There are many amazing things about spring. Chirping birds, blooming flowers and green grass are just a few. Unfortunately, there are also a few not so great things, and pollen is one of them.
Whether you have pollen-producing plants in your own garden, or it comes from a neighbor or even a nearby park, it’s almost impossible to avoid.
Not only does pollen trigger springtime hay fever for many people, but it also gets everywhere, and you will probably find that there’s a light (or not so light) coating of it on nearly everything outside your home! Here’s what you need to know about pollen, and how to get it off just about everything outside your home.
What Is Pollen?
Before we get into the how, we should start with the what. What is pollen?
Pollen is the fine dust that is present in flowers, which blows off and drifts in the air in spring. It’s very important in the plant reproductive cycle, so we definitely need pollen. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of it in the springtime, and it tends to get onto everything – not just other flowers where it should be!
Before You Start
Before you start tackling your pollen problem, you should prepare for the job. This is especially true if you have hay fever! Disturbing pollen will cause it to become airborne and could trigger a bout of hay fever!
If your allergies are mild, prepare for this task by taking an anti-histamine before you start. You can also use a dust mask (like you might use for painting or building) to keep most of the pollen out of your mouth and nose.
If you have very severe allergic reactions to pollen, you might want to hire someone else to clean the pollen off the outside of your home. Or you could get a non-allergic family member to take on the task!
How to Clean Pollen Off the Porch
Having a porch is great. It gives you somewhere to relax, put your feet up and enjoy your outdoor space. However, it’s also a great place for pollen to accumulate, and during the spring time, you probably have a thin layer of pollen building up every few days.
Cleaning pollen off your porch is fairly simple. You can use a broom, or if you have one, a shop vac will do the job very well. Vacuuming fine pollen and dust often works better, because it doesn’t flick as much back into the air as sweeping does.
How to Clean Pollen Off the Decking
Decks are another great way to enjoy the outdoor space of our homes. Unfortunately, they are also magnets for pollen! Wondering how to clean pollen off decking? You’re in the right place!
The good news is that your deck is used to the elements, so you have a simple option to tackle this space: the garden hose!
A quick spray with your garden hose, letting the water drip into the garden itself, is usually all it takes to get pollen off the deck. You can also spray most outdoor furniture and even outdoor carpets.
How to Clean Pollen Off Patio Cushions
When you hose off your patio or deck, you’ll get rid of most of the pollen that’s built up on surfaces. But if you’re like most people, you might have something that’s a little more work: patio cushions. So you might be wondering how to clean pollen off patio cushions.
The good news is that patio cushions are usually made to handle a little water too – after all, we do have rainy days in the spring and summer!
If you don’t have too much pollen on these items, you can use a spray bottle with a mix of mild detergent and water. Shake the excess pollen off, spray with the water mixture, and then scrub lightly to remove all the pollen dust.
If your cushions have a lot of pollen on them, or you want to give them a good clean, you can hose them down, and then use a cleaning cloth with detergent to give them a scrub.
Always make sure you let outdoor cushions dry properly before you replace them. Trapped moisture can result in mold and mildew, which is a whole different problem!
How to Clean Pollen Off Cars
In a perfect world, your cars would park in the garage, where they would be protected from pollen and everything else! However, we don’t live in a perfect world.
Some people don’t have a garage, or only have room for one car. Others might need to use some or all of their garage space for storage. There’s no judgement here!
But if your cars park outside during the spring, you will probably get pollen on them, and that means wondering how to clean pollen off cars.
The good news is that you don’t have to do anything different with your car. You can clean pollen off the same way you clean everything else off your car. Either wash it yourself with a car wash product and a hose or pressure washer or take it for a drive through the car wash. Both will get rid of the pollen and leave your car shining again!
How to Clean Pollen Off Pool
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, you’re probably getting ready to enjoy it in the spring time. Unfortunately, this is also one time of the year when a lot of things get into the water – like pollen and even fallen flowers.
There are a few answers to the question of how to clean pollen off your pool.
One is to use a skimmer net and good old elbow grease to skim the top surface of the pool. This is a fine net, so you will pick up larger debris as well as pollen.
If you’d rather not spend all your time on pool maintenance and care, there are other options. Many pieces of pool equipment circulate the water at the top of your pool, and then filter it through a “sock like” net. These systems will catch pollen as well as other debris, so you can have a clean pool without all the sweating!
How to Clean Pollen Off Your Roof
You probably aren’t too worried about pollen on your roof, since you aren’t spending a lot of time there!
However, pollen can build up on roofs, and when the wind blows, it’ll get all over everything you had cleaned before!
A pressure washer is a great way to give your roof a clean. If you can see most of your roof, and you have a single level home, you can probably do this from the ground. If your home is double or multi story, you might need to get on the roof to do this – be sure to use safety gear!
If you’d rather not spend time on a damp roof with a pressure washer, there are companies that do this. Make sure that you do this before you start cleaning anywhere else, or you’ll be cleaning again to remove the runoff from the roof!
How to Clean Pollen Off Patios and Sidewalks
Pollen does tend to accumulate on concrete or stone patios or sidewalks. You just might not see it as much, because they tend to be more textured.
A quick wash with a garden hose while sweeping with an outdoor broom is all it takes to get pollen off your patio or walkways.
How to Clean Pollen Off Siding
Unfortunately, pollen can be sticky stuff, so it doesn’t only build up on horizontal surfaces! Sometimes, especially if you have textured siding or stonework on your home, it’ll collect there too.
A pressure washer is a great way to remove pollen from your home, and it’s a good investment for many other things too. Siding also benefits from a reasonably regular cleaning, and it can brighten and freshen the way your home looks.
How to Keep Pollen Off Everything
Now that you know how to clean pollen off various things outside your home, you’re equipped to keep your outdoor spaces pollen free and ready to use. However, no one really wants to have to clean everything every time you want to use it.
The good news is that there are a few ways to keep pollen off nearly everything outside your home.
Here are a few good options:
- Invest in a pool cover – it doesn’t have to be an expensive one or even one that is attached – there are several types of floating pool covers that will help to keep pollen and other stuff out of your pool until you’re ready to use it
- Put your patio furniture into a gazebo with net sides – yes, they’re designed to keep bugs out, but they keep pollen off too – you can simply hose off the outside of the gazebo to remove pollen and other accumulated debris
- Consider investing in porch screens or even curtains – sheer outdoor curtains look dreamy and breezy, but they also help to keep pollen and other stuff off your porch during pollen season! You can even use table cloth weights to keep them from billowing too much and allow them to do their job!
- If you don’t use your outdoor spaces as much during pollen season, consider keeping your patio furniture packed away until after the worst of it is over
- Invest in a barbecue cover – barbecues collect a lot of dust and pollen all year round – but a good barbecue cover keeps it clean – hose your barbecue off and then use a barbecue cleaner to bring back the shine, then cover until you use it again
- Car covers are another good option for vehicles that aren’t parked in the garage, they slip on easily, and keep your car free of pollen, dust and bird droppings!
- Although pollen can and does blow on the wind, if you’re getting a lot of it, it’s probably from plants in your own yard – consider removing any plants that produce a lot of debris and pollen, if you can bear to part with them
- Consider investing in patio furniture covers if you don’t have somewhere to store them until the summer rolls around – this not only keeps pollen off your furniture and are easy to clean, but they also keep dust, leaves and other dirt and grime off your furniture until you’re ready to use it
It’s not possible to keep all the pollen off everything all the time. However, you can take a lot of steps to protect various things from this spring time pain. So be proactive and save yourself a little work!
Or You Could Call a Pro
Outdoor home maintenance is a lot of work. Some people like to do it themselves. Others have a teenager or two who will get it done for a small fee (or because they want something else!) However, many people don’t fall into either category.
Maybe you’ve got mobility issues, or you’ve reached an age where this sort of cleaning just doesn’t sound doable. Or maybe, like most of us, you’re just really busy with a lot of other things!
The good news is that there are companies that specialize in cleaning the outside of your home.
You can contact them whenever you need to tackle jobs like house washing and deck cleaning. Because even if you don’t have a pollen problem, you might find that dust builds up, or that your siding or deck are discolored by algae or something else.
These companies use professional equipment and products, and they get rid of the problem quickly and with zero effort! So you can have a beautiful, pollen free space in no time at all.
When you contact these companies, consider how much time you would spend getting the job done yourself when you consider their quote. It’s very likely that your time is a lot more valuable than the investment in a professional cleaning, and you’ll have more time to get other, more productive things done.