Learn how to clean and style a front porch for relaxing and entertaining.
Springtime is long-gone and by now, front porches are left with caked-on pollen, lots of dirt, and a dead bug graveyard. This weekend you can give your porch some love and get it fresh and clean for summer parties with minimal time and effort. I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to make this process really fast and super easy.
Start By Clearing Everything Off
Simple enough, right? Take every single thing off the porch. Seating, plants, bird feeders, door mats, that bag of potting soil you’ve been planning on moving for three months… I even removed the light fixture from the ceiling because it was full of fried bugs.
Put everything you plan to keep in the driveway, and put everything you plan to trash in the trash. The less you have to clean up twice, the less time you’ll be out in the summer humidity. Especially if you live near Tennessee. My goodness, you can cut the air with a knife here right now!
Use A Water Hose With Solution Attachment
A water hose. Boy we’re getting fancy up in here! You could drag out that giant pressure washer and buy expensive solutions to put in it. But since I clean my porch three times a year, a water hose works fine for me. I just attach one of those garden container thingies to the end of the hose, fill it with a little dish soap and warm water, and blast the whole porch from top to bottom with the Jet and Flat settings on my sprayer. Clearly I am not a gardener, by the use of my very non-technical terms here…but you know what I mean!
Break Out Your Secret Weapon
Here’s where we get smart. Now that you’ve sprayed down your porch ceiling, walls, shutters, windows, floors, doors, and railings, you’ve got soapy water sitting on all surfaces breaking down all the gunk. After a few minutes, use a soft microfiber car washing mop with a long handle to swipe over everything. I’m telling you, when I figured this out, it was a total game changer. I just swiped back and forth on my ceilings, swiped side to side on the vinyl siding, and gave the shutters, windows, and door a quick run over with it, too. In a total of five minutes I had already covered the whole porch. No ladder needed.
I broke out the trusty water hose one more time and rinsed with the Flat setting on my sprayer (and the Jet setting for the tough spots) starting with the ceiling and working my way down to the floor. (Spoiler alert, you’re going to get wet. Might as well pop on a bathing suit and get a tan while you’re at it, right?) I let everything drip dry except the windows, which I wiped down with a microfiber cloth to avoid water spots. **Make sure you have your solution attachment closed for this step. You only want clean water to rinse.
Wash And Dry All Porch Furniture
Before anything can go back on your fresh and clean porch, they need to be cleaned too. Just a simple bowl of warm water, dash of dish soap, and a sponge will do fine. I washed my rocking chairs, my door mat, even my plant pots. **Make sure you dry everything before you move it back onto the porch. Putting wet things onto wood decking can cause the water to stay under the furniture and rot the flooring much faster.
Add Some Fresh New Details
Now that everything is nice and clean, add in some new pops of color to liven it all up. You can hang up potted ferns, fill pots with bright flowers, put colorful pillows in chairs, or even just pick up a new doormat.
If you really want to add a wow-factor, you can buy a new light fixture. You can usually get these for around $50 to $100 and they make such a huge impact. Much better than that cheap builder-grade one your house came with, right?
Have A Party!
Now that your porch is pretty and inviting, go ahead and invite the neighbors over for snacks and iced tea. Put a lawn game out and hang up some string lights. Even if it’s just an hour or two, front porches are made for spending time with friends and neighbors. You might as well celebrate all your hard work with your buds.
How Do You Use Your Front Porch?
Is the era of front porch sitting dead? Do you use your front porch at all? I sit outside on mine almost daily, but I’d love to hear what you think. Is your porch additional living space for you and your family, or just a vestibule for entering your house?