Your home is a significant investment, and while your siding is meant to protect and beautify that investment, maintaining it can be challenging and may leave you wondering how to clean vinyl siding.
For most people, cleaning your siding can be as simple as mixing a little cleaning solution and spraying it down the sides of your home. In other cases, particularly when there is significant soiling, a more intensive cleaning may be required. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your vinyl siding looking its best.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding
It is recommended to clean vinyl siding with a soft cloth, or alternately, a soft-bristled brush with a long handle can be used to get higher areas. If your siding has a texture such as faux wood grain, the cloth or brush should be worked along those grain textures to ensure they stay clean.
Most cleaning methods recommend starting at the bottom, cleaning as much as can be comfortably reached, and rinsing thoroughly before moving up. This ensures that you are not allowing the cleaning solution to run down and sit on the siding, potentially drying and damaging the surface. Also, if you have brick facing, or a brick or stone foundation, be sure you cover it to help avoid damage or discoloration from the runoff.
One of the best tips on how to clean vinyl siding is to use a pressure washer. While this is generally best left to professionals, homeowners can effectively clean their siding if the pressure is correctly controlled.
Be sure you hold the nozzle at least 12”-18” away from the siding so as not to damage it, and always point the nozzle straight at the siding, or at a slight downward angle. The reason for this is that if aimed at even a slight upward angle, you run the risk of pushing water up and behind the siding. This can lead to rot and premature siding failure.
Common Vinyl Siding Cleaning Solutions
- The most common all-purpose solution for cleaning vinyl siding is simply 2 parts warm water to 1 part ordinary white vinegar. This will clean light soiling, as well as light mildew and mold stains.
- For homes with delicate surrounding landscaping, a gallon of water mixed with a common oxygen cleaner like Oxyclean will help clean without damage to landscaping
- For heavier cleaning jobs, ⅓ cup of powdered laundry soap, ⅔ cup powdered general household cleanser, and a gallon of water can work well.
- Heavier cleaning jobs that need a non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaner can use the siding formulation from Simple Green, just be sure to follow dilution instructions.
- For spot cleaning, particularly near soil or grass level and anywhere that there may be rust, gum, grease, and even crayons from the kids, household cleaners like Windex and Fantastik can be used sparingly.
What Not To Use
- Do not use any cleaning solutions that contain solvents or liquid grease removers. These can discolor, soften, and even begin to dissolve your vinyl siding.
- Do not use chlorine bleach without significant dilution. Chlorine can cause irreparable damage to the look and function of your siding.
- Do not use any other household chemicals such as alcohol, nail polish remover, or furniture cleaners or polish.
- Do not use any materials that are overly abrasive, like wire brushes, steel wool, or highly-abrasive synthetic bristles.
For Vinyl Siding Service From Trusted Local Professionals
Siding maintenance and service can be complicated and time-consuming, as well as costly if not done correctly. If you’re still wondering how to clean vinyl siding, or if you have other questions about protecting the exterior of your home, contact your local experts today.