Let the Sun Shine Through – Learn Proper Greenhouse Cleaning

greenhouse_cleanRegardless of what type of greenhouse you may purchase from Outdora, there will come a time when the covering of your structure needs to be cleaned.  But what is the proper way of cleaning the “windows” of a greenhouse and why is that important.

A clean greenhouse surface is very important in the success of any type of greenhouse production.  It allows the maximum amount of sunlight into the environment, reduces possible plant diseases and just gives the greenhouse area a professional appearance.  But before you jump onto a spring window-cleaning spree, one must first learn how to properly clean each type of greenhouse covering.  Keep in mind though, that regardless of the type of cover always clean the area with the vents and doors wide open.  This will prevent any buildup of toxic chemicals.

Glass Pane Greenhouse

A glass pane greenhouse, such as the Large Royal Victorian Greenhouse, can be a challenge to clean.  To do a complete job, one will need a ladder, pressure washer, bucket, mild soap, bleach or rubbing alcohol, and cloths or towels.

To begin the cleaning process, start with the inside of the greenhouse.  Mix a solution of warm soapy water and begin to wipe down all the panes of glass.  Scrub the bars and any overlapping panes.  Once the inside has been completely cleaned, spray off the soapy residue with the pressure washer.

Then, move outside to the exterior of the greenhouse.  Spray off the glass panes with the pressure washer.  Allow both the inside and outside to dry naturally.

Polycarbonate Paneled Greenhouse

This type of greenhouse needs a little different care.  The Redwood Patio Gardenhouse Lean-To Greenhouse is a perfect example of a polycarbonate-paneled greenhouse.  To begin the cleaning process, one must first mix a solution of water and very mild dish soap.  Do not use bleach or rubbing alcohol.  Both of these substances will eat through the polycarbonate.

Once this mixture has been made, simply soak towels or rags in the solution and rub onto the polycarbonate to remove dirt.  Do not use a scrub brush or squeegee, which can scratch the finish.  After the inside has been cleaned, spray off with clean water.  Then, dry with towels to prevent spotting.

The exterior can be sprayed off with just plain water.

Plastic Film Greenhouse

An example of this type of greenhouse is The Farm House Greenhouse sold by Outdora.  This type of covering is the easiest to clean and only requires spraying off.  The curved nature of most greenhouses covered in plastic film allows water to just run off the surface and in doing so the soil or grime will follow suite.

A properly cleaned greenhouse covering will not only let the sun shine in but will also extend the life of the covering.  So this year, do not fall into the habit of letting the sun go down on your greenhouse due to dirty windows.

Mindy McIntosh-Shetter has been an Agricultural Science educator, and is a horticulture and/or environmental blogger who earned a degree from Purdue University in Agriculture Education with a minor in biology, and natural resources. Presently she is finishing up her Masters in Environmental Education and Urban Planning for the University of Louisville while working on her own agriculture/environmental blog.

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