Although low maintenance, vinyl siding still needs a bit of cleaning and care over time to remove built-up grime, mildew, and dirt, especially in warmer climates. But how does one go about cleaning vinyl siding? Fortunately, if you know the manufacturer of your vinyl siding, tracking down cleaning instructions should be as easy as calling or checking the company website. However, if that option isn’t available, or you’re unsure which company manufactured your siding, simply follow the procedure below.
Cleaning Dirt from Vinyl Siding
A good place to start when removing dirt and grime from vinyl siding is to use a garden hose with either a spray nozzle or pressure washer. Adjust the sprayer to the medium spray pattern. If you’re using a pressure washer, prevent damage to your siding by ensuring the spray pattern is wide and that you always keep the nozzle moving. Additionally, whether you’re using a regular sprayer or pressure washer, always start from the bottom up and rinse from the top down.
How to Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
Is your siding really dirty? While you can spend money on pricey cleaning solutions, you can also make your own and save yourself some money. All you need to do is mix one gallon of water, a third of a cup of powdered laundry detergent, and two-thirds of a cup of trisodium phosphate cleaner.
Cleaning Mildew and Mold from Siding
Although dirt and grime can usually be removed pretty easily, mildew and mold can be more stubborn to remove. Again, while there are certainly products you can purchase to remove mold and mildew from your siding, there are also tried and true recipes to make your own cleaning solution. One of the best uses bleach. Simply add a quart of bleach to the homemade cleaning solution above and use it like regular cleaning solution. However, when using this solution, there are a few things you’ll want to remember, such as:
- Wet down and cover any plants nearby to prevent damage from the bleach solution.
- Allow the solution to sit on the siding for about 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.
Words to the Wise
Whenever you decide to work with strong cleaners, including bleach and trisodium phosphate cleaner, it’s wise to dress in protective clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, rubber gloves, and goggles. Additionally, always follow the directions for any given cleaning product and never mix bleach solutions with others that have vinegar, ammonia, or other chemicals that specifically mention they should not be mixed with bleach. Doing so can result in a poisonous chemical reaction.