Summertime chores? These kids are cleaning up.

Disclosure: I am participating in a marketing campaign as a Mean Green ambassador, and Mean Green has supplied me with cleaning products as part of this campaign. I have been compensated for this post.  Read full Disclosure Policy.

As I shared last week, I’ve partnered with Mean Green to put their products to the test and tackle some dirty jobs around our home. This time, I enlisted the help of my boys to clean up some areas that seem to get dirty and grungy no matter what we do. They were actually looking for chores to do, so I tried to pick some semi-enjoyable ones.

(Want to hear our summer video game “deal?” At the end of the school year, their dad instituted the following rule: 20 minutes of outdoor play or indoor creative play when it rains, plus 20 minutes of chores, plus 20 minutes of reading equals 20 minutes of video game play. We’ve never been ones to allow day-long video marathons anyway, but putting this in place has really worked out well.  The boys have each read more than 20 hours’ worth of time over the past month and… I have two very willing helpers who suddenly ask me what chores they can do!)

We eat dinner outside on the deck many nights throughout the summer, and no matter when we go out there, the tabletop seems to have a film of dirt on it. Regular glass cleaner does a decent job, but the surface of the table collects dirt like a magnet. With the recent storms we had, our patio table had an unpleasant layer of grit and who-knows-what-else on top. 


My son used the Mean Green Antibacterial Multisurface Cleaner to wipe the dirt away. It left a streak-free shine, and I like that I know the table is clean enough to eat off of too. (Not that we are actually eating off the surface, but you know how it goes – an ear of grilled corn rolls off someone’s plate and onto the table, and I silently think… someone cleaned this table off before dinner… right?) Plus, it’s an outdoor table. We’ve spotted everything from birds to squirrels to the occasional raccoon sitting on here. Clean is good. 


The next task at hand was cleaning out our basement’s egress window. This is one of those areas of the house that has the potential to become really nasty if it’s left alone. When we moved here, the top of the well was open, and we used to get all kinds of bugs, spiders, and other critters in the well. (I was rescuing everything from salamanders to squirrels from this space!) I finally got tired of that and had a plexiglas cover made for the well. This does a great job of keeping animals out of the well. However, this egress window well is the only window in my office space, and when the well cover gets dirty, the amount of natural light in my office drops significantly. 


This cover is also a dirt magnet, because it’s got a pebbled surface (which I like — it lets light in but gives us privacy too.) We used the Mean Green Super Strength and numerous paper towels to scrub it clean. This is another job that I don’t like doing because the film of dirt it collects is thick, somewhat difficult to remove and generally nasty. We sprayed the cover with Mean Green and let it sit for two or three minutes, then started scrubbing. 

We definitely used a lot of the product here, but it did the job! I was also thinking about how big the bottle is for the price — this 32-ounce bottle sells for just $2 at Dollar General, and the 40-ounce bottles are under $2.50 at Walmart and Lowe’s. There was still plenty left in the bottle once this job was done, and that’s a good thing, as the kids were looking forward to cleaning the inside of this well too… 


I’ve written about my ivy window well in the past (it’s currently the most-pinned thing from my blog on Pinterest!) and certainly, the faux-plant makeover I gave this space is much more pleasant to look at than a corrugated steel well. That said, spiders do still get in here and spin cobwebs on the ivy well photo in the background, which kind of ruins the illusion. 



The ivy window well picture is printed on a thick plastic which adheres to the steel well. We used the Mean Green Super Strength to scrub the cobwebs away and clean this area thoroughly. I have never used a cleaner on this ivy photo before — just water — as I wasn’t sure if the inks from the photo would discolor or wash away with a harsh cleaner. After trying the Mean Green in a corner, the photo’s ink was unaffected, and I let the kids scrub it down.

I should add that my boys think getting into the window well is great fun — it’s like having a little fort inside the house! Some spiders had spun lovely webs across the rungs of the fire escape ladder too, and a blast of Mean Green and a good scrubbing made the ladder clean and shiny too. 

To celebrate finishing their cleaning projects, the boys also had to play “fire escape.” Just in case you’ve never played, here’s how you do it:

  1. Count the number of seconds it takes your brother to open this window, climb inside, unlatch the window well cover and climb out of the house.
  2. Run around the house, back into the house, back to the basement window, and close the window.
  3. Trade places with your brother and see if you can beat his time.

They’re already asking when this window well will need to be cleaned again.


Learn more about Mean Green cleaning products at


Disclosure: I am participating in a marketing campaign as a Mean Green ambassador, and Mean Green has supplied me with cleaning products as part of this campaign. I have been compensated for this post.  Read full Disclosure Policy.


  1. Lauren says

    Great photos. The price sure seems to be right for Mean Green! I would like to see you tackle something like a BBQ grill grate or a dirty microwave with it next =) LOVE what you did with your egress window too.

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