How Do you Clean a Vinyl Siding?

A clean exterior of your home adds to the beauty of your outdoor spaces. Vinyl siding is a popular exterior cladding for many homes. Regular cleaning helps a vinyl siding to last longer and above all remain attractive. Let’s get down on how to clean a vinyl siding the right way.

A vinyl siding will get dirty as a result of dust, pollen, birds and bugs droppings and stains. In moist environment, this outdoor product can attract mold and mildew, rust or algae. Gardening and cleaning products can also mar the beauty of the home’s cladding. Fortunately, proper cleaning will restore your siding.

A solution of mild soap and water can do for all regular cleaning of your vinyl siding. To combat tough stains, vinegar solution, bleach or a recommended vinyl siding cleaner will do a great job. If you are not using a pressure washer, you will need a long-handled soft bristle brush and/or a ladder for cleaning up high the building.

How to Clean a Vinyl Siding – Steps

Before you start the cleaning process, ensure to thoroughly wet your nearby plants with plain water and cover them with a tarp so that they are not affected by runoff water. Vinegar or bleach for example can kill your garden plants including flowers and lawn grass.

Next, close all windows and doors to the home. Turn off power to all exterior electrical appliances. Cover exposed electrical outlets with duct tape or a plastic sheet for any fixed outdoor units. Remove outdoor furniture, umbrellas and any other items from the vicinity so that they are not damaged by your cleaning solutions.

Prepare your vinyl cleaning solution by adding 1 part liquid dish soap to about 10 parts water in a container and mix it up. You may also mix one cup of distilled white vinegar with one gallon of water to make a vinyl cleaner. Vinyl siding also cleans up easily with a solution of chlorine bleach especially for stain removal.

Cleaning Steps

  1. Start by hosing your vinyl siding to wet it and loosen any sticky debris on its surface.
  2. Dip your brush in the bucket containing your cleaning solution and begin scrubbing the vinyl siding from the bottom and work your way up until you reach the top.
  3. After one side of the building is cleaned, use your water hose again to rinse the siding before the cleaning solution dries on it. Then proceed to the next section.
  4. Once done, check around to ensure everywhere is perfectly clean then remove the tarps on your plants immediately.  

Removing Stains on Vinyl Siding

Soft stains on vinyl siding will easily get removed with soap and water solution. Apply the cleaner and scrub the spot gently with your soft bristle brush or sponge. Tough stains like tar, paint or water marks can be removed with nonabrasive bathtub cleaner or nylon scrub pad.

Stains as a result of mold and mildew can easily be removed using a solution of distilled white vinegar. Combine 3 parts water and 1 part distilled vinegar to form a solution. Apply the cleaner on the siding and perform a gentle scrubbing using a sponge or nylon scrub pad. When done, thoroughly rinse your vinyl siding.

Bleach can also be used to clean a vinyl siding especially to remove mold, mildew and green algae from the surface. Mix three parts warm water to one part of chlorine bleach in a bucket. Fill a garden sprayer with the solution and spray generously on the siding. Scrub to remove the stains and hose with plain water.

Can you Power Wash a Vinyl Siding?

Yes, you can effectively use a pressure washer to clean a vinyl siding. You’ll need to use dawn dish soap in your pressure washer or a recommended cleaner. However, using a pressure washer on your vinyl siding may void the material’s warranty if the manufacturers advised against power washing.

You need to be careful when using a pressure washer to clean your home exterior. Incorrect use can cause damages to the cladding material. Read and understand your pressure washer’s manual. If you are not sure about using a power washer, request help from a skilled operator.

When cleaning your vinyl siding with a pressure washer, be sure to aim the blast of water straight at the eye level. Avoid aiming the water jet upwards as this can drive water behind the material. Also, keep the nozzle of the power washer at least four feet away from the vinyl when cleaning.

Pressure Washing Steps

To safely use a pressure washer on your vinyl siding:

  1. Start by connecting your power washer to a water hose
  2. Pour your cleaning solution into the power washer reservoir tank
  3. Turn on the water hose and run the power washer for about 1 to 2 minutes as a warm up and also to remove any air trapped in the system
  4. Adjust the power washer to a low setting, then test its strength on hidden areas of the home’s siding
  5. Begin cleaning your vinyl siding on the front side of the house without forgetting any hard to reach areas like corners and around the windows and doors.
  6. Once done, go around your building to check if there is any area missed or a damage caused by a pressure washer.

Pro Tip: If there is any tougher stain on the vinyl siding that has not been removed by a pressure washer, get on a ladder and manually remove it using a scrub brush. Higher setting of pressure can easily remove such stains but may likely damage your vinyl siding.

Final Thought

Cleaning of a vinyl siding should be done at least once every season. Ideally, clean the cladding when you are also cleaning your patios or decks. Regular cleaning of a vinyl siding will help in removing dirt, grime and stains that makes the material dull.

You can effectively clean your home’s siding using a pressure washer, mild soap solution, distilled white vinegar solution, chlorine bleach solution or a recommended vinyl siding cleaner. Be careful when cleaning to avoid damaging the siding material or the nearby plants, furniture or electric units.

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