Cleaning Your Home's Exterior

by Devon Delaney
(last updated January 10, 2011)

Increase Curb Appeal Quickly and Easily!

The average home is a pretty big structure, and -- especially given that the average person is relatively small in comparison—cleaning the exterior can be a daunting task. Of course, one way to ignore the ugly dirt and grime that builds up on brick, wood, eaves and roofs is to simply stay inside—like the old saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind," right?

But since staying inside forever isn't really an option, you'll need to figure out the best tools and techniques to get this job done. And rest assured, there are plenty. For instance, did you know that rust can be completely removed with one easy-to-find product and a bit of elbow grease? Here's how to go about cleaning the variety of surfaces that make up the outside of your home.

How Do You Clean Brick and Siding?

In most areas, modern houses are made of brick, and for good reason: brick is strong, attractive, traditional and weather resistant. Yet brick can get stained and dirty, and the nooks and crannies between each layer of material are great places for grime to hide. When spring cleaning time rolls around, find a sturdy wire brush and a diluted chemical cleaning solution that's recommended for your brick to tackle the job effectively. Remember that brick is vulnerable to stains and can react with a chemical solution, so be sure to wet the surface thoroughly before you get scrubbing. This technique can be used to clean your basic vinyl siding as well. However, I should note that aluminum siding cleaning requires a much softer touch as you want to avoid damaging or denting it.

Alternatively, you can splurge on helpful equipment that may wind up cutting your cleaning time in half. Consider using a pressure washer, which will blast off stubborn dirt from your exterior walls with its powerful stream of water. The best part is that you won't have to lay a hand on a scrub brush to get the gleaming results that will make your neighbors green with envy.

Make Dirty Jobs Easier to Handle

Perhaps the best piece of advice for cleaning the outside of your home is to make things easier for yourself. Prepare for the job! If you get the equipment, cleaning products and protection you need before you even turn on your hose, you'll be thanking yourself later when you don't have to drop everything to run to the hardware store. For specific cleaning problems, be sure to purchase the proper formulas instead of relying on one all-purpose solution: you'll need a mild solution of muriatic acid and water to get rid of mildew (especially in wood trims), kerosene to take care of rust, trisodium phosphate for rocks and masonry, and a glass window cleaner to make your windows sparkle.

Author Bio

Devon Delaney

Devon Delaney became a cleaning fanatic thanks to that Microbiology 101 class in University. He currently hosts and writes the material for the site to celebrate a clean and organized life. ...


Washing and Drying Down Bedding

Teaching you how to wash and dry down bedding at home with confidence and the help of a few tennis balls. Dry-Clean-Only ...

Discover More

Cleaning Specialty Cookware

Basic pots and pans are reliable pieces of cookware, perfect for the daily grind when a quick meal is the best choice. But ...

Discover More

Household Cleaners and Chemicals: Guidelines for Safe Storage

Cleaning your home often seems never-ending, and it's easy to accumulate a lot of household cleaning products. Storing ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!


Cleaning Up Your Yard

Cleaning up your yard may be a daunting and overwhelming task, but really, you just need to know the right way to go about ...

Discover More

Maintaining Aluminum Fences

An aluminum fence is pretty convenient, with low- to no-maintenance and a pleasant look. There are a few things you can do to ...

Discover More

Yard Management

Everyone knows that first impressions are important, and nothing makes as much of a first impression as your yard. If you do ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing