Parenting Blog

This summer is going to be different

A XXXL guy bopping up and down on a riding mower — yeah, no.

I never liked the optics of that scene, so I never painted it. Instead, I’d walk behind a push mower with a modest 21” cutting width, going back and forth and forth and back every 5-7 days during the dead of a Philadelphia summer, cutting my healthy half acre for the girls to run wild upon, to grow up on, to give them a well kept space to explore the outdoors in the safe confines of a fenced-in suburban backyard.

Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach Summer Outdoor Cleanup

Jeff wonders how, with the cover on, the grill manages to get so dirty.

As they’re growing up, as kids do, the grass keeps on sprouting too as it does unrelentingly. These days though, with me having grown into the life of a travel writer and photographer, we’re hardly home during the warmer months. The maintenance of my humble property has been left to a neighbor with a yard care business. The patio furniture I dutiful haul out from the shed perennially, wipe down, and then return to its offseason home as autumn’s chill arrives, rarely gets used.

This summer is going to be different.

Sure, we’ll be traveling again for a few weeks but, the great news is I’m down to an XL now — hooray! — and for the rest of the time between the end of school and the start of it, my family is staying pretty much put for a change. Oh, I still adore a long summer vacation (or three) but it feels so good to make a plan to make no plans more elaborate than, “hey, wanna do a mixed veggie grill, sit around the fit pit, and watch a new movie in the yard this weekend?”

Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach Summer Outdoor Cleanup

Ready to head out back with Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach to clean up for summer.

During these summer days and nights spent nowhere fancier than right here at home, I’m going to take back ownership of my own yard starting with a deep cleaning of the fancier-than-it-needs-to-be charcoal grill I haven’t touched in at last three years. I’ll be spraying Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach on that green and grey beauty to bring back her shine and ready her for a summer season of jumbo shrimp, veggie burgers, asparagus spears, and piles upon piles of sweet onions.

Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach Summer Outdoor Cleanup

The fire pit that was the belle of the ball two mother’s days ago, but has been the exact opposite of an eternal flame since, will be next. Then the many yard toys the youngest kid still likes to fill with water and the two slides of the play structure will get the Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with CLOROMAX® treatment, to remove mold and mildew, to bring backyard favorites of yesteryear into the present day, to give my girls a summer like they use to have — youthful, out of doors, home.

As you breathe new life into your home’s outdoor world, consult the workflow I got straight from the cleaning pros at Clorox on how to remove mold and mildew with bleach:
Step 1: Wipe down surface with a wet sponge
Step 2: Mix 3/4 cup of Clorox® Regular Bleach2 with CLOROMAX® with 1 gallon of warm water
Step 3: Wipe the bleach solution on the surface
Step 4: Wait 10 minutes for disinfecting
Step 5: Rinse thoroughly with warm water
Step 6: Let air dry; repeat, if necessary, on heavily soiled surfaces

If you’re lucky enough to not have any mold and mildew — first of all hi-five, bro — but maybe still need a general disinfecting and cleaning solution for some of your dirtier surfaces, furniture, etc, create that solution with only ½ a cup of Clorox Regular Bleach with CLOROMAX in a gallon of water.

Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach Summer Outdoor Cleanup

On how to use Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner + Bleach to Clean and Disinfect:
Step 1: Using the spray bottle and a cloth, remove excess dirt
Step 2: Spray product 4–6 inches from surface until thoroughly wet
Step 3: Let stand for 30 seconds
Step 4: Rinse or wipe clean

And on how to clean patio furniture:

OWTK has partnered with Clorox for a series of blog posts this spring — one with tips on raising good kids and another peeling back the curtain on what’s happening in the moments before you show up at my door for a party. All opinions expressed above and honest and unbiased, as always. We really are planning to spend more time at home, in the yard, working on its upkeep all by ourselves for the first time in too long.

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