Spring time has hit. The sun is out. The birds are chirping. Flowers are blooming. After a long winter, it is always nice to have that spring sunshine come back and smell the air. The air always seems to have a distinctness about it so you know spring has arrived. But with spring also comes that annual event known as spring cleaning. Here are spring cleaning tips for the exterior of your home.
There are many chores associated with spring cleaning. Some involve the interior of your home. Others the exterior. And for gardeners, there is an entirely different spring ritual. However, we’re going to tackle the exterior of your home. Different homes will have different situations but we will cover some of the more common spring cleaning jobs for the exterior of your home, including windows, screens and sliding doors.
Make A List – Spring Cleaning Tips for The Exterior of Your Home
First thing – make a list. After you’re done with the list, check it twice to make sure you have everything. Hey, you knew that line was coming. After you’ve created the list, add the supplies and other materials you’ll need for each task on the list. Then take an inventory of your current supplies and material. Note what you need in order to stock up so you can take that shopping list and go get the necessary items for each task.
Pace Yourself – Spring Cleaning Tips for The Exterior of Your Home
Rome wasn’t built in a day as the say goes and you certainly don’t have to complete everything on your spring cleaning task list in a day. Depending on your list, it may be physically impossible anyway unless you have a lot of help.
Speaking of help, take each task on your list and break it down into projects and assign projects to individuals if there is more than one person at your home. For families with children that are old enough to start participating in projects around the house, this can be a good way to get them involved so they start learning about how to do things around the house. They may struggle initially but be patient and encouraging and it will pay off in the long run.
Windows, Screens & Window Coverings – Spring Cleaning Tips for The Exterior of Your Home
We’ll start with windows and screens. We will also include window coverings here as well.
Start by removing the screens from your windows. From the interior, if your screens have spring-loaded pins in them, pull them out. If the pins seem a little stuck, you may have to work them loose with a flat head screwdriver. If the screens have just tabs on them, pull on the tab so the screen moves entirely into the opposite groove of the window. Same with the screens that have clips. Now work the screen up as far as it will go. Now take the bottom of the screen, and nudge it out of the window toward the interior. If you need to make window coverings off to get the screen, please do so.
Take the screen outside and lay them up against a wall. Use a high-pressure sprayer to clean them off. If you don’t have a high pressure sprayer, use a spray gun.
Now to the windows. For interior windows, get your handy window cleaner out, spray the window and wipe them down from the top to the bottom so you can avoid drip lines. There are some nice window cleaning towels or towelettes you can use. They are expensive, so if you want something just as effective to wipe and dry but not that expensive, try coffee filters. They’re cheap and they don’t leave lint and other fibers behind.
For exterior windows, if you just have one level, should be easy. Use a sponge. squeegee and microfiber cloth to clean the windows. For a cleaning solution, you can either mix something like Simple Green or you can use about a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent (some people mix in vinegar as well) and fill your bucket. Or you can use a commercial outdoor window cleaner like Windex that hooks to your hose.
The primary thing for exterior windows is to use the sponge to wipe down the windows and then use the squeegee to wipe down the windows, using the microfiber cloth to clean any streaks from the squeegee.
If you have multiple levels, use an extension ladder or extension pole or both. Same process. However, if you are using an extension pole, you’ll have to get some screw on fixtures.
For window coverings, there are a great many different kinds. For drapes, check the care label. You can either steam clean, machine wash or hand wash. A lot depends on the care label and what the manufacturer outlines for cleaning the drapery.
For blinds, some people will remove them, take them outside and use a combination of dishwashing detergent, a soft cloth and a sprayer. If you want to leave them on your windows, use a vacuum with the dusting attachment. Tilt the blinds in one direction so they are flat and vacuum off the dust on that side. Now tilt the blinds the other way. Vacuum off the dust on that side. Using dishwashing determine (again, some people like to mix in vinegar as well), use a soft cloth on one side of the blinds to clean. Use another soft cloth to dry. Repeat the process by tilting the blinds in the other direction. There are blind cleaning tools on the market. Some work better than others.
Sliding Doors – Spring Cleaning Tips for The Exterior of Your Home
Next up, sliding glass doors. Like glass windows, the interior can be cleaned in the same manner as an interior window. The exterior of the sliding door can be cleaned in the same manner as your exterior windows. However, they are called sliding doors for a reason and they have a rail. During winter, a lot of extraneous material can collect in this rail and prevent the sliding door from moving properly.
First step is to vacuum out the rail. If the threshold is still dirty after vacuuming, wipe it down with dishwashing detergent and dry with a soft cloth. Finish off by lubricating the rail with a silicon spray.
Have a happy spring!