Vinyl siding is a popular exterior material for many homes for its attractive appearance and easy maintenance. With regular cleaning, vinyl siding can look good as new for many years.
However, without frequent cleaning, vinyl siding can quickly appear old, worn out, and grimy. This is because vinyl siding is prone to developing mold, mildew, stains, and general dirt – especially when the siding is white, as any form of dirt is instantly highlighted.
Unfortunately, it’s an inevitability that you will have to commit to cleaning your vinyl siding. Whether it’s due to a haze of mud at the bottom from a bout of heavy rain or if mold is starting to form, it’s important to know how to properly clean vinyl siding without damaging it.
Here is our commercial cleaners‘ guide on how to clean vinyl siding!
How To Prepare Vinyl Sliding For Cleaning?
As with cleaning any part of your home, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself, the vinyl siding, and surrounding surfaces before cleaning your vinyl siding.
Firstly, make sure you have dressed appropriately. Some of the methods we will recommend may include harsh chemicals like bleach, so you’ll need to wear long-sleeved clothing, rubber gloves, a pair of goggles, and close-toed shoes. We recommend also wearing a face mask to protect your lungs from inhaling harmful fumes.
Next, you’ll need to clear the area. This means moving vehicles, machinery, and other objects like kid’s toys and outdoor furniture to protect them from damage. Also, make sure children and pets stay away from the area while you’re cleaning.
To protect more permanent features, make sure that all windows and doors are shut. You can cover heavy furniture and plants with plastic tarps to protect them from powerful pressured water or harsh chemicals. Also, ensure that all electrical outlets are turned off and covered!
Our top tip is to work with a friend who can hold the ladder while you’re cleaning the siding. Plus, try to work on a cloudy and dry day. This is because the sun can dry the siding unevenly.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding?
Pressure Washer Method
Using a pressure washer is probably the fastest way to clean vinyl siding. These machines work to produce water at high pressure, allowing people to easily clean a variety of tough stains on surfaces. Here is how to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer:
- Pour chemical cleaner into the pressure washer. It doesn’t have to be anything too strong, just a regular house cleaning solution will do. Apply as much as the bottle requires.
- If the dirt is particularly bad, first just apply the cleaning solution to the vinyl siding. Use a low system on the pressure washer to allow the chemicals to adhere to the surface, and leave for 10-20 minutes.
- Then, wash the surface with a pressure washer in a normal setting.
However, make sure not to hold the pressure washer too close to the vinyl siding. This is because the highly pressurized water can do more harm than good when too close to the surface, which can dent the vinyl siding.
You should use a long wand for the hard-to-reach sections if you’re not using a ladder, as well as a scrubbing brush afterwards.
Also, make sure to remove any window screens. Pressure washers are known to break windows!
Vinegar Water Method
If mildew, mold, or fungus is your problem, this method will do the trick. Not only can vinegar kill mildew and fungus, but it also helps to prevent regrowth.
- Make the vinegar water solution consisting of any kind of vinegar (we recommend white vinegar as it’s the cheapest and most easily accessible) and clean water. For every gallon of water, add two cups of vinegar.
- Add this mixture to a spray bottle if the affected area is within reach. Spray the solution to the surface and leave it for 30 minutes. For larger affected areas, make the solution in a bucket and splash it on the area.
- After 30 minutes, spray the solution away with a garden hose on the highest setting. Even the highest setting isn’t as destructive as a pressure washer, so don’t worry about removing window panes.
- Once dried, repeat the process even though the stain has gone. This is to ensure that there is no fungal regrowth. For long-term results, complete the same process once every two months.
Make-your-own bleach solutions are ideal for the toughest of mildew or mold problems and stains on vinyl siding. The key is to make sure the solution is weak enough to prevent damaging the surface and strong enough to ensure the job is done. This is also a good method for hard-to-reach stains.
To make your own bleach solution to clean vinyl siding, you will need:
- 1-gallon water
- 1-quart liquid laundry bleach (Almost 5 cups)
- ½ cup dishwashing detergent
- 1 cup powdered laundry detergent
- Garden sprayer
- Garden hose
Combine the liquids and powder together and add the solution to the garden sprayer. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the solution to soak into the stain.
Don’t leave it for too much longer, as the chemicals might start to affect the vinyl siding. Then, wash it off using a garden hose in the highest setting.
How To Keep Vinyl Siding Clean?
The key to cleaning vinyl siding is to prevent yourself from having to clean tough stains in the future. You will inevitably have to commit to cleaning your vinyl siding throughout the year, but here are our tips on how to keep the vinyl siding clean for longer!
- Keep the area clear from landscaping and objects that are likely to cause stains. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but limiting the contact between plants and the surface will keep your vinyl siding cleaner for longer.
- Commit to spraying your vinyl siding regularly with a garden hose.
- Keep hot objects away from the vinyl siding surface such as grills. Not only do grills cause backsplashes of oil and grease, but the oil build-up can lead to fungus growth.
So, there you have it! Turns out, it’s pretty easy to clean vinyl siding. As long as you commit to cleaning your vinyl siding regularly, you can maintain the cleanliness and quality of the surface for many years to come.