By Andrea Childs published
Your front porch has to be all about curb appeal – it gives a clue to what your home is like beyond the front door, after all. When it’s bright, clean and organized, you and your guests will immediately feel at ease and keen to step inside. If it’s dusty, dingy and cluttered, you won’t create a positive first impression.
So, think like a visitor and take a look at your front porch as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Is the floor scuffed and muddy? Does the glazing need a polish? Is there a clutter of coats and boots in the entrance?
Don't despair if so – our front porch cleaning tips from the so-called Queen of Clean Lynsey Crombie will make the chore a breeze.
- See: Front porch ideas – clever ways to create a strong first impression
‘Your front porch is one of the high-traffic areas and clutter zones in your home that needs regular attention,’ says Lynsey Crombie, author of new book, The 15-Minute Clean. ‘The trick is to speed things up with methods and shortcuts to tackle cleaning the front porch thoroughly and efficiently.’
Once you’ve spotted the problems, use our expert front porch cleaning tips to transform the entrance to your home – and give you and your guests the welcome they deserve.
See: Cleaning tips – our essential guide to keeping your home spotless
1. Invest in a doormat
One of the best ways to speed up your cleaning is to stop dirt from coming into the house, so place a doormat in your front porch.
‘I always consider my mat to be a bit of a home-security guard for dirt,’ says Lynsey Crombie. ‘The best type of mat is a coir mat, as they trap so much dirt.’
To clean your doormat, take it away from the front porch into the garden, where you can give it a shake to remove dust and dirt.
‘Occasionally sprinkle your doormat with bicarbonate of soda and leave for 30 minutes before vacuuming,’ says Lynsey. The bicarbonate of soda will absorb any odors from the mat to leave it fresh.
- See: Front porch design – learn how to create a warm welcome
2. Sweep the path
Use a yard brush to sweep the pathway from sidewalk to front porch. Remove any weeds that may be growing along the path.
Water any plants in and around your porch, remove dead leaves and trim them into an attractive shape and to prevent them blocking your way as you enter the house.
3. Clean the exterior of the front porch
Depending on the design of your front porch, you may have sills, glazing, gutters and steps to clean.
Start from the top, clearing leaves and debris from gutters and brushing any moss from the porch roof. You can use a broom to reach high areas.
- See: Front porch lighting ideas – clever ways to illuminate the entrance to your home
Remove dust and grime from windows and woodwork with warm soapy water.
‘A big mistake is to clean windows and glazing on a sunny day,’ says Lynsey. ‘As soon as you apply the product, the sun will dry it and this will cause streaks. Instead, wait to clean your porch windows in the late afternoon or evening, or wait until you get an overcast sky.’
4. De-clutter the front porch
Your front porch can become a mini mud room and cloakroom area, as you take off welly boots, shoes, coats and jackets before entering the house.
If you're wondering how to decorate a front porch, start by removing any items of clothing, accessories and footwear that should be hung in closets. Take the opportunity to clean outdoor shoes and mud boots.
5. Clean the inside of the front porch
‘Remove anything that doesn’t belong in this area,’ says Lynsey. ‘That could be rubbish that has blown over in the wind and ended up trapped in your entryway, or spiderwebs in the corners of the porch or outside your front door.’
Clear spiderwebs with a broom and don’t overlook any light fittings in the porch – you can dust and wash these so they shine brightly again.
‘To stop spiders building their webs, wipe a broom head with a little lemon oil before sweeping,’ advises Lynsey. ‘It will transfer onto surfaces as you are cleaning.
- See: Front door ideas – colors, materials and looks for exterior doors for the perfect entrance
6. Give your front door a dust and polish
Dust the front door with a microfibre cloth. Wash with soapy water to remove any scuffs and marks.
‘Don’t forget to wipe down the door knocker, doorbell and letter box,’ says Lynsey.
‘For any brass, use a specialist brass cleaning product or put a few drops of vinegar onto a microfibre cloth.’
I've been immersed in the world of homes, interiors and lifestyle since my first job in journalism, on Ideal Home. I went from women's magazine Options to Frank, a brand new title from the publishers of The Face and Arena. From there it was on to the launch of Red magazine, where I stayed for 10 years and became Assistant Editor. Two children and a move to the coast meant it was time to shift into freelancing, and I spent 14 exciting years writing for everyone from The Telegraph to The Sunday Times, Livingetc, Stylist and Woman & Home. When I was offered the job as Editor on Country Homes & Interiors, I couldn't resist – and now I combine that role with developing the H&G Country channel.
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