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Natural Bug Prevention: Kill Bugs without the Harsh Chemicals

July 17, 2014

There is no doubt that the best way to keep your home bug-free is by regularly deep-cleaning, even in the areas that you can’t see. Keep reading for Molly Maid’s natural bug prevention tips for your home…

• Rinse out all food or beverage cans and bottles before discarding them.

• Is the inside of your house humid? Insects love moist areas. Consider using a dehumidifier.

• Keep your yard spruced up by cutting back bushes and trees. Overgrown areas, and piles of leaves are perfect nesting spots for bugs.

• Take out the trash nightly.

• Dispose of any overripe fruit, as this is where fruit flies lay their eggs.

• Pull beds away from the wall to lessen breeding grounds for bed bugs.

cleaner 300x201 Natural Bug Prevention: Kill Bugs without the Harsh Chemicals

Photo Credit: ANVRecife on Flickr

If it’s too late and you already have bugs, here are some tips on how to kill them without the use harsh chemicals.

• There are plenty of organic products that promise to keep ants away, including home remedies. One commercial product that we recommend for homeowners is Orange Guard. The water-based insecticide and repellent uses d-Limonene, which is simply orange peel extract.

This product is very effective on almost every insect, including ants, roaches, fleas, silverfish, aphids, spider mites, leaf hoppers and scale insects. And because it contains only edible plant extracts and water, it means that it is safe to use around your children and pets. You can even use it on countertops and other areas around food.

• In terms of home remedies, there are two great options. The first option only requires two ingredients: water and vinegar. Simply add these two things to into a spray bottle and you’ll get the perfect solution for getting rid of ants and other bugs.

The second option requires you to mix water, dishwashing liquid and olive oil in a spray bottle. Once added, shake the bottle and the solution is ready for use. This works particularly well for small flying insects because the olive oil prevents them from flying after being sprayed. Note: be careful where you spray this solution. Olive oil tends to be very slippery!

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly quality checked. Click here to request service in your area.

Exterior House Cleaning: Windows, Cobwebs and Mats

July 10, 2014

No matter how squeaky clean you get the inside of your windows, a clear view requires work on the outside as well. Tackle this chore as well as the necessary clearing of cobwebs and sweeping of mats using these helpful tips.

Window Cleaning Image 300x107 Exterior House Cleaning: Windows, Cobwebs and Mats Exterior Window Cleaning

You use the same supplies and methods for exterior windows as you do for interior panes. We previously published a complete list of window cleaning supplies, in case you don’t have all your supplies already set. One additional note: Have multiple fine steel wool and multiple nylon scrubbing pads handy, as there will be more dirt and other gunk to remove from the outside panes, especially if you have a bird-friendly property and/or live in an area of the country that sees regular dust storms.

Plan this task for first thing in the morning, during a cooler time of day. Not only is it a more comfortable time to work, but the work itself also proves less of a challenge. Higher temps mean you must work more quickly to keep the cleaning solution from drying on the windows before you can rinse, thus creating streaks. For more tips on efficient window cleaning, check out our guide on window cleaning techniques and will help you clean like a pro.

Cleaning Cobwebs Outside

Consider this work part of the prep work for cleaning your windows, as you don’t want to rain cobwebs and dead insects down on the freshly washed glass. The only supplies you need are the ladder already out of the garage and an exterior duster with extension pole.

Work your way around the house, clearing second-story windows before those on the first floor. Climb the latter each time, even if you can reach the tops of windows with the extension. You want to ensure there are no nests in the corners before you poke one and invite the wrath of stinging creatures.

Techniques for Cleaning a Variety of Outdoor Mats

doormats Exterior House Cleaning: Windows, Cobwebs and Mats Perform this task after clearing cobwebs but before washing windows, especially if you plan to use a leaf blower that could dirty the glass. Start by pulling all of the exterior mats and placing them in a central location. If you have an outdoor area rug on the patio, grab it as well. Then sweep or blow all porches, entryways, patios and walkways. You also may need to follow with water hose and a high-pressure nozzle to clear away any gunk.

Use that same water hose and nozzle to clean both sides of any rubber mats, propping them against a tree or the house to drip dry. A cleaning solution of mild dish soap and water helps with any hard-to-remove debris. Natural fiber mats should be shaken and beat. You can even flip the switch on your blower to suck up any remaining debris. Only rinse if the manufacturer’s instructions allow.

How to Clean Your House Like a Pro

These tips are those that professional cleaners use daily. They have been put to the test by professionals and left many a homeowner happy. In general, using simple pro tricks gives you a better clean but also in a fraction of the time. Here are a few more:

Always work from top to bottom. For example, when cleaning the kitchen, dust the tops of appliances and cabinets before cleaning countertops and floors.

Vacuum and mop moving backwards from the far end of the room to the exit door. This keeps you from leaving footprints on freshly cleaned floors.

Clean the dirtiest rooms in your house first. Eventually, you will lose steam or run out of time. Tackling the rooms that need the most work first ensures you get the most out of your cleaning time.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly quality checked. Click here to request service in your area.

How to Clean Tile Floors Fast and Efficiently

June 24, 2014

Floors are typically last on the to-clean list for a room, and because of this you may rush the work in your eagerness to be done. You can work fast without leaving behind dirt and debris, though. Simply follow these five steps to clean tile floors fast and efficiently.

1. Remove All Floor Rugs and Mats

Pick up any floor coverings, taking them outside for a good shake. Lay them on a clean surface, and then head back inside.

2. Sweep and Vacuum

upright vacuum cleaner 118x300 How to Clean Tile Floors Fast and EfficientlyNothing beats a broom for getting into corners and crevices. Sweep the floor in sections, creating piles as you go. Get out your vacuum and put it on the bare-floor setting to lift its beater bar, which can dull and scratch the tile. Vacuum up the piles, and then run the appliance over the entirety of the floor like you would carpet. Use attachments on stubborn debris in grout lines. This combination of sweeping and vacuuming removes the most dirt and dust bunnies.

3. Mix Your Cleaning Solution

What you use to clean your floors depends on the type of tile. For ceramic tile, a manufacturer-recommended mild detergent works best. Never use abrasive products, as they can scratch the tile, or bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, which can discolor the grout.

For cleaning natural stone tile, also follow manufacturer’s instructions, which likely will call for a soap-based product. Never use abrasive products, as they can scratch the tile, or bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, which can discolor the grout. Also do not use lemon juice, vinegar or other acids on marble, limestone or travertine.

Mix the cleaning product according to manufacturer’s recommendations and keep a soft brush ready to tackle stubborn stains.

4. Mop the Floors

muddy footprints floor How to Clean Tile Floors Fast and EfficientlyDip your chamois mop in the cleaning solution, and then ring out until just damp. Start at one end of the room and work backward, mopping as you go and changing the water as needed. Use the soft brush to lift any stains. Once the floor looks clean, rinse with warm water to keep detergent or soap buildup from dulling the tile. You can let air-dry or wipe dry with a soft cloth.

5. Return Rugs and Mats

Rugs and mats are the key to keeping tile floors as clean as possible, thus reducing the time you spend sweeping, vacuuming and mopping. Floor coverings at entry points, both inside the home and outside, pull dirt and debris from shoes. Mats in the kitchen and bathrooms can catch all manner of items that fall to the floor. Before you return the rugs and mats to their proper places, though, be sure to vacuum them, as well.

Pro tip: A large lint roller, the kind that look like paint rollers, does wonders when it comes to lifting hair and other debris from rugs, especially those with a flat weave.

Other Tips for Keeping Tile Floors Clean

  • floor mop 300x223 How to Clean Tile Floors Fast and EfficientlyAsk family members and guests to remove their shoes when entering your home.
  • Dust mop between cleanings to speed up the process even further.
  • Clean heavily trafficked areas more often.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen; even sealed tile and grout can stain if certain spills linger.
  • Reseal tile and grout as recommended to protect the floors.

If you still find that cleaning your tile takes more time than you have, or would like to spend cleaning, consider letting a professional take over. That way, you know that the correct products and methods are being used every time, and you can focus on activities you find more fun.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly quality checked. Click here to request service in your area.

The Ultimate Cleaning Products List for Every Room in Your House

June 16, 2014

cleaning supplies kit 300x256 The Ultimate Cleaning Products List for Every Room in Your HouseDo you need to restock your cabinet of cleaning supplies? Perhaps you have a son or daughter moving into their first apartment and they need some supplies? Or maybe you just need some ideas. Either way, this ultimate list of cleaning products includes everything you need to keep all of the rooms in a home are sparkling clean.

Kitchen

The kitchen requires more cleaning products than any other, as you face a variety of messes: from tracked-in mud on the floor to grease stains on the backsplash. Pick up these items:

All-purpose cleaner— You need a product like Mr. Clean cuts grease and remove grime from just about any surface. It also can tackle tough jobs such as the inside of your garbage can. The line of Mr. Clean products comes in a variety of scents, allowing you to choose your favorite one. Antibacterial products also are available.

Glass cleanerWindex and the like will make windows, whether on your oven or in the wall, sparkle. It also works on multiple surfaces, including sealed marble and granite countertops, and comes original and Fresh Rain scents.

To apply these products, choose eco-friendly terry cloth or microfiber that you can wash when done. The texture makes cleaning easier, and by spraying the product directly to the cloth as opposed to the glass surface will prevent waste – as people tend to use too much of the product when sprayed directly to the surface. Also pick up an extendible duster to reach the top of appliances and cabinets.

Bathroom

detailed bathroom cleaning2 The Ultimate Cleaning Products List for Every Room in Your HouseIn addition to the all-purpose cleaner for use on toilets, bathtubs and floors, and the glass cleaner for windows and mirrors, you’ll need the following products for the bathroom:

Tile and grout cleanerScrub Free and Scrubbing Bubbles are excellent acid-based cleaners that remove soap buildup in the bathtub, shower and sink. When cleaning grout, use a grout brush to really get in there.

Quick Tip: Vacuuming, yes vacuuming the bathroom floor before you start spraying cleaning products can help better pick-up hair and lint before you clean the floors, which should be the last thing you do in the bathroom.

Bedroom

Once you strip the bed and take linens to the laundry room, use these products as part of your cleaning process:

Water—Yes, believe it or not the best way to clean most wood furniture is with a water-dampened soft cloth. Simply wipe the furniture down, unfolding and refolding to keep the cleaning surface clear of dust. Furniture polish can sometimes attract dust! If you do use a wood polish, we recommend spraying the product directly on your soft cloth as opposed to directly on the wood. Again, this will avoid wasting the product.

Powdered carpet deodorizer—In a bedroom with carpet, shaking a product such as Glade Carpet & Room Deodorizer can eliminate many odors. Baking soda also gets the job done if you do not like any of the scents these powders come in, and it also works on mattresses in need of freshening.

Living Room

Glass cleaner, water-dampened cloths and powdered carpet deodorizer also get used in this room, along with:

living room 300x151 The Ultimate Cleaning Products List for Every Room in Your HouseProducts such as Febreeze work well on upholstered furniture and on any pet beds in the room, allowing you to extend the amount of time between professional cleaning.

Large lint roller—Pet owners who let their furry family members on the furniture swear by this tool, essentially a lint roller the size of a paint roller. Evercare makes one specifically for pet hair and makes quick cleaning of sofas and chairs.

Laundry Room

You will, of course, need products to launder your clothes in this room, but also keep the appliances themselves clean by picking up:

laundry room The Ultimate Cleaning Products List for Every Room in Your HouseWashing machine cleanerTide and Clorox both make products that remove buildup from laundry detergent and any odors. Simply pour into the machine and run a load. A water-dampened cloth works to wipe down the dryer interior and the exterior of both appliances. And be sure to vacuum dryer vents, either yourself or by hiring a pro, at least once a year to avoid lint fires.

By keeping a home fully stocked with cleaning supplies, you are ready to tackle any mess at any time in the most efficient way possible. After all, no one likes to clean again because they ran out of the right product.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly quality checked. Click here to request service in your area.

Top 10 Thoughtful and Affordable Father’s Day Gifts

June 12, 2014

Father’s Day is approaching quickly, leaving many sons and daughters scrambling to find a gift for the man who has everything. This holiday is intended to show dad that he is appreciated and loved, but people are often stumped when thinking about gift ideas. The truth is, dad wants something that is thoughtful and meaningful. Often times, these gifts don’t require you to purchase anything at all! So forget the neck ties, coffee mugs and paperweights, here are our Top 10 Thoughtful and Affordable Father’s Day Gifts!

fathers day Top 10 Thoughtful and Affordable Fathers Day Gifts

Don’t let your dad feel overshadowed this Father’s Day!

  1. Homemade chore coupons: Get creative and draw some of your very own custom coupons. Dad will appreciate your willingness to take some household tasks off of his list!
  2. Photo Collage: Compile a collection of some of your favorite photos and put together a beautiful collage. This is a great way to capture many of the memories that you have shared together.
  3. Breakfast in bed: Who wouldn’t love having a delicious plate of food delivered to them while still in the comfort of their own bed? Show your dad that you care by frying up some bacon!
  4. Car wash: Fact- Men take pride in their cars. So roll up your sleeves, crank up the music and surprise your dad by hand washing his car.
  5. Organize the garage: There’s nothing dads hate more than a messy, disorganized garage. Surprise your dad this Father’s Day by making his garage look squeaky clean!
  6. A mixed CD: Put together a list of songs that remind you of dad, or maybe some new music that you think he might enjoy. Every time he listens to the playlist, he will be thinking of you!
  7. Two free passes to go golfing or fishing: Think of this as an IOU gift. You’re committing to spend some quality time with your dad doing something that he loves. This is a great way to make new memories!
  8. Sporting tickets: Your dad loves sports. How do we know this? Because he is a man. Pick a date for you both to go see his favorite baseball, basketball or football team.
  9. A date with mom: Go to your dad’s favorite restaurant and purchase a gift certificate, wrap it up, and label it “one date with mom”. Simple and sentimental!
  10. An “I love you because” list: Want to get extra mushy? Put together a list of top reasons of why you love your father! Mix it up with some sentiment, as well as a few funny items. This will surely send him into a deep, loving sea of emotion.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

5 Golden Rules | Ideas to Get Kids Involved in Cleaning

June 4, 2014

 

Doing chores is a tradition in most families, but sometimes it’s difficult to inspire your kids. Don’t get discouraged, we’re here to help! Chores help kids of all ages learn responsibility, and are a great way to get some extra help around the house. That’s why we have put together a list of golden rules.

gold icon 5 Golden Rules | Ideas to Get Kids Involved in Cleaning

5 Golden Rules

  1. Don’t delay. Still think your child is too young for chores? Think again! Your kids are probably more capable than you think, which is why we put together our age-appropriate list. It’s natural to think you’re giving your kids too much responsibility, and worry that they may fail. However, the only way to learn is by doing, and the earlier you start teaching your kids responsibility the better!
  2. Don’t require perfection! We all know that no one is perfect, and it’s much more effective to have a relaxed approach to chores rather than being a perfectionist. If you are too particular about how the chore should be done, you may find yourself jumping in and doing it for them. To avoid this, we recommend keeping a calm attitude and steering away from a disciplinary role, acting more as a supportive coach. This will help encourage your kids to try to the best of their ability, feeling accomplished when the job is complete!
  3. Inspire your kids. Most kids do not jump out of their seat to start their chores. They often require a little inspiration and motivation in order to take responsibility for their chores. The best way to encourage your child is through your own actions. If they see you taking on tasks with a positive, focused attitude, they will likely follow in your footsteps.
  4. Praise appropriately. You will find it very helpful to praise your kids while they learn these new skills, but try to be diplomatic as well. Too much of a good thing can be bad! Try to avoid excessive praise and encouragement. Too many compliments may lose they’re meaning which, in the end, could be harmful. Focusing on encouragement only when your child is doing the task correctly will allow them to understand the difference between right and wrong, and take pride in their work.
  5. Make it fun! Working with your kids side-by-side is a great way to build camaraderie and morale. Show your kids that these tasks can be fun by putting on some lively music, cracking jokes and keeping a positive attitude. If your child seems stressed or disinterested while doing the dishes, try working alongside them and giving them the occasional nudge, or playful splash. This can often lower your child’s wall of resistance. Work and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive!

Not sure your kids will go for it? Give it a shot! Everyone in a household needs to feel needed and to know they are making a contribution – even kids. Chores are great way for kids to chip in and feel a part of.

Click here for a Molly Maid’s age-appropriate chore list!
Click here for Molly Maid’s kids chore charts!

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

Trade Chores for Snores : Molly Maid Facebook Promotion

June 3, 2014
Chores for Snores image

Father’s Day always happens during the height of the busy summer season – right when the “To Do” list is starting to grow. Let Molly Maid and our ‘sister-companies’ Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters help you enjoy a “Chore Free” weekend! Allow the experts to take care of cleaning the house, painting a room and tackling your home repairs – we love this stuff!

Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters are part of Service Brands International and we’re hosting a “Trade Chores for Snores” Facebook promotion to take care of those annoying household tasks and give you back some free time to nap in a new recliner!

To enter the “Trade Chores for Snores” Facebook contest, simply “Like” our Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters Facebook pages between June 2 and June 20, 2014. The Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • $1,000 Mr. Handyman gift certificate
  • $500 Molly Maid gift certificate
  • $500 ProTect Painters gift certificate
  • A new recliner!

Our Facebook fans also receive regular updates on home repair and improvement ideas, as well as tips to keep your house clean from our professional, home service companies!

Chore Charts for Kids: Get Kids Doing Chores with This Fun Checklist

May 30, 2014

Household chores are a fact of life in most families. Kids get assigned daily, weekly, and monthly tasks appropriate for their age, and by doing them learn responsibility and how to take care of themselves and their home.

Few like doing chores, though. Ensure they get done and with the least amount of reminding by making the work—it is work, after all—more fun. These ideas and checklists will help.

Give Everyone a Say in Choosing Chores—to an Extent

Molly Maid Age Appropriate Chore List 793x1024 Chore Charts for Kids: Get Kids Doing Chores with This Fun ChecklistJust as kids have different interests and hobbies, they also have preferences when it comes to chores. A swimmer might want to be in charge of skimming the pool each day, while a kid with a favorite TV show might want to tidy the living room while watching.

List all of the household tasks on a whiteboard, and then give each child a chance to pick a chore. Choose in order of age the first time. After that, allow those who get their work done without a reminder to jump ahead of older siblings who need an extra nudge or two.

Of course, kids should only be allowed to pick chores they are old enough to do safely. If you need help deciding which tasks suit which ages, check out this Molly Maid list of age-appropriate chores. Putting toys away, for example, would be appropriate for a 3-year-old, while unloading the dishwasher or helping with dinner better suits a kid with more advanced motor skills.

Create a Chores Soundtrack

Many families have chore time on the weekends, with everyone pitching in to put the house back together after a busy week. Get the kids motivated to tackle their tasks by playing a chores soundtrack. Put upbeat songs they will sing and dance to on a playlist, and then blare it from a central location. Creating the chores soundtrack for the next week can even be a reward for the child who finished first.

Tie Chores to an Allowance or Rewards

kids cleaning bathroom Chore Charts for Kids: Get Kids Doing Chores with This Fun ChecklistMany parents provide further motivation to complete chores in the form of cash or other rewards. This also serves as a teaching opportunity, with kids learning the value of money and the importance of having a strong work ethic.

Make it clear, though, that the chores are not optional. The money or rewards are just that: a reward, not payment for services. Otherwise, a child might decide he or she does not need the money a particular week and skip the work.

When it comes to rewards, they can be anything that requires permission but not money, from additional online time to a sleepover with friends, to getting to choose a special dinner for the week.

Use Chore Charts

Once the chores are set, the music picked and the benefits decided, use a chart to help keep track of the assignments and their completion. Molly Maid offers a variety of free, printable chore charts.

Choose from preset charts with tasks such as:

  • Molly Maid Girls Chore Chart 232x300 Chore Charts for Kids: Get Kids Doing Chores with This Fun Checklist Molly Maid Boys Chore Chart 232x300 Chore Charts for Kids: Get Kids Doing Chores with This Fun ChecklistPut away toys
  • Clean room
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Set dinner table
  • Clear dinner table
  • Feed pet
  • Walk pet

 

They are available in blue and pink, with spaces to check off each chore on a daily basis.

Molly Maid also offers blank chore charts in blue and pink that allow for a customized list of chores.

No matter which chart gets used, up the fun factor even more by using colorful stickers or stamps to check off completed tasks. Such tracking also allows parents to quickly and easily see which kids are getting their work done and which are not.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly quality checked. Click here to request service in your area.

3 Ways to Save Time Dusting

May 23, 2014
dusting the home

We all know that keeping your house clean and looking good is a never-ending process. It takes work! However, that doesn’t mean cleaning needs to take up hours of your time. If you live in a home that has dust, and most of us do, here are three tips to save time dusting and increase your home cleaning efficiency:

1. Dust before vacuuming. As you dust, particles of dirt and dust fall to the floor. Dusting before you vacuum saves you from cleaning the same floor twice.

2. Move from the top down. Similarly, when dusting a room try to start at the top and work your way to the bottom. Try to make gravity your friend rather than your enemy.

3. Microfiber for the win! Ditch the feather duster and get with the times by using a damp microfiber cloth. It’s important to not get your cloth too wet, as you want it to be damp enough to pick up dust without leaving moisture streaks behind on surfaces. This technique will ensure that your home’s surfaces and furniture are cleaned in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner!

Have a time saving dusting tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section below.

Like to save time? Check out our What Is Your Time Worth? calculator to find out how much time Molly Maid’s cleaning services could help you save.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly supervised. Click here to request service in your area.

How to Clean Patio Furniture: Get the Grime Off of Tables and Cushions

May 17, 2014
winter patio furniture 300x225 How to Clean Patio Furniture: Get the Grime Off of Tables and Cushions

Photo: Arthur Chapman on Flickr

In many parts of the country, patio furniture did not see any use during the recent winter months. Best-case scenario: It was stored indoors, away from the elements, and simply needs a dusting with a damp cloth. Worst-case scenario: It sat uncovered outside and now has a level of grime making it unusable. Get your dirty patio furniture clean with these helpful tips.

Get Out the Hose

Start by moving all of your patio furniture into the driveway, so that you have room to work and can access all areas. Pull cushions and pillows off the furniture. Turn your nozzle to the “Jet” setting and use water to dislodge as much dirt as possible from the all of the pieces. Do not be tempted to use your power washer, as the higher pressure can cause damage.

Use the Right Cleaning Solution

cleaning supplies kit 300x256 How to Clean Patio Furniture: Get the Grime Off of Tables and CushionsThe cleaning solution you use on the furniture depends on the type of material involved. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations if you still have them handy, or use this guide:

Plastic, Resin, Metal and Glass—Combine ¼ cup of mild dishwashing detergent with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket. Dip a soft nylon brush into the solution and scrub until all dirt is gone. Rinse with water. Let air-dry, or if your water leaves behind spots, wipe dry with a cloth. For glass tabletops, follow up with a glass cleaner.

Wicker—Combine ¼ cup of mild oil-based soap with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket. Dip a soft nylon brush into the solution and scrub until all dirt is gone. Rinse with water. Let air-dry, or if your water leaves behind spots, wipe dry with a cloth.

Wood—Combine 2 oz. of oxygenated bleach with 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket. Dip a large sponge into the solution and apply to all surfaces. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, and then scrub with a soft nylon brush until all dirt is gone; always scrub with the grain, especially with softer woods. Rinse with water. Let air-dry, or if your water leaves behind spots, wipe dry with a cloth.

If while cleaning you notice mildew on your patio furniture, mix a stronger solution of 1 cup of ammonia, ½ cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water. Apply to the stubborn stains for removal, and then rinse and dry.

To rid cushions and pillows of dirt and stains, use the instructions above for plastic, metal and glass, letting the solution sit for 15 minutes and allowing the pieces to air-dry in the sun.

Add a Level of Protection

wicker patio chair with cushion 300x226 How to Clean Patio Furniture: Get the Grime Off of Tables and Cushions

Photo: Maegan Tintari on Flickr

Once your patio furniture has been restored to clean status, protect it to minimize the amount of cleaning you will need to do in the future. As with cleaning solutions, what you use depends on the material.

Plastic, Resin and Metal—Apply a layer of car wax! Yes, car wax. Then buff with a soft cloth. It will repel dirt from your furniture just as it does with your car. With metal patio furniture, nip rust in the bud by removing with sandpaper and repainting as well.

Wood—Paint and stain that block UV rays protect wood from damage. Opt for stain for horizontal surfaces as paint may peel.

Two More Tips

To make cleaning cushions and pillows easier in the future, apply a fabric guard once dry.

Bring cushions and pillows inside when not in use for long periods of time, such as if you go away on vacation.

Use towels to protect pieces from suntan lotions and tanners, which can leave behind stains.

For your home cleaning needs, call the professionals at Molly Maid. Call 1-888-583-6490 now to connect directly with your local Molly Maid. Each maid services team comprises bonded, insured, licensed and uniformed housekeepers who are regularly quality checked. Click here to request service in your area.

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