Get Your House in Order Before Old Man Winter Comes

Warm weather weekends are coming to an end, so it’s time to clean the outside of your house. As an added benefit, your house will look ship-shape for fall gatherings, and cutting through the grime now will cut down on a major cleanup come spring.

Spiff up shabby aluminum siding:

This mix gets rid of grime, mildew, and dirt like magic. Mix ¼ cup of ammonia and 2 gallons of water together in a sturdy plastic pail. Scrub the mix onto the siding with a stiff brush, and rinse it clean with a garden hose.

Clean up cruddy concrete:

Use this mixture to scrub away stains and brighten the appearance of your sidewalks, driveways, and patios. Cover surrounding areas with plastic, so they don’t get damaged by any overspray, and wear rubber gloves, long sleeves, and long pants. Wet the area down with a garden hose, apply a 50-50 mix of bleach and water on with a long-handled scrub brush, and use a little elbow grease until the stains are gone. Then rinse the area thoroughly. And if you’ve got a power washer, pour the mix on wet concrete, and let the water blast do the scrubbing.

• Get rid of rust on your patio:

If your grill or metal furniture has left rust stains on your concrete patio, wet the spots and cover them completely with powdered lemonade mix. Set a sheet of plastic wrap over each area, holding it in place with a rock or brick. Let it sit for about half an hour while the citric acid in the mix bleaches the stains away. Then scrub each stain with a stiff brush, and rinse off the lemonade with plenty of water from the garden hose.

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