Cleaning your home’s vinyl siding every few months will keep it looking great and help it last longer. Removing dirt and stains, insects, and lawn care chemicals will prevent discoloration and protect your siding’s finish. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to clean vinyl siding, and it doesn’t require any special tools or chemicals.
Although vinyl is low-maintenance and durable, keep in mind it can be damaged by harsh cleaning products like bleach that’s not diluted, organic solvents, grease removing chemicals, or abrasive scrubbers like steel wool. Note: Check the manufacturer’s guidelines before using any cleaning products on your vinyl siding. Be sure to test your solution on an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.
Use a brush or cloth – The Vinyl Siding Institute recommends using a soft-bristled brush with a long handle or a soft cloth to scrub your siding. Work from the bottom of the house up to the roof to prevent streaks, and rinse as you go.
Use a pressure washer – Although pressure washers are effective at cleaning vinyl siding, using them requires extra care to avoid damaging the siding or getting water behind the seams where it can cause mold or mildew. Some manufacturer’s recommend using low pressure, or avoiding the use of a pressure washer completely. If you choose to pressure wash your siding, keep the water at eye level make sure it’s aimed straight at the wall instead of at an angle.
You can make a basic cleaning solution for getting rid of mold or mildew stains by mixing 3 cups of vinegar for every 7 cups of water. For more cleaning power, mix a gallon of water with a quart of liquid bleach, 1/3 cup of powdered laundry soap, and 2/3 cup of a powdered household cleanser. For a landscaping-friendly alternative, just add a cup of oxygen bleach to a gallon of water. Simple Green makes a vinyl siding cleaner that can be used with scrub brushes or pressure washers, and is non-toxic, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly.
For really tough stains like grass, oil, ink, grease, crayon, or bubble gum, us an all-purpose household cleaner like Windex, Lysol, or Murphy’s Oil Soap. For rust stains, use a rust remover.
Remember to rinse the cleaning solution off your siding completely as you clean.