Want to make spring cleaning easier? Start in the fall

The front porch and door of a house with gray siding, white pillars and a white fence, ready for fall cleaning.

Time and weather can take their toll on your siding, deck, patio furniture or other things that have exposed to the elements all summer long. A little extra attention before you put things away for the season will make breaking them out next spring a bit easier.

Even if you live in a climate where deck season never takes a break, it’s a good to give your furniture a good cleaning to keep it in top condition.

Inspection

Give your furniture, deck and siding a once-over to look for problem areas. Don’t be surprised if you find mold and mildew along with piles of leaves and debris in the corners and crevices.

While the debris is easy to sweep away, things like mold and mildew might seem daunting. But researchers in the Amway Home Care Lab have some expert advice, and it doesn’t include harsh cleaners with chlorine bleach.

No harsh chemicalsA white bottle of Amway Home L.O.C. Multi-Purpose Cleaner

They prefer alternatives that are safer to use around families and are kinder to landscape plants. That includes concentrated detergents that contain no chlorine or phosphates and can be used on almost any surface. Instead they look to oxygen bleach, which bubbles up and breaks certain types of bonds in soils to remove stains. (No Amway™ home care product today contains chlorine bleach.)

Creative chemistry

Need extra cleaning power? Amway experts use a little creative chemistry for a cleaning boost.

“Mixing a cap and a half (30 ml) of Amway Home™ LOC™ Multi-Purpose Cleaner with one scoop (30 ml) of Amway Home™ All Fabric Bleach in 5 liters of hot water will make scrubbing your deck, outdoor furniture and vinyl siding a much less arduous task,” said Doug Feenstra, Amway supervisor for home care formulations.

“The surfactants in Amway Home™ LOC™ Multi-Purpose Cleaner help the bleach penetrate stains more quickly and thoroughly.”

A little elbow grease

A white box of Amway Home All Fabric BleachDoug suggests scrubbing with a sponge, nylon brush or soft-bristled broom. Finish with a gentle rinse from the garden hose and discard any leftover product after the cleaning solution cools.

“As a rule, you should never mix household cleaning products together,” Doug said. “The resulting fumes can be harmful, especially if combined with formulas containing chlorine bleach.

“The mixture described here is the only exception we recommend.”

Let it dry

Once you’ve washed off the signs of summer, let it air dry or wipe it down well before you store it for the winter.

Or, if your forecast calls for more warm, sunny days, have a seat on your freshly washed furniture and enjoy your handiwork.

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