Cleaning Vinyl Siding
Cleaning Vinyl Siding TIPS
- Trees and bushes broadcast invisible sugars
- Do NOT use a pressure washer - it puts water behind the siding
- Use Stain Solver certified organic oxygen bleach
- Add Dawn liquid dish soap
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Sugar From Trees
Trees and bushes produce airborne sugars that drift through the wind and stick to vinyl siding. This nearly invisible layer of sugar is a food source for mold and some algae. Dust and dirt can also stick to the vertical sides of vinyl siding, and these are also food sources for some mildews and algae.
The best way to clean vinyl siding is to rinse it down with a regular garden hose equipped with a nozzle. Set the nozzle to a medium misting spray.
Never use a forceful direct stream of water, as it can penetrate behind the vinyl siding. This means do NOT use a pressure washer.
There are many homes covered with vinyl siding that do not have waterproof membranes that cover the frame walls. The wood sheathing and framing lumber can get wet easily if you direct water at the edges of vinyl siding, seams where two pieces of siding overlap, at inside and outside corners and next to windows and doors.
Free & Fast BIDS
Don't Aim Up
Vinyl siding is designed to shed water falling from the sky, not water that is shot up from the ground. Always rinse off the siding pointing the hose down towards the ground.
Never aim a hose up at vinyl siding as it can cause massive amounts of water to seep behind the siding.
Stain Solver Oxygen Bleach
If you want to remove algae, mildew, dirt, diesel exhaust soot, etc. from vinyl siding, then use Stain Solver - a certified organic oxygen bleach.
You mix it with warm tap water, stir until the powder is dissolved and apply to the siding with a garden hand-pump sprayer. A great professional sprayer can shoot a stream of this solution nearly 25 feet in the air. I know as I own one and used to use it to clean the exterior of my own home.
You can mix regular Dawn liquid dish soap in with the solution to get extra cleaning power.
Regular dishwashing soap will do a very good job of cleaning vinyl siding, but if you mix it with the Stain Solver, you'll end up working much less.
Squeeze a generous amount in a bucket, and add warm water to make a frothy mix of soapy water. I like to pour this water into a hand-pump garden sprayer to apply it onto the vinyl siding once it has been rinsed with clear water.
Work in the Shade
Always work on a section of siding from bottom to top, and always work in the shade. You never want the soapy water to dry on the siding before it can be rinsed off. I prefer to clean an area about six to seven feet wide at a time.
Cleaning Vinyl Siding Video
Watch this video. I like this man, but not a fan of his cigarette. Just be sure you use Stain Solver in the sprayer and NOT any other product that contains chlorine bleach or sodium hypochlorite - that's the chemical name for chlorine bleach.
RV Brush Is Best
The best brush to clean vinyl siding is one used to wash a recreational vehicle (RV). These special brushes are used on long poles to clean the sides of RVs.
These brushes are superb tools to use on dirty vinyl siding. Once the vinyl siding has been coated with soapy water, dip the brush in the soapy water and use side-to-side motions to remove dirt.
Bottom To Top
Start cleaning from the bottom and go up as far as you can reach. Immediately rinse the area you cleaned. Proceed up the wall until you get to the top alternately washing and rinsing. As you get higher, always make sure you rinse all dirt all the way down the siding to the ground.
Never use chlorine bleach as an additive to your soapy water solution. Chlorine bleach is a deadly toxin for any and all vegetation around your home. The chlorine ions soak into the ground and kill the roots of the plants, grass, trees and bushes.
|Message from Tim:
Years ago while researching a column about cleaning decks, I discovered the wonders of Oxygen Bleach. It is perhaps the 'greenest' cleaner I know of as it uses oxygen ions to break apart stains, dirt and odor molecules. There are no harsh chemicals, and it works on just about anything that is water washable.
I decided to create my own special blend using ingredients made in the USA. In fact, the raw materials in the active ingredient are food-grade quality registered with the FDA. I call my product Stain Solver. I urge you to use it to help with cleaning your vinyl siding. You will be amazed at the results!