Front Porch Cleaning, Including Ceiling, steps

To make a complete, stamp it done, job of cleaning not only the ceiling but the whole porch.  Start the weekend BEFORE you are doing the job. Planning will save you LOADS of time, headache, and a few colorful metaphors.  Not all of them, I’m sure, but some of them.

Get an old school pad of paper and pencil, take them out to your porch.  Starting at one side, top to bottom list EVERYTHING that you can address to make this area clean, fresh and functioning as needed.  Now mind you, this may be more than you want to take on right now. Project creep is a very real thing, and this project can creep into” I am overwhelmed, and don’t know where to start” arena.  This list is not your ‘do it now list’ it is simply a place to start to make the best use of your time.

Sort your list into categories, clean, repair, replace, and purchase additionally.  Start with your ‘to clean’ list.

What needs cleaning, and what is it made from?  Is this overhead? Is there mold or mildew? Need to test for mold or mildew? Get the test kit HERE from Amazon, TODAY should have results before your cleaning weekend. Is there paint, and is it in good condition?  Are their insects? Spiders? Stains? Looking at it more thoroughly, is it more than a cleaning job you were thinking and a repaint or renovate job?

  Need to check triple whammy Lead, Asbestos and Mold? Get this triple check kit from Amazon.

Can the repair/renovate wait? Can the repair/renovate wait? Do you discover a major repair that will need to wait until another weekend?  

Notate any more extensive repair projects for another time.  Focus on cleaning and minor, 30 min or fewer repairs for this weekend’s list.  What supplies do you need? Any YouTube videos you need to watch to succeed in an unfamiliar repair?

Watch the videos, make your shopping/gather supplies list, and prepare for cleaning the weekend.

At the top of your shopping/ supply list are:

  • Gloves
  • Googles
  • Old Clothes
  • Hat
  • Any other supplies needed for your project, test kits, cleaners, repair supplies, etc.

Yes, goggles. When you are looking up at the ceiling while cleaning, there will be drippage onto your face and likely in your eyes. You do not want to risk dripping cleaning chemicals, or even whatever gunk is up on your ceiling into your eyes.

You don’t have to wear them for everything, but mandatory during scrubbing of the ceiling part.


Consider all of these, depending on your specific project, you may not need all of them:

  • Power washer
  • Mop
  • Broom
  • Deck washer
  • Hose spray (power washer with adjustable settings works miracles!!!, but this will do in a pinch)
  • Long-handled scrubber
  • Long-handled brush
  • Swiffer
  • Microfiber cloth on a broom

Possible Cleaning Choices, depending on what types of surfaces you are using, and what you may have on hand:

  • 1c Chlorine bleach to 1 gal water (Do NOT Mix Bleach and any cleaner containing Ammonia!!  Toxic)
  • Mean Green
  • Vinegar
  • Oxygen Bleach
  • Lysol
  • Deck Cleaner
  • TSP Trisodium Phosphate
  1. To clean your ceiling, step one is to remove everything from your porch.  

Do this the night before if possible.  This step takes longer than you think it will.

2. Sweep or shop vac everything clear on the porch.

3. Gather all your supplies and have ready for starting in the morning.  Music included. You have to have music. Just saying 🙂

Morning of, first thing:

  • Remove anything remaining on the porch
  • Cover anything that can’t be removed
  • Cover plants near overspray, hedges, perennials, containerized plants.  Fabric is best, Old sheets, fabric tarps, and the like. 

 Do NOT use plastic unless it is a fully cloudy and cool day.  The temperatures can rise to plant tissue killing levels within minutes under plastic in the summer.  You are trying to protect your plants here, not cook them 🙂 

 Have you ever had a plastic kiddie pool, empty on the lawn on a sunny day?  Empty for only a few minutes? When you moved it later, the grass was burnt, dead brown underneath?  That was why, in the few minutes it took you to find the hose, set it up, and start filling with water was enough for the temperatures to kill off the grass under that pool.

Cleaning the ceiling is well worth your time to roll into a complete porch cleaning project, make it a weekend project, day one to prepare, and clean the ceiling.  Depending on your time and the size of the project, maybe even clean the rest of the porch now. 

Dry porch overnight.

Clean items that go back on your porch, such as furniture, pillows, rugs and let dry.  

While drying, do any maintenance work you need to do. 

  • Fix that screen
  • Hammer down those loose nails
  • Apply mold prevention
  • Repair/replace doorbell
  • Lubricate the door hinges.
  • Apply weatherproof exterior caulking to doors and windows
  • Change out storm/screen door
  • Touch up paint where you were a little too aggressive with the power washer
  • Is door catching anywhere during its swing?  Fix that.
  • Check your hardware.  Clean edges and grooves?  Are moving parts moving smoothly and silently?  Clean and lubricate.
  • Anything else on your list?

Related Questions:

What Causes Porch ceilings to mildew?

Mildew thrives in moist, humid environments.  Stagnant air, enclosed spaces that can not dry out or exposed to the sun can encourage mildew growth.  If you have problems with mildew on the ceiling of your porch, be sure to look for any water leaks, from the roof or edges, feeding the moisture that is staying on your ceiling.  

After cleaning existing mildew, ceiling fans can help if there are no leaks adding moisture to the problem. If you do paint your ceiling, be sure to use a mildew-resistant paint or an anti-mildew additive to your paint.

Here are a few recommended paints available for home shipment on Amazon.

Mold killing primer

For Masonry and Concrete

Mold Prevention Paint Additive

Pssst. Bonus tip, there is a great paint I want to have you try. Just read the reviews, they say it all!! And so much more affordable than the paint I had been using! Use a mildew primer first, or add mildewcide to this paint!! Here available at Amazon

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