The Ultimate Guide to House Washing: A Step-by-Step Tutorial in Portland, OR

Pressure washing

With Portland’s lush greenery and frequent rain, houses in the area are often prone to collecting dirt, algae, and mildew. This not only detracts from your home’s curb appeal but can also lead to significant damage if left untreated. House washing is an essential part of home maintenance, particularly in a unique climate like that of Portland, OR.

This comprehensive guide offers a step-by-step approach to thoroughly washing your home’s exterior. Whether you’re a hands-on homeowner or a DIY enthusiast, you’ll find valuable tips and information on how to achieve a spotless finish that keeps your home sparkling against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

Step 1: Safety First

Before you begin, it’s crucial to consider safety. House washing often involves working at heights and handling chemicals. Ensure you have the right protective gear, such as eye goggles, gloves, and appropriate footwear. If using a ladder, have a spotter to assist, and avoid working on windy days.

Step 2: Preparing Your Home

Preparation is key to a successful house washing. Start by removing any objects or furniture near the house that could be damaged by water or cleaning solutions. Close all windows and doors tightly to prevent water from seeping inside.

Step 3: Inspecting and Repairing

Walk around your home and inspect for any damage. Look for cracks in the siding, holes in the caulking, or loose shingles. Repair these issues before washing to prevent water from getting into places it shouldn’t and to avoid exacerbating the problem during cleaning.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Day

Select a day where the weather is dry and mild. Rain or strong winds can disrupt the cleaning process. A gentle, overcast day in Portland is often ideal for house washing, as it reduces the risk of cleaning solutions drying too quickly.

Step 5: Selecting the Cleaning Solution

For Portland’s specific climate, it’s essential to choose a cleaning solution that can tackle the moss and mold often found on homes. Biodegradable, plant-safe solutions are best, especially if you have a garden. Premium PowerWash of Portland recommends and supply enviro-friendly algae and moss removers.

Step 6: Equipment Assembly

Gather all your equipment, including a pressure washer with various nozzle settings, a garden hose, a soft-bristle brush for stubborn stains, and a bucket. Some may prefer using a hose-end sprayer as it simplifies the application of the cleaning solution.

Step 7: Test Pressure Washer

Before you begin, check the pressure washer. Test the spray on an inconspicuous area to ensure the pressure isn’t too high, which could cause damage to the siding. Adjust the settings as needed for a fan spray that covers more area and reduces the pressure on the surface.

Step 8: Applying the Cleaning Solution

Start from the bottom and work your way up to prevent streaking. Apply the cleaning solution generously and allow it to sit for a few minutes without drying. Be cautious if you have landscaping around your home; some solutions could harm plants.

Step 9: Washing the House

Begin washing from the highest point you can safely reach. Keep the nozzle about three feet away from the surface and work in sections, moving side to side. Overlap each section to ensure a consistent and thorough clean.

Step 10: Rinsing

After applying the cleaning solution and scrubbing if necessary, thoroughly rinse the house with clean water. Again, start from the top and work your way down to prevent streaks. Check that all cleaning residues are washed away, as they can attract dirt.

Step 11: Final Touches

Inspect your home’s exterior once dry. If you notice any missed spots or areas needing additional treatment, repeat the washing process. For extra shine, consider waxing the exterior, especially beneficial in Portland’s climate.


House washing can feel like a daunting task, but with careful preparation and execution, it’s manageable for most homeowners. Following this guide ensures that your home not only looks clean but is also protected from potential long-term damage.

Whether you’re looking to do it yourself or hire a professional in the Portland area, remember that regular house washing is key to maintaining your home’s beauty and lifespan. And if you find the task a bit overwhelming, don’t hesitate to reach out to local professionals like Premium PowerWash for assistance.