If You're Not Using This Staple Product To Clean Outdoor Items, You Should Be

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Warmer temperatures mean more time enjoying the outdoors — something most people look forward to. But after spending longer hours on the patio, you will notice how grungy and grimy the various outdoor-dwelling items have become. Your birdbath is covered in algae, and your patio furniture is so grubby that it might as well have been discovered in an archaeological dig. While you may be overwhelmed as you realize the hours of cleaning and scrubbing ahead of you, don't despair! A staple product from your laundry room is the remedy to clean your dirty outdoor furniture.

OxiClean is wildly popular for lifting stains off clothes and whitening laundry. It is also a versatile all-purpose cleaner for most materials (except for metal; OxiClean can corrode it after lengthy contact). To use OxiClean to refresh the look of outdoor fixtures, make a simple solution of the cleaning powder with water. Remember to wear gloves when working directly with OxiClean to prevent skin irritation. The proper ratio is ⅛ scoop of OxiClean (a 3-pound bin costs $9 on Amazon at the time of writing) to 2 cups of hot water, which should be put into a spray bottle for easy application. Spray the solution on whatever dirty item you want to revive, then wait 10 to 30 minutes, scrub to loosen the dirt and film buildup, and rinse with a garden hose. You are likely to be pleasantly surprised by the final product. 

Other tips for exterior OxiClean-ing

OxiClean, as an outdoor cleaner, truly does open up a world of possibilities. In many cases, it can be used to cleanse items that conventionally call for a pressure washer (like house siding and pavement). The added perk of OxiClean for outdoor cleaning is that — unlike a pressure washer, which can be loud and dangerous if used incorrectly — the simple cleaning power of this product is gentle enough to use on varied surfaces. These include fragile, algae-covered windows and rough and highly porous materials, like a dirty patio deck. Don't forget to pull out the solution after springtime pollen has had its way with your outdoor furniture. It may save you from employing ineffective cleaning tools and heavy elbow grease to lift stubborn dust stains.

Once you realize the hidden potential of OxiClean for outdoor purposes, you may want to spray everything with it — and no one would blame you! But if your hand is growing weary from using a traditional spray bottle, purchasing a pressurized pump sprayer could save your finger muscles ($15 on Amazon at the time of writing). If undertaking this chore on a windy day, wearing goggles is recommended to prevent accidentally getting any of the cleaning solution in your eyes. Finally, avoid making some of the biggest mistakes when using OxiClean, like mixing it with other home-approved chemicals.