Keeping up the appearance of a perfect house and home can be exhausting. Mowing the lawn, washing windows, replacing broken or missing shingles, clearing out eavestroughs, repaving cracked driveways – your list of chores is already endless without adding “clean vinyl siding” to the mix.
Easy to maintain and easy to repair, it’s easy to see why vinyl siding has been the number one choice in exterior finishes for homeowners since the 1990s. Virtually scratch and chip resistant, all you really have to do is install and enjoy. Once in awhile, though, your vinyl siding would benefit from good cleaning to keep it looking as new for years to come.
A Simple Garden Hose
Sometimes all your siding needs to look as good as the day it was installed is a simple rinse from a garden hose fitted with a spray nozzle. Always keep the nozzle moving and try to spray in the direction of the overlapped joints to prevent water seeping in behind.
A Soft Bristled Brush & Elbow Grease
Though relatively time consuming, one of the best ways to get your vinyl siding shining like new is with a soft cloth or soft-bristle brush and a mild cleaning solution designed for exterior vinyl.
You can DIY your own with a solution of 2:1 water and white vinegar – the universally green all-purpose cleaner that works as well indoors as it does out. Or a gallon of water with a cup of oxygen bleach will clean vinyl without damaging landscaping.
For tougher dirt and stains created by soil, grease, oil, rust, or even crayon, ink and bubble gum, the general household cleaners you might already have on hand (like Murphy’s Oil Soap, Windex, or Lysol) should do the trick.
Tip: Start at the bottom and work your way up, rinsing clean of solution as you go.
Steer clear of highly-abrasive scrubbers or steel wool, along with organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, and liquid grease remover, as these products can cause damage to the vinyl’s surface.
Quick and effective, pressure washers are a great way to clean your vinyl siding, though at the homeowners own risk as some manufacturers advise against using for this particular application, while others simply recommend a cap on the amount of pressure.
When using a pressure washer to clean your vinyl siding, keep the stream at eye level, and don’t angle the stream, which can push water behind the siding. Also, take care when cleaning around openings like windows, doors, and other plumbing connections.
Don’t use cleaning products that contain organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover or furniture polish or cleaners.