How Do You Clean Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl is among the most versatile, durable and resilient building materials, but it does require a certain amount of routine cleaning to remove dirt and grime. In humid places, vinyl is also vulnerable to mold and mildew, which should be removed as well. In many cases, the siding manufacturer provides cleaning instructions, but if they are not available or you are unsure of what brand of vinyl was used on the wall, you can use any of the procedures outlined below to clean up vinyl siding.

Pre-cleaning steps

Since you are probably going to spraying cleaning agent and water all around your house, there are a few things you should do to protect items in and around your house.

* Close all doors and windows

* Turn off the main power if you have any outside electrical units such as outlets, lights, etc.

* Cover all etched glass or metal that could get damaged by the cleaning solution

* Remove all articles that may come in your way such as toys and outdoor furniture.

* Check round the siding for any mold or mildew. If you are not sure whether it is mold or not, simply place a drop of bleach on it. It will turn white if it is mold otherwise it wile main dark.

How do you clean vinyl siding?

1. Using a pressure washer

In many cases using a garden hose tipped with a pressure washer or a spray nozzle set on a medium pattern is often enough to remove all dirt and grime. When using a pressure washer to clean vinyl siding:

* Start washing from the bottom of the wall as you work your way up slowly, then rinse the wall from the top, working your way down.

* Make sure that you set a spray pattern that is wide enough to prevent siding from getting damaged and always keep the washer's nozzle moving.

* Water should not be allowed to run behind the siding, so spray it down on the siding or ideally, in the direction of overlapped joints, if any.

2. Using a cleaning solution for vinyl siding

In some cases, the vinyl siding may require some additional cleaning. If so, you can add a cleaning solution to the water before using the pressure washer, or prepare the following mix in a bucket before using it to clean the vinyl by hand.

* 1 gallon of water

* 1/3 cup of powdered laundry agent

* 2/3 cut of trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner.

With the mix ready, dip a soft bristled, long handed car cleaning brush into the solution, then use it to scrub the siding gently. Start form the bottom and work your way up. Follow this up by using a pressure washer or ordinary garden hose to rinse off the solution, this time starting from the top and work your way down.

3. Removing mold & mildew

It is not uncommon for mold and mildew to form on vinyl, especially in wet climates. Using a commercial mold & mildew remover is the most common way of cleaning the vinyl in such cases, but you can also use bleach to treat the mold & mildew on the vinyl by adding a single quart of bleach to every gallon of cleaning solution. After this:

* If there are garden plants next to the house, wet them down, remove or use a plastic sheet to cover them so as to prevent them from getting damaged by the bleach. Plants can easily get damaged from overheating if left covered with plastic sheeting for long, so ensure that you remove the sheeting as soon as you are through.

* Use a pump sprayer to wet down the siding using diluted cleaning solution/bleach. Ensure that you work you way from the bottom to the top.

* Leave the bleaching solution on the wall for ten or more minutes.

* Scrub the siding from the top to the bottom with a soft bristled long handled brush.

* Use a garden hose to rinse the diluted bleach solution of the siding starting from the top to bottom


When working with chemical cleaners like bleach and TSP, ensure that you wear gloves, long pants, long sleeved shirt and goggles. Follow the instructions provided on the cleaning products carefully and avoid mixing bleach with other cleaners that contain vinegar, ammonia or any other cleaner since the chemical reaction can release dangerous chlorine gas.

Blog Archive

© SMA Exteriors & Restoration Inc. 2019 Powered by: Avallo, Custom CMS