Aluminum Windows | Vinyl Windows | Building Products

Vancouver IslandSunshine CoastPowell River
header photo

How to Clean Vinyl Siding and Other Vinyl Siding Questions

Make Your Vinyl Siding Look as Good as New

First created in the 1950s as a replacement for aluminum siding, vinyl siding has grown steadily in popularity due to its sheer quality and low maintenance. Not only is it cost-effective, but it can also be a long-lasting solution for modern home constructions and fresh renovations. However, it does require some routine care and cleaning. Washing your vinyl siding once a year is recommended, and is typically done after springtime due to the snow, ice and salt build-up. But as long as it’s a mild, sunny day you can get the job done anytime of the year.

How Does Vinyl Siding Build Up Dirt, Mold and Stains?

Generally, dirt and grime will accumulate over time, which is why cleaning it once a year is commonly acceptable. However, other factors to consider are stains from pollen, bird droppings, insect droppings, spider webs, and rust stains. If you live in a shady or damp area, you may have to clean mildew from your vinyl siding more often than in dryer areas. Insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers can potentially cause discoloration to your vinyl siding as well. Commonly used household maintenance products like caulking, driveway sealant, tar, motor oil and paint can all potentially damage your vinyl siding. Lastly, deck stains, grease or grease remover, chlorine bleach, and other corrosive solutions can cause damage too. This may seem like a big job, but with a simple cleaning schedule you can avoid any damage to your vinyl siding and keep it looking beautiful. 

Should You Brush or Pressure Wash?

The best way to clean your vinyl siding is to use a soft cloth, or an ordinary soft-bristled brush with a bucket. However, you can also use a garden hose with a spray bottle filled with vinyl siding cleaner that attaches directly to your hose. Another option is to use a pressure washer. While it’s much easier to use a pressure washer, some manufacturers advise against it or recommend using a limited amount of pressure. It should be noted that power washing could cause moisture intrusion, damage and discoloration to your vinyl siding. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on whether or not it’s suitable to pressure wash your vinyl siding. 

What Should You Use to Clean Vinyl Siding?

Simply using soap and water can be a viable solution if you don’t want to use a vinyl siding cleaner formula. It should be noted that you should avoid using hot water, and only use warm, soapy water. If you do use a vinyl siding cleaner, always follow instructions with how much water to use in order to dilute the solution correctly. Some solutions instruct you to wash the siding dry, while some instruct you to pre-rinse your home’s exterior.

Some great homemade vinyl siding cleaner recipes:

  • 70% water, 30% white vinegar can be a great all-purpose cleaner that will remove light mold and mildew stains.
  • For a stronger solution, mix together 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent, 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner, and one quart of liquid laundry bleach with one gallon of water.
  • If you are concerned about landscaping, try a solution made of one gallon of water and one cup of oxygen bleach. The oxygen bleach will clean the vinyl siding without harming your landscaping.

It should be noted that you should never mix bleach and ammonia together. Whatever product you do end up using, always follow instructions to keep yourself (and your vinyl siding) safe. 

How to Clean Vinyl Siding

  • If you decide to use a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush, apply the cleaning solution to your cloth or brush, and scrub the full length of each lap. Start from the bottom and work your way up to avoid any potential streaking. Remember to thoroughly rinse away any residue as you get the job done. Be sure to avoid using hard pressure when scrubbing your vinyl siding, as it may cause cracking or sections to come free. 
  • For convenience, you may choose to use a garden hose with a spray bottle filled with cleaner attached to the hose. A huge benefit of using this method is that you probably won’t have to climb up a ladder due to the added water pressure. Simply fasten the spray bottle attachment to your hose and follow the directions provided.
  • While it is not always recommended, if you decide to pressure wash your vinyl siding it’s best to aim at a 90-degree angle to avoid pushing water behind the siding. Be careful around windows, doors and plumbing connections. 

What Products Should You Avoid When Cleaning Vinyl Siding?

Products that can damage your vinyl siding’s surface include organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, paint remover, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover, and furniture polish or cleaners. Always avoid using highly abrasive scrubbers like steel wool.

Vinyl Siding Cleaning, Done Easy

Another great tip is typically plants don’t like vinyl siding cleaning solutions. You can avoid this entirely by covering your shrubs, bushes and flowers with a tarp. Another option is to water your garden ahead of time, because pre-saturated soil prevents the cleaner from soaking into your plants. 

If cleaning isn’t doing the trick and your vinyl siding is in need of replacement, feel free to contact our team of professionals at Modern Windows. Our variety of vinyl siding styles, textures, and colors will be sure to suit your house exterior needs. Phone or email us today for a no-obligation quote about our vinyl siding, and so much more!

Go Back


      Better Mousetrap