Tips for Cleaning Outdoor Furniture, Grills, and Other Common Summer Items

Category: Summer Cleaning
July 15th, 2019
By Brandon Boyewsky

Summer is here in Chicago and that means tons of fun for the whole family. It also means you’ll be getting lots of use out of your outdoor furniture, grills, and other items you use frequently during the summer. You’ll want to maintain your outdoor summer items to keep them in tip-top shape and looking their best. Our helpful tips will keep your summer items looking good all year long.


Before you clean individual items.

If your backyard and patio look like ours after a long winter and rainy spring, chances are you have a lot of dirt and leaves covering your summer items. First, take a brush or cloth to wipe away debris. Now let’s look at how to more thoroughly clean your summer items.


Outdoor furniture.

The actual method of cleaning your outdoor furniture will depend on the material it’s made of.


Plastic: Plastic is the easiest to clean and maintain. All you have to do is spray with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe it down with a damp cloth. If your plastic furniture is particularly grimy and stains seem caked in, spray those areas with men’s shaving cream, let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe clean.


Metal: Metal is best cleaned by using a brush or sponge and a mixture of warm water and mild dishwashing soap. Mix a quarter cup of dishwashing soap to a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Rinse and dry. Metal furniture rusts easily. While it’s usually painted or coated, the surface will wear over time. So you may want to use steel wool to remove any oxidation and repaint metal furniture from time to time.


Wicker: Wicker furniture is another popular choice for outdoor furniture. It makes a great outdoor living space that you can enjoy for years to come when cared for properly. Mix warm soapy water in a bucket using a one to eight ratio. Or, two cups of water to a quarter cup of dishwashing soap. Wipe down your wicker furniture with a soft cloth, then rinse with a hose.


If your wicker has mold or mildew, add a cup of vinegar to your cleaning mixture. You can use a toothbrush to get into hard-to-clean spots. Then rinse with water and make sure your furniture dries quickly and thoroughly. Place it out in the air or sun after wiping to ensure it dries well. We recommend cleaning wicker on a warm, sunny day.


Cushions and fabric: Seat covers and cushions are prone to getting dirty when exposed to the elements. It’s best to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations on the label for cleaning instructions. Otherwise, a solution of dishwashing soap and water should do the job. If the size and content of the fabric allow, a good wash in a gentle washing machine cycle is great. Air dry once cleaned.


Grills and grates.

We love summertime barbeques. But, they can be rather messy. It doesn’t have to be a huge chore to clean grills and grates. While you should brush your grill grates every time you barbeque, you’ll also need to give them a thorough cleaning twice a year – once at the beginning of grilling season and once when you pack everything away at the end of summer.


Gather a long-handled wire brush, a bucket, warm water, dish soap, sponges and old rags, and a cleaning paste made of baking soda and vinegar. You can soak your grill grates in warm soapy water for a few minutes before tackling them with the brushes. Make sure you wear gloves to clean your grill and grates. Give them a good scrub, rinse, then thoroughly dry.


Don’t forget to clean basting brushes. These often get sticky, stinky, and downright yucky. Get some hot water and dishwashing soap and let them soak a little. Rinse off, then shake well to get excess moisture out. Place the basting brush in a cup filled with some salt. This will absorb more of the moisture.


Kiddie pools.

Summer isn’t complete without having a small pool for the kiddos. But you want to make sure you maintain the pool so it doesn’t grow germs and bacteria. From time to time, clean the pool by draining the water out completely. There’s likely to be a tiny amount of water remaining that you should dry with a towel. Wipe the pool to remove some of the algae growth.


Then use a homemade cleaning solution of bleach and water using one part bleach to five parts water. An equal ratio of vinegar and water can also be used. Use a brush and add a little of the solution at a time to tackle all areas of the pool. When finished, rinse thoroughly, then refill the pool with water.


There you go. Cleaning outdoor summer items doesn’t have to be so difficult. If you want to free up some time so you can enjoy your summer without worrying about so many chores, consider hiring a Chicago cleaning agency to help clean your home inside and out.

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