A neglected garden will look much better with a thorough clean. After a weekend of scrubbing, raking, and digging your outdoor space will look much more inviting even though you haven’t replaced anything or spent a lot of money.
Roll up your sleeves, let’s get cleaning.
How to Clean Your Conservatory
Start cleaning your conservatory in the morning as hot sun will bake on cleaning fluids making the job twice as hard.
If you have a pressure washer it’s a good idea to gently give the conservatory a once over before you start scrubbing the glass. This will remove leaves and moss that gather there and dislodge some of the grimy algae. If you don’t have a pressure washer use a soft broom to push it off.
One the solid stuff is gone you can lather up and soap the glass. Washing up liquid isn’t the best idea because it foams forever and leaves smears on the glass. For a professional job use specialist cleaners.
Then grab your water-fed long-handled brush or long-handled brush and hosepipe and begin to rub. Scrubbing in small circles works best – and don’t forget the edges.
Change the water frequently if you’re scrubbing from a bucket and rinse it all down with your hosepipe. Once the water runs clean, pull a squeegee in downward motions to remove water streaks.
When the glass is sparkling once more you may notice the PVC is looking grubby. It’s easy to clean this down with a specialist PVC cleaner and a soft cloth. Rub in circles using a step ladder to safely reach the top.
If that all sounds like too much hard work, book a Friday window cleaner for a once-off job and grab yourself a cocktail instead.
How to Clean Your Fence Panels
Fence panels tend to build up algae and rot over the rainy period. They will eventually dry out in the sun, but damp areas tend to stay mouldy.
You can clean them with a pressure washer. Start at the top and gradually work sideways and downwards. Don’t rush and be careful you don’t blast water into your neighbour’s garden.
Moss and algae build-up can also be removed with a scrubbing brush dipped in a solution of vinegar or baking soda in water. Use half a cup of your preferred product in a bucket of water, scrub it on and leave it for a quarter of an hour to soak before scrubbing it off.
You could use one-part household bleach to two parts water instead, but it can damage surrounding vegetation.
How to Clean Your Plant Pots
Plant containers get green and slimy over winter so scrubbing them is a good way to spruce up your garden.
First off, take out last year’s dead plants and compost them or bag them for the tip. If the plants are perennials prune them back.
Then take a stiff brush, dip it in water with half a cup of vinegar or baking soda, and scrub in small circles. There’s no way around this unless you have a pressure washer on a very gentle setting, but in my experience soil is generally blasted everywhere.
Once the containers are clean, leave them to dry in the sun and top them up with fresh compost.
How to Clean Your Garden Furniture
Whether you’ve wood, metal, or rattan garden furniture it’ll look much better after a thorough clean.
Rattan is the easiest to scrub clean with a water and vinegar solution, wood will need a pressure wash or scrubbing with a stiff brush, and metal will need a metalwork brush to remove the rust. You can repaint metal garden furniture when you have time – this weekend is about cleaning.
Once the furniture is clean leave it to dry off in the sun.
How to Clean Your Kids Play Equipment
Your kids are more likely to play with their outdoor equipment if it’s fresh and clean.
Wendy houses, trampolines, ride-on tractors, and swings are easily cleaned with a pressure washer or a brush dipped in a bucket of water with the trusty vinegar or baking soda solution.
If you have bark chippings on the ground give them a thorough rake to remove leaves and cat poo. Raking over landscaping bark helps air out the damp parts so it’ll last longer.
This is a good time to check outside play equipment for breakages. Plastic toys can snap from UV exposure and trampolines should be checked for loose springs or rips.
Repositioning these garden toys will encourage play even if your children have ignored their toys for years. Move the playhouse to the other side of the garden and just watch them head to it.
How to Clean Your Garden Borders
Tidying up flower borders instantly brightens the garden even if you don’t replace the flowers.
Start by cutting back overgrown perennials and remove last year’s annuals. Then weed, de-stone, and dig a small amount of surface soil over to refresh its appearance. It’ll look 100 times better.
How to Clean Your Lawn
Lawns are largely ignored but they make up a huge part of our garden space. Later on there’s a chapter about improving your lawn but for now, it just needs a clean.
Rake up leaves, moss, litter, and remove pots or toys that have sat there for months.
Clip back long grassy border edges and fence lines, and dig out weeds.
If it’s dry enough give the lawn a mow. If not, leave it alone as treading on a wet lawn just creates mud.
How to Clean Your Patio or Decking
Finally! The last step – it’s time to clean the patio or decking.
It’s best to do this bit last as it tends to re-gather dirt as you move around the garden to clean other areas.
Start by moving off furniture or plant pots, and then use a stiff brush to gather up leaves and moss. Bag it up for compost or take it to the tip.
How bring out your pressure washer and start cleaning the tiles or deck in slow side-to-side motions on a gentle setting.
In place of a pressure washer, you could use a patio or deck cleaner in a bucket of water and scrub it with a long-handled stiff brush.
Finally, rinse it down with fresh, clean water from the hosepipe.
And relax – it’s time to enjoy your beautifully clean garden. Doesn’t it look better?