cleaning isnít just an inside job. Your siding,
driveway and garage floor get dirty, too. And just as a
freshly cleaned car seems to drive better, a
spic-and-span exterior feels great to come home to.
can clean it the tried-and-true way, rinsing with a
hose, using a long-handled brush to scrub with soapy
water (laundry detergent works) and then rinsing well.
remove mildew or algae, consider a hand-pump garden
sprayer and oxygen bleach (NOT chlorine, which can strip
color and kill plants). Mix powdered oxygen bleach with
warm water, stir and apply with a long-handled brush to
dry siding. Let it work for about 10 minutes. Use a
water hose to rinse well.
may be tempted to use a power washer, but use caution
and start with the lowest setting. Water jets can injure
people and damage masonry, stucco or wood siding, and
may force water through seams of vinyl-siding panels.
Also, power washing alone will not remove mold or
you use a pressure washer, be sure to wear eye
protection. Start at the top of your house and work
down, directing the water downward and going side to
side across the siding.
driveway or garage floor:
is porous and will hold stains if vehicle fluids like
oil, grease and antifreeze are allowed to linger. Other
stains can come from tires, mold, mildew, rust and
first step in removing a stain is also the best way to
keep future fluid leaks from staining: Cover the area
with a drying agent, such as cat litter. Let the
desiccant remain for a day before removing it and then
scrubbing the stain with laundry detergent.
itís not gone, clean the area again, but this time use
a power washer and trisodium phosphate (also known as
TSP). For rust stains that donít remove easily, apply
powdered oxalic acid (also known as wood bleach), and
let it stay for a few minutes before scrubbing and
all else fails, a professional may use muriatic acid to
eat away the stained portion of concrete. Be very
careful if you try this yourself. Use one part of acid
to10 parts water and wear protective clothing and a
discourage future stains from setting, seal your
driveway after itís been cleaned and allowed to dry
for a few days. If you do the job yourself, read the
instructions and apply evenly with a sprayer or roller.
Donít use the driveway for 24 hours.
remove tire marks from a sealed concrete driveway, scrub
with a small amount of degreaser. Or use a solvent or
chemical stripper to remove the sealer. Reseal once the
stain is gone.
care when removing stains from asphalt driveways, since
detergents or cleaners that contain petroleum-based
solvents can damage asphalt. Because oil stains also can
damage asphalt, itís wise to follow cleaning with
your siding, driveway or garage floor is a job you can
do yourself, but if you have a multi-story home or
difficult stains, you may prefer to hire a power washing
service. An experienced pro who is highly rated by local
consumers will know how much pressure to apply and will
have tools and products that clean effectively without
causing damage to your home or property.