Cleaning Outdoors: Decks, Furniture, and Patios in Style

It has been a busy week around here…B-U-S-Y. Busy not with fun creative and decorative stuff, but boring cleaning stuff – yep, cleaning, you know the water and scrub-brushing kind! You don’t read about that much here, but it does happen on occasion. Today, it’s all about cleaning outdoor furniture.

Now that it is nearing the end of May the start of outdoor living and entertaining has arrived. I had to get my butt in gear to get my deck, patio, and backyard in general – fit for outdoor living.

I prefer interior decorating over exterior any day, but I do love to be outside and want to make the outdoor space at my house as nice as afford-ably possible.  When it comes to getting the outside DIY done, the words – chores and drudgery come to my mind.

Tasks is how I have to think of them or I would be too overwhelmed by all that has to be done.  I completed one of these “tasks”  this week with the help of my daughter.

My backyard gets full sun all day, but we still end up with lots of mold and mildew all over – YUCK-O!!!  It won’t come off with soap and water – the big guns have to come out and I have found the best big gun to get rid of all of it is with a few pumps of a trigger.

Here is the gross BEFORE of the rails around my deck.

Wood Deck Before Cleaning: Cleaning Outdoors

This year I got to do this chore “task” in style as the makers of Bogs Footwear sent me a pair of their waterproof boots to try out.  They were the perfect footwear for the wet and messy job I took on.

How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Outdoor Furniture and Surfaces

The “big cleaning gun and trigger” I needed to use to get this job done – Clorox Pro Results Outdoor Bleach.  They are not paying me for this post. This stuff works wonders and makes cleaning my deck and outside furniture truly – EASY!  All you need is a bucket, sponge or scrub brush, rubber gloves and boots to protect your hands and feet. If you are going to clean something high, I would recommend safety glasses so that when you rinse with a hose, the spray doesn’t get in your eyes.

Clorox PRO REsults Outdoor Bleach: Cleaning Outdoors

Tilex brand also makes a Mold and Mildew formula. I have used both and they both do the job – excellently!!!  What I like about them is that the bottle has a handle that you can carry around as well as a hose and trigger spray that makes it easy to walk around and simply spray all the yucky mold and mildew away.  I bought both at Lowes.

Tilex-Pro-Results Outdoor Cleaner

Once you have the mildewed surfaces sprayed, let it sit for awhile and then hose it off. If there are any stubborn spots, use a scrub brush.

My older daughter helped – she thinks the boots are ultra cool, and has been wearing them to garden over the last few weeks, too.  I picked out the Classic Mid Lanai 52483-400  that are just high enough that your feet stay dry if you step in a big puddle or are using a hose and not too tall that they would be uncomfortably hot as a higher boot would be in the summer months.

Bogs Waterproof Boots: Gardening and Cleaning Outdoors

They are quite roomy and my feet stayed dry the entire time I worked, even with everything around me soaking wet.


AFTER spraying and rinsing the cleaner off, the deck rails were all white again.

Outdoor Wood Deck Cleaning Tips


I also needed to do the patio chairs.  I did the work, my daughter modeled so I could take photos.  :)

Outdoor Patio Cleaning tips

If you have mold and mildew problems, you know soap and water will not remove it. Before I found out how well the Clorox/Tilex cleaners work, I was ready to throw the chairs out.  Not anymore – they look as good as new after one treatment. I am just thrilled to have them look good again.

How to clean outdoor furniture

Bogs boots come in many different styles, prints, and colors – all are warm, waterproof, and ready for all-weather conditions.  They have men’s, women’s, and kids outdoor, casual, industrial, hunting and agricultural industries boots.

Bogs-Footwear and Boots

My daughter also wore them when she planted a veggie garden a few weeks ago.  She had been stomping in mud and muck and told me her feet stayed warm and dry, plus she never brought the caked-in mud into the garage or mud room because she simply hosed them off, soles and all while she had them on.  They looked like new after hosing off.

Bogs Boots review

They are a little heavy, but once you walk around for a while, they are nothing but comfy and easy to work in.

Bogs boots

They only come in whole sizes and fit true to size. There is plenty of room to wear thick socks if needed as I think they are a tad roomier than most boots. My daughter agreed with me. I also think my daughter

Bogs Footwear

has taken ownership of them she likes them so much.  Of course I will let her have them especially since she has been such a huge help in getting the back yard summer ready.

Raking (1 of 1)

It always takes some doing to get me going with the cleaning and drudgery tasks, but once I start I always seem to get on a roll and get it all done.  I am now rewarded for all my hard work  – My backyard, deck, and patio are ready for summer. I hope it is a good one with lots of perfect sunny days to sit outside and enjoy.

Cleaning Outdoors to get ready for spring

I started this morning and ate my breakfast outside – it was a perfect.  I have to thank Bogs Footwear and the Clorox/Tilex cleaners for helping me make it happen.


You can also see how I utilize my clean deck and furniture in my Outdoor Living Archives.

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  1. I wish the weather here would change for the better. Would love to work in the yard.
    Ohh those boots are the sweetest. I gotta have them

  2. Hi where do you get Clorex from & the short garden boots please.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Denise – You can buy the Clorox at any home improvement store. The boots are

  3. how about spraying this on previously clear stained cedar? should i re-stain after cleaning off the mildew and do i need to keep doing this every other year or so or will re-staining the wood keep off the mildew?
    LOVELY deck!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen – you can use it on your clear stained cedar. Once you get the mildew off, you may not need to do anything. If the clear stain looks worn in areas, then you can re-stain once the wood is completely rinsed and dried. I wish it would remove the mildew forever, but it does not. I use it every other summer to clean up the build up on my outdoor furniture and exterior of my house.

  4. Catherine says:

    Nice job, Diane! Never thought of the mold/mildew spray for the outdoor furniture. Wonder if it will work on my white rattan. Have a lovely summer!


  5. Daniel Lloyd says:

    I have a large patio and wooden furniture there usually i use beer to clean them and always get good result . Your tips and way to cleaning other furniture will be good for try so thanks .

  6. Alert Electrical says:

    Great tips – we have a balcony that’s starting to look a bit gross, we were considering an expensive restoration but I might follow your tips and try a simple deep clean first, to see if that does the trick!

  7. Diane, you are my hero! Without this post and your before/after photos I would never have believed that those dingy, grayish used-to-be-white resin chairs I’ve been wanting to throw away (but didn’t because I’m cheap that way and I kept thinking I would spray paint them) would turn out white again. I used a glug of bleach in a bucket of water, and then I had the bright idea of using steel wool instead of my scrub brush. I am telling you, all I had to do was wipe. No scrubbing involved. Whee! I had to go get my husband and son to watch: “Look, guys, gross gray…wipes right off!” Yesterday was fab thanks to you!

  8. Sue Prutting says:

    Wow, Diane! Looking fab while you tackle a tough job! Very nice! Any issues with the grass or plantings around the deck when you rinsed off the cleaning solution? I’m hoping to use it on a pool deck, but want to be careful of the surrounding grass.

    Thank you for your wonderful posts; I am just loving them!

    1. Hi Sue – That is a good question. It does state on the jug to be careful around shrubs and plantings. I used it last year and had no problems with the run-off going into the shrubs. I do rinse it well and spray all the surrounding area down with the hose after I use it. It will be great on the pool deck. When I did my patio chairs I did them right on the concrete. It did wonders for all the spots on the concrete too. The run off went into the grass. The grass is fine and still growing green and faster than we would like :)

  9. Modern Bathroom Design says:

    The patio looks great. I think those rain boots are amazing i think im gonna look into a pair.

  10. Leslie Wilks says:

    Thanks for the info. I need to take care of some mildew on the outside railing this week and will be trying your method.

  11. MaryBeth Schwarz says:

    What a lovely patio! Have you tried just using an adjustable hose nozzle to give a pressure spray and maybe a swipe with the Flylady’s Purple rags? I am trying to be more careful about using strong cleaners if I can use something less noxious as Little Changes for the better in my life. Those boots are very cute!!!! My garden boots are not this sturdy. Love the various green ones!

  12. Laura@Elegant Nest says:

    Your deck is beautful…love the detail on the railing! I wish I had known about the Clorox product last week when I scrubbed down 2 white adirondack chairs from our backyard…I just made my own with a little regular Clorox and water solution and it worked well. Those boots are too cute..cudos to the foot model! :)

  13. Hi, Diane

    You truly have a lovely back yard. Love the boots too. Have a great weekend.


  14. What an awesome deck, Diane!!! Wow! Love it! Thanks for the tip on cleaning the yuck! I’ve never heard of it and plan on picking some up!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  15. Ashlyn@Pinecone says:

    Everything looks fresh and beautiful now! Those boots are too cute!
    Happy weekending

  16. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Well, it looks like it cleaned things up beautifully, Diane. I wish I knew about this stuff when we were in our old house. Those resin chairs and table would have turned out much better. Even though I would use a bleach based cleanser on them, they never really cleaned up 100%. Your deck area looks just beautiful. Enjoy it!

    1. Hi Kathy I learned the hard way about resin chairs and used Windex to clean them once years ago. The ammonia takes the finish off. Wish I had the Clorox back then. I hope u have a splendid weekend .

    1. Hi Becky. Thanks. It is very sunny – sometimes a bit too much. Did you get that retractable awning you mentioned on Pinterest for your backyard? Do you like it.