This year, Canada Day weekend runs from Friday, June 28th to Monday, July 1st.  Every Canadian longs for this party-filled weekend as the official kickoff to summer, especially gardeners, patio-lovers and lounge lizards. This past winter and cooler-than-usual spring have been exceptionally harsh on our outdoor spaces, but don’t despair, there’s nothing our cleaning plan can’t tackle. By putting aside a few hours for a couple of days you can transform your outdoor space back into an oasis again.

Clean like you Mean It

Whether your outdoor space is a condo balcony, or a fully decked-out backyard, start with getting the dirtiest jobs out of the way. Put on your favourite cleaning playlist, your favourite rubber gloves or gardening gloves, and grab yourself a leaf bag and an industrial-size garbage bag. Last year’s leaves, branches, twigs and dead annuals can be placed in yard bags. Other debris like cigarette butts, discarded packaging like chocolate bar wrappers, styrofoam trays, broken hula hoops and sand toys can go in the garbage bag. And if you’re a homeowner who sometimes gets lazy and lets Fido do their thing in the backyard, grab a compost bag too, you know what you have to do!

There’s a Time and Place for the Power Washer

If you’re cleaning up a backyard, the next step is to spray the layers of dirt off your patio furniture, barbeque, storage bins and light fixtures. Although it’s tempting to blast any and all mounds of dirt with a power washer, its force is too strong for most furniture and accessories. Instead, get out the hose and start washing everything off with water and a soft brush. If you’re cleaning a small balcony, there may be rules about how to wash your balcony. We suggest wiping everything down with several damp-dry microfibre cloths, and also several rounds of mopping everything down with a damp-dry microfibre cloth mop. But, feel free to use the power washer on the deck and driveway.

The Joys of DIY Cleaning Spray

Whether you’ve hosed down your backyard or hand-washed your balcony, next step is to wipe down everything with an all-natural cleaning spray. Better yet, fill a large spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar, and add 10 drops of lemon essential oil or a combination of citrus oils and 5 drops of tea tree oil. These ingredients will help kill bacteria from things like bird droppings and unknown substances, and it smells great! Commercial cleaning sprays contain chemicals which have no beneficial health effects. On the other hand, essential oils are derived from plants and flowers and have therapeutic effects including aromatherapy.

Finding Gold at Garage Sales

No matter how much you clean, you need to take a really hard look at all your decorations that had to battle through snow, hail and winds. Replace broken items like patio lights, tiki torches, decorative wasp traps, outdoor rugs, and garden ornaments. Repair broken greenhouses, raised garden beds, flower pots and torn awning covers. You can still find great deals at garage sales in July.  You can likely replace everything you need at a fraction of retail costs!

Ready to get the rest of your home summer-ready? You don’t have to sacrifice all your time cleaning up indoors. Find a local MOLLY MAID near you, and let us help you keep your home in top shape – ready to entertain a moment’s notice this long weekend!

 

 

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