How to Clean Windows and Patios for Entertaining

Planning on outdoor entertaining this summer? Find out how to clean your windows and patio furniture the easy way with these tips for outdoor cleaning!

clean patio with wood and metal furniture decorated in black, white, and gray | Maison de Pax

This post is sponsored by Windex® and The Home Depot.

I’ve done it before (and, sad to say, I’ll probably do it again, but thankfully Mr. Pax is endlessly gracious with me when I do this kind of thing!): I agreed with five days notice to host 30+ people for a pool party in our backyard. Normally that might not have been a huge deal, but our backyard and patio area was about 2 years overdue for a clean up, especially after the super rainy spring we’ve had. And Mr. Pax was traveling most of those five days. Needless to say, I had to figure out an efficient way to get the space spruced up on my own. I’m happy to report that I not only managed it, I’ve got some tips to help you do the same!

dirty spotted windows above and clean streak free windows below with text overlay: how to clean windows the easy way | Maison de Pax

Getting your patio ready for summer

Living in the beautiful Texas hill country definitely has its perks…

patio with large columns overlooking a pool and green hill country view | Maison de Pax

But we weren’t able to enjoy our time outside (or our view from inside, for that matter) nearly as well with such dirty windows and patio. So I systematically tackled five areas to clean up our back porch area, and it worked beautifully! Here are my top five tips for getting your patio ready for summer entertaining:

  1. Clean the exterior windows
  2. Clean dirty patio furniture
  3. Wash cushion covers
  4. Pressure wash deck
  5. Refresh flower pots and beds
woman washing exterior windows with hose | Maison de Pax

Clean Your Windows the Easy Way

I love all the natural light our home receives with so many beautiful windows, but I confess that I was overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning them all. Conveniently, though, The Home Depot had just approached me about trying Windex® Outdoor, so I headed over to my local Home Depot and picked up a bottle, unsure whether this could really do the trick.

windows outdoor spray bottle attached to hose | Maison de Pax

Since it’s a little difficult to capture the full process with pictures, and since I had never tried it before, I thought it might be fun to record my actual experience trying it for the first time… and I’ve got a video to share it all with you!

The giant picture windows across the back of our home are wonderful for the view and for all the natural light they provide… but I had worried that I would need extensive cleaning supplies to get them streak free and sparkling: ladders, dish soap, rags, sponges, extension poles, towels, and more. What a pleasant surprise that a hose and one spray bottle of Windex® Outdoor did the trick all on its own!

dirty exterior windows before cleaning | Maison de Pax

sparkling clean patio windows | Maison de Pax

But I think the biggest question on my mind was this: will Windex® Outdoor leave spots when it dries? So I experimented with different ways to dry the windows on the areas I could reach without a ladder: allowing one section to air dry, using a rubber blade squeegee from top to bottom on another, and using paper towels on the third. There was basically no difference from one window to the next. The result was pretty much streak free windows no matter how they dried.

clean patio windows behind outdoor sofa on back porch | Maison de Pax

Clean Patio Furniture the Easy Way

As I mentioned in the video, I was so pleased with the result of Windex® Outdoor on the windows that I decided to try it on some really dirty painted patio furniture. There was tree gunk, bird poop, mold and mildew, and more on this poor adirondack chair… I have cleaned it in the past, but it took a bucket of soapy water and lots of scrubbing each time. In this case, after a quick spray with Windex® Outdoor, I was able to wipe it clean with minimal effort.

dirty painted patio furniture | Maison de Pax
clean white painted patio furniture | Maison de Pax

Wash Outdoor Cushion Covers in the Washing Machine

Almost all outdoor cushion covers are machine washable (since, hello, they have to be able to withstand the elements!)… and yet for some reason, I forget this. We’ve had this sofa for almost four years, and I had never washed the cushion covers – gross. But despite the annoying job of removing (and putting back on) the covers, washing them was SO worth it! They looked basically new afterward, and the washing machine did all the hard work.

covered patio with large columns and wood furniture with cushions | Maison de Pax

Power Wash your Deck for summer

This is not the quickest job, but it can have such a big impact on your outdoor space. I actually wrote a full post earlier this summer with tips for pressure washing your deck. Let’s just say it’s definitely the most involved part of getting your deck ready for summer… but it’s totally worth it!

dirty patio with the word clean pressure washed | Maison de Pax

Refresh Flowers and Plants for your Patio

No matter how diligent a gardener you may be, there are usually some plants that don’t make it through winter or that just need a little maintenance, and hosting outdoor parties in the summer is a perfect excuse to spruce things up a bit.

beautiful large fern hanging above an outdoor sofa on a covered patio | Maison de Pax

Succulents are by far my favorite (low maintenance yet beautiful!) plants. You can get all my tips for potting and caring for succulents here. Whatever plants you choose, though, a fresh pot or refreshed bed are the perfect little addition to your patio before outdoor entertaining.

ceramic pots with beautiful succulents lining cream colored porch steps | Maison de Pax

Patio Cleaning Tips

While I wouldn’t like to do this every week, I did manage all five of these summer chores in just five days, even while keeping up with my four kids and the rest of life! I’d say that’s pretty successful. 😉 The pressure washing took a full day, but the windows and furniture cleaning were done in a short afternoon. The cushion washing just took the 15 minutes to remove and another 15 minutes to put them back on. And the plant refresh is actually something I’m doing continually these days… it’s my outdoor therapy.

covered patio with white, gray, and black patterns | Maison de Pax

Next time you’re planning to host this summer (or even if you just want a clean outdoor space to enjoy yourself!), I hope you find these tips and reminders helpful. And be sure to save yourself time by grabbing some Windex® Outdoor to help you get it all done. And don’t forget to pin this for later!

pretty, clean covered patio with text overlay: how to clean your windows and patio the easy way | Maison de Pax

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

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  1. Next time you want to clean your patio get the Ryobi 12″ Surface Cleaner (which adapts to almost all power washers — one for electric and a different one for gas-powered) at Home Depot — around $32, but it cuts the chore by 50-75% of the time!!!!! Super easy to use and so much faster than using the regular spray nozzles! (Lowes has them too — not sure of the brands).

  2. Any tips on the best way to clean interior windows? I have a new home build and no matter what I’ve tried, I get streaky windows and sliders! I feel like they all have a film or something on them that prevents clean windows..Ugh..

    1. Oh, it can be so tricky! Have you tried newspaper and a window cleaner? I get the best results that way!

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