Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. Soon enough you’ll be entertaining family and friends – so it’s time to spruce up your patio. Think of it as spring cleaning for your outdoors.

The front porch is where we greet guests and neighbors and spend time with family. The patio or backyard, is where we fire up the grill, play some horseshoes and share in all that is summer. These tips will help you get both your patio and porch in tip top shape for the coming outdoor entertaining season.

  1. Doors – The door to your home is often overlooked, and yet it is one of the first things your guests see. No matter what kind of door you have on your home, it could probably use a good wipe down or downright scrub. Remove fingerprints and paw prints with a paint safe cleanser. You can use Soilax mixed with water or a water and vinegar solution (2 parts water to one part vinegar) to clean dirt and grime off of your front and back door.
  2. Screen Doors – Once you’ve cleaned the door, don’t forget the screen door. If the screen pops out you can simply suds it up with some dish soap and hose it down to rinse. Let dry in the sun. If it does not pop out use a hand held vacuum with brush attachment to vacuum any dust or dirt that has collected. You can also use a dry cloth followed by a damp cloth. Use the same Soilax or vinegar solution to clean the frame of the screen. If your screen door is wood, don’t use the vinegar solution.
  3. Remove Cobwebs – There’s nothing worse than walking through cobwebs with plate full of food. Head outside in the morning light when you’ll be better able to spot the webs in the sun. Use a broom or cobweb removing tool to gather all the webs. You can also use a hand held vacuum. Check in obscure places like under the tables, in the corners and under the eaves of the house. Spiders do some good so if you have spider webs under the porch – where none of your guests will be – then leave the cobwebs there. Spiders eat mosquitos so having a few around is a good thing.
  4. Windows – You can use a cleaner made especially for windows like Windex, or you can use a solution of water and vinegar to clean your windows. Clean the windows on a sunny day so you can see any streaks.
  5. Patio Furniture – Use your vinegar solution above, the Soilax or dish soap and warm water to clean your patio furniture. Use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub out dirt and stains. Rinse with the hose and let dry in the sun. For cushions use your handheld vacuum to get up dust and debris that has settled in over the winter. If the cushions are stained use a little of the warm dish soap water mixture to scrub out the stain and then let dry in the sun.
  6. The Grill – Use a grill scraper to remove dried or burnt food from the grill. Turn the grill on high and scrape away. After the grill has cooled down you can wipe the sides down to remove excess grease from the sides of the grill. A seasoned grill is a good thing, but you want to remove excess grease that could start a fire. Check briquettes to see if they need replacing on gas grills. Don’t forget to remove any cobwebs from the hood of the grill.