Cleaning Your House Exteriors

Cleaning Your House Exteriors
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Each type of siding or exterior home material has a different method. As the weather starts to cool down it's a good time to check the outside of your house for anything that needs to be repaired.

If your siding is just moderately soiled you can clean with a hose that has a sprayer end on it, or just use a car-washing brush and water. Always start at the bottom and work your way UP when washing siding so the water doesn't drip down, causing streaks that are sometimes hard to remove. You can use this solution for the siding if it needs more cleaning:

Mix 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent and 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner like Spic & Span, in one gallon of water. Use the same method starting at the bottom and rinse the siding with water before the soap dries. If you find any mildew on the siding you can mix water and vinegar together and wash the area, then rinse.


Don't use a high pressure sprayer on wood siding. Depending on the type of wood and the age it could damage it and leave marks. Use a mild soap solution as mentioned for vinyl siding and again use the vinegar solution (3 parts water to 1 part of vinegar) to clean any mildew. When doing this test a section of the siding first to make sure it doesn't fade the paint. Also wear protective gloves and wash carefully so you don't damage plants around the house.


Once a year spray your brick off with the hose and a spray nozzle. You may find moss or mildew on brick too. A solution of one cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water can be used with a stiff brush to clean this off. Don't use wire brushes or synthetic brushes--they can discolor the brick--use a natural fiber brush. Soak the brick before washing with the bleach solution.


To clean stone walls, fences or other structures, wash with a mild soap solution.. Rinse well with clear water and let dry.


If you are thinking about painting your house this year wait until the days are milder-no 90 degree days-but it should be above 50 degrees with no rain predicted for at least 2 days. Paint in the shade whenever possible---starting on the shady side first and working your way around. This goes for any outside painting projects.

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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