This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spray Nine. All opinions are 100% mine.

Every day, several times a day, I walk in and out of my front door. But I pretty much ignore it. I don’t notice it. I don’t SEE it.

Until, one day, I noticed it was REALLY BAD. Like BAD BAD.

You see, for me, autumn is like spring is for some people. I love the change in the weather – the cooler days, the welcome breeze. I want to throw open all of the windows and refresh the house after a long, hot, sweaty summer. I start decluttering again, and tackle cleaning projects I’ve been putting off.

So when (“awakened” by the fall weather) I saw my front entrance – really SAW it? I was horrified.

front entrance before and after. This is the sad before.

There was grime everywhere. Months and months of desert dust had caked onto our doors, the screen door, even the walls.

With a few cooler days on the forecast in a row, I was ready to tackle this tough job.

Seriously, look how disgusting this looked – these are the doors to the utility area with the water heater and stuff.

so much nasty grime - before and after cleaning post!

Our once-cute little welcome mat looked hideous. Sure, it still worked, but it looked more like a “go away” mat, warning people that things were in disrepair in this home.

welcome mat before and after - this is obviously before. it looked so terrible!

I was ready to get tough on the grime, and thankfully, Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner was up to the task.

Why use Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner? Because it defines what it means to be tough on mess.

I was skeptical at first, but if you read on, you’ll see it lived up to its claims! Tough on grime. Tough on any mess.

The first thing I did was spray my (rubber) welcome mat thoroughly with the spray. Then I rinsed with my hose jet sprayer. I can’t even begin to tell you how much filth was washing away, without even any scrubbing. It was amazing and horrifying. I did that a couple of times, front and back, before I was satisfied that the mat was ready to paint. Then, I let it dry in the sun while I got to work on the doors.

welcome mat before and after - this is obviously before. it looked so terrible!

I mainly used my hose and the spray first, without scrubbing at all. I needed to knock off the obvious and loose stuff first. There was SO MUCH of it too. I worked on the utility doors, my screen door (both sides), and the front of my front door. Wetting, spraying, rinsing. Every time, more and more grime slid off. Every time, I was disgusted that I had let it get THIS BAD and had barely noticed it.

See what Spray Nine Heavy Duty can do for you.   

spray nine cleaner - so tough on grime. it really helped me with this cleaning project.

When I needed a break from cleaning, I started painting my welcome mat. I started with a couple of coats of white primer/paint. If you’re doing this, make sure the paint you use is appropriate for the material your mat is made of.

welcome mat before and after - this is "during" - the first coat of paint.

While that was drying, I went back to my doors. This time, I used a cleaning cloth to scrub every inch of them with Spray Nine and water. Spots I had assumed were permanent stains wiped off. Another layer of grime which I thought was just the color of the doors finally let go. I kept going until the doors were perfectly clean, and I thought my arms might fall off. (There are a few spots you can see on the doors still, but those are areas where a bit of paint is chipped off, not dirt or stains).

I seriously could not believe the difference. And I was that much closer to flinging open my windows and celebrating autumn!

front entrance before/after post - this is after cleaning. SO MUCH BETTER.

This went on for a few days. I alternated between working on my welcome mat and scrubbing the heck out of my front entrance. I asked my husband to take down our porch light and clean it out. There were so many dead bugs in there! He polished up the light before putting it back, and I cleaned some gross bird poo off of the fixture.

Every time I walked in and out of my front door during this Week of Cleaning, I felt a little better about the whole situation. Things were looking up.

spray nine cleaner - cleaning my front entrance area

One day, it was too windy to work outside – we get some insane wind here in the desert, especially this time of year. So I took my welcome mat inside to work on painting it. I had these colors custom mixed at the hardware store, and I love the way they look together. So cheerful! My 4 year old couldn’t believe the difference when I showed him the mat. “Mommy! I love the new heart! Thank you!”

Who knew my kids would be so excited about the transformation too?

welcome mat before and after - this is after! I think it looks so cute and welcoming now!

I tackled the front door and screen door with Spray Nine, cleaning it more than once. Each time, revealing a new layer I hadn’t seen in ages. SO much disgustingness came out of the screen as I cleaned it. So much dust and grime was caked into the cracks and hinges.

Funny thing – while I was cleaning, I noticed a spot on the wall. I sprayed it with Spray Nine, then rinsed it away. But the whole area that had been sprayed (and where the spray dripped) was a lighter color than the rest of the wall. Had it bleached the wall??? Nope. No bleach. It was just THAT GROSS before, and the spray had knocked off so much filth that it looked drastically different.

So I went ahead and used the Spray Nine on the walls around both doors and the windows… everything looked lighter and fresh after that.

I spray painted the mat again, this time with a clear sealant to give the color some staying power, and when I was finally satisfied with the cleanliness of the front entrance area, I put our mat back into place.

front entrance area - after

Now whenever I step into my house, I’m welcomed by a cute fresh mat and VERY CLEAN doors. (Excuse the stained concrete though, please.) It feels SO much better, and I feel like I’m starting autumn on the right foot.

It’s your turn to Take the Spray Nine Challenge. Click that link to get your coupon and give it a try!

my newly painted welcome mat!

Do you have any ideas for how we can decorate the area just a little bit? I want something that says “fall is here!” without being over the top. Maybe some pumpkins or some kind of plant? What do you think?

front entrance area - after cleaning

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