How to Clean Up After Your Outdoor Party

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taking care of your deck

Many homeowners hold their parties outdoors to minimize the mess. However, a wild night outside can take a toll on your al fresco areas and party fixtures. If you keep these tips in mind, it’s easy to deal with the aftermath of your latest celebration and you would be surprised of the easy solutions in taking care of your deck.

Deal With the Trash First

pile of garbage bags

A sea of trash can make an outdoor party’s aftermath seem particularly overwhelming. Get rid of the garbage first and your other cleaning duties will seem far less daunting. Rather than taking your trash to your bins, fill a large heavy-duty trash bag, then take it to the trash. Consider using two bags: one for recyclables such as empty bottles and wrapping paper and another for nonrecyclable items such as food scraps. Fill the bags and toss them in your trash bin to make the rest of the mess seem much more manageable.

Scrub Away Red Wine Stains From Your Deck

taking care of your deck

It’s so easy to turn your deck into party central, but a deck can look a little like war zone in the light of day with bright red stains of wine splattering its wooden surface. Removing Shiraz stains from wood is difficult, but there are a few tactics you can try when taking care of your deck.

If the red wine’s still wet, mop it up with a wet cloth or paper towel, using a blotting rather than rubbing motion. If it has begun setting in, tackle it with a strong, undiluted bleach. Leave it 45 minutes to work its magic, then wipe it up, wearing gloves to protect your hands.

If this doesn’t work, try scrubbing the stain with a mix of oil soap and hot water. A paste made from baking soda and mineral, lemon, or linseed oil can also be effective. Leave the paste for 30 minutes before removing it. If all else fails, try rottenstone or pumice mixed with mineral, lemon, or linseed oil. However, these are abrasive, so use them only as a last resort.

After each new approach, rinse the stained area with a damp paper towel or cloth, then dry it with another clean cloth. Removing a stain can also remove some of the wood’s luster, but furniture polish or paste wax should bring it back.

The earlier you tackle a red wine stain, the better, so make sure you monitor your guests and start scrubbing when spills occur. If the stain is large, is in an obvious spot, or is well set in, contact a wood care professional before trying a DIY removal technique.

Take Out Wood Scratches


All those people on your deck can do a number on the wood. High heels and moving chairs can put deep scratches into its surface, but you might be surprised what will remove them and how easy it is when taking care of your deck.

Experts insist that you can take out the scratch with a shelled walnut! Just rub the nut into the scratches, then leave them sit for five minutes before buffing with a soft cloth. You’d never know there was damage.

Clean Mustard Stains From Tablecloths

three mustard lines

An outdoor cookout is the perfect recipe for summer fun — until you’re faced with a tablecloth stained with mustard. This tasty condiment gets its yellow color from a spice called turmeric that creates stubborn stains. However, it’s no match for a little washing know-how.

If you can catch the stain early, it should come out with a little spot cleaner. If it’s an older stain, scrape off any excess mustard before washing the tablecloth. You should flush the stained area with water, apply liquid detergent to the stain, and then flush with water again. If the stain holds fast, presoak your tablecloth in a warm to hot detergent solution. Presoaking for several hours should work, but if your stain is especially stubborn, you can safely leave the tablecloth overnight. The next day, simply rinse and launder your tablecloth as normal.

This approach works for most tablecloths, including those made from cotton, polyester, linen, and acrylic.

Remove Food and Drink From Patio Cushions

dish detergent

During a perfect outdoor party, patio cushions can be magnets for stains. Unlike tablecloths, most patio cushions won’t survive a trip through the washing machine. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to stains from spilled fruit punch, ketchup, or greasy fingers.

Some patio cushions have removable covers. If yours do, wash these in the machine and then turn your attention to the cushions. If not, don’t worry. You can simply follow the same steps you would had you removed a cover.

First, add a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to a bucket of warm water, then sponge a generous amount of the mix onto your cushions. Let them soak for 15 minutes; you should see the stains fading. If not, add more of the cleaning solution to your cushions, then scrub at the spots with a brush.

After letting your cushions soak, hose your cushions thoroughly to rinse out the soap. Use a towel to soak up most of the water, then stand each cushion on its end to dry through. Make sure your cushion is completely dry before putting a cover back on, or else mildew could grow — and then you’ll have another problem on your hands! Spray your cushions with a fabric protector to mitigate future mishaps.

What do you think? Did we miss anything? Do you have any top secret tips on how to get rid of stubborn party stains? Let us know in the comments section!

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