white houses and black shutters

How Often Should You Clean Your Exterior Shutters?

Shutter Man

We often say that shutters can make or break your curb appeal. Once you’ve invested in these high quality “window accessories,” you want them to look beautiful year after year. One way to ensure this is by cleaning your shutters at regular intervals.

So how (and how often) should this happen? Typically, once a year is sufficient. Note: We do not recommend that you use a pressure washer system on your shutters. Pressure washers can weaken or even strip the paint off of shutters. Instead, follow these cleaning tips.  

How often to clean wood shutters

Cleaning your wood shutters once per year is typically frequent enough to properly maintain them. If you live in an environment where you deal with a yearly hurricane season or heavy snow season, an extra cleaning at the end of that season is a smart idea. 

The cleaning process doesn’t need to be complex — and in fact, simple is better! Too many harsh chemicals or a high-powered pressure washer can do more harm than good. To properly clean your wood shutters, mix a few drops of mild soap in a bucket of water, apply with a soft bristle brush, and then rinse thoroughly with water. 


black wood shutters on brick home


How often to clean composite shutters

One of the best features of composite shutters is their durability and low maintenance. But even the best materials don’t love to stay damp and dirty for long periods of time. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to give your composite shutters a once-over at least once a year. 

Especially after particularly rainy seasons, clean your shutters to remove any debris, standing water, and other unwanted grime. All you really need is to dust them off with a dry cloth. If you’d like to achieve a super-squeaky clean, you can use the same mild soapy mixture mentioned above. 


blue black and grey composite shutters


How often to clean vinyl shutters

Vinyl shutters are a popular pick among contractors and homeowners for their low maintenance. If you do notice a bit of dirt or grime buildup on your vinyl shutters, it will normally come clean by spraying it with a garden hose. 

If that doesn’t quite get everything to your satisfaction, or if you live in a humid area where mildew is a common problem, you can scrub them gently with a soft brush and a solution of about one part bleach to five parts water (usually about a half-gallon of bleach to 2.5-gallons of water in a five-gallon bucket). Be sure to rinse it off really well to avoid any streaking! No matter what type of shutters you’re cleaning, always start washing from the top of the shutter and work down. Otherwise, you’ll double your workload. 


tan vinyl home with white vinyl shutters

Related Read: How to Increase the Longevity of Your Shutters

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