The Attack of the Yellow Stuff

I’m always getting questions about how I keep the porch looking so clean.  Wellllll, it isn’t always so clean.  I think it just appears that way in pictures.  Every spring around April, a monsoon of pollen hits.  When I got home from the hospital on Friday, here’s how I found the porch.  Notice how the table seems to have a yellowish cast?

Spring Pollen on the Porch

It’s all pollen and it’s just getting started!

Spring Pollen on the Porch

You have to wade through the pollen to move around on the porch!  Imagine pollen so deep you need waders to walk! lol Okay, it isn’t that bad, but it’s pretty rough.  A respirator might be in order!  I think there’s a wood floor underneath there somewhere.

Spring Pollen on the Porch

I usually end up cleaning the porch a couple of times during the pollen season.  I clean it, then a few weeks later it’s as bad as ever and I clean it again.  I’m still a bit too tired to do any cleaning, but today I’ve been trying to decide if I should just wait and let it get even worse, or clean it now and again in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling I won’t be able to wait.

Spring Pollen on the Porch


So I want to know, how do you handle the pollen this time of year?  Do you let nature do its worst and then give your porches, cars, decks, etc…one big cleaning when it’s all over?  Or, do you clean along the way so you can enjoy those spaces sooner than later.

Spring Pollen 8

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  1. Ha, we’ve talked about this Susan! I wash mine down with the hose…from top to bottom, several times when the pollen is sooo bad! So much work, but has to be done for us to enjoy our coffee out there in the mornings…it’s worth it!

  2. Susan, I’m so glad to see you are at home and doing better. Around these parts, it’s a full time job keeping the pollen at bay. I say take it easy and deal with it tomorrow (or the next day).

    I’ll keep you in my prayers for continued health.

    • This is what I am trying, for my screened porch.. I sprayed pam on the screens. Then I figure after pollen season I will spray them with a water and dawn solution, then spray off everything with water hose….It should help, I would think. But this is my first year trying it. I figure it cant hurt to try something simple, first…………

  3. If I were you before pollen season hits next year, I would box up all of my accessories, pillows, and chair cushions until the pollen invasion has ended. It would be less “stuff” to have to clean pollen off of in the end.

    • I’ve thought about that but I use the porch almost all year long. We have some days here every month that are unseasonably warm so I love leaving the cushions out all year. I will just need to give ’em a good vacuuming. ugh

    • Agreed! I have no cushons or pillows out yet. It’s bad enough! My black Nissan Rogue is yellow, the whole deck, and my yellow lab is really yellow! In hosing it down. It drives me crazy as my deck is huge! At least I don’t suffer from allergies from it!

  4. Luckily mine is a sun room…. all windows , so during the high pollen season, I keep the windows closed as much as possible. If I get tempted to open them, I just dust as I go. The patio is another story!!! Ay! I just hose it off as often as I need to.
    It’s a daily chore here in Florida, but well worth it!
    Sorry to hear of your bout w/ e coli. Feel better.
    Hugs, Gee

  5. No doubt about it, I get the same way each year here in Lancaster, Pa. Having been a cleaning lady for 16 years for several families, I say clean it up! If you don’t, you will drag it in on your feet or wear it on your clothing! ACHOO!!!

  6. …i hate it…i hate it…i hate it…i live south of atlanta…so i know exactly what you are talking about…some people deal with snow and mud season…we have pine pollen season (and all those pollens that are invisible)…i too usually jump the gun and rush to have the porch ready…but not this year…i am 65 and for the very first time in 43 years of marriage…i have left well enough alone…almost…i do blow the pollen off as much as i can…but i have not placed a single pillow on the porch…and it is killing me…today is so beautiful i cannot stand it…the end is near however…those little pine pollen “worms” that hold the pollen are starting to fall…i have to say in the midst of all my complaining…the acid from our many pine trees are what make the soil just right for our dogwoods and azaleas…hang in there…(what on earth did my mother and her friends do?…they had no air conditioners…and their windows were wide open…they must have spent the summer cleaning the house!)… hope you are feeling better…enjoy your blog so much…blessings laney

    • I know…maybe they were used to it more than we are since they didn’t have air conditioning. But I know it must have made a mess inside. I don’t have any pine trees in my yard or even close by…it’s all hardwoods like oak, poplar, etc…but apparently they are doing the pollen thing right now, too. The recent rain helped a little.

  7. How do you clean the pollen out of the crevices of your chairs and other wicker?

    • I just use the brush attachment on my vacuum. This year when I have the outside of the porch and the decks pressured washed, I’m going to take the “outdoor wicker” pieces out onto the deck and he’s going to hose them off for me since they have never been washed off. That should give them a really thorough cleaning.

  8. Blow everything off with a leaf blower, works great! Wash and vacuum after pollen season.

    • I also blow my screened in porch at least two times a week during the heavy pollen season. I also cover my furniture the end of March so that the wicker stays clean. When the pollen is just about over I clean the screens, take the covers off and brush the furniture good then wipe down with a cleaning solution of pine sol, Clorox clean up and mean green. The porch is all white and comes out beautifully.

    • I sprayed PAM on my screens, and at a later date I am going to spray them down with a water and DAWN mix, then wash every thing with my water hose. I thing it should help, but this is my first year trying. Good luck to all..

  9. Up here in Maine, the pollen from the white pines can get pretty thick. I don’t suffer from allergies but if it is a bad year, even I can feel the stuff in my throat and it really makes me feel for the poor folks who suffer from it. Since I don’t have OCD, I would rather have to clean when it really looks bad so that I can see that my effort was worthwhile. My mother, who has OCD about cleaning, will comment that her house is a mess and I can only wish mine looked as good as hers does when it looks so bad.
    Your porch gives you so much pleasure all year, I am sure you are philosophical about the pollen season. Good luck, hope it is over quickly.

  10. We’ve just finished pollen season here. I did a little sweeping, but saved most of it for one big cleaning last wknd. Water hose and bleach. Had to handwipe all the furniture. Hope it lasts until next year.

  11. Sandi Lee says

    Glad you are feeling better. I let it go as long as I can stand it and then I just hose it off. Sometimes more than once. After the pollen is over I give it a thorough cleaning with soapy water and Clorox clean up. I usually have the house pressure washed at least once a year so I try to work it around to after pollen in the spring so I don’t have to do as much of the work.

    • Sandi, that’s what I’m doing this year. I have him scheduled for the first week in May and I hope that is late enough and the heaviest part of the pollen will be gone.

  12. I’m in southwest N.C., so I have the same issue. I usually clean it more than once just so I can use the porch on nice days. I’m always SO glad when it comes to an end ! Glad to hear you’re on the mend.

  13. ~Susan~
    First hope you are feeling better every day!! You left me a message saying how Mr Max likes to get outdoors, that is how my Tommy Boy is, but the good news is tubby does not get very far, I think he just likes to chew on a blade of grass!
    Is that really “Pollen”? like from trees? I don’t think up northern Indiana we have that heavy of tree pollen, I could be wrong, but not aware of it.
    Take care of YOU!!

    • Yep, that’s all from the trees in my backyard! I can’t let Mr. Max go out unless I’m with him because we have coyotes in our neighborhood and they are bold enough to even come out during the day. My neighbors carry a stick when they walk their dog because they once had a coyote follow behind them, hoping to snatch their dog! Atlanta is having a real problem with coyotes these days…scary.

  14. We have the same problem…..very very bad here because of all the pine trees and it’s just getting started. Pretty soon you will see great waves of yellow clouds from those trees. Last a couple of weeks. I try to wash the front porch off to keep it from being tracked in the house but I give up on the side screen porch until it’s all over, usually a week or two into May. It’s an all day job to spray away all that pollen. I also put all my pillows away until the pollen is finished. I also pray for a lot of rain to wash it away. 🙂 ~ Lynn P.s. Over the years I have done a blog post on the clean up. I try to pick a nice really warm day because all the wicker furniture gets dragged outside. ugh!

  15. Hi Susan. Great news that you are are “up and about”! Sending YOU and the CAT a big hug! Love that kitty!
    I live on the other side of the country from you, but still have that awful pollen problem around this time of year,
    although the worst of it seems to be over. My only problem I address is my vehicles parked in the carport. These I get washed (by someone other than me) a few times while the pollen is raging. The rest I let the rain wash. I suppose if I have a glorious porch like yours, I would clean it several times during pollen season. But, hey, it doesn’t do damage. So if you don’t feel up to it, forget it for a week or so.
    Can I join as a Follower without signing up to Facebook?

    • Thanks Phyllisa! I hope we get some more rain, that does seem to help a lot.
      Sure…there are several ways to follow BNOTP. At the top of the sidebar you’ll see a sign up where you can enter your email and whenever a new post is up to read, you’ll get a little email in your Inbox letting you know. I don’t know if you’re on Twitter or Pinterest, but if you are, you can follow BNOTP on those places, too. I’m also active most days on Google+. Google+ is still pretty new and not as many folks on there. You’ll also find some links to sign up to receive the email notices at the end of each post in the blue box. I recently started sending out a newsletter on Saturdays that links to the weeks posts and some others, and occasionally has new content that hasn’t been shared on the blog. You’ll find the sign up for the newsletter in the blue box at the end of each post, as well. Thanks for wanting to follow, Phyllisa…appreciate that so much!

  16. Mary from Virginia says

    I have no porch, but a patio and yes, I wash it down everyday only to wake up to more. If I didn’t wash it my allergies would really be bad!

    I haven’t been able to touch my front porch because I have a mother bird who decided she would build her nest in my silk flower door arrangement. Her babies hatched today, so maybe in a couple of weeks I can scrape the pollen off the front of the house.

    Wish I had a porch like yours!

    Glad you aren’t making yourself do a bunch of housework. I’m here to remind you to take it easy.

  17. Here in Alabama we get our fair share of pollen and boy is it a mess on the porches. For several years we put up a clear plastic at the end fall as our “winter” set in. We left it up until after pollen season, then carefully took it down and hosed off the porch. This seems to be effective AND we get to use the porch longer. The plastic is on the inside and is a kinda shrink wrap, so you really don’t notice it and you still have a good view.

  18. I just grab my hose and let everything have it – even the windows and siding. I also end up a bit wet but I’m with you – can’t stand the yellow dust. So glad to hear you are back home and on the mend. You had me truly worried. Take care.

  19. P.S. If I lived near you, I would corral a few trustworthy people and, with your permission, clean it for you.

  20. I have the exact same look on my porch 🙁 I hate that stuff, not to mention what it does to my allergies. I have decided to wait another week and hope that it will only require one good cleaning. The south is a beautiful place but we do pay for all the natural beauty.

  21. Leslee in TN says

    We had this issue when we lived in Panama City FL. There would be a huge covering of pollen floating on top of the pool water. The filter removed it eventually, but for the poolside furniture and the surrounding pool area, we just hosed it off with water until the issue was over. On your deck/porch, you have so many pretty things that wouldn’t take well to ‘hosing’ I’m sure. I expect you have a routine by now, for cleaning this beautiful area, but expect physically you aren’t up to it at this point. It’s annoying to see it there, but if you let it go for a few days, probably won’t get too much worse!!

  22. We usually wait until a little after Mother’s day to clean everything, that is when we clear the porch of furniture and accessories and clean, clean, clean. I would love to be able to enjoy the space a bit earlier but it is like fighting a losing battle trying to keep the pollen off everything. In the mean time I can plan exactly how the porch is going to be arranged this year.
    Your porch is gorgeous, I would love a hutch to accessorize.

    Mary L

  23. Mrs Hondl says

    I grew up in southeast Texas so a layer of pollen an inch thick all over EVERYTHING in the Spring was a common site. I solved the problem by moving to Oklahoma. 🙂

    • I know this post is a year old, but I was wondering where oh where did you move in Oklahoma that dosent’t have the green dust from hell! I’m on this sight trying to find exactly when it starts so I can sack up my pillows and cover some things. I live in Tulsa and it is horrible here. The price for beauty I quess.

  24. Well, I guess if I have to choose between SNOW and POLLEN at this time of the year, I will choose, um…. I choose…. ahhhh….. hmmmm….. Can’t I have another choice? OH WAIT – Box Elder Bugs! Well, I have 2 of the 3 – so – POLLEN IT IS – at least it is warm!! We won’t see the pollen for another month at least…. Ahhhh Chicago…….

  25. I say you need to take it easy!! But I also understand when something is bugging you, it just keeps nagging until
    you HAVE to take care of it. We have pollen most of the year in TX. Cedar pollen in our version of winter and
    every other plant pollen the rest of the time. It’s a constant battle. Even my dogs have breathing allergies from it.
    Lots of vacuuming is all I know to do here.

  26. Oh, dear….it is my dilemna, too….I’m going to think about it tomorrow. franki

  27. Joy Cooper says

    We lie in Alpharetta and this here we finally decided to get the light weight drop cloths and group furniture together on the screened porch and cover it. We got new wicker last spring after pollen and it is dark brown. So I was afraid I would never get it looking clean again. I will still have allot of cleaning to do but hope my wicker and cushions will be easy.

  28. Ugh, Susan. Our front porch and deck look like that. Thank goodness our sunroom is glassed in. I wait until the pollen has completed the cycle. And, I am hoping that is soon. I can hardly wait to get everything clean so we can enjoy it before the extreme heat and mosquitoes arrive.

    • I have sunroomwith sliding glass too , but we have a dog and have to.leave door open for her, ao i try to get my husband to keep the door between the porch and inside closed , his answer. I just closed the sunporch doors it should be fine, WHAT?
      Really , the pollen is ON THE PORCH AND ON THE FURNITURE! How do I get that thru to him. Every year and almost every day, I have terible allergies sometimes can hardly breathe

  29. Susan,
    I would let it be for a little while. You don’t want to be stirring up the pollen when you have been so sick. It will get done soon enough, but I would wait a little while. Your body has dealt with enough and don’t want to stir up trouble. I sure am thinking of you and so glad you are in your home which is so lovely with Mr. Max. Pollen can wait.

  30. Northshoremimi says

    Susan I’m glad your on the mend now don’t forget, sometimes we get a little ahead of ourselves and start back a bit too soon. I know this stuff drives me crazy too but try to relax for a bit longer, it will still be there next week. That’s what my mother always tells me, it’s not going anywhere. We have the exact same thing here on the north of New Orleans. A ton of nature but a huge allergy problem. Even my inside cat and dog (who of course does go out) suffer. We share over the counter allergy medication at the advice of our veterinarian. I usually pick up my cushions in the storage with the vacuum hose bag. I found some on qvc that are in a fabric box with the bag attached inside. They are rather large and can handle quite a bit. I bought 4 and once we clean our back porch furniture will put them out. So glad Max is doing well too. Hugs to you both I just love your blog, take it easy!

  31. So glad you are well enough to think about the porch! We have a bit of pollen. but nothing like that. however, we have dust storms. I keep the cushions put up and clean weekly. We pull the cushions out when we need them. Hugs! Xo Marlis

  32. I am happy you are up and around and sorry about the E coli but at least it is nothing worse. The pollen hasn’t really hit here in NJ but it gets that bad here too. That is when the allergies really kick in.

  33. I hose my courtyard/patio off often this time of the year . I just did yesterday late n the afternoon, and there is already a thick layer on everything – sends my allergies into chaos.

  34. Oh no, not just once. I am always cleaning the tables and chairs out on the porch. The dining table is usually the worst. But it is glass, so I can use Glass cleaner for quick clean ups. We have oak pollen and everything does turn yellow. My hubby will come through and hose down the tile floors. It really does a much better job at washing the pollen off, but you do have to let it dry thoroughly before walking on it. He opens the two screen doors and just washes the pollen out onto the deck.

  35. I usually clean it off one good time at the end of the pollen season unless I need whatever it is that is yellow before then. Here is my post talking about this issue.

  36. Hi Susan,
    Glad to read you are doing better. I can’t resist opening the windows and doors after being cooped up all winter. So, there’s a yellow haze on most surfaces, everything from the hardwood floors to the keys on my laptop. I’m keeping the kitchen wiped up and spot cleaning as it starts to bug me. After the pecan trees do their thing, it’s major clean up time, inside and out. Wishing you a full recovery. Take care.

  37. I have always used my leaf blower ALMOST daily at the old house, cause we had 3 decks and a front porch, plus the driveway. It was a never ending job. Having been there today I made a note to myself to take my blower over there for when we are showing the house….hopefully soon. It is such a mess:( XO, Pinky

  38. It’s wonderful to know you’re on the mend. I was really worried about you! Man, e-coli is HORRIBLE…..I had no idea!! Please relax and only do as much as you’re able. Don’t push it. Your body has been through a truly traumatic experience and it needs time to recover. If you have a housekeeper, have her dust and sweep it and then you can thoroughly clean it in a few weeks.

    I live in Reno, NV and we don’t have that kind of pollen here – even though I have pine trees up on my hill. However, when I lived in Incline (at Lake Tahoe) it was truly a MESS. Having grown up in CA, I’d never seen anything like it. Luckily, I’m not allergic to pine pollen or I’d have been in the hospital!!

    Take it easy, put your feet up, grab a good book and Mr. Max and relax!


  39. Hi, Susan……so glad to hear you’re feeling better (if the pollen bothers you, you MUST be feeling better!!). Here in the Tampa Bay area (actually we’re north of there), we get that yucky pollen too. Our pool looks like it has the mange & no matter how many times we try to clean it, the pollen keeps on coming. I have the white patio furniture which looks yellow (and it’s getting “yellowier”!) every day. It’s kind of like the squirrels and the birdseed – you put it out & they keep eating it; you keep cleaning off the pollen and it keeps coming! Today it is almost 90* here & very humid, so I am not going to clean it off today. I’m with you, because the OCD kicks in & I just can’t stand seeing it. Like good old Scarlet in Gone With The Wind “tomorrow is another day”! Think I’ll wait on that pollen! Stay well! <3

  40. Dearest Susan,
    When the pollen is really bad (I know what you mean as I am a northeast Georgian), we cover our porch furniture pieces with sheets, which means when that cup of coffee is calling my name I can slip the sheet off, sit a spell listening to the birds and then cover them when I need to rush off to the normal hectic life. Since we are completely surrounded by woods the pollen is heavy, we wait until we are in the last stages of the yellow haze then we wash down everything so that we can enjoy it (or until the heat runs us back inside). So glad that you are on the mend. Take care!

    • I like sheet idea, Lisa. I think I’ll do that. It’s just too gorgeous out right now to wait a few weeks to start enjoying the porch. I just vacuumed all the cushions and the porch and it looks so much better out there. It’s at least usable. It sure felt good out there.

  41. TippysMom says

    Glad to hear you’re wanting to tackle the “yellow stuff” on the porch as it must be a sign that you’re feeling better! No pollen here yet… however, in early-mid June, we do get the “white stuff”– cotton falling from the cottonwood trees and it is just as annoying as your pollen! Your porch is beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the coming months!
    Stay well 🙂

  42. I read last year to get clear shower curtains and attach them to the screens. We put the clear hooks above the screen and then stapled the bottom to the bottom of the screen. Works wonders. We are able to sit on the porch and not worry about the pollen coming in. Hope this might help someone else.

  43. Susan, If you can, wait., just this year. You have been through a lot and don’t need to tire yourself and breath in additional pollen. Just relax a little while longer and snuggle with Max.
    Our pollen is like that here. We have pines, sweet gum, bay and live oak. Not sure when the live oak pollinates since it doesn’t loose its leaves in the fall. I am allergic to many, many things but most are medicines and foods. My allergist did tell me that the pollen you see is not what bothers most people, it’s what you don’t see. I still wouldn’t be out there stirring it up.
    In my younger days, I would scrub the porches every month in warm weather. For the past few years we have had a standing appointment with the pressure washer guy. The first week of May, when you said that I had to chuckle and think, Yep, that’s the perfect week. After he cleans in May I will clean again in a couple of months but it is not nearly as bad as now.
    You and Max are still in my prayers.

  44. Glad you are feeling well enough to be annoyed by the pollen. We have the same problem in Knoxville which is considered the worst place for allergies in the USA. I just use the shop vac for big cleanings and my regular vac for in between. I store the cushions in a trunk on the porch and pull them out as needed.
    Love your Thursday post! I was also recently dining from that same service and menu. You really gave me something to smile about!

    Feel better soon!

  45. Nancy Carr says

    We are so glad you are feeling better. Having all this cleaning does not help. I remember the first time I saw pollen was in the Atlanta area and everything – I mean EVERYTHING – was covered in it and yellow. Nature is amazing and we deal with it and go on. Life is good and Atlanta is a great place to live. Blessings

  46. Linda Page says

    Well, Susan, here in good old East Texas we have tons of pollen going on. Even my garaged car has pollen on it. The driveway has pollen on it. I love to open the windows when the weather first starts to warm up but then everything in the house gets covered in this yellow dust! From Dallas into East Texas is very similar to the Atlanta area so we have this yucky yellow stuff a lot. I finally gave up trying to keep the inside and outside of my car free of pollen. I will just give it a good bath once the pollen season is over. Whenever I want to sit on my patio, I have to rinse off the chairs or shake out the cushions on the glider before I can sit down or I will spend the entire time sneezing! But I will take lots of trees, bushes and flowers with their pollen any day over the dry, dusty areas of West Texas where I once lived. From all of the comments posted, we all would be glad to be rid of pollen. You are sounding so much better. I hope you are feeling a bunch better. Hugs & kisses to Mr. Max!

  47. BamaCarol says

    Susan, our kitty loves to go out on the screened porch as well. I let him out the other day and when I went later to check on him I just laughed and laughed. He is black all over, except that day he had yellow pollen all over him! It was the worst day this year for the pollen and when he decided to lie down to sleep, it just settled on him. As for cleaning, I usually wait till it is all over and do one cleaning. We also have a sunroom and I confine myself to looking out from there until after the pollen is over with. Enjoy yours!

  48. Susan,
    If I lived in Atlanta, I’d come and clean your porch for you while you are still recovering. It would be a small payback for all of the joy you have given me on your site.

  49. We have the pollen here in SC too, but on to another subject. What is the wonderful colored item on your outer back porch? That looks like fun!

  50. I’m in Florida and have a back porch open to the elements and we grin and bear the pollen and seeds every January – March. I vacuum weekly and wipe down the tables – it doesn’t take too long and sure makes it more enjoyable through the nicest time of the year here. We are back in the upper 80 s already! (I protest!!!) We usually pressure wash in late spring to get rid of the last of the gunk. Nature is nice but there is a price to pay – right? 😉
    Hoping you are recovering your strength and feeling so much better!
    Blessings to you!

  51. Oh GOSH…what..a..mess….I know you must hate that..I seen a story in a…cottage living mag yrs ago..the people had bamboo roller shades on the outside of their porch..I’ve never seen that on the Chesapeake Bay it made sense…it can get really windy here too…
    sounds like you’re feeling better..hope you got to catch up on your sleep…how’s Max doing.??…….hope the rest of your day is wonderful…

  52. My vote is to wait and heal yourself first!

    Since our porch is brand new, I have been — WAIT FOR IT — running the vacuum cleaner and Swiffering!

    I am waiting to put up the curtain panels. A few days ago, I heard that a high pollen count is 90 and that in Atlanta, it was 8000! Off the charts! It probably is not much different in Birmingham.

    • Yep, it’s like that every spring here. They used to call Atlanta “the city in the forest” because when folks flew into Hartsfield, there were so many trees. That’s the way it is all over Georgia…trees and plants everywhere! I’m not allergic to the pollen thankfully. I usually vacuum the porch, too since it’s tongue and groove. It could use a good moping now. 🙂 I like that swiffering idea although there was so much pollen today, it wouldn’t have worked. The vacuum was the best way to go today. I’m going to hang the sheers soon since the pollen doesn’t really stick to them and blows off in the breezes. I bet you are loving your porch, Ellen!

  53. Susan, we have the greenish yellow pollen “rain” from the trees this time of year. It’s still dropping, but recent rain really helped clean a lot of it out. With all our hardscape, it is a constant battle keeping it swept up.
    Difficult not to want to tackle it if you want to use our porch, but you really do need to take it easy and fully recover.
    Glad you are doing so much better.

  54. We have pollen here in Illinois, we can track our pollen count on the weather segment of the news. I don’t think it’s yellow like yours, but it’s there. I have a detached “screened in” guest house at our lakehouse and I’m constantly cleaning up all summer long as I’m allergic to everything, and I’m a little OCD, too! I can’t blow it or I’d sneeze my head off so I just wipe it all down and mop the floors every couple of weeks. Do you have any suggestions for cleaning the screens?

    Happy to hear you are doing better!


    • Jane, I really don’t. I have periodically taken a wet rag and wiped them gently, not applying much pressure and I’m amazed how dirty they are and how much clearer/see through they are after I do that. I think I’ll do that again once pollen season passes.

  55. I used to hose down my porch — several times — every year to get rid of winter dust and spring pollen. The operative words are “used to.” Then I had double pane, low-e windows installed several years ago. I bought the screens to go with the windows in case I ever needed to open the windows and use screens. So far, I have loved having a 3-season — sometimes 4 seasons! — porch that always stays clean and usable and pollen-free. The screens remain stored away. Somewhere.

  56. ‘Yellow rain’ has been falling here since late February. I have horrible allergies, but try as best I can to ‘suck it all up’ with the vacuum cleaner and dusting daily. Yet, with a cat and a dog in house, my allergies are always, ALWAYS in overdrive. My mother told me 50 years ago I would outgrow them; she apparently lied. I try to muddle through with Zyrtec. When we get to WI late next month, they will be better….for a while!

  57. Hi Susan, Glad you’re feeling so much better. Please go easy on yourself…you’ve just been put through the wringer. You’ll get everything done and have an enjoyable summer. :0)


  58. Hi Susan! Good to see another post from you! The way you show us your porch it’s hard to see it with all the pollen on it! Now I’m sure you’re gonna clean it up soon but you wear a mask so you won’t breath so much of it! You mind me, you hear? 🙂 I’m so glad you’re feeling better so take care and don’t over do!
    We’re tropical here so the pollen isn’t a problem. But we get sand everywhere. I think it blows over from the beach!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  59. Houston gets a bad case of the yellow stuff, too, but the worst part is now over. There’s no keeping up with it, especially if there is wind to move it all around. I give the porch a cursory cleaning just so I can sit out there in the mornings, and I sometimes wonder why bother when the result is sneezes and sniffles.

  60. I wipe off the tables and chairs and railings, but hubby pressure washes everything a few times once it’s not too cool. No pressure wash yet this year, but soon. It drives me crazy too!

  61. So glad that you are home and feeling better.Don’t do too much—I know that is hard for you but you need to recover !
    What we do for our screnned porch is remove everything as soon as the pollen starts and then when the pollen has stopped(at least the yellow stuff) we bring it back from the basement, clean everything , put all the accessories back and hang the pictures back up. It is a huge pain but I have never found another way to do it without the pollen getting into the white wicker where it will not come clean.It is also a good time to touch up the paint on anything that needs it and place some plants on the porch.Sadly, we miss some beautiful days on the porch this way.

  62. Bonjour!
    Effectivement, c’est une véritable plaie de devoir sans cesse nettoyer à fond votre porche… Pourtant le pollen est nécessaire ! Que faire d’autre que de se retrousser les manches ?
    Gros bisous

  63. Great question, Susan — I’ve done it both ways, but I think the best to clean a bit all along. This year I’ve just been using a blower and the hose on my porch and deck (and car!) about once a week. It’s not a perfect clean, but at least it won’t be so overwhelming when I’m prepping for graduation parties in May! Glad you’re home and hope you’re feeling better soon!
    xo Heidi
    (PS — I wear a mask while I blow/hose every thing off!)

  64. Susan, I usually use a swiffer on everything about once a week until the pollen is finished and then do a deep cleaning. Ugh, sneeze, sneeze.

  65. It’s interesting that you bring this up and I’m glad to read about what folks do. I moved about a year and a half ago and pollen wasn’t an issue at my other home. But here … oy! Last year I started finding a mysterious yellow powder all over my breakfast table (it’s in a little nook and I like to have the windows there open as often as possible.) It was maddening, but since it wasn’t all over the house, I just dealt with it regularly. I didn’t have a lot of choice if I wanted to use the table – which I did, lol.

    We have a row of Leyland Cypress trees (they look like Christmas trees!) on that side of the property. I wonder if they are the culprits. It hasn’t hit us here yet, but I’m sure we’ll be next.

  66. Sharon from Michigan says

    I have an outdoor victorian wrap around porch with no windows or screens. I’m not sure if its pollen or winter dirt still on my porch, but when it warms up here a bit I’ll hose it down and then use a broom with an old bedsheet or towel on it to wipe down the outer house walls. My porch is 75 feet all the way around – it’s a pain, but I love it. I also sweep the floor at least once a week all summer long.

    Glad to see you’re feeling better – be careful and be lazy for a few more days!

  67. I live a little north of Houston and we have a lot of pollen … A LOT !!!
    We have just completed the pollen dusting season. I schedule washing my windows in May so the pollen is well gone before I tackle that job. Porches, porta cochere, everything gets a major washing after pollen season. It’s just a real mess!

  68. I’m OCD, too, so I say clean it up. I have kids and pets so they track it in the house. I even spray off my car before driving it into the garage some days (well, almost every day during pollen season…). It’s sticky, nasty stuff! If you feel up to it, I would get it outta there. The other thing is that our kitty Max (too!) gets it on his fur, then licks himself to get clean, and then throws up! So, it’s just better to get rid of what you can! Good luck!!!! Glad you are feeling better!

  69. Hope you’re still feeling better and haven’t been overdoing it with cleaning. We built our porch here in mid-Western NC 2 years ago and your porch was my inspiration for how to decorate. We are getting to the end of the yellow pollen here. Last year we made the mistake of trying to pressure wash our porch in late March. When that stuff got wet it made a horrible mess. Our screen frames are extruded aluminum and dark brown and the floor is brick so that might make a difference in cleaning but it was awful and took forever to get cleaned up…ugh!! Now we use the shopvac and use the brush attachment on the screens if they need it. It works great. When also use sheets to cover our upholstered furniture and just take them off when we want to be out there. I’ll just wash them when pollen season is over. The tables are easy to clean off every few days. When I put a shelf out there, I’ll likely use a sheet on it too. Our porch is much smaller than yours but it’s our little slice of heaven. Thanks for the ideas. Hope you’re feeling 100% soon.

    • Just a quick update…I went out this morning to the most elegant Mart of the Waltons (aka Walmart) and picked up some very inexpensive chair and love seat covers. They came very highly rated and will look nicer and stay in place better than sheets. Easy on and easier off… I’ll use them through pollen season and again during the worst of the winter months… I’ll still need to vacuum the floor but I made my own cream colored custom seat cushions and it was way too much work for a non-sewing girl so I’d like them to look nice for a long time.

  70. OMG! We have high pollen counts in spring and fall here in southern NM but never any pollen we can actually see! I knew our weather was great but this sure makes me glad we don’t have that much pollen. Thanks for this post-gives me even more to be thankful for 🙂

  71. I guess its true what they say about misery loving company and there are lot of pollen misery sufferers here on Susans blog. I retired to Pinehurst, NC eight years ago and had never experienced pollen of this magnitude before living up north in Morristown, NJ.
    I have a lovely screened in porch that we use almost year round with white wicker furniture and white woodwork. This year I decided to wait until all the pollen was down, BIG mistake and its still coming. In the past I covered everything and it helped considerably, I would vacuum and wash down regularly and by the end of the season only a faint haze would be left. This year, whoa- what a mess I have made for myself and on top of it all I have three grandkids under the age of four coming to visit in about two weeks time. Better get cracking!

  72. Just love this blog site. Found it this morning whilst searching for pollen clean up solutions
    This is a keeper and will go into my favorites. Thanks Susan, fabulous blog.

  73. Sheila Smock says

    I used to wet cloths with detergent to wipe down tables and furniture. I found it just made yellow paste. I use dry wrags to wipe things down daily so we can sit outside before pollen season is over. I then invested in a power washer to use at the end of the season.

  74. Diane Hopps says

    We live in upper Michigan. The yellow tree pollen is terrible! Last year , after my husband power washed our deck, within a week all the yellow pollen was back! With guests coming for a visit, I manned the heavy garage broom. Pollen was flying every where! Within 48 hours, I was in the emergency room! Every time I took a breath it felt like I inhaled a small bottle of baby powder! I was in the hospital for 1 week! I had no history of any lung diseases or asthma. My lesson to my self is I will wear a mask and gloves and disposable shoe covers before I ever do that again! Nothing like having a exacerbation over tree pollen! Please, don’t even come into contact with it! Wear protection! .

  75. What kind of floor is your porch? I have tongue and groove cypress and it’s 5 years old . I’m getting ready to have my porch painted and am concerned with bleach solution in pressure washing my walls. How do you clean your walls ?

  76. up in New England here and just took all the screen windows out to hose down. But do not look forward to another year of a pollen explosion coming right thru the screens even!. So I’m looking at it now with no screens set in, thinking, hmmm how nice and airy and clean it looks without the screens! Maybe? I can leave them out a few weeks and see how that works instead.

    • The mosquitoes are already out in full force here. I was outside yesterday and looked down to see one sitting on my hand, getting ready to dig in! So screens are already a necessity here.

  77. Elizabeth says

    I just went on the net to try and figure out what this yellow film on my patio was. I have been living here in Montreal …DDO to be more specific. I have never seen this film before. My breathing has been really bad and I just cannot seem to get better and I do not have a cold. So, my thought was are the Chemical companies here releasing something in the air…? It has happened and we were told to keep our windows closed. So, looking on the net and found your blog. I never would of thought that this was pollen. Now that I know I will go and get tested and see if they can help me to breath better. I always told my husband to stop complaining during his allergies season but now I understand and feel bad for not being more compassionate. ;-). You have a great blog and hope you feel better fast.

  78. Well, “blow and suck” seems to be the answer. Love your porch. My screened porch is open on three sides and a blowing rain turns the pollen to concrete when it dries. Thought about expensive vinyl curtains like they have in outdoor restaurants, but think I will just put up plastic before it gets cold, use double sided carpet tape to seal joints and leave it up until post pollen. I use my SpaBerry hot tub in the winter so the plastic wind break should help. Then take the plastic down and put up sheers. A big wind will probably shred it all. LOL

  79. I am having the same problem on all my outdoor decks front and back yard for the last few days. At first I thought it was pollen, then cleaned it all up, and within hours, it was layered there again! Then I wondered if one of my neighbors was spraying something toxic, because I’ve done all my own yard work for decades and never seen this before. Thanks for your post and pictures, so I don’t worry about it. But what plants does it come from – lots of Aspen trees and pine trees that never gave me problems before. Perhaps all the dandelions in my yard I’ve been trying to cut down before they go to seed?

    • It could be the trees. I know in Georgia, the different varieties of trees pollinate at different times. I don’t see pollen that much on the porch here, just mostly during the spring.

  80. I didn’t know pine cones produced pollen before! Thank you. Perhaps one or more of my pine trees grew to the right age to produce pollen. I’ve also got some large bushes with small yellow flowers. Thank you.

  81. I didn’t know pine cones produced pollen before! Thank you. Following your post I tapped the cones on a big pine tree and on my pine bushes and, sure enough, a cloud of yellow arose like magic.

    • Yep, they definitely do. We have so much trouble with allergies here in Atlanta, they are always give the “pollen” report on the radio. They name all the trees that happen to be pollinating at that time. So seems like something is always pollinating throughout the year, except for the dead of winter.

  82. Sandra Fischer says

    Is it ok to copy the picture you have of “Pollen” written on the table. It will show the source when I use it.

  83. Donna Beck says

    I love spending time on my swing and porch, so I clean often. Over 10 times…OK, OK, I might suffer from OCD!!! My porch is 20 X 40 mostly white so that yellow stuff shows up easily. I do not like tracking in inside my house, so I like to keep it off of my porch floor and my deck.

  84. Carolyn Cornie says

    Here in Oregon we have lots of yellow pollen ! I cannot fathom leaving cushions etc. outside !….Hosing down produces a trail of ‘yellow water’…cars, lawn chair coverings, outside windows, etc……We have our many skylights professionally cleaned every other year as the pollen gets ‘baked’ on….The yellow pollen on our wood decks does NOT NOT NOT wash off…We cannot pressure wash anymore as wood could not take it…..we hose several times slowly with ‘jet’ pressure from hose and a ‘moss remover product’ although it is not ‘moss’. It improves it but still not the best….Could there be a chemical product that ‘binds’ to the pollen? Regular dish soap doesn’t do it……Grrr…..

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