How to Clean Vinyl Siding

How to Clean Vinyl Siding

For years, vinyl siding has been the most popular siding material on new homes. Thousands of homeowners throughout the country with older homes are replacing their siding with vinyl.

Vinyl is a nearly maintenance-free material that can resist damage from the beating sun, rain, wind, and pests. Plus, it can be energy efficient.

But even vinyl gets a little dirty sometimes. After a spring with a lot of pollen or a summer where a lot of dirt was blown around, your siding may need a wash.

dirty vinyl siding

Power Washers: Yes or No?

A lot of people say that you can just rent a power washer and spray down your house, but that’s a contested point in the siding world.

If the pressure is too high on a power washer, you can damage your siding. And if you hold it at the wrong angle, you can drive water behind the panel. That makes your home vulnerable to nasty problems like mold.

Although some siding manufacturers say you can use a power washer, the safest bet is to stay away.

(If you’re set on using one, keep the pressure low and only point the water straight at or down towards the siding. Standing on the ground and pointing up can drive water behind the panels. But we still recommend not doing it.)

Safety First

Before getting started, make sure you can clean your siding safely.

If you have a multi-story home that requires standing on a ladder, try not to do this by yourself. It’s always a good idea to have someone standing by to spot you.

Here are some safety tips from the American Ladder Institute to help you stay safe.

Wipe Down Your Vinyl Siding

Now, to start cleaning, you’ll need a simple cleaning solution and a long-handled, soft bristle brush.

To make your cleaning solution, mix water with some basic soap, like dish soap or laundry detergent.

bucket filled with soap and water

A note here: if you have a garden close to your home, be careful. Basic soap shouldn’t hurt your plants, but if you’re unsure, put a little bit of the soapy water on a small test patch of your garden before going through with your project.

Then you just grab your brush and get scrubbing. Work your way from the bottom of the house to the top.

Rinse with Care

Before any section of the soapy solution dries, rinse it from top to bottom with the basic sprayer on your hose.

Again, don’t forcefully spray up at the siding.

hose spraying to clean vinyl siding

Handling Stains

If you periodically clean your siding using this gentle technique, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, if you let your siding stay dirty for a prolonged amount of time or let it get hit with something intense, you may have a stain.

While mildew won’t grow on vinyl siding because it resists moisture buildup, mildew can grow on the dirt or other particles stuck to your siding. So, if you haven’t cleaned your siding in a while, you could have some mildew on the dirt.

But don’t worry—there’s a simple way to clean this buildup.

A common solution to remove mildew is 70% water and 30% white vinegar. Spray it on the mildew and let it sit for a little while, then scrub it off using a gentle cloth or a soft bristle brush.

Gently rinse as usual. If any dirt is left behind, use the soapy water approach.

Other staining is uncommon, but if you notice something, consult your manufacturer for advice on how to clean it.

Clean vinyl siding

Sparkling Clean

Compared to other siding materials, vinyl siding requires virtually no maintenance. This light cleaning routine shouldn’t take you long at all.

If you do it occasionally, you can keep your siding in great shape. But if your siding isn’t in great shape and you want to replace it, contact us.

We’d be happy to answer your questions and provide you with any help you need.


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