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How to Wash Your House Exterior: The Ultimate Guide to Clean

A clean house exterior is essential for a well-maintained home. Not only does it enhance your curb appeal, but it also protects your home from the elements. But with so many different materials and surfaces to consider, cleaning your house exterior can be a daunting task.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process how to wash your house exterior step-by-step, covering everything you need to know, from the necessary tools and materials to specific cleaning techniques for different surfaces. So whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a complete novice, you’ll be able to get your house exterior looking its best with ease.

How to Wash Your House Exterior

When washing your house exterior, it’s important to use the right tools and products for the job. This will help you get the best results without damaging your home.

Equipment Checklist

Before you begin, you’ll need to gather the right tools and materials to get the job done efficiently. Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need:

  • Pressure washer: The heart of your cleaning operation.
  • Hose: To connect your pressure washer to a water source.
  • Extension wand: For hard-to-reach areas.
  • Scrub brushes: Helpful for tackling stubborn stains.
  • Safety gear: This includes goggles, gloves, and appropriate clothing for protection.

Cleaning Solutions

In addition to your equipment, you’ll need the right cleaning solutions. Some common options include:

  • Detergent: Ideal for general cleaning.
  • Mold and mildew remover: Essential for dealing with fungal growth.
  • Oxalic acid: Effective for rust stain removal.
  • Homemade alternatives: Environmentally friendly options like vinegar and baking soda.

Preparing Your Home

Removing Obstacles

Before you start washing, you’ll want to clear the area around your home’s exterior. Remove any obstacles like furniture, toys, or garden decorations. Additionally, protect your plants and landscaping from the cleaning solutions and pressure washer spray.

Safety Precautions

Safety is paramount during this process. Inspect the area for potential hazards, such as loose wires or damaged surfaces. Always follow the safety guidelines provided with your pressure washer to prevent accidents.

The Power of Pressure Washing

Pressure Washer Types

There are two primary types of pressure washers: electric and gas-powered. Electric pressure washers are more suitable for smaller cleaning jobs, while gas pressure washers offer greater power for larger surfaces.

Setting Up the Pressure Washer

Once you’ve chosen the right pressure washer, follow these steps to set it up:

  1. Attach the hoses securely.
  2. Adjust the pressure according to the surface you’re cleaning.
  3. Use the appropriate nozzles for your task, such as a 25-degree spray pattern for general cleaning.

Techniques for Effective Cleaning

Effective pressure washing requires specific techniques:

  • Start from the top and work your way down to prevent streaks.
  • Maintain a consistent distance of about 12-18 inches from the surface.
  • Adjust the spray pattern to suit the material you’re cleaning.

Cleaning Specific Surfaces

How to Wash Your House Exterior

Different surfaces require different cleaning approaches. Let’s explore the best methods for common house exterior materials.


Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a popular choice for many homeowners. To clean it effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the siding for damage.
  2. Use a gentle detergent with the pressure washer.
  3. Clean in horizontal strokes, moving from top to bottom.

Wood Siding

Wood siding requires a bit more care. Here’s how to clean it safely:

  1. Inspect for any loose or damaged boards.
  2. Use a lower pressure setting.
  3. Clean in the direction of the wood grain to prevent damage.

Brick Siding

Brick siding is sturdy but can accumulate dirt and grime. To clean it:

  1. Use a lower pressure setting to prevent damage to the mortar.
  2. Apply a suitable detergent.
  3. Work in small sections, scrubbing with a brush if needed.

Decks and Patios

Wooden Decks

To clean a wooden deck:

  1. Inspect for loose boards or nails.
  2. Use a low-pressure setting and a wood-specific cleaner.
  3. Keep the nozzle moving to prevent damage.

Concrete Patios

For concrete patios:

  1. Remove any loose debris.
  2. Use a concrete cleaner or a mixture of water and mild detergent.
  3. Start cleaning from one end and work your way towards the other.

Roof Cleaning

Asphalt Shingles

Cleaning asphalt shingles requires a gentle touch:

  1. Inspect the roof for any damage.
  2. Use a low-pressure setting and a suitable cleaning solution.
  3. Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving residue.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are durable but require careful cleaning:

  1. Inspect for loose screws or damage.
  2. Use a low-pressure setting and a metal roof cleaner.
  3. Rinse thoroughly and avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Tile Roofing

Cleaning tile roofs can be tricky, so follow these steps:

  1. Inspect for loose or damaged tiles.
  2. Use a low-pressure setting and a tile roof cleaner.
  3. Gently clean the tiles to avoid chipping or breakage.

Removing Stains and Mold

Identifying Stains

Identifying stains on your home’s exterior is crucial for effective cleaning. Common stains include:

  • Rust stains: Often caused by metal fixtures or irrigation systems.
  • Oil and grease stains: Typically found in driveways or garage entrances.

Mold and Mildew Removal

Mold and mildew not only look unsightly but can also be harmful to your health. Use these safe removal methods:

  • Wear protective gear, including a mask and gloves.
  • Apply a mold and mildew remover or a homemade solution, such as a mixture of water and white vinegar.
  • Scrub the affected area with a brush and rinse thoroughly.

DIY vs. Professional Services

Cost and Time Considerations

When deciding whether to tackle the job yourself or hire a professional, consider the following factors:

  • DIY affordability: DIY cleaning is cost-effective but can be time-consuming.
  • Professional efficiency: Hiring a pro can save you time but may come at a higher cost.

Hiring a Professional

If you opt for professional services, follow these steps:

  1. Research and find a reputable house exterior cleaning service.
  2. Get quotes from multiple providers and compare their services.
  3. Expect the professionals to clean your house thoroughly and provide a guarantee for their work.

Maintenance and Longevity

Post-Cleaning Maintenance

After the cleaning is complete, consider these maintenance steps:

  • Address any repairs or touch-ups needed.
  • Apply sealants or coatings to protect your surfaces from future damage.

Extending the Clean Look

To keep your house exterior looking its best:

  • Establish a regular cleaning schedule to prevent buildup.
  • Implement protective measures, such as gutter guards and splash blocks.


A clean house exterior not only boosts your home’s aesthetics but also prolongs its life. By following the techniques and tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy a spotless and well-maintained home. Don’t wait any longer; it’s time to restore your house’s beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use a pressure washer on all types of siding?

The safety of using a pressure washer depends on the type of siding. Be sure to adjust the pressure and spray pattern according to the material.

Can I use regular household cleaning products with my pressure washer?

It’s recommended to use cleaning solutions specifically designed for pressure washers to ensure the best results and avoid damage.

How often should I clean my house exterior?

The frequency of cleaning depends on your location and climate. Generally, an annual cleaning is sufficient for most homes.

Are there eco-friendly cleaning options for house exteriors?

Yes, there are eco-friendly and homemade cleaning solutions that are safe for your home and the environment.

What should I look for in a professional house exterior cleaning service?

Look for a company with a good reputation, reasonable pricing, and insurance coverage. They should provide a clear estimate and a guarantee of their work.