How do I clean vinyl siding?

Although vinyl siding is one of the most durable cladding materials on the market today, it will, at times, require the occasional cleaning as would any other product exposed to environmental conditions.

When you feel it’s time for your vinyl siding to be cleaned, there are a few simple cleaning procedures which should be scheduled yearly or as often as you feel necessary. Your chosen cleaning solution should be applied gently to the vinyl sidings surface with a soft rag, sponge, or soft bristle brush. A sturdy telescopic car washing brush, or extension pole is perfect for this application. DO NOT scrub vigorously as you risk creating glossy spotting of the satin finish of the vinyl siding. In order to prevent streaking, I recommend you start at the bottom of the wall and work towards the top, making sure to rinse frequently along the way with fresh water from your garden hose.

  1. Quick & Easy - Best for light surface dust,soil or stains resulting from wind blown particulates, tree resin, gardening chemicals, etc., using a non-abrasive household laundry detergent such as Tide: Mix 1/3 cup of detergent per gallon of water.
  2. Tougher Stains - When presented with stubborn stains and atmospheric dirt, using the following mixture should do the job: Mix 1/3 cup of laundry detergent, 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (see link), per gallon of water.
  3. Mold & Mildew - In some areas, mildew can be a problem. It is recognized by black spotting and is most often found in areas unexposed to rain, such as under eaves, patios, and enclosed porches. Mold and mildew are easily removed by using the mixture for Tougher Stains by adding in sodium hypochlorite: Mix 1/3 cup of laundry detergent, 2/3 cup of trisodium phosphate, 1 liter sodium hypochlorite 5% solution, and 3 liters of water.
  4. Grease & Tar - Apply mineral spirits sparingly, directly to the affected area. Rinse immediately with clean water.

A word of caution: DO NOT exceed the recommended concentrations of cleaners. Doing so may cause damage to your vinyl siding. When using ANY cleaning solution on your vinyl siding, it’s best to test it first on a small and inconspicuous area of your home prior to proceeding to wash your vinyl siding in order to ensure no negative reaction occurs on a larger and more visible area of your home.