They say April showers bring May flowers. But you know what else April showers bring?! They bring mud. They bring puddles and pot holes, dirty boots and dirty paws. Yes, rain is a glorious thing, but it can also be a pretty big pain in the behind. And mud can be annoying-especially during the time of spring cleaning! We’ll break up this week’s spring cleaning segment into two parts: outdoors and indoors. Let’s get down to the dirty details of mud.
Outdoor Dirty Details: Obviously the easiest way to take care of mud would be to just get rid of it. However, mud is tricky and you can’t just snap your fingers and poof it’s gone. So let’s talk about some feasible options for tackling mud.
To start, let’s get to the source. What’s causing the mud in your yard? Mud is most often caused by two things-lack of grass and/or improper water drainage.
Grass can difficult to keep lush, especially in Wisconsin due to such drastic weather changes. Grass needs adequate sunlight, moisture and high enough temperatures (ideally 50°F-70°F) to keep it thriving. If you struggle to keep grass growing in your yard, take note of why. Is your yard lined by trees and thus blocking essential sunlight? What type of soil do you have? Do you live in Northern or Southern Wisconsin? Even the distance from Northern to Southern WI can make a big difference in grass growing. If grass is not the issue, but drainage is, then we recommend you seek help from a professional to get the proper drainage put in your yard.
Since growing grass or adding drainage takes time, let’s talk about a few things you can do temporarily to help decrease the amount of mud in your yard. One of the easiest and most cost effective techniques is to cover the muddy areas in straw or hay. The only downside to this is that straw/hay can contain seeds which will cause weeds to grow in the areas you cover. Secondly, avoid the area. Put up temporary fencing to keep pets and children from strolling through the mud, this will allow you to keep your sanity and for the yard to dry up! Keep in mind that the best time to fix a muddy patch is after it dries up. So we recommend using these temporary fixes until you are able to make a long-term fix.
Indoor Dirty Details: The source and problem are established. Now let’s talk about a few tips for keeping mud out of the house!
Establish the habit of taking shoes off. If you have access to your home through a garage, get your family in the habit of leaving their muddy shoes in the garage-that way the dirt doesn’t even enter the home. If you don’t have garage access, place a rubber mat by the doors and make it a habit of leaving the shoes on the mat as soon as you enter. We recommend a rubber mat versus a rug because it’s much easier to clean mud off of rubber!
Hose off muddy attire. If the kids hit the puddles and are covered head to toe in mud, hose off all of their muddy clothing before bringing it into the house!
Wipe your pet’s paws. It may be tedious, but if you really want to cut down on the amount of dirty entering your home, then we suggest you take the extra minute or two to wipe down your pet’s paws before they come in.
If you happen to get mud on the carpet-DON’T wipe it up wet. Trying to get a mud stain out of the carpet while wet will only spread the dirt around. You have to be patient and let the mud dry. Then you can vacuum up the excess dirt and get to work on the stain.
Let’s sum up this spring cleaning segment. Tackle the source of the mud. Establish a mud protocol for your home. Let muddy stain dry before tackling them. We hope these dirty details help you keep your home a little less dirty this rainy spring!