It is important to clean the outside of your home. If you need some help with how to clean outside the house, you should click here.

The average American spends about six hours per week cleaning their home. With so much time invested in cleaning, many of us want to be sure we're doing the job right. While the interior often takes priority, a big portion of your home's appeal actually lies on the outside of the house. This is why it's especially important to make time to clean the outside of your home as well as the inside. Although cleaning outside the house can seem like a huge task, it doesn't have to be. Read on for our guide on how to clean the outside of your home.

Clear Clutter Outside the House
One of the first things you should do when you're cleaning the outside of your home is clear away any clutter, trash, and debris lying around. This will free you up to focus on the more detail-oriented work on your to-do list. Conduct a thorough walkthrough outside the house, picking up any toys, mail, newspapers, and trash you find, putting everything in its proper place. Once you've cleared everything, you can start working on tackling any individual cleaning projects you plan on accomplishing.

Maintain Your Home's Landscaping
Another important task to accomplish when you're cleaning outside the house is maintaining your home's landscaping. This can seem like quite a task, especially if you're on a large lot of land, but it helps if you break up tasks individually.

Here's a step-by-step guide for flawless landscape maintenance:
1. Start by pulling up any weeds or dead plants you find and disposing of them in yard waste bags.
2. Prune any hedges, bushes, trees, or other greenery outside the house, disposing of extra pieces in yard waste bags.
3. If needed, mow your grass to get your landscape spick-and-span.
4. Spruce up your garden by filling in any gaps with new plants, if needed.

A well-manicured landscape is essential when you're cleaning outside the house, so don't skip this step! By keeping up a beautiful lawn and garden, you'll be increasing your home's curb appeal, all while creating a lovely natural landscape for you and your loved ones, too.

Clean Your Home's Siding
When cleaning outside the house, it's important not to neglect your home's siding. Over time, it can become caked with dirt and debris, which can dull the color of your home's exterior and give a dingy appearance.

For a budget-friendly way to tackle this project, you'll need the following tools:
A long brush
Oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach, which can damage the color of your siding)
A soapy cleaning solution, such as laundry detergent diluted with water

Once you've gotten these items ready, follow these steps for simple DIY cleaning of your home's siding:
1. Mix powdered oxygen bleach with water per the bottle's instructions.
2. Using a long brush, apply the oxygen bleach mixture on dry siding to any areas of mold or mildew outside the house.
3. Let the cleaner sit for about ten minutes.
4. Rinse the siding completely with a garden hose.
5. Using the long brush and soapy solution, scrub the entire siding down.
6. Give the siding a final rinse with the garden hose.

This is a simple "tried and true" method to clean most light to moderately soiled home sidings. If that doesn't do the trick, you might want to consider renting a pressure washer to take care of the buildup on your home's siding. However, be sure to do this with extreme caution, as using too high of a setting can do permanent damage. In most cases, a low-pressure wash (40° angle) is all you'll need to do the job.

Wash Outdoor Furniture
As you're cleaning outside the house, it's also important to clean off any outdoor furniture you have.

To do this, you'll need these items:
Oxygen bleach
Scrub brush

Once you've got everything together, follow this step-by-step approach:
1. Mix a very diluted bucket of water and oxygen bleach (try 1 part bleach to ten parts water).
2. Scrub soiled areas of furniture.
3. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
4. Finish off with a final rinse.

Be sure to do this on the sidewalk or driveway, as leaking bleach can quickly kill your plants and grass.
You may need to replace outdoor cushions or replace furniture items that are beyond repair. Either way, your outdoor furniture shouldn't be neglected when you're cleaning outside the house.

Clean the Driveway and Garage Floor
Leaking oil from your car, as well as other automotive fluids and chemicals, can leave unsightly stains on your garage floor and driveway. While some cases are extreme, you can usually take care of this task using simple household items.

Here's what you'll need to do basic cleaning and stain removal from your driveway and/or garage floor:
Drying agent, such as kitty litter
Soapy solution, such as laundry detergent
Scrub brush
Professional oil stain remover (optional)

Once you've got your supplies, follow these steps:
1. Cover up any wet spots and standing oil with your drying solution.
2. Let the drying solution sit for 24 hours.
3. Sweep up the excess drying solution.
4. Apply soapy solution and scrub with the scrub brush.
5. If preferred, use a professional-grade oil stain remover.
6. Follow up with a good rinse from the garden hose.

If this doesn't work, you may want to rent a pressure washer and go over the stain with trisodium phosphate (TSP). In extreme cases, seek out professional assistance.

Clean Your Deck and/or Patio
When tackling a cleaning project outside the house, you should also pay special attention to your home's patio and/or deck. These can often become caked in dirt and other grime, which should be cleaned regularly. Just like your siding, garage, and driveway, you can usually tackle this with a scrub brush, soapy water, and a quick rinse with the hose. In more extreme cases, you'll want to rent a pressure washer or seek professional assistance. Again, if you're using a pressure washer, proceed with extreme caution to avoid damaging your deck or patio. Start with a low-pressure setting and test the washer in an inconspicuous area before proceeding.

Cleaning the exterior of your home is no small project, but it helps to break down tasks and conquer each part individually. If necessary, break up the projects over a few days until it's all completed. At the end of it, you'll be glad you took the time to clean outside the house as well as inside. For more home and design tips, check out our other blog entries!