Spring is in the air, and it's not all sunshine, daffodils and gambolling lambs – it's also the perfect time for a spot of spring cleaning, especially outdoors, where your home's exteriors have suffered the full brunt of winter.
Winter can wreak havoc on your exterior finishes, with moss, mould, lichen, dirt and damp making a mess of your much-loved house and turning your relaxing outdoor areas into the last place you'd want to relax.
And while it might initially seem a more daunting task to tackle than those kitchen drawers, Resene has made it easy with its range of outdoor cleaning products designed with Kiwi homes in mind.
What better place to start than with a deep clean?
Simply spray Resene Deep Clean onto your concrete surfaces and leave it to cleverly work with nature to slowly clean – bonus: no scrubbing needed.
"Resene Deep Clean is a simple slow-acting, long-term cleaner to keep your outdoor areas free from moss, mould, algae and lichen," explains Resene expert Murdo Shaw.
"It works with the weather to kill and break down contaminants, and is great to use on exterior patios, decks, concrete paths/driveways, timber surfaces, exterior paintwork etc by simply diluting as required, spraying or brushing onto the surface and leaving nature to do the work."
Shaw says it can be a few weeks before you see any changes "but it will continue working with each rainfall and you'll have a cleaner surface in time for summer".
Time for a refresh
While that's working its magic, give your house an instant makeover with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash. Whether you're prepping for paint or just wanting to give your home a refresh, it's a fast and easy way to give your exterior (and interior) paintwork a cleaner, fresher appearance.
"A regular spring cleaning cycle will keep your house looking great and will extend the life of your paintwork," he says.
To use, simply dilute as per the recommendations and apply to the surface with a soft broom or brush, gently scrubbing as you go. Shaw says it's best done working in manageable sections and washing off with plenty of fresh water.
Keep pesky moss, mould and lichen at bay
To ensure all your good cleaning work doesn't go to waste, Resene Moss and Mould Killer can be used on ceilings and walls, concrete paths, fibre cement and tile roofs and patios.
"It's a very effective means of killing all manner of green stuff that has appeared over winter," says Shaw.
"Mould left untreated on paint is a major cause of paint disfigurement and can shorten the life of your paintwork. Resene Moss and Mould is also highly recommended for exterior concrete surfaces where mould growth is normally present."
"It's very easy to use – simply dilute with water as recommended (or use neat for heavy infestations) and saturate the surface to be treated using a brush, knapsack or garden sprayer, then leave for 48 hours to kill all spores. Once done, wash down the surfaces to remove dead mould residues," he advises.
Removing oil stains
For those pesky oil stains that just won't budge with normal cleaning, hit them with a dose of Resene Heavy Duty Paint Prep and Oil Remover. Keep a bottle of this handy all year round, as it's best to clean oil spots when they're fresh, for the most effective removal.
And if you're lucky enough to have a good old Kiwi classic timber deck that needs a bit of love before summer, get it sorted with Resene Timber and Deck Wash – also the perfect primer for cleaning up any timber surfaces prior to staining or painting.
An expert tip: "Remember that new stain colours will show through the existing surface, so you'll need to make sure it's really well cleaned before you restain – if you can't fully remove all stains you may be best to paint your deck instead," says Shaw.
Finally, one of Shaw's favourite Resene outdoor cleaning products, recent release Resene Bio-Cleaner is a handy all-round exterior cleaner that's both easy to use and easy on the planet.
"It's a relatively new cleaner for us that's very similar in its usage to Paint Prep and Housewash."
"Resene Bio-Cleaner has been formulated with Eugenol, the active ingredient in clove oil, which also inhibits mould and fungal regrowth. It's biodegradable and also an Environmental Choice-approved product."
Now the only thing left to clean is the barbecue.
Eight top tips for the best outdoor clean:
- Clean from the top down. By working this way your new cleaning won't make an area you've already cleaned dirty again.
- Cleaning products can etch surfaces so make sure you keep them wet while you are cleaning.
- Try to clean out of direct sunlight. For most cleaning products, the best days to clean are usually overcast but not wet days. Your cleaning product will stay wet for longer, giving you more time to get the cleaning done.
- Always follow the dilution recommendations on the pack.
- Don't mix cleaning products – use the best one for the surface you're cleaning. While it can be tempting to use one product on everything, chances are you won't be getting the best clean for each.
- When scrubbing, it's best to scrub with the direction or grain of the surface.
- Most cleaners need rinsing off the surface – make sure you rinse well and allow it to dry before applying any paint or stain.
- If you're working in an enclosed space, make sure you have plenty of ventilation.
This article was created for Resene