Our amazing NXTSTOR community members are always doing everything they can to keep their homes looking great. Whether it’s cleaning out unused items and storing them in a NXTSTOR space or getting their houses ready for winter- they always take great care of their homes. We love to help them out and decided to create this awesome guide to some of the most common questions we get asked at the end of the summer season. 

Suburban House

1.) How do you clean your outdoor furniture cushions? 

Your outdoor furniture is the focal point of your yard during the summer months. To enjoy the experience for years to come make sure you’re cleaning your covers thoroughly (and getting off any stains) before winter hits. If your outdoor cushion manufacturer hasn’t left any cleaning instructions, we recommend hand washing gently. To hand wash follow the steps below: 

  • Combine a ¼ cup of detergent with a gallon of water  
  • Duplicate the above mixture enough to fill your sink or tub 
  • Soak cushions for a half hour to an hour
  • Scrub the cushions with a soft sponge 
  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water to avoid wearing out the colors 

Remember you can generally machine wash the covers. If the stains run a bit deeper, we recommend checking out this awesome guide.  

To properly store them for the winter we recommend keeping them indoors in a large plastic bag out of the way of dust and bugs. If you need to store them outside, consider getting a water-resistant cushion bag. 

2.) How do you clean different types of patio furniture? 

Once the cushions are off your patio furniture, it’s time to deep clean them. They sit outside all summer gathering dirt and being exposed to the weather. To ensure longer uses, let’s break down how we should clean and prepare our furniture for the winter.  

How do I clean wood patio furniture? 

  • Using a soft bristle brush (preferably nylon) scrub off any accumulated grime 
  • Pour gentle dish soap into a bucket and fill with lukewarm water 
  • Using a sponge, scrub the chair or table with soapy water
  • Wash off and dry with a microfiber towel 
  • If needed, apply a coat of varnish or wood polish to the furniture at this point 

How do I clean metal patio furniture? 

Metal furniture can be very complicated to clean, make sure you know what type of metal it is first. Let’s briefly cover how to get rid of staining : 

  • For steel– mix white vinegar and water (¼ vinegar for stainless and ½ vinegar for galvanized) then spray on the stains. Wipe off with a warm wet rag. 

How do I clean plastic patio furniture? 

Plastic furniture is often the lowest maintenance outdoor furniture. To clean plastic furniture: 

  • Fill a bucket with warm water and dish soap 
  • Use a sponge to scrub off the piece of furniture with the dish soap mixture 
  • Wipe off with a dry microfiber towel 
  • Apply a coat of paste wax to increase the shine of the furniture 

After you’ve cleaned each of the pieces of furniture, make sure you’re covering them with an appropriate covering. This can be anything from a tarp to a special waterproof canvas cover. For certain wood furniture it may be best to bring it inside for the winter to corrosion.  

3.) What do I do to get my lawnmower ready for winter? 

The lawnmower is the ultimate outdoor tool in the summer, so we have to make sure it’ll be ready to go for the spring. To get your lawnmower ready for winter storage we recommend first cleaning the deck to get rid of built up dirt and grass. Next, you’ll want to either remove the gas in the tank or fill it with stabilizer. Once it’s cleaned and prepped make sure you’ve got it stored safely in the garage or shed. It should be all ready to go in the spring if you put it away properly. 

 

4.) What should I do to clean my garage? 

Getting your garage ready for winter is a serious task. It’s important to completely clean it out to make sure you have enough room for everything come winter. Here’s our breakdown of the steps needed to clean a garage: 

  • Take everything off the shelves and out of the garage 
  • Decide what you’ll be keeping and what is ready to be donated or tossed out 
  • Deep Clean! 
  • Scrub the floor with a water and bleach solution 
  • Get rid of oil stains with cat litter, dish soap, and a wire brush to scrub it 
  • Wipe down cabinets and shelves with wipes 
  • Use soap and water to clean the walls 
  • Add more shelves if needed 
  • Find a place for everything- on shelves, racks, hangers, and in boxes 

Outdoor Plants

5.) How do I get my plants ready for winter? 

Our gardens are sources of joy! To put your garden in the best position for next year follow the tips below: 

  • Clean up all the leaves and twigs and put them in a compost pile 
  • Plant your spring bulbs in the fall for best results 
  • Wait to put on an extra (3-inch) layer of mulch on until it gets cold. This layer protects plants and doing it later helps you avoid rodents 
  • Cover your plants in a 1”+ layer of compost for extra nutrients during winter 
  • Cut you perennials down to 4”-6” to have the best growth in the spring 

 

6.) How Do You Store Outdoor Rugs?

Outdoor rugs usually add a pop of color to our patios and give them that homey feel. Cleaning them and storing them is really simple. Generally, just use gentle detergent and warm water to scrub down the carpet. Make sure you rinse the rug with lukewarm water and let dry- either in the sun or hanging to get completely dry. If the rug has any signs of mold, use white vinegar and water in a mixture to kill the mold and then let dry. Once the rug has been dried, we recommend rolling it to avoid creases and storing it in a closet or the basement out of sunlight. 

7.) Should I do anything to my deck for winter? 

The deck is the focal point of all outdoor activities, keeping it looking nice sets the stage for all your summer activates. To make sure the deck looks great in the spring make sure to: 

  • Blow off all leaves and debris 
  • Clean the deck- there are many different cleaning products that will remove dirt and mildew 
  • Seal the deck 
  • Decks should be sealed every 2-3 years, check this guide to find out more info  

 

8.) Get your house ready for the winter season 

  • Clean out your gutters 
  • Check to make sure your HVAC system is working 
  • Caulk and seal exterior wood 
  • Check your homes drainage 
  • Clean your chimney and get wood delivered 
  • Make sure your attic is sealed so no rodents can get in 

Grill with hamburgers and hotdogs

9.) What should I do to get my grill ready for winter? 

We thrive on grilled foods during the summer- it’s the perfect way to finish off a long hot day. Let’s make sure your grill is ready for next season with a few quick steps. 

  • Start your grill and heat it up to 400 degrees so the cooking area gets nice and hot 
  • Turn off the grill and grab your grill brush 
  • Scrub the residue off the cooking area with the grill brush 
  • Mix soap and water in a bucket. Use a light scouring pad to scrub the remaining grease and gristle off the grill 
  • Use a similar soap and water mixture or a special stainless steel cleaner to clean up the outside of the grill 
  • Let your grill dry and cover it with a waterproof canvas cover

 

Remember if you need extra space to store your outdoor gear or would like to use your awesome home to earn a bit of extra money, NXTSTOR, is a great option. As always be safe while cleaning your home and always reach out to a bit of extra help from those in the NXTSTOR community.  For questions, comments, or help with anything, please reach out to support@nxtstor.com, it’s really me (Brandon) in disguise.