Why cleaning outside your home is so important

November 6, 2014

Before spending all your time cleaning only the inside of your home, focus on cleaning the outside. It's also important Why? It's what makes the first impression. Here's some advice to help you make it spic and span.

Why cleaning outside your home is so important

The outside of our homes are exposed to the ravages of weather and effects of rust and mildew. Here are some tips for giving your home's exterior the TLC it deserves, using techniques ranging from power washing to cleaning windows and driveways.

Power washing

Power wash your home twice a year, avoiding the colder, wetter months when dampness and cold can lead to mildew.

  • Some favour a bit of bleach in the cleaning water, while others swear by a teaspoon of trisodium phosphate per three litres of water.
  • Work from top to bottom in one metre sections, paying attention to eves, outcroppings and porch roofs.
  • Diluted trisodium phosphate can also be used when wiping down ornamental rocks, siding or painted wood.
  • Once sections have dried, go back over them to ensure an even cleaning.


Grease stains on driveways are unsightly. They can also eat away at the surface layer.

  • To get rid of them, spread sawdust over the stain and let it sit for a few hours to absorb excess grease. Then, liberally sprinkle powdered dishwasher detergent over the stain and pour on boiling water.
  • Use a stiff nylon brush to clean up the stain, then rinse. The whole process may need to be repeated.
  • Once stains are removed, use the power washer to clean up dirt and mildew.
  • For stubborn mildew, pre-treat with bleach and scrub with a stiff brush. If you use bleach, be careful it doesn't damage plants.


Rust on window screens and ornamental fixtures can damage metal surfaces.

  • Rust can be treated with a rag soaked in kerosene.
  • Severe rusting may require sanding and painting with a rust-resistant paint.
  • Metal surfaces should be checked several times a year, especially when you do spring cleaning, to catch rust in its early stages.


While you're power washing the house, wash your windows, too.

  • You can clean windows with warm water and a bit of dishwashing liquid or ammonia to clean off surface dirt.
  • A neat trick is to add a little cornstarch for a streak-free finish.
  • Add a little alcohol to the mixture to help windows dry faster and clean horizontally, taking care to wipe down and dry each window treated.

The outside of your home needs as much regular maintenance as the inside. Follow these tips to get started on cleaning your home's exterior.

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