After an unseasonably cold April and rainy May, we are ready to get outside and soak up the summer sun. You may even be able to have outdoor gatherings this summer! Let Rug Doctor help you get your outdoor entertaining area ready to impress with our outdoor cleaning rental machines and solutions. We created this outdoor cleaning guide make sure you cover all the important areas and don’t miss a spot!

How to Clean Gutters

Cleaning your gutters can prevent damage to your roof, exterior and foundation. Ideally, you would clean your gutters twice a year in early spring and early fall. With the wacky weather this year, we understand this important task may have been pushed out on the calendar. It is important, however, to not completely skip it. With all the snow and rain over the last few months, it is almost certain your gutters are filled with debris, dirt, and leaves. Clear your gutters so they can function their best during the summer months. Keeping your gutters clear may save you thousands in possible repair costs.

  1. Do not clean your gutters after a rain. It will be easier to clean if the debris is dry.
  2. Get a ladder and place it near the downspout. You will want to work toward the closed end so you don’t accidently push more debris into the downspout. Rug Doctor now rents ladders at select locations! Check out our rental locator to see if there is a rental location near you. Be sure to practice ladder safety to prevent injury and falls.
  3. Wear work gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to protect your eyes. You will need a bucket to collect debris. You can remove large debris with your hands. For compacted debris, use a trowel and scoop the debris into the bucket.
  4. After most of the debris is removed, flush the gutter with water from a garden house fitted with a spray nozzle. Start at the far end and move toward the downspout. Be sure to avoid spraying underneath the roof shingles.
  5. After the gutters are clean, check the downspout for clogs and lodged debris. If a clog is suspected, feed the water hose up the downspout and turn on at full pressure. You can also use a plumber’s snake to break up the blockage.
  6. For a final touch, use a pressure washer to clean the outside of the gutters and remove mildew and dirt. Rug Doctor also rents electric pro-grade pressure washers at select locations. Find the nearest location to you with our rental locator.

How to Clean the Exterior of your Home

Your home is arguably the most expensive investment you have ever made. To keep your home looking its best, it is important to deep clean the exterior. But it goes beyond just making it look good. Deep cleaning the exterior of your home can help preserve your home’s structure and help prevent damage from mildew and mold. A regular cleaning will also help with insect and bird debris buildup by removing insect eggs, excrement and cobwebs.

  1. If you don’t own a pressure washer, rent a Rug Doctor Pro Electric Pressure Washer at one of our select locations. Be sure to purchase Rug Doctor Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate to use with the pressure washer.
  2. Follow the instructions listed on the pressure washer for set up. You can download more detailed instructions from our support page. Take special note of all safety warnings and precautions.
  3. Follow the instructions listed on the Outdoor Cleaner bottle to mix your cleaning solution.
  4. Clean one side of your house at a time. Apply cleaning solution from the bottom up and let it sit for a few minutes – do not let it dry. If you apply from the top down, it will be hard to see where you have actually applied solution versus the solution dripping down.
  5. Rinse the cleaning solution from the top down doing your best to keep the water jet angled downward. Angling the jet down will ensure all the dirt and grime is washer to the ground versus higher up on the side of the home.
  6. There is no need to skip the windows when cleaning with the pressure washer. Just remember to maintain at least 4 feet between the end of the spray tip and the window. Also, make sure to remove any screen window coverings before starting.
  7. Move to the next side until complete.

How to Clean Patio Furniture

Your patio furniture is probably the most used item on your deck, patio or porch. Comfortable and clean outdoor furniture is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the long summer nights. But no one wants to sit or eat on surfaces covered in dirt, insect excrement, and grime. Rug Doctor has effective solutions to clean hard and soft surfaces, making them perfect for patio furniture.

  1. Remove cushions for cleaning. If you have cushions with removable covers, remove them and wash them in the washing machine. Take care to read all cleaning instructions from the manufacture.
  2. For cushions without removable covers, wipe down with a damp cloth. Treat spots and stains with a good spot cleaner. We recommend Rug Doctor Spot + Pretreat Dual Action Cleaner. For heavily soiled cushions, you can rent the Rug Doctor Pro Portable Detailer and Spot Cleaner.
  3. For plastic patio furniture, we recommend using Rug Doctor ready-to-use Outdoor Cleaner. Simply spray on, let set for a few minutes (but not dry), and wipe off.
  4. Wash metal and aluminum patio furniture with water and be sure to dry completely with a towel to prevent rust. For added protection, you can apply a coat of automotive wax.
  5. You can wash wicker and wood furniture with Rug Doctor’s electric pro-grade pressure washer with Rug Doctor Outdoor Cleaning Concentrate to help remove especially grimy or stuck on dirt. Place in the sun to air dry or dry with a towel.
  6. Maintaining your clean with spot checks and regular wipe downs will help your patio furniture last for many seasons to come.

Maintaining Your Deck or Patio

Your deck or patio likely took a beating during the winter months. You will be amazed at how much better your outdoor area will look after a good washing.

  1. Rent a Rug Doctor Pro Electric Pressure Washer at one of our select locations. Be sure to purchase Rug Doctor Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate to use with the pressure washer. The pressure washer will work great with water alone, but adding a good outdoor cleaning solution can help with especially dirty areas.
  2. Follow the instructions listed on the pressure washer for set up. You can download more detailed instructions from our support page. Take special note of all safety warnings and precautions.
  3. Follow the instructions listed on the Outdoor Cleaner bottle to mix your cleaning solution.
  4. Start cleaning solution application at one end of the deck or patio and work towards the other end.
  5. Start rinsing on the opposite end that you started cleaning solution application.
  6. It is best to wash your patio on a sunny day for drying purposes.

Cleaning Driveways and Sidewalks

Driveways and sidewalks are outdoor areas that many do not even realize they need to clean. But they get dirty and can discolor over time. Cleaning these areas with a pressure washer can brighten the outside of your home and remove dirt and grime. Before starting, clear the area of toys, plants and other clutter.

  1. Rent a Rug Doctor Pro Electric Pressure Washer at one of our select locations. Be sure to purchase Rug Doctor Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate to use with the pressure washer. The pressure washer has enough pro-grade power to deliver results with water alone, you can boost the cleaning power with a good outdoor cleaning solution.
  2. By adding on the Rug Doctor Surface Cleaner, you can clean these large areas 4x faster than with the pressure washer alone! The Surface Cleaner attaches to the end of the pressure washer. It is a 12” dome with circulating jets and the cleaning path is much wider than the pressure washer spray tip.
  3. Follow the instructions listed on the pressure washer and surface cleaner for set up. You can download more detailed instructions from our support page. Take special note of all safety warnings and precautions.
  4. Follow the instructions listed on the Outdoor Cleaner bottle to mix your cleaning solution.
  5. If there is any kind of slope in your driveway or sidewalk, start applying the cleaning solution at the bottom and work up. Let cleaning solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing, but do not let it dry.
  6. Start rinsing from top down on slopes or from the opposite end that you started applying the cleaning solution.
  7. It is best to wash these areas on a sunny day for drying purposes.

The exterior and outdoor areas of your home are just as important as the inside. Cleaning these five outdoor areas can give your home a refreshed look for summer and provide a truly welcoming atmosphere. More importantly, routinely cleaning these areas can extend the life of your property. Rug Doctor is happy to help you achieve professional grade cleaning, inside and out!