Spring Cleaning

3 Things I Always Do to Clean and Prep My Outdoor Spaces for Spring

published Mar 16, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

As I peek out my front window, I see green-leafed tulips poking through the ground in my flowerbed. It definitely seems like the first day of spring is almost here. I can’t wait to see the pink and purple colors after a winter of brown and gray. It’s a promise that warmer weather should be making an appearance soon. Seeing this green also reminds me it’s time to focus on what’s outside my home and begin prepping my outdoor living spaces. I can already close my eyes and see afternoons working under the umbrella on the patio and having blanket picnics with my kids. Here are the three things I do.

I sweep away the dirt.

Every year, right around March — as soon as the sun is out and the temperature is warm enough for long pants and a hoodie — I grab the outside broom and start sweeping off my patio spaces and sidewalks. If any outdoor furniture pieces are left outside, I like to move them temporarily into the grass and clean off the entire space from any dirt and debris collected over the winter months. Just taking time to sweep everything thoroughly starts to kick off my outdoor spring cleaning.

I wash (and scrub) outdoor furniture.

Once everything has been swept, I like to do a wash-down of my outdoor furniture. I start by spraying everything off with the hose. I’ve discovered over the years that having a sunny day is so important. It never fails that when water is involved I always get wet. It’s no fun being cold on a 60-degree cloudy day trying to get some cleaning done, so I can’t recommend sunny days enough for prepping your outdoor spaces.

Once everything is sprayed off, next I grab an old rag and a bucket of warm soapy water and begin wiping down all my chairs and tables. I’ve learned over the years you don’t need to buy any fancy soaps to get the job done; dish soap has always worked great. After all the furniture has been scrubbed, I put it out in the yard to dry and begin checking out my grout to see how dirty it is. For extra-dirty spots, I pour soapy water with a splash of bleach on the spot and scrub vigorously with my Scotch-Brite utility brush.

I prep the outdoor cushions.

For my outdoor cushions or pillows, I either throw them in the washer or wipe them off by hand. With a new bucket of warm water and a small amount of gentle detergent, I take a rag and wipe down what can’t be put in the washer. If there are any other tough stains to remove, I use my Spray n’ Wash Stain Remover and do my best to blot out any discolored spots with a damp cloth. Anything I wash I also let air-dry on my patio benches once they are clean themselves (I never put anything in the dryer).

These are simple, easy ways to get my outdoor spaces clean and ready for warmer weather. Once complete, I feel ready to bring on those springtime picnics right in our own backyard.