Looking to clean vinyl siding? There are lots of pros to having this material on the outskirts of your home's exterior. It's inexpensive, easy to install, doesn't require painting – with no risk of stripping either as the color is baked in and 100 percent homogenous — and finally, it's easy to maintain.
You can clean vinyl siding with just a couple of household ingredients like dish soap and water. Or, for a more thorough clean, turn to bleach and for a more natural clean, some even choose vinegar.
We spoke to an expert who guided us through three ways to maintain vinyl siding, plus products to avoid.
Clean vinyl siding without a pressure washer
Whether you have colored or wood imitation vinyl siding installed, its smooth surface means that it shouldn't get that dirty or stained in the first place. It's worth cleaning yours when it needs it anyhow. And, only a little scrubbing will be required.
We spoke to Gregg Hicks, Vice President of Modernize on the problems you can face with vinyl siding. "Over time and through repeated changes in weather, vinyl siding can attract and develop mold or mildew spots — especially in north-facing and shaded areas,"
Store-bought cleaners such as Windex [available at Amazon] will usually do the job for these kinds of stubborn spots, but if you want to make your own chemical-free solution, you can use white vinegar [buy in bulk from Heinz on Amazon] and water."
Gregg Hicks serves Modernize Home Services as the business’s Vice President of Performance Marketing, strategic business leader, and brand spokesperson. Gregg has built a career dedicated to innovating the way home improvement companies build positive connections with more homeowners, and evolve their brand experience. As the brand spokesperson for Modernize, he plays a pivotal role in communicating the value of thoughtful matchmaking between homeowners and home improvement professionals that forges positive and productive connections between the parties. Gregg holds a BA in Marketing Management with an emphasis in Communications from Hartwick College.
How to clean vinyl siding with dish soap
You will need:
Apply the solution to the siding with a soft-bristled, clean brush and starting from the bottom up, scrubbing the entire length of each section.
Hicks says "For best results, use a washable cloth [like these from Elinee at Amazon] or soft-bristled brush and start from the bottom so your cleaning supplies don’t leave streaks or drip off the side of the house. When you reach the end of each lap, hose it down before it dries naturally as this will help stop it streaking."
How to clean vinyl siding with vinegar
Cleaning with vinegar is a safe and effective way to help lift stains out of vinyl siding. Mix three parts water with two parts white vinegar and apply this with a sponge (like this large one from Carrand at Amazon) to scrub off mold and mildew.
How to clean vinyl siding with bleach
If natural cleaning agents aren't cutting through the stains, you can mix one cup bleach (Clorox is popular on Amazon) with a gallon of water and use this as your cleaning agent.
Hicks recommends, "If neither of these options works, make your own concoction from other commonly found household cleaners."
You will need:
"For best results, use a cloth or soft-bristled brush and start from the bottom so your cleaning solution doesn’t leave streaks or drip off the side of the house," says Gregg.
"Ensure you wear gloves [like these Mr.Clean pair on Amazon] when handling bleach and other strong cleaning detergents."
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Is it OK to power wash vinyl siding?
There are mixed reviews but most vinyl siding manufacturers don't recommend it as too much pressure can damage the material, and water is more likely to penetrate behind the siding which could lead to serious damp issues.
If you want to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer, ensure it's on the lowest option possible and use it at eye level rather than on a slant which could propel water behind the siding leading to damp and rot issues later down the line. And, even if you do use a garden hose, go carefully around windows, doors, dryer vents, and more openings so that water doesn't go where it shouldn't.
What not to do when cleaning vinyl siding
Firstly, avoid using undiluted and un-targeted products. Organic solvents or undiluted chlorine bleach, and furniture polishers can damage the surface so best be avoided. Abrasive scrubbers (such as steel wool) can also scratch and cause damage.