How to Clean Wood Siding

Wood siding has a natural and classic beauty that is timeless. While many types of wood siding such as clapboard, rectangular planking and plywood are factory treated to protect against common wood siding issues like rotting or cracking, cleaning it every once in a while will help keep its enduring appeal.

Pre-Cleaning Checklist

  1. Because you will be spraying water around in order to clean wood siding, make sure you close all windows and doors before you begin.
  2. Shut off the power to any outdoor outlets or cover them with plastic secured by duct tape.
  3. Remove items from around your home such as outdoor furniture, sports equipment, etc. that might be in the way.
  4. Protect any landscaping that will be harmed by a soap and/or bleach solution.
  5. Inspect wood siding for mold. If there is, plan to add bleach to your pail of soapy water. Avoid using chlorine bleach since it can discolour wood siding – use oxygen bleach instead, which will not damage the surface of the wood.

Cleaning Wood Siding

  1. Wash wood siding in small sections and work from the roof line downwards.
  2. Hose down the area first to loosen surface dirt and grime.
  3. Fill a pail with a mild dish or laundry detergent.
  4. Use a sponge or a soft bristle brush to apply the soapy water, scrubbing until all dirt and debris has been removed. If you have to clean mold from your siding, it might take several applications of the soap/bleach solution before it has be completely wiped out.
  5. When cleaning wood siding next to doorframes and windows, take care to scrub thoroughly to remove grime that has been imbedded in the wood by the elements.
  6. Rinse away soap residue with a hose. If you need to use a pressure washer, select a low psi setting to avoid potentially cracking the wood siding.