In San Diego, house cleaning doesn't end indoors. Thanks to the balmy, Mediterranean-style weather, the backyard is used just as much as the living room in many San Diego homes. That means household chores include cleaning patio furniture in addition to the usual vacuuming and fighting dust bunnies that have become sentient. Read on for tips on how to clean your outdoor spaces: WoodDecks, tables, and other outdoor furniture are sometimes besieged by mold and mildew. Spritz a solution of water, ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda on an affected area, scrub lightly, then rinse. ConcreteThe good news is concrete is hardy, so it can take a powerful blast from a rented pressure washer. The bad news is it's porous, so you might want to call in a professional to power-wash it instead. Plastic FurnitureFor white plastic, mix up a solution of warm water and dishwashing solution, which contains bleach that will whiten plastic stained by dirt or barbecue-sauce spills. For colored plastic, use a mild dish soap instead of a bleach-infused cleaner, which can discolor the furniture, then rinse well. Aluminum and Wrought IronWipe the metal down with a mixture of water and a mild cleanser, such as Soft Scrub, and use a soft cloth. A more abrasive cleanser or brush may scratch the furniture. WickerClean with a soft brush and an oil-based soap. To eschew the need for a more extensive deep cleaning, hose down wicker furniture regularly to remove built-up dirt. CushionsEven when there’s no evidence of spills, keep the cushions cleaned with regular vacuuming. For more intensive cleansing, mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and and 1 tablespoon of borax into a quart of warm water. Either spray this solution directly on the cushion or soak a sponge and wipe the surfaces. After letting it sit for about 15 minutes, rinse it off with a hose and then let the cushion air dry. Canvas ChairsCheck to see if you can remove the fabric from the chair frame. If so, just pop it in the washing machine, then reattach it and let it dry on the frame so it will retain its shape. If it can't be removed, use bar laundry soap and a scrubbing brush to remove dirt and stains. UmbrellasDetach the umbrella canopy from the stand, if possible. Lay it on a flat surface and blast it with a hose to loosen dirt, then scrub it with a mild detergent. Rinse it again, reattach it to the stand, and let it air-dry. RugsOutdoor rugs don't usually require the expertise of San Diego carpet-cleaning crews, but they still should be cleaned regularly to avoid tracking dirt back into your home. Most rugs can be scrubbed with dish soap and water, then dried in the sun to avoid mold.
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