I’ve been in love with white exteriors for as long as I can remember, so when the time came to paint our tired, old siding, there was only one color in mind: white.
My husband really resisted the idea, harping on the fact that it wouldn’t ever look clean, and my OCD personality wouldn’t like that too much.
So, nearly two years after we painted our home white, we’re giving you all the details about how we keep our white house clean.
How to keep a white house white
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First, I’ll just start by saying, without a doubt, in no way do I regret painting the house white. I love it. The upkeep is really minimal and I have never felt like it looks dirty from the street.
Aside from routinely pressure washing it (both professionally having it cleaned and then doing it ourselves a few times a year), there are times when I step outside and notice I could do a quick cleaning on the front or back porch, but by and large, I’m super happy with the choice.
Here’s how we keep our white house clean:
Invest in the right tools
If you’re committed to keeping your white house white, you’ll need a few tools to help with this process.
Break out the broom
One of the easiest things you can do is to break out the broom. Every few weeks or right after a rain, (wait until the house has dried) take your broom and sweep away the debris on the house.
I really only touch the areas that we see a lot, like the front porch, by the garage and the back porch. This process takes no more than 5-10 minutes and is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your white house looking bright white.
I also invested in this long handle brush to get rid of cobwebs and dust that’s harder to reach. It works like a dream.
Pressure wash your home
Regardless of your home’s exterior color, I always recommend a good pressure washing on a yearly basis to keep it looking clean.
We pay to have our home professionally pressure washed once a year which makes a huge difference.
Beyond that, every couple of months, I touch up on areas that we can reach comfortably without a ladder with our own pressure washer.
I was sure we wouldn’t need our own pressure washer, thinking the one time a year we get our home professionally pressure washed would be fine, but I’m really glad we decided to get one.
We went with the Worx brand pressure washer. We liked the fact that it’s electric–no gas, no endless and exhausting yanking of a starter cord, and virtually no maintenance. Secondly, the high PSI capacities of industrial grade gas powered pressure washers might sound great, but anyone who’s used one of them on a house will know that you have to dial that pressure way back to prevent damaging your siding.
The Worx PSI capacity more than delivers the power we need to get our house sparkling, even on the areas where red mud has been splattering on the siding for months.
I also use the pressure washer to keep our screened in porch bright and white, which makes a huge difference, especially around pollen season!
Here’s a side by side comparison of our siding using our pressure washer (left) and before the pressure washer (right).
With a white painted house, you want to keep your distance from the siding when pressure washing.
For best results, you’ll want to use bleach solution first and let it soak in and absorb. We typically use 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. If your house is really dirty, use a 1 to 1 ratio.
Next, test a section to see how close you need to be to get it clean with the pressure washer. Essentially, you want to stay as far away as possible (while still being able to clean your house) so you don’t damage the paint job.
Try to spray perfectly perpendicular when you spray to help preserve the paint job, too–this might mean you have to get on a ladder for some areas.
If you have wood siding (especially if it’s cedar) take even more care to make sure the pressure isn’t too much.
Invest in black gutters
White gutters are hard to keep clean. While we had our home painted white, we also replaced our gutters and opted for a matte black finish.
Not only did this help with the whole modern farmhouse aesthetic we were going for, but it really helps in keeping our house looking clean, as black hides the dirt well.
Maintain your landscaping
Keep landscaping that’s close to your home neatly trimmed and away from your home. Make sure you have always have fresh mulch or pine needles in place around flower beds that are close to your home so that the rain doesn’t kick mud up on the side of your home.
Some people also do rock beds in the gardens around their home, which look really cool, too.
Before we started maintining our flower beds with pine needles there was always mud on the side of our house every time it rained. Keeping fresh pine needles in our flower beds gets rid of this issue completely.