Preparing your backyard for outdoor cookouts, entertaining

PIX11 Morning News

Patios, terraces, decks, porches, a backyard — whatever your outdoor space may be, this is the time to clean it, fix it and prepare for some outdoor living this summer.

Senior Editor of “Real Simple” Katie Holdefehr spoke helped kick off the unofficial start to summer and shared how to get ready to entertain outdoors.


Look around your yard for any items you no longer need, such as broken furniture, rusty garden tools you haven’t used in years, rotting scrap wood. Consider donating old patio furniture or yard toys that are still in good condition. 

Buy or rent a pressure washer

Have a concrete patio or stone pavers? A deep cleaning with a pressure washer can remove years’ worth of dirt and grime. Be careful though. Never point the pressure washer at yourself or others and make sure pets are inside. 

Cleaning outdoor furniture

Clean away the cobwebs. For most pieces, scrub a nylon brush dipped in warm, soapy water followed by a rinse with the garden hose. 

Remove stubborn stains from canvas cushions, mix a solution of warm water and a tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent and use a soft-bristle nylon scrub brush to remove any stains.

If covers on your pillows and cushions are removable, cleaning is easier. 

Outdoor toys and games

Rinse toys with a garden hose. For stuck-on grime, dip a sponge in soapy water, make sure rafts are deflated before you start scrubbing. Lay them in the sun to dry too help prevent mildew.

Remove the weeds

Tired of hurting your back to remove the weeds in your lawn? Try spraying Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate directly on weeds. 

Rake and mow the lawn

Collect branches and rake away dead leaves. It will allow grass to breathe and recover. Adding mulch to  garden beds also makes a backyard or patio appear more put-together. 

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