Handy ways to keep your outdoor space clean and safe

Because outdoor living areas are open to the elements, cleaning them is a little different from indoor cleaning. But, here are a few handy ways to keep your outdoor space clean and safe all year round without resorting to harsh cleaning chemicals.

  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean hard surfaces. Keep a stiff heavy-duty broom solely for outdoor use.
  • A regular sweep will prevent a build-up of mould-causing leaves, twigs and other organic debris.
  • Keep courtyard drainage grates free of leaves and pet hair.
  • Clear guttering and downpipes regularly.
  • Store canvas chairs and umbrellas out of the weather, otherwise they will rot.
  • If you have a water feature, make sure the water in it is clean and free of mosquito larvae.
  • To prevent rusting, put garden tools back where they belong after each use.
  • Store your hose on a reel to keep it neat and prevent it from forming kinks or knots. It will work more efficiently and last longer.
Handy ways to keep your outdoor space clean and safe

Play equipment

  • If you have a sandbox, cover it when it's not in use to keep animal droppings and rubbish out of it.
  • If a wading pool seems dirty, clean it with a solution of 50 grams (1/4 cup) baking soda in four litres (four quarts) water.
  • Regularly scrub play equipment – such as swings and slides – with warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to remove grime, sticky handprints and bird poop.

Paved areas

Moss can be unsightly and even dangerous on paved areas. Try one of these cleaning solutions.

  • Add about a handful of salt to a 5:1 solution of water and vinegar. Paint the solution onto the moss, then sweep the moss away when it is dry.
  • Spray a solution of one part vinegar to one part denatured alcohol on the moss.
  • Pour a kettle of boiling water over the moss.
  • For bad moss infestations, clean paved areas with a high-pressure washer (but first check the water restrictions in your area).
  • Clean swimming pool tiles with a little bicarbonate of soda on a soft cloth.

Remember these various points to help you keep your outdoor spaces clean and safe.

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