Cleaning Outdoor Items Tips

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How can I remove mold and mildew from my canvas tent or awning?

Canvas Mold and Mildew Removal

To remove mold and mildew from your canvas tent, or awning, first vacuum or brush soilded areas to remove any excess dirt. Wash the affected area with a solution of 1/2 cup Lysol to a gallon of hot water. Rinse with a solution of 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup salt to a gallon of hot water. Allow the canvas to air dry in the sun.

You can also try applying a cleaner such as IOSSO Tent & Camping Gear Cleaner. This cleaner is made to remove tough dirt and mildew stains. Afterwards, you may want to treat the canvas with a water-repellent compound such as Canvak.

   
How can I remove motor oil from concrete?

Motor Oil Removal from Concrete

A fresh motor oil stain from concrete is easier to remove than an old stain. Squirt some liquid dish detergent (preferably one designed for cutting grease) onto the stain. Add water. Be sure to wet down the area surrounding the stain as well to prevent oil from spreading during the cleaning process and causing a secondary stain. Scrub the stain vigorously with a nylon scrub brush (not a wire brush which can erode or scratch the concrete), adding enough water to make a rich soapy lather. Rinse with clean water. The soap will emulsify the oil and lift it out of the concrete, but it may take several attempts to completely remove all of the oil. When rinsing the area, it is more environmentally responsible to blot the area with a towel to remove the soapy water, since rinsing the mixture with a hose will allow the motor oil in the water to seep into the ecosystem or sewer system. Another way to remove motor oil from concrete is to spread a thick layer of cat litter over the grease to absorb the excess motor oil on the surface. Allow the litter to sit for a day or two, then sweep it away. Pour dry concrete over the dried grease spot. Allow the concrete to sit for a day or two, then sweep away the dirty concrete. Be sure to gather both the cat litter and the dirty concrete in a bag and dispose of it properly so the motor oil doesn't get into the ecosystem or sewer system. Contact your local waste collection service for more information.

   
How can I remove stains from my cement floor?

Cement Floor Stain Removal

For a safe, chemical-free way to clean your cement floor, I would recommend scrubbing it with baking soda. Use a scrub brush and hot water. For stubborn stains, make a paste with baking soda and water and allow it to sit on the stains for a few hours. Once you have the stains removed, you may want to seal the concrete to prevent future staining.

   
How can I remove paint from concrete?

Paint Removal from Concrete

You should be able to remove a paint stain from concrete by using a commercial product such as TSP which is a heavy duty cleaner. If the concrete is sealed the paint should come off with a minimal amount of scrubbing. If the concrete is not sealed you may need to use a paint stripper product to remove all of the residue.

   
What can I use to remove mold and mildew from my outdoor furniture?

Outdoor Furniture Mold and Mildew Removal

The only way to kill mold and mildew and their spores is to use bleach. You can dilute it in a spray bottle with water, and it should kill the mold without harming the fabric. Try using about 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water. Test this on a non-visible area first. If the color does run, you can use a color safe bleach.

   
How can I remove a motor oil stain from cement?

Motor Oil Removal from Cement

A fresh motor oil stain from cement is easier to remove than an old stain. Squirt some liquid dish detergent (preferably one designed for cutting grease) onto the stain. Add water. Be sure to wet down the area surrounding the stain as well to prevent oil from spreading during the cleaning process and causing a secondary stain. Scrub the stain vigorously with a nylon scrub brush (not a wire brush which can erode or scratch the concrete), adding enough water to make a rich soapy lather. Rinse with clean water. The soap will emulsify the oil and lift it out of the cement, but it may take several attempts to completely remove all of the oil. When rinsing the area, it is more environmentally responsible to blot the area with a towel to remove the soapy water, since rinsing the mixture with a hose will allow the motor oil in the water to seep into the ecosystem or sewer system. Another way to remove motor oil from concrete is to spread a thick layer of cat litter over the grease to absorb the excess motor oil on the surface. Allow the litter to sit for a day or two, then sweep it away. Pour dry cement over the dried grease spot. Allow the cement to sit for a day or two, then sweep away the dirty cement. Be sure to gather both the cat litter and the dirty cement in a bag and dispose of it properly so the motor oil doesn't get into the ecosystem or sewer system. Contact your local waste collection service for more information.

   
How can I remove rust spots from a concrete driveway?

Rust Removal from Concrete

You should be able to remove the rust stains from your concrete driveway by using any of the commercial rust stain removers out there. Some are Zud or Whink, and they are available at most department stores. You can also try scrubbing the area with TSP.

   
How can I clean my unlaquered brass outdoor lights?

Cleaning Unlaquered Brass Lights

To clean unlaquered brass, you can mix equal parts of salt and flour and add enough vinegar to make a paste. Spread a thick layer on the brass and let it dry, then rinse and remove. Or, dip the cut side of half a lemon in salt and rub it on, then rinse with cold water. Buff with a soft cloth, and coat with silicone car wax to keep it shiny.

   
How can I remove tarnish from my aluminum gutters?

Polishing Tarnished Aluminum Gutters

To clean your gutters, use a small broom to remove the leaves and debris from the gutters. Then use your hose to flush out any remaining debris. For tough jobs, TSP, hot water and a good brush should work. Always wear gloves when doing this chore to protect your hands from sharp edges. Proceed with caution when high pressure washing, as high pressure can dent the aluminum and/or remove the paint. Just give them a light scrubbing.

If any tarnish remains, try using a metal polish, such as MAAS Metal Polish, ZAP! or FLITZ.

   
How do I get permanent market off my sidewalk?

Permanent Marker Stain Removal from Sidewalk

Unfortunately, it is not called "permanent" marker for no reason, and depending on how fresh the stain is, this may not remove the stain completely and you may be stuck with the stain. Concrete is porous so you'll need a cleaner that will penetrate the surface and you'll need to allow the cleaner time to work on the stain. Try using a paint removing solvent designed for oil-based paints, such as turpentine. Saturate the stain and let it sit for an hour. Rinse with clean water; a bucket will do, but you may have better results with a pressure washer.

   
How do I get peanut oil stains out of a wood deck?

Oil Stain Removal from Wood Deck

You should be able to remove vegetable oil stains from your wood deck by washing the stained area with mineral spirits. If that does not seem to be working, you could also try Naptha. Depending on the finish on the deck, you could also use paint thinner, but try this on a non-visible area first to ensure that it would damage the finish.

   
How do I clean out my gutters?

Gutter Washing

Use a small broom to remove the leaves and debris from the gutters. Then use your hose to flush out any remaining debris. For tough jobs, TSP, hot water and a good brush should work. Always wear gloves when doing this chore to protect your hands from sharp edges. Proceed with caution when high pressure washing, as high pressure can dent the aluminum and/or remove the paint. Just give them a light scrubbing.

   
How can I remove car wax from my brick driveway?

Car Wax Removal from Brick Driveway

To remove car was from a brick driveway, squirt some liquid dish detergent (preferably one designed for cutting grease) onto the stain. Add water. Be sure to wet down the area surrounding the stain as well. Scrub the stain vigorously with a nylon scrub brush (not a wire brush which can erode or scratch the concrete), adding enough water to make a rich soapy lather. Rinse with clean water. It may take several attempts to completely remove all of the wax. Another way to remove the wax from the bricks is to spread a thick layer of cat litter over the grease to absorb the excess wax on the surface. Allow the litter to sit for a day or two, then sweep it away.

   
How can I remove tree sap from my PVC furniture?

Tree Sap Removal from Outdoor PVC Furniture or Vinyl

To get tree sap off your PVC furniture or Vinyl, try Goof Off (or a product similar to that), or WD40. Spray the product on the stain, rub, and wash with soap and water. If any stain remains, try scrubbing with non-gel toothpaste.

   
How can I remove tar from concrete?

Tar Removal from Concrete

To remove tar from concrete, you can try using mineral spirits and a nylon scrub brush, but removing tar from concrete is not going to be easy. You may also want to try a commercial product specifically designed for removing tar from concrete, available at your local hardware or home store.

   
How do I clean tree sap off my deck?

Tree Sap Removal from Wood Deck

First, check your deck for any loose boards or nails that might need hammering back into place.
Then clean the tree sap off using mineral spirits. Rinse very well, then follow with an all-purpose cleaner and water. Rinse well.

   
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Jolyn Wells-Moran