Now that the weather is warming up here in Southern California, we are preparing for summer. We like to spend time outdoors and every spring, our backyard needs some attention because of all the rain and wind we get here in Orange County. Today I' sharing my summer cleaning tips. These are the things I do to prepare our house and yard for summer time.
It is important to take care of furniture, grills and other backyard components so that they last a long time and provide lots of years of good use. It is easy to let some things go, but in my experience, things lasted longer when they are well-maintained and cleaned.
Summer Cleaning Tips for the Outdoors
Outdoor Seating - We have some outdoor cushions that get dirty from the moisture and leaves that blow around the area. I have found that the best way to clean these is to spot clean with a delicate cleaner and then wash with a hose. Be sure to check the fabric directions before you do this. I also like to spray my cushions with fabric protector once the fabric dries.
Concrete - Our backyard is the home to some bird nests and although I absolutely love hearing the birds chirp in the morning, they leave quite a mess on our concrete. They come every year and build mud nests that eventually come down with the rain in winter. I use just a little dish soap with water and a good brush to clean the area where they left their droppings. I use a towel to soak up the cleaning water, then finish off with a powerwash.
Barbeque Grill - Our BBQ grill is cleaned after each use, but before summer we like to really clean the outside and grates. A wire brush is best for the grill to get all the residue off. Oven cleaners work great for grills once they are removed. Be sure to check your grill's manufacturer directions and ensure that the grill is off and cool before attempting to clean it. Similar cleaning techniques also work for firepits and fire features.
Rain gutters - This is the time to get all of the leaves and such out of the gutters so that they are ready for the next season. While we did not get a lot of rain last year, the Santa Ana winds blew quite a bit. It is amazing how many leaves and twigs get caught in the gutters.
Outdoor Light Fixtures - Since we will be spending time outdoors in the evening, I like to clean out any little critters that may have made these their home during fall and winter. The glass panels are easier to clean if you clean them regularly.
Water Features - We have a fountain in our backyard and this is another area that collects leaves and branches. If you have a pool or spa, you are probably on top of the maintenance. Now is the time to stock up on extra chemicals that you might need this summer.
Pest Control - If you have some pest strips or old citronella candles from last year, replace them with new ones for the upcoming season. Be sure to place in safe areas away from pets and children.
Ceiling Fans - Now is the perfect time to dust off those ceiling fans before all the dust that lands on them get blown all over the place. I find that dusting with feather dusters is effective, but to really get the dust off, they need to be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Air Filters - These should be changed more often than once a year, but in case you have gotten behind schedule, this is a great time to do it. Before the air conditioner starts running, cleaning the filters will allow for more productive airflow and a healthier environment.
Door Tracks - With all the traffic going in and out of the back door, this is a great time to clean the door track. Talk about gross, it amazes me how dirty these tracks can get. I use a spray cleaner for these. They never get quite as clean as I would like.
We hope you found these summer cleaning tips helpful. Are any of these items on your summer cleaning list? How do you clean for summer?