Whether it’s fall or spring, cleaning the exterior of your home is always a good idea — especially if you happen to live in a primarily residential neighborhood or an area governed by an HOA.
It’s part of being a responsible neighbor, not to mention that maintaining your home’s exterior also plays into your property’s valuation over time.
Surfaces like windows, parking areas, and outdoor furniture tend to gather dust and dirt, and are subject to moody weather on a daily basis. And since we care about keeping things clean, but also worry about the environment, the best cleaning solutions are not just effective, but also sustainable.
So just in case you might be looking for a few helpful pointers, here are some tips on what to use — and what to pay attention to — when looking to make your house look more presentable on the outside:
Purchase a pressure washer
It’s no secret that our planet is at a crossroads and that we all should do our bit to protect it. Instead of buying hazardous products or chemicals — that will seep into your lawn and the roots of your plants — look for products that are eco-friendly. Or better yet, invest in a pressure washer and let plain water do the work for you.
The pressurized water stream will remove more dirt from your home’s exterior than a full day of scrubbing, leaving your home looking refreshed and clean.
Not to mention that you can use the pressure washer to clean other stubborn outdoor areas in record time, including pools, patios and decks.
Use DIY cleaning products you made yourself
Have a dusty patio that you have been meaning to get cleaned for a while now? Well, you don’t have to delay the cleaning any further. By using homemade products, you can skip all the research, purchase, and effort stages.
Stained cushions on your outdoor chairs and lounging? Take some tea tree oil and water. Spray the solution onto the back to test it first (just to make sure there are no unwanted interactions with the color or fabric). If everything goes well and there are no reactions, you can spray it onto the entire furniture to get rid of the dirt. Voila!
Dirty metal tables and chairs? All you need are warm water, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Spray some solution onto them and watch them shine as new.
Similarly, you can try baking soda for grills and citrus-based cleaners for oily areas.
Pay particular attention to your driveway
You know all those oils and automotive fluids that are essential in keeping your car running smoothly? Well, sometimes, they find their way into gutters and eventually seep into the local water supply. This could be dangerous for everybody, including your own family.
Usually, when you wash your car in the driveway, you want to be cautious. One should be wary of the junk, dirt, and filth that can be transferred to another source of water supply.
So, apart from switching to organic products for your car maintenance (many of the DIY cleaners mentioned above are a great fit), you should also pay attention to blocking the water from reaching the waterways. Proper care also means regularly cleaning your driveway and removing pesky oil stains as soon as you’ve spotted them.
Sparkly clean windows — with your own safety in mind
Cleaning window facades can be a pain — but definitely worth the trouble, given how your home looks when you’re done.
Be prepared to climb to greater heights to be able to wipe out all the dirt off your windows. Before you gather all your strength to wipe off the dust, rain marks, and stains, there’s something you need to do.
Your priority should be to ensure that you’re safe and at no risk while up at a height. It’s not enough to arm yourself with the right tools and chemicals, for this particular task it’s equally important to o get someone to help you or make sure (whenever possible), that there’s a loved one at home that can hold the ladder for you and step in if you need assistance.
Don’t aim for shiny, sparkly windows at the expense of your personal safety.
Using the right tools
As previously mentioned, high-pressure washers can do wonders to remove stains and dirt from large surfaces around the house. But that’s not the only tool that can help you keep your home exterior clean.
There’s a range of outdoor vacuum cleaners that can help you effectively clean the outside of your home. And you shouldn’t skip on purchasing an adjustable, long-reach squeegee to help out with your window cleaning.
And some of your most handy cleaning sidekicks, your scrubbers and brooms are equally important when cleaning the outside of your house. For example, experts advise against using a pressure washer to clean your roof and shingles — as it might cause damage — so a broom will be your safest bet.
With the right products and tools in your arsenal, there are multiple ways to get your outdoors clean. But how are you going to do it? Making a few right choices can help eliminate the use of chemical products, and by picking the right equipment, you ensure the safety of everyone in your household.