A thorough checklist to get your outdoor spring cleaning projects on track + products we use and love to make backyard clean-up easier.
This post is sponsored by Lowe's.
Spring is FINALLY here! It feels so good to say that. It feels even better when the yearly backyard spring cleaning is finished so we can enjoy all of the sunny months ahead!
If you have outdoor clean-up on your to-do list right now, I pulled together a handy dandy outdoor cleaning checklist (at the very end of this post) with some backyard refresh tips to make the job less overwhelming.
Related: 35 DIY Backyard Ideas on a Budget
Can you believe the difference two days make? That’s all it took to tackle our backyard. Every spring, Robert and I like to reserve a day or two on our calendar to reset our backyard with an intense spring cleaning.
This year felt especially overwhelming while Robert is still recovering from his knee surgery and couldn’t help at all. (I literally yelled at him to “go sit down!” for trying to sneak out and help me. 😂) Thankfully, my parents pitched in with me a bit and some of the products I used this year made the job go by much faster than ever before.
I picked up several outdoor spring cleaning items from the Lowe’s SpringFest to stretch our budget. Now is the best time to pick up discounted paint, lawn & garden, and outdoor living items, if your yard needs a little love too.
We’ve discovered several cleaning methods and backyard decorating tricks over the years, so I’ll share all about them in this post.
Refresh and Weed the Garden
No matter what size garden you have, spending an hour or two addressing problem areas can make a huge difference to improve curb appeal and make them healthy for the warm season ahead.
Related: DIY Flower Bed Makeover
Replace Dead Plants
Remove and replace any dead shrubs, flowers, or plants. If there’s not enough room in the budget to replace them, removing them entirely is still better than staring at dead vegetation. (We have used these recycled wood barrel planters for years and love them! They work great as side tables too when turned upside-down.)
To save your back, use an extendable handle weeder tool to remove pesky weeds in hard-t0-reach places. It will greatly reduce your need to bend and squat.
Keep weeds and grass away by spraying walkways and around flower beds, fences, and patios with Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer. The aim & spray nozzle makes it much more user-friendly than others we’ve used.
Spring is a great time to cut back trees and shrubs. Make sure to recycle the pruned clippings into a compost pile or turn them into mulch to reuse in flower beds.
Treat for Insects
Before invasive, biting bugs can become active in your yard, spray the lawn with Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer to reduce more than 26o types of insects like deer ticks, grubs, ants, Japanese beetles, and fleas. The hose end sprayer formula makes the application process very quick and easy.
Refresh the look of flower beds by spreading hardwood mulch (we prefer the brown color). Landscapes look more finished with mulch, but it also helps control moisture, reduces water use, and regulates soil temperature for healthier gardens.
Fire Pit Cleaning Sources
Clean the Deck or Patio
Whether you have a deck or outdoor patio, just a couple of cleaning steps to remove old mildew and grime can make outdoor spaces come to life for backyard gatherings.
See how grimy our patio grill area was before I deep cleaned it?
Replace Deck Boards or Patch Concrete / Pavers
Before deck or patio cleaning, inspect decking for signs of wood rot and patios for chips or cracks that need repairing. It’s a good idea to reseal wood decking after cleaning.
Pressure Wash Concrete or Wood Deck
Investing in a good quality pressure washer is totally worth it. We’ve had this Sun Joe electric pressure washer for 3 years and have been very happy with it!
Adding Krud Kutter Multi-Purpose Pressure Washer Concentrate removes the milder, dirt, grease, and grime instantly from patios, fences, decking, siding, wood, vinyl, and concrete.
Clean the Grill Area
Use the pressure washer and Krud Kutter to clean countertops and surfaces around the grill area too. Be sure to spray surfaces on the rinse setting after spraying them with the Krud Kutter.
Fix Outdoor Lighting
Check outdoor string lights and other backyard light fixtures to see if any bulbs or fixtures need repairs or replacing. (One strand of our string lights still needs replacing since a bad storm damaged them recently.)
Inspect Grill and Outdoor Appliances
Check to make sure your grill, mini fridge, pizza oven, and any other outdoor appliances are still in working order. Give them a thorough cleaning inside and out so that you can start enjoying them for outdoor gatherings.
Pot a few Bonnie herbs like rosemary, basil, and thyme beside the grill so you can easily snip a few, rinse, and throw them into whatever you’re cooking in the backyard. I love to have potted mint handy on our outdoor kitchen countertop so that I can whip up a pitcher of mojitos whenever I want.
Set Out Tiki Torches
To keep mosquitos at bay, I like to place tabletop TIKI torches on countertops and patio tables. They’re much easier to refill with citronella and cedar oil throughout the spring and summer months than constantly buy and replace outdoor candles.
Outdoor Kitchen Cleaning Sources
Clean the Backyard Pool Area
If you have a backyard pool, it’s an entire job in and of itself to get it ready for swimming, but you’ll be so glad once it’s done.
Inspect and Replace Swimming Pool Equipment
Check your pool pump, filter, and entire system to make sure everything is in working order. Algae thrives in warm weather, so it’s good to stay ahead of it by replacing non-working pool equipment in the spring.
Deep Clean the Pool
Remove debris from the water, brush the pool walls and floors, and scrub the rest of your pool equipment like ladders and handrails.
Related: DIY Pergola Cabana Build
Clean the Pool Deck
We always keep our Husqvarna backpack leaf blower handy to quickly remove debris and clean our concrete patios, pool deck, poolside sitting areas regularly.
Clean the pool deck with the pressure washer and Krud Kutter as well to get rid of any grime. (Our DIY painted concrete pool deck is still going strong even 3 years later!)
Plant Potted Perennials
To stretch your budget on plants, try planting perennials in pots rather than choosing annuals so that they’ll return each growing period. I filled this planter bowl with three different perennials to add some variation to our poolside tabletops.
Clean or Replace Outdoor Rugs, Pillows, Curtains, and Umbrellas
We still absolutely love our DIY pergola cabana! During the outdoor spring cleaning process, don’t forget to clean outdoor textiles. A lot of times, I can make our outdoor rugs look brand new by giving them a quick spray down with the pressure washer and Krud Kutter.
Our cabana top was damaged during Hurricane Ian in the fall, so we have a new one on the way. These Boston ferns I potted in these weathered planters will be happier in the shade once that arrives. They’re great as low maintenance plants on porches and covered patios too.
I love how all of the textile elements together make this space feel like an outdoor living room.
Clean Outdoor Furniture
Whether you have old grimy furniture or find some secondhand on your local classifieds, don’t give up and think they’re beyond saving. It’s amazing what deep cleaning outdoor furniture can do to make them look like new.
Can you believe these are the same 2 year-old sun loungers photographed just a few hours apart? All I had to do was give them an intense cleaning and reconditioning, and they look much better.
I sprayed them with the pressure washer and Krud Kutter patio cleaner first to remove 90% of the mildew and dirt from the fabric and wood. Be careful not to use too high pressure on outdoor fabrics as it can damage them.
To remove the remaining stubborn stains, I did spray the white fabric with a solution of 1 part bleach | 3 parts water using a spray bottle. For really stubborn stains, a scrub brush can help too. After 5 minutes, I rinsed the bleach solution again with the pressure washer on the water-only setting.
Restore Outdoor Wood Surfaces
Once the wood furniture has fully dried, use a dry rag or microfiber cloth to wipe down the wood surfaces with teak oil.
These lounge chairs are made of eucalyptus wood; teak oil will work on most outdoor wood furniture. The oil penetrates the wood so it looks richer, blocks moisture, and protects it from UV rays to last longer.
Clean and Replace Pool Toys
Check your swimming pool toys to see what items need to be cleaned, thrown out, or replaced. Many toys end up broken by the end of the previous season, so it’s a good idea to address it before your first swim of the year.
Add Necessary Outdoor Storage
I love these white storage garden stools I found at Lowe’s to keep all of our pool toys nearby but protected from the elements. The stools are made of rattan-look molded composite to keep out snakes and spiders, and they can be easily scrubbed clean from pool mildew.
Backyard Pool Area Cleaning Sources
Clean House Exterior
Giving the house structure a spring cleaning really doesn’t have to take too long and makes such a difference in its appearance.
Wash Windows and Doors
Quickly wash windows and doors with this Windex outdoor glass cleaner you can attach right onto your garden hose. Clean window screens as well.
Clean Out Gutters
You can clean out your gutters much more efficiently than the traditional way by using a leaf blower gutter attachment! It’s so much faster and easier than trying to do it by hand.
Pressure Wash Siding
If you have siding, while you’re pressure washing basically every other surface in your outdoor spaces, go ahead and pressure wash any exteriors with siding too.
Refresh the Lawn
Walk around your yard to pick up any litter, aerate the lawn to encourage grass growth, and spread fertilizer to give it a nutrient boost. If you have a sprinkler system, check to make sure all pipes and valves are in working order.
House Exterior Cleaning Sources
Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist
You can download the free outdoor spring cleaning list below to give you extra motivation.
It seems like a big job, but if you dedicate a weekend to it, you’ll reap the rewards for months all the way into the fall season!
You can get all of the outdoor cleaning supplies, lawn care, outdoor decor, and backyard entertaining items you need at the best value from the Lowe’s SpringFest to enjoy the warm weather get-togethers ahead.
We celebrated our backyard clean-up by getting Robert off of the couch and around the fire pit with the girls, and it was definitely needed after a challenging two-week surgery recovery.
Sunshine and a cleaned up backyard really is good for the soul. 💙
More DIY Backyard Ideas and Curb Appeal Tips
- 35 DIY Backyard Ideas on a Budget
- 6 Small Front Porch Ideas on a Budget to Add Instant Curb Appeal
- DIY Front Flower Bed Makeover