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Is Your Outdoor Living Space Ready for Cookout Season?

Warmer weather is finally here, so it’s time for fun in the sun. Before you know it, there will be cookouts, pool parties, and family meals galore! Is your outdoor living space ready for the spotlight?

The colder months followed by pollen season can be rough on outdoor areas. But, if you use some of our tips in this blog, you’ll be ready to go when the barbecues begin.

1. Bust Out the Broom

When it comes to cleaning your outdoor living space, the first thing you want to do is give your deck or patio a good sweep. Clear away any old leaves, fallen twigs, and pine needles so that your exterior space looks welcoming and open.

2. Wash Winter Stains Away

Your patio or deck may have experienced some staining or discoloration while sitting under debris for a few months. Your first instinct might be to rent a pressure washer, but please fight that urge! Power washing may damage surfaces like wood, concrete, or stone. Call a professional for power washing services if you decide to go that route.

Otherwise, you can try the below methods:

  • Concrete: When trying to figure out how to clean a concrete patio, look to the kitchen. That’s right, a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water can work wonders on this surface. You can use a broom to work on any stubborn spots. Afterward, rinse the patio clean with your water hose.
  • Wood: Both acidic cleaners and too much pressure can damage wood surfaces. Your best bet is to try an all-natural cleaner for a wooden deck or patio. If your deck hasn’t been stained or sealed in a few years, have it done—the results will make next year’s pre-cookout cleaning much easier.
  • Stone: This is another material on which acidic cleaners and pressure can wreak havoc. As with concrete, you can wash stone patios with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. However, you want to avoid scrubbing with stiff broom bristles, which can scratch the stone. Instead, use a microfiber cloth or gently clean stained areas with a soft-bristled brush.

As for any other surfaces that don't fall into these categories, be sure to research the specific cleaning methods and products that are safe for them.

3. Don't Forget the Furniture

Now that your deck or patio looks clean, don’t forget about your outdoor furniture. If you have cushions or other fabric items, make sure to wash them according to their care instructions.

For hard surfaces like plastic or metal furniture, use warm water and mild dish soap to give them a good scrub. If your furniture is made of wood, follow the same cleaning tips mentioned above. Explore our outdoor furniture cleaning guide for more in-depth advice.

4. De-Grime Glass

Your home’s exterior windows need attention, too, especially after a long winter or heavy pollen season. You can use the same solution and method as you would to clean the windows inside your home.

5. Clean Your Grill

Ensuring your grill is clean is crucial for cookout season. A well-maintained grill helps produce the best flavors, supports safe cooking techniques, and improves the longevity of your equipment. Regular cleaning prevents the build-up of grease and char, reducing the risk of flare-ups. For a comprehensive step-by-step guide on getting your grill in prime condition so it’s ready to be the centerpiece of your cookout, check out How to Clean a BBQ Grill.

Other Tips to Clean & Organize the Backyard

Getting your outdoor space ready for a cookout goes beyond basic cleanup. After sweeping the deck and removing stains, focus on enhancing comfort and functionality for your guests.

To further make your backyard an inviting environment, try:

  • Refreshing Planters and Greenery: Revitalize your outdoor area by tending to planters, garden beds, and hanging baskets. Remove any dead plants, weeds, or debris, and add fresh soil or mulch to enhance the appearance and health of your greenery.
  • Updating Outdoor Décor: Add new decorative elements such as outdoor rugs, throw pillows, or string lights to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere for your cookout guests.
  • Organizing Cooking Utensils and Supplies: Ensure all outdoor cooking essentials are clean, sorted, and easily accessible. This includes organizing utensils, plates, cups, and other cookout necessities.
  • Checking and Cleaning Outdoor Lighting: Double-check that all outdoor lighting functions correctly. Clean the fixtures and replace any burnt-out bulbs to enhance the ambiance and safety of your outdoor space.

Cleaning a deck or patio after winter does take some time and effort. However, you’ll find it worthwhile when you're soaking up the payoff of relaxing outdoors with a cold glass of iced tea – happy grilling!

Let Us Help You Create a Seamless Cookout Experience

While you focus on perfecting your outdoor setting for a cookout, don't overlook the importance of a clean indoor space. Guests will likely pass through your home to enter the backyard or use the restroom at some point, so having a clean interior is important, too. Our professional cleaning team will help make your space look and feel welcoming so you can concentrate on hosting and enjoying your event.

Explore our customized house cleaning services and contact your local Merry Maids to get started.