Vinyl siding is a durable, versatile, and relatively low-maintenance building material. This is one of the reasons it is so popular today. In fact, reports from the U.S. Census Bureau statistics show this siding type has been the leading exterior cladding in the country since 1995. Like any exterior building product, however, vinyl siding can accumulate its fair share of dirt, grime, and stains from pollen, bird and insect droppings, rust stains, and spider webs. So every now and then, your vinyl siding will require some routine care and cleaning.
Thankfully, cleaning vinyl siding is fairly easy and there are several products available to make the job even easier. Bradford Xteriors, a leading siding and roofing company, discusses how to clean vinyl siding the right way and keep it in good condition for years to come.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding
The Vinyl Siding Institute states that the best way is to use a soft cloth or a long-handled, soft-bristle brush. Start at the bottom and work your way towards the top of the house and thoroughly rinse away any residue as you go to prevent streaking. If you’re using a pressure washer, make sure to use only a limited amount of pressure and spread out the spray as too much force applied to one spot can cause the siding to crack. Keep the nozzle moving and the stream at eye level, working in the direction of joints so the water doesn’t seep behind or between the siding pieces.
When using bleach or chemical cleaners, remember to wear protective clothing, including a face mask with solid eye protection.
What Not to Do: As siding installation and maintenance experts, we often advise against using any vinyl siding cleaners that contain organic solvents like undiluted chlorine bleach, grease removers, nail polish remover, or furniture polish, as they might damage the vinyl siding’s surface.
Homemade DIY Vinyl Siding Cleaners
Here are some cleaning agents to consider for cleaning your vinyl siding:
Homemade Vinyl Siding Cleaner Recipe
- 1/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent
- 1-gallon water
For best results, consider using hot water, especially when you’re using a brush or cloth to clean the siding surface. Brush the mixture onto stubborn stains and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off. When using a hose or pressure washer, apply the DIY vinyl cleaner from bottom to top, then rinse off a few minutes later from the top down.
Homemade Mold Cleaner for Siding
While there are commercial mold and mildew cleaners on the market, you can easily get the same results with this bleach-based solution. The best part is that it does the job without too much scrubbing. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 gallon water
- 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent
- 1 quart household chlorine bleach
Simply apply the solution liberally on stained areas, especially in cracks and crevices where mold and mildew are most rampant, and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing. Depending on the extensiveness of the mold or mildew growth, you may need a second application. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and do not let the solution dry on the siding.
Cleaning Vinyl Siding With a White Vinegar and Water Solution
This is another way to clean your vinyl siding without a pressure washer. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 1/2 cups vinegar
- 1/2 gallon of water
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water to form a paste
- Baking Soda Paste
- ½ cup baking soda
Apply the solution with a long-handled scrub brush from top to bottom, then dip a small scrub brush in the baking soda paste and use it to clean out the heavily stained areas. The baking soda acts as an abrasive to remove tough dirt and stains. Remember to work quickly, though, and rinse off the solution before it dries to avoid streaking.
Clove Oil for Killing Mold Spores
In some cases, mold can prove really tough to clean off even with the use of bleach or vinegar. Not to worry; this environmentally friendly method effectively kills the mold spores, making it easier to wash them away. The Clove Oil Mixture Recipe is composed of:
- 2 quarts of water
- ½ teaspoon of clove oil
This method uses only a tiny amount of clove oil, but it is powerful and can even be used on moldy lawn furniture and cushions. This clove oil mixture needs time to work, so spray it onto the mold spots and leave overnight for best results. Rinse the area thoroughly the next day and use a detergent-based cleaner to scrub the spot.
With just a little bit of time and effort, you can keep your vinyl siding looking like new and enjoy many years of trouble-free protection for your home.
Need Professional Siding Help? Talk To The Experts Today!
With over a decade of industry experience, the experts of Bradford Xteriors are here to help you with all your siding concerns. From siding installation and repairs, to maintenance programs, we’ve got you covered. We are also the roofer you can call to repair or replace your roof. Get started on your project today with a FREE estimate by calling (614) 328-8188 or by filling out our contact form. We work with homeowners in Upper Arlington, Columbus, Dublin, and the surrounding Ohio communities.