Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding requires much less maintenance than wood siding, and although vinyl siding is easy to care for, vinyl siding still requires annual cleaning if you want your vinyl siding to look as good as possible. Vinyl siding naturally becomes dirty from wind, rain, birds, and sometimes mold. Cleaning your vinyl siding annually will keep it looking bright and as clean as the day it was new. Take the time to clean the vinyl siding on your home and your vinyl siding will appear like new for many years to come.

The following information provides tips and suggestions for cleaning vinyl siding. You’ll also find valuable tips and suggestions for removing specific stains on vinyl siding. Cleaning vinyl siding is inexpensive, and well worth the effort. Keeping your vinyl siding clean will help preserve its beauty, and cleaning your vinyl siding annually will help your home increase in value and appeal year after year.

General Cleaning

For vinyl siding that isn’t exceptionally dirty, the best vinyl siding cleaning solution is a simple mixture of mild liquid soap and water. Dishwashing liquid is the best type of soap to use because it isn’t harsh, it contains degreaser, and it won’t harm plants, bushes, or wildlife. Simply put about 1/8 cup of mild dishwashing liquid in a three-gallon bucket, and fill the bucket with warm water. Use more or less dishwashing detergent depending on the hardness of your water.

A single story vinyl-sided home is very easy to clean because in most cases, all of the vinyl siding can be easily reached from the ground. First rinse your vinyl siding using a garden hose attached to a nozzle, and scrub it with a long-handled soft brush. Long-handled brushes designed for washing cars or trucks are perfect for cleaning vinyl siding because they are soft and won’t scratch. Begin soaking the brush and scrubbing your vinyl siding from the bottom up. Doing so will help keep the vinyl siding from soaking up less soap, thus preventing streaking. Completely scrub one section of vinyl siding at a time, and rinse each section before moving onto the next.

If your home is more than a single story, unless you don’t have a fear of ladders or heights, you won’t be able to easily scrub the entire house. A high-pressure washer comes is very handy for cleaning upper story vinyl siding, but avoid cleaning your vinyl siding with too much pressure. Too much water pressure can cause water to get behind the siding or cause damage, but when used properly, a high-pressure washer can be very helpful. Consider buying or renting a high-pressure washer. This handy household tool will pay for itself the first time you use it to clean your vinyl siding.

Precautions

Before using the following tips and suggestions for cleaning specific stains from your vinyl siding, take the following precautions. Before using stain removing chemicals, always put on rubber gloves to protect your skin from chemical burns and irritation, and wear eye goggles. Those who have been inadvertently splashed with stain removing chemicals that took the time to wear protective gear realize how important it is to protect the eyes and skin. Take the time to protect yourself before using the following tips and suggestions for removing stains from your vinyl siding.

Green Copper Stains

If you discover green copper stains on your vinyl siding, don’t panic. Green copper stains can be removed easily and completely with a solution of oxalic acid and hot water. Oxalic acid granules can be found at most hardware stores and home centers. Simply mix about 3/4 of a pound of oxalic acid granules with a gallon of hot water. While wearing rubber gloves, simply apply the stain removal solution to a clean sponge, let it sit on the green copper stain for about five minutes, and scrub it with a non-abrasive cleaning cloth or sponge. Kitchen or bathroom sponges that are said not to scratch are perfect for removing stains from vinyl siding. If the green copper stain doesn’t come off your vinyl siding after the first attempt, repeat the process until it’s gone or at least sufficiently lighter.

Rust Stains

Rust stains are a constant problem for those with hard water having a high iron content. It’s almost impossible to water plants, bushes, and flowers without splashing the vinyl siding. If your vinyl siding has become stained with ugly orange, yellow, and brown rust stains there is hope. Super Iron Out® and Rust Out® do a fabulous job of removing rust stains from vinyl siding. Simply follow product label instructions and the rust on your vinyl siding will disappear. Avoid future rust stains by watering bushes, flowers, and plants with soaker hoses. This will prevent future rust stains on your vinyl siding.

Mold Stains

Mold stains on vinyl siding will disappear like magic when cleaned with a solution of bleach and water. Only add as much bleach as is necessary to remove stains, and be sure to cover plants and bushes with plastic before cleaning mold stains with bleach. If you’re unsure if the stains on your vinyl siding are in fact mold, put a small amount of straight bleach on a rag, and dab it on the stain. If the stain is in fact mold, it will begin to fade from your vinyl siding almost immediately.

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