My husband, Scott, and I are high school sweethearts. I have always known that he would make a great father one day, and I have come to see him surpass those expectations. Not only does he work to support us, but he also engages with the kids every time he sees them. He gives horse rides around the house, teaches them to do things like kick a soccer ball or ride a scooter, and attends every appointment and function imaginable.

Scott grew up with a great role model for a father, and he provides the same example for our kids as well. I always laugh when I see the memes of husbands who clean up around the house. For Scott, it has always just been a part of life. We operate under the “You cook, I clean” way of living. We balance each other out in any way we can. I load the dishwasher, he unloads it. I clean the inside, he cleans the outside. His methods have proven to be both thorough and efficient. As we turn our activities to the outdoors this summer, consider some of his tips for cleaning patio furniture.

Take it off

Remove any cushion covers or machine-washable items before you begin. Wash as recommended according to the manufacturer, and set the cushions in a safe, dry place away from the other furniture.

Spray it down


Set your hose nozzle to the strongest setting and use it to spray your furniture. Pay close attention to crevices that may contain spider webs or other hard-to-reach debris. You will also want to spray off things like bird and gecko feces so that you can avoid removing them by hand later.

Soap it up

Use a mixture of a gentle dishwashing liquid and warm water to wipe your furniture. Apply with a lint-free cloth like old T-shirts or a microfiber rag. If you come across a particularly difficult area, scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse when done and allow the furniture to dry completely before replacing cushions and other fabric materials.

Blow it up

Well, sort of. Every few days, your furniture and lanai may gather dust and yard debris. Use your blower to keep the mess at bay and to help postpone deeper cleanings.

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