Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Cleaning vinyl siding is one of the most asked questions we get.  One of the big reasons why people buy vinyl siding is to reduce the amount of maintenance that needs to be done. 

But, like all things that are exposed to wind, rain, dirt, snow, pollen and greasy kids' hands, it needs to be cleaned when it gets dirty.  Just like your car.

Vinyl siding is no exception. Dirt, grease and grime, weather and wind will deposit a film on any surface, including vinyl siding. This film must be washed periodically to keep your siding looking like new.


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Cleaning vinyl siding is necessary, and should be done at least once a year. Good news is that it is much easier to wash down than painting it!


Cleaning vinyl siding is easy


Cleaning Vinyl Siding by Hand

So, how to clean vinyl siding by hand, and make my house look nice, fresh, and clean?  You can always resort to hand washing, and that is the best method. But that is a lot of work. There may be better and more efficient ways to clean.  If it is a large house rent a pressure washer.

All it takes is a little elbow grease

Vinyl siding cleaning is recommended by all manufacturers. Most recommend that you hose the house down several times a year to prevent dirt and grime buildup.

Washing the siding down with a hose is great, but every year or so you will need to scrub down the siding to maintain that fresh look. Good news is that it is much easier than painting and much less expensive. 

Cleaning vinyl siding is not that hard to do. It's just like washing a large RV.  RV's must be washed when they get dirty and so does your house.

Just use soapy water and a long-handled brush, scrub lightly then rinse the soap off. Have the kids come outside and help, and make a fun family day out of it. 



Using Pressure Washers to Clean Vinyl Siding

Using a pressure washer to clean vinyl siding is the easiest and less time consuming way to clean the house.

Rent a pressure washer!

Some people just go to Home Depot and rent a pressure washer for a day. If your vinyl siding is really dirty the pressure washer is easier than hand scrubbing.

Pressure washers can shoot a stream of water strong enough to get water underneath and behind the vinyl siding. This is not a good thing. Care must be taken when using a pressure washer.

Vinyl siding is not watertight so you must avoid spraying the water up and under the vinyl siding.



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Watch some good video's on how to clean vinyl siding, and how to pressure wash vinyl siding and some of the products to use  Click Here   Video's on How to Clean Vinyl Siding



Vinyl siding is the number one selling siding in the U.S. and cleaning vinyl siding is one of the most asked questions about it. Cleaning vinyl siding is easy and simple and should become a regular yearly project to keep your investment looking top notch.

Even though vinyl siding is incredibly minimal maintenance, it has common problems found in all sidings, dirt, dust, grime that collects on anything left outdoors.

Since vinyl siding is non-porous, dirt and grime will stick to the outside surface of the siding and therefore needs to be cleaned often.

Cleaning your home's exterior will help you maintain curb appeal for years to come and protect your asset. And it is so simple to do.

 Most manufacturers recommend that you rinse off your siding with a simple garden hose at least once or twice a year to maintain the brand-new appearance.

First, plan to spend a half a day on some weekend, preferably a nice warm day. And don't forget to get the kids and wife involved too.


How to Clean Vinyl Siding

How to clean vinyl siding broken into short steps. Like washing your car it is a pain but it looks so much better when you get done.

Step One:

Gather your supplies for Vinyl Siding Cleaning

  • You will need a long-handled extension pole with a soft bristled brush attached. A brush used for cleaning RV's is a worthwhile investment and it will last for many years.
  • A garden hose. You can hook together several to make rinsing easier.
  • A big bucket. 
  • Short handled brush for hard to clean spots.
  • Laundry detergent like Tide or dish washing soap. You can get specially vinyl siding cleaners from Walmart and Home Depot stores.
  • A radio, so you can listen to some music to make the job more enjoyable. 
  • House-hold laundry beach in case you have some mold areas.
  • Spray bottle of Mr. Clean or similar product for grease or smudges.

Step Two:

Prepare the exterior of the house. Walk around the house and remove any items leaning against the exterior walls such as bicycles, toys, unused lumber, trash cans, grills. Clean up all unsightly items, which is good housekeeping.

Cut back or trim any limbs or plants that touch the siding. Make sure that all windows and doors are closed. Remove screens from windows, they can be cleaned at the same time.

Don't forget to come back and clean all the windows while screens are out. Clean the windows after you clean the vinyl siding to avoid any soapy water from drying and streaking the siding. Rinse often.

The same long handled telescoping pole used with the brush attached can be used to clean the windows too. You can buy a squeegee attachment at Home Depot that fits on the extension pole.

Brush Home Depot

Go to Home Depot and buy a soft bristled brush that attaches to extension pole. 

Telescoping Pole

While you are at Home Depot buy a Long telescoping pole with screw attachment on on end lets you attach your brush, paint brush or window squeegee to it.

These are good investments because you can use them around the house to clean hard to reach areas and do windows.

Usually a ladder along with the 14' to 16' telescoping pole with brush attachment is enough to wash most single-story homes. If you have a two or more-story house, you should consider hiring a professional pressure washing company to do the cleaning. They will have the necessary ladders to reach the second story. 

You can find them in any Yellow Pages under pressure washing. When you call them just ask what they charge to clean vinyl siding on a two-story house. Shop around prices will vary considerably.

Using Common Household Clean Products

You can use common household cleaners to wash down the vinyl siding walls. 

Mix a solution of laundry detergent like Tide or Dawn in a large bucket.

Before washing with the soapy water, take the water hose and spray down the area to be washed. Just spraying the siding with the garden hose will remove a lot of dust and dirt.

Take the extension pole with the cleaning brush and dip the brush in the soapy water and start to gently scrub the vinyl siding in small areas at a time, say 10' x 10'. Rinse often. If the soapy water starts to dry it will spot and streak. Also start at the bottom of the house and work up.

This is to prevent the soapy water from running down the siding onto dirty areas and causing streaking. Wash an bottom area, rinse, wash the top area. Always rinse often. 

Windows:

While you are washing down the exterior walls, be sure to get the windows, window frames and panes. You already have the cleaning solution, and you are already out there. Kill two birds at once. Remember that the sun will cause the windows to streak if you don't rinse often and completely. 

Just work your way around the perimeter of the house, hosing down small sections at a time and then scrubbing and rinsing. You want to ensure that each section is clean and rinsed before you move on.

Scrub gently, be careful not to scratch the vinyl or pull it loose from the house. Doing a good thorough cleaning every year will make cleaning much easier with less scrubbing. Normally one scrubbing a year will be enough. 

Be careful with the garden hose. You need to be careful how you spray water on the vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is not nailed tightly against your house and is not waterproof. In fact, vinyl siding is 'hung' onto the house so that air can dry out any moisture that gets behind the siding.

You want to avoid spraying water up underneath the siding. Always hold the hose so that the water spray is pointed in a downward angle to allow the dirty water to run down the siding. 


NOTE:

Vinyl siding is resistant to mold and mildew. However, it still may succumb to them over time, especially if you have not cleaned the siding for several years. If you have some mold and mildew, you can add some liquid laundry bleach to the cleaning solution and gently scrub infected areas. Allow the bleach solution to work for a few minutes before rinsing.

Once you have a yearly cleaning cycle implemented mold and mildew should not be much of a problem again.


Products for Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Mr. Carpender says

Cleaning vinyl siding can be done with common household cleaning supplies.

Usually a ladder along with the 14' to 16' telescoping pole with brush attachment is enough to wash most single-story homes. If you have a two or more-story house, you should consider hiring a professional pressure washing company to do the cleaning. They will have the necessary ladders to reach the second story. 

You can find them in any Yellow Pages under pressure washing. When yo call them just ask what they charge to clean vinyl siding on a two-story house. Shop around prices will vary considerably.

Get the wife and kids out to help you. Make a family day out of it. It is unpleasant work so make the best out of it.

Once the house is nice and clean, you will be amazed how good it looks. A nice clean house looks great. It makes your house look like it is freshly painted. It will have better curb appeal and will certainly make your neighbors jealous.

Happy cleaning.

All About Siding Staff


You can buy vinyl siding cleaner at most big home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe's and Walmart.

These products are specially made for cleaning vinyl siding. You won't have to worry about chemicals that could hurt your siding.

Always read the labels to prevent damage to your siding. Always test a small area to make sure the products do not fad your colors.


Vinyl siding is resistant to mold and mildew. However, it still may succumb to them over time, especially if you have not cleaned the siding for several years. If you have some mold and mildew, youcan add some liquid laundry bleach to the cleaning solution and gently scrub infected areas. Allow the bleach solution to work for a few minutes before rinsing.

Once you have a yearly cleaning cycle implemented mold and mildew should not be much of a problem again.



Expert Chemical House Wash...    Home Depot  $18



TSP or Tri-Sodium Phosphate   

An alternative to using chlorine bleach to your water is a product called TSP. It is available in any home improvement store, Walmart and even paint stores. Be sure to follow all instructions on the package for best results. You can buy it most anywhere, Home Depot or Walmart.


Mold Armor House cleaner and mildew killer. Application method, hook to hose and spray.  56 oz.

Simple Green House and Siding Cleaner


Do it yourself vinyl siding cleaning.

How to clean with regular household cleaners.

You can clean your vinyl siding yourself.  All you need is a nice sunny afternoon, get the kids to help, and make your house look brand new.

Regular household cleaning products will do. 

Liquid dish soap: A mild liquid dish soap will remove dirt, dust, pollen, bird drippings and other debris from your siding.

Add a few tablespoons of mild dish washing soap to a bucket of warm water and wash your walls down just like you were washing your car.

Use a long-handled nylon soft bristled brush to apply the soapy water mixture to the walls. Gently scrub the walls and then rinse with the garden hose. Always wash small areas at a time and then rinse to prevent the soapy water from drying which will cause spots.

Common household cleaning products that will work just fine.

Here are some more common products you may have in the garage that you can use when cleaning vinyl siding. Most can be found in the local Home Depot or Lowe's stores. Walmart has many good products and good prices.


Trisodium Phosphate (TSP): Trisodium phosphate is a strong chemical cleaner you can get at Home Depot and Walmart. Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions to determine the amount of TSP to use.

Bleach:  Household bleach is a good strong chemical cleaner that is amazingly effective in removing most stains, mold, mildew, and even rust stains.

Vinegar: People love it and use it to clean everything. It will remove mold, bacteria, dirt and grim from vinyl siding and it is a great natural disinfectant. 



Preparation is Important When Cleaning your Vinyl Siding

Preparation is important when cleaning your vinyl siding.

Preparation is key to success.

Walk around your house and move all objects next to or close to the house, ie: trash cans, bicycles, grills and kids toys.  You must be able to walk around the house without interference.

Hook up the hose.  Take a large bucket and fill it with water. Add some cleaning product. Most people just bring out the dish washing soap or the Tide and make some soapy water. And that is perfectly fine.


Washing the grim off your siding will make the siding more vibrant, adding a great deal of curb appeal to your house, a mini-face lift. Go gather up all the stuff you need before you start.

Items you will need:

  • Water hose,
  • Ladder,
  • Bucket,
  • Scrub brush or two,
  • Long-handle or telescoping pole,
  • Soft bristle brush that attaches to the long-handled pole,
  • House Cleaning Product
  • Radio, to put some music on while you are working.


The basic idea is to wash the dirt, grit and grim off your vinyl siding. Just like washing the car.


Helpful How to Tips Cleaning vinyl siding

Important Things to Consider: Be careful with older homes.

Today's stronger soaps and house-hold cleaners could be too harsh for older vinyl siding. Strong cleaning products could fade or damage your siding.

Newer vinyl siding is stronger and more durable than the siding from the 1960's -1970's. When buying cleaning products be sure to read the label for instructions.

We suggest that you test a small area of siding before you clean the whole house to see if there is any bleaching of the color or other problems.

Be careful with older homes


Older homes need tender loving care.

If your house has vinyl siding that is 30 to 40+ years old, you may have to take some extra precautions when cleaning the vinyl siding.


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We used Simple Green Cleaner, from Home Depot for several years and it works just fine. 
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Yearly maintenance is essential to keep vinyl siding looking new and fresh, or make old vinyl siding look better. A nice clean house just looks nicer. …

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Mr. Contractor says

More Articles on how to clean vinyl siding

Specific instructions on cleaning vinyl siding from Pro's.    

https://www.vinylsiding.org/vsi-resources/cleaning-and-maintenance/

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