How to Clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is a popular siding material for many reasons, including its attractive appearance, durability and cost-effectiveness. It is also easy to maintain. But as with anything associated with your home, your vinyl siding will need to be cleaned every so often to keep it looking as new as when it was first installed.

Before You Begin

To clean vinyl siding, begin by doing a little prep work first. Since you will be using soapy water and spraying water from a hose, close all windows and doors. Turn off the power to any outdoor outlets you will be working near. If you are unable to cut the power, use plastic and duct tape to cover the outlets. Remove any patio furniture, etc. that will be in your way or in the spray zone. Cover any plants, trees or shrubs that will be affected by soapy runoff.

To Clean Vinyl Siding

Hose down the area; this will help loosen surface dirt and debris that will come off without any scrubbing. Apply soapy water with a sponge or a soft-bristle brush; work in small circles to avoid missing spots. Using the hose, rinse the section of vinyl siding until it’s free of soap residue. It’s best to work in sections; this will prevent areas from drying too quickly. Use a pressure washer with discretion and always use it on a low setting. Since vinyl siding is prone to cracking and flaking as it ages, pressure washing might damage it beyond repair.

More Cleaning Pointers

When spraying water onto vinyl siding, always work from the top down. Keep the hose pointed downwards; this will help prevent water from getting into roof rafters or behind the siding where moisture can be trapped and encourage the growth of mold or mildew.

If a clump of dirt doesn’t come clean with some hard scrubbing, it might be mold. Pour a drop of bleach onto the area – if the “dirt” turns white, it’s mold. To clean areas of vinyl siding affected by mold, use a solution of 1 part bleach to 5 parts soapy water.

To thoroughly clean the vinyl siding around windows, position the hose’s nozzle at an angle to direct spraying water away from the glass.