Although summers in Australia can be rather harsh with soaring temperatures during the day, it is one of the most fun and anticipated seasons in the country with so many outdoor activities to do and major events taking place. In fact, as the sun sets on a hot day and the cool of the evening begins to take over, sitting on your front porch with a chilled drink in one hand can be a very pleasant and relaxing way to end your day. Unfortunately, dry weather and windy days also carry a little more dust and debris to your front porch than usual. This is one of the reasons why homeowners don’t make use of this otherwise, wonderful space to sit out and enjoy some fresh air.
If you’ve let your porch accumulate dirt and dust for a couple of weeks or months, it’s likely that you have given up on the idea of using it in the near future. However, a filthy porch is definitely not an attractive look for your house and one that nobody enjoys coming home to. Moreover, entering a house via a dirty front porch will drag or blow in more dirt from outside.
So, if you’re wondering how to clean your front porch and regain the opportunity to sit out on it, we’ve got just the cleaning guide you need! Read on.
1. Clear the Space; Move Furniture, Plant Pots, etc
If you are not looking to clean your porch in a hurry, and wish to get the job done more thoroughly, this can only be achieved when you get everything out of the way. From the doormat and plant pots, to furniture and removable sconces or lampshades; take everything out to the yard or the driveway so that the porch is cleared and ready to be cleaned. You will also need to clean these items before they are put back in place but we will get to that later.
It should be mentioned that many unused porches become a temporary storage space for miscellaneous items including bags of potting soil and broken patio furniture; therefore, it is advisable to use this time to find appropriate places for these things to be put away while getting rid of items that are broken or not going to be used anymore. After all, a clean front porch deserves to be maintained in order to serve its true purposes – adding beauty to your house, and giving you and your family a wonderful, outdoor space to spend some quality time together!
2. Remove Cobwebs, Wipe Walls, and Sweep the Floor
Assuming that your front porch hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it is likely that spiders and other insects have left their webbed homes in the corners of the roof over the porch. So, before you get to cleaning the floor or lower-leveled surfaces, you will need to remove the cobwebs and dust from the ceiling (underside of the roof). Use a long-handled broom for this and be sure to tie a scarf over your mouth and nose, as well as to wear protective eyewear to prevent dust and debris from getting in your eyes.
Next, wipe the walls from top to bottom using a dust cloth. During this time, we suggest cleaning around light fixtures and other permanent or attached wall pieces such as a mailbox, plant pot holder, etc. This step should also include wiping down balustrades, staircase railings and surrounding walls (if any). Finish off by thoroughly sweeping the floor and steps using an outdoor broom; push the debris down each step and collect it in a dustpan at the very last one.
3. Clean Window Exteriors
Although the exterior of a window is usually the only thing homeowners clean while the rest of the porch is neglected, it’s a good time to do it again for an overall front porch clean. To do this, use a dust cloth to wipe the window panes thoroughly, and a soft scrub brush to remove dust from corners and other tight spaces.
Next, spray on the glass cleaner and wipe in circular motions. Be sure to clean the frames and tracks for a thorough clean of your window exteriors.
TIP: Crushed newspaper sheets are very effective in cleaning glass surfaces as they possess just the right amount of absorbency.
4. Wash the Porch with a Water Hose
Dusting and sweeping will help get rid of most dirt and debris on your front porch, however, only a wash will get it thoroughly cleaned up and remove that fine dust which isn’t always visible but definitely easy to feel when you brush your hands against it. In fact, porch cleaning is incomplete without hosing the structure down!
Although a pressure wash is the best way to go (especially one with a container of cleaning solution attached at the top), using a garden hose will suffice. If needed, simply use one finger to block half of the pipe hole to create more pressure, particularly for areas that can’t be reached with the regular water flow from the hose. Avoid wetting any electricals, switchboards, and lighting fixtures; for these areas, you will need to clean around them in the next step.
5. Sponge Clean with a Cleaning Solution
A gentle clean for your paint job will require a sponge or soft scrubber, and a mild cleaning solution made with warm water and dish soap. You’ll be surprised by how effective minimal scrubbing is when cleaning your front porch in this manner. Of course, stubborn stains will require more elbow grease and perhaps, a stronger cleaning solution; however, merely wiping the walls, pillars, and balustrades with a damp, soapy sponge is enough to revitalise the porch!
During this step, you will notice the sponge or scrubber turning brown as you got about using it and therefore, it must be rinsed out every now and then to avoid smearing dirt around. It’s also advisable to scrub over dirtier areas twice with one rinse in between.
NOTE: Do not clean the floor during this step as it is the last thing you need to do when cleaning your front porch.
6. Hose Off the Cleaner
Step away from the porch and spray it with water until the cleaner is thoroughly removed. The more pressure used here, the more effective the rinsing will be. It helps to start with one end of the porch (from top to bottom) and work your way to the other side.
You may have to hose down the porch twice before it comes off entirely, or simply take a little more time to rinse it all off the first time around. Again, do not wet electricals and other components that should not come in contact with water. To rinse off areas around such spots, use a damp cloth instead.
7. Clean and Mop the Floor
Finally, to prepare cleaning the floor of your front porch, wet it enough in order to use a squeegee to push dirty water and debris off the porch. Repeat this process at least twice to ensure that there is no dirt left on the surface; do the same for the staircase.
Lastly, make a mild cleaning solution and mop the floor and steps to remove any stains or scuff marks. While you wait for the porch to dry, clean your outdoor furniture and other ornaments that are to be placed back on it.
At the end of this DIY porch cleaning guide, you will not only get to enjoy spending time out there in Autumn, but also be motivated to maintain its good as new appearance!
WARNING: This method is not suitable for hardwood floors or cleaning wooden decks as excess water can cause damage to the material.