teaspoon of liquid soap in a bucket. Then use a sponge to wipe down all glass surfaces and windows. Finally rinse until clean and dry with a soft cloth.
One of the most important outdoor cleaning duties is the wiping down of your garden furniture; after all, you’re going to be eating, drinking and entertaining so it needs to be spic and span before coming into contact with food and refreshments.
Use a bucket of warm water and soap and a sponge to thoroughly wash any grubby dirt off tables, chairs and parasols. Be sure to use a soft sponge, so you do not scratch or damage metal, wooden furniture or plastic furniture.
If you have canvas furniture it may well have removable material or cushions, so you can put these through the wash. If not, just wipe them down as best you can and rinse with fresh water when done. Be sure to leave time to dry before you need to use the furniture – i.e. avoid doing the cleaning the day you’re planning to host a lunchtime garden party!
BBQ’s are the essence of summer, but as soon as the temperature drops, most grills are discarded, forgotten about and left out in the cold. This means that when the time comes to use them again, they often need a lot of cleaning and TLC.
Clean your grill with a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda and watch it sparkle back to life! Give the legs and lid (if your BBQ has one) a good wipe down with soap and water to get rid of any cobwebs or mud that may have accumulated. If you’re worried about dirt and germs coming into contact with any of the food you plan to grill, then you can use an antibacterial cleaning product to give your grill one final clean.
Now that you’ve cleaned all the objects in your garden, and windows surrounding, it’s time to give the patio/decking a good scrubbing.
Move any outdoor furniture, pot plants, hanging baskets etc. out of the way and then get to work. Often people just turn on the garden hose and attempt to wash away the grime in one quick easy step – this isn’t a good idea as it tends to just turn your decking into a sticky mess due to the moisture.
Instead, use a garden broom to sweep all the dirt into one place and hoover it up. Then, depending on what material surface you’re working with, you can clean accordingly.
Wooden decks and patios are beautiful, however they are notoriously tough to clean without damaging; do not try and use a jet wash or power cleaner as you run the risk of ruining your wood. Instead, go to your local DIY shop and pick up a specialised wood-friendly deck cleaner. It’s also a good idea to pick up a wood protectant while you’re there, to ensure that your decking can withstand all weathers.
Concrete is a doddle to clean – simply sweep up the dirt (working particularly hard on the areas that seem dirty), scrub down with some hot soap and water then start the garden hose to simply rinse it all away.
Many stone/brick types will be ruined by too much water or power cleaning equipment. Warm water and soap will suffice to clean most types of stone and brick; if something is particularly dirty then clean them first with a soft sponge, soft cloth or soft bristle brush.
When your patio/decking are clean and dry, simply replace garden furniture and accessories and you’re ready to entertain!