Winter is coming to an end: time to start getting the yard, patio, or deck ready for the warmer days ahead! Whether it’s painting the garden gate, checking and treating the patio furniture and wood surfaces, or cleaning the paving stones, there’s always lots to do before opening the outdoor space after a long, long winter.
To ensure your spring cleaning is effective and eco-responsible, here are some tips and cleaning product recipes to easily bring brightness and freshness into your summer haven!
If you don’t have time to make your own, check out the cleaning products available in bulk at Rachelle Béry. There are plenty of natural, super-effective options for cleaning the fabric of your patio furniture, as well as all-purpose cleansers for windows and furniture.
For paving stone, fibreglass, and composite patios and decks
When it comes to a paving stone, fibreglass, or composite deck, a pressure hose is your best option. Otherwise, use a large brush to dislodge dirt, and rinse with a regular hose.
If you have a paved patio, start by removing any weeds growing between the stones (you can use a special tool, like a weeder). Next, use a broom to dislodge dirt. You can now treat the surface with a cleaner and rinse it with a pressure hose. If you have a balcony, you can follow these same steps—just be sure to warn your downstairs neighbours first!
Commercial patio cleansers can be effective, but they aren’t always eco-friendly. Many of them contain chemicals you may not want in your home—especially if you have kids—or to come into contact with your plants. Making your own patio cleanser is easy, and you’ll know exactly what goes in it!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup baking soda;
- ⅓ cup dish soap (bulk or Attitude);
- 1 cup Borax;
- 2 litres hot water;
- Rubber gloves;
- Bucket for mixing;
- Scrubbing brush;
- Optional: old sheets or towels to protect any surrounding greenery.
- Now mix the ingredients together in hot water.
- After dusting off the patio, pour the mixture over the surface and scrub any spots or stains. Let rest for 10 minutes and rinse with a hose or pressure hose.
For wood surfaces
Foam, algae, and fungus tends to thrive on wood. Cleaning is therefore of utmost importance at the start of the season! When mixed with water, citric acid is ideal for cleaning and ridding yourself of these unpleasant growths on your wood patio.
- 2 teaspoons of citric acid;
- 3 litres of water.
- Mix the two ingredients together. Use a brush or spray to coat the surface generously and let it sit for 3 days.
- Scrub and rinse.
Cleaning outdoor fabrics
If you put your patio furniture’s fabric cushions away last year without cleaning them first, they may be in need of some TLC. I like to use a spray bottle filled with a few ingredients to help lift dirt and clean.
I use about 1 teaspoon of Borax and 3 or 4 teaspoons of dish soap. I fill the rest of the bottle with 3 or 4 cups of warm water and allow the products to dissolve. Finally, I add 10 to 12 drops of lemon-scented essential oil for a fresh scent. There’s no “perfect” recipe. Adjust the quantity of dish soap and Borax salt to the size of your bottle. I recommend having at least one cup of Borax on hand, in case you have lots of fabric to clean.
I let the ingredients sit together a few minutes inside the bottle before shaking it a little. Next, I generously spray the solution onto the fabric. I finish off with a steam cleaner.