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Cleaning & Organization

How to Spring Clean the Backyard with Just 5 Tools

May 16, 2024

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This post is sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement

You know those projects that sort of linger in the background until someone is coming over? Like for instance, we knew we were going to eventually clean our outdoor patio furniture and prep the backyard for pool season. But it wasn’t until we had a date on the calendar for an extended family pool party one Saturday this month that it really set in. Dead leaves were everywhere. The outdoor cushions had mildew on them. Yep, time to get moving on this one. 

Chris Loves Julia | Backyard patio furniture before power washing

If you have a porch, patio or pool, you’re probably in the same boat. Spring is when you tidy up and get things looking good. And let me tell you, having the right tools for the job makes allllll the difference. You never want to be halted when you have momentum on a project. From clearing out to cleaning up, having the right tool for the job is a great motivator. (Conversely, if your tool shed isn’t well stocked, it’s really hard to get started.)

Ready to clean up the yard? Here is how we got it done in one afternoon with just five tools:

Leaf Blower + Trimmer + Clippers: Clear Out Debris

Chris Loves Julia | Chris leaf-blowing in the backyard

Leaf Blower | Trimmer | Clippers

First things first: Gotta get the decaying leaves out of here. We picked a day where it had been dry in our area for a few days so the leaves weren’t damp. Then, we pulled out our leaf blower to corral the leaves into bags for yard waste pickup. We cut down any dead tree limbs with a trimmer and tidied up landscaping (like dead-heading last year’s hydrangeas) with clippers. 

Stain Remover: Pre-Treat Outdoor Upholstery

Next, we took some Folex and sprayed down the mildew on the upholstered cushions on the patio. We have Sunbrella cushions and while they resist mold and mildew, they also hold up to a strong cleaning when you do see those culprits. I grabbed a handheld brush and scrubbed the solution in so it really soaks any stains or spots. Since I like to let this sit for a little bit, I get this going before I turn to my favorite cleaning tool… 

Power Washer: Clean the Furniture & Patio

Chris Loves Julia | Chris power-washing the lounge chairs by the pool

Power Washer | Black Gloves | Handheld Brush | Folex | Spray Bottle

…Which of course is the power washer. If you ask me if cleaning can be fun, I’ll say yes, yes it can be if you have a power washer. I know you can rent them, but honestly it pays for itself in just a couple of years. I got ours from Lowe’s and it has carried us through the seasons. Even the girls jockey for cleaning outdoors as long as they can use this thing! 

Chris Loves Julia | Backyard patio cushions before power washing
Chris Loves Julia | Backyard patio cushions after power washing

To start, we worked on the cushions since they needed the most time to dry.  (Did you know you can power wash fabric?) After the stain remover has run its course, I revved up my power washer and gave each and every cushion a good spray down on all sides, focusing on the piping and corners, where things can really get gunked up. Then we hosed down the cast aluminum furniture and the side tables and cleared off the pavers. I set the cushions in the sun to fully dry.

Chris Loves Julia | Backyard patio lounge chairs after power washing
Chris Loves Julia | Chris and Julia lounging on the backyard patio furniture.

All in all, prepping the backyard for the outdoor season took a few hours. And honestly, we won’t wait a year to give the yard another “spring cleaning” — especially since every member of our family is dying to power wash anything else. What are you power washing this season? (And how are your cushions looking?)

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What do you think?

  1. HH says:

    I’d add a broom to this list. A little more effort but much less disruptive to wildlife and neighbors.

  2. Carmen Carver says:

    Do you leave your cushions out all year? Do you use any outdoor furniture covers?

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      We leave them out because the winters are pretty mild in NC, and we can enjoy the outdoors almost all year.

  3. Betsy says:

    Do you use cleanser with your power washer or just the water pressure?

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