There are plenty of professionals out there at having vinyl siding for the exterior of your home. It’s inexpensive, easy to install, doesn’t have to be painted – there’s also no risk of peeling as the paint is baked and 100 percent homogeneous – and, after all, it’s easy to maintain. You can clean the vinyl siding with just a few household items like dish soap and water. You can turn to bleach for a more thorough clean, and some even choose vinegar for a more natural clean.
- Visit our guide on siding, Disguise and rendering Learn more about the best exterior materials for your home.
Regardless of whether you’ve installed colored or faux wood vinyl siding, the smooth finish means it shouldn’t get that dirty and stained at all. It pays to clean yours if necessary. And only a little scrubbing is required.
We spoke to Gregg Hicks, VP of Modernize, about the problems you can face with vinyl siding. “Over time and with repeated weather changes, the vinyl siding can attract and develop mold or mildew stains – especially in north-facing and other shady areas.” Store-bought cleaners like Windex usually do the job for these stubborn spots. However, if you want to make your own chemical-free solution, you can use a natural mixture of vinegar and water. ‘
How to clean vinyl siding
The solution to cleaning vinyl siding is very simple. You need:
- Dish soap / dawn
- A bucket of warm water
- Brush / sponge with soft bristles
- A garden hose
Using a clean, soft-bristled brush, apply the solution to the siding, scrubbing the length of each section from bottom to top. Hicks says, “For best results, use a soft-bristled cloth or brush and start from the bottom so your cleaning solution doesn’t streak or drip off the side of the house. “When you get to the end of each lap, hose it down before it dries naturally, as this will help stop streaks.
(Photo credit: Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash)
- Vinyl siding is a permanent form of plastic, learn how to clean as well Polish plastic in other areas of your home with our guide.
How to clean vinyl siding with vinegar
Using white vinegar to clean vinyl siding is a safe and effective way to remove stains too. Mix 3 parts water with 2 parts white vinegar and apply it with a sponge, especially to wipe off mold and mildew.
How to clean vinyl siding with bleach
If natural detergents don’t cut through the stains, you can mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and use that as a detergent.
Hicks recommends, “If none of these options work, try making your own recipe from other common household cleaners.” To use:
- 1/3 cup powder detergent
- 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner
- 1 liter of liquid laundry detergent
- 1 gallon of water
“For best results, use a soft-bristled cloth or brush and start from the bottom so your cleaning solution doesn’t streak or drip off the side of the house.” Says Hicks and please make sure you wear gloves when handling bleach and other strong detergents.
(Photo credit: Photo by Çınar Kurtoğlu on Unsplash)
Is it okay to use Power Wash to wash vinyl siding?
Reviews are mixed, but most vinyl siding manufacturers don’t recommend doing this because too much pressure can damage the material and make water more likely to seep behind the siding, which can lead to serious moisture issues.
If you plan to use a pressure washer to clean the vinyl siding, make sure it is on the lowest possible option and use it at eye level rather than on a slope that could allow water to drift behind the siding causing moisture issues later and can lead to rot.
What not to do when cleaning the vinyl
- Use of undiluted and untargeted products: Organic solvents or undiluted chlorine bleach as well as furniture polishers can damage the surface. It’s best to avoid this.
- Grinding Washer: Steel wool can scratch and damage the vinyl siding when you clean it. Soft bristles + elbow grease are the answer.
- Too much pressure washing: As mentioned earlier, choose the garden hose instead. However, if you do need to use your pressure washer, keep it to a minimum.
- Do not clean carefully: Be careful around windows, doors, dryer vents, and other openings to keep the water from flowing where it shouldn’t be.
Have fun cleaning the vinyl!