Vinyl siding is an affordable and durable option to beautify and protect your home. With proper maintenance, it can provide years of good looks and reliability. But what if your siding needs a little TLC? In this guide, we will share with you the best ways to clean your vinyl siding. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to get it done yourself with relative ease!
1. How to Remove Debris From Vinyl Siding
Need to know how to remove green algae, mold, and mildew from vinyl siding? You’re in the right place. The top option is to use a power washer (though you can use a bucket and scrub brush, too). You can either rent, buy, or borrow a unit from a store, neighbor, or friend.
It’s important to note that what you’re trying to do is not only remove debris but also kill any mold or mildew. To do so, you’ll need the appropriate spraying solution. There are several store-bought products you can source at your local home improvement or hardware store. If the algae, mold, and/or mildew is fairly mild, you can mix 3 parts white vinegar and 7 parts water for a great homemade solution. Whatever you use, make sure to wear rubber gloves.
Spray down the siding and then scrub from side to side with a brush. You can use a brush extension pole for better reach and ease of use. Next, spray down the siding with a hose. If you notice any spots that need more attention, go back for a second run over those sections.
2. How to Clean Up High
When it comes to how to clean vinyl siding up high, the first thought is that you might need a ladder. Not in all cases. If you’re dealing with a standard size house, many times you’ll be able to reach it with an extension pole or commercial siding cleaner.
When it comes to multiple floors, you might need a ladder. Along with the extra reach, a garden sprayer and a scrub brush can help with those especially dirty spots. Make sure to close windows and other openings, while laying tarps or plastic over plants down below.
Remember, a sprayer can only reach so high. Take into account the height of the siding and make a solid game plan prior to cleaning. Practice the utmost safety while using a ladder or getting on your roof. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can always hire a pro.
Items You’ll Need
- Power washer
- Telescoping pole
- Soft bristle brush (with bucket and gloves)
- Garden sprayer
3. How to Clean With Bleach
Here are the steps on how to clean vinyl siding with bleach. A bleach solution is a fantastic way to kill mold and mildew. It actually will not damage your siding. The key is to mix the right solution. A general rule is one quart of household bleach to every gallon of water. The water can be straight from the tap, preferably lukewarm.
If you’re using a pressure washer, you’ll want to add the bleach to your cleaning solution. This can be either an already mixed product or a combination of mild dish soap and water. The bleach can be directly added to the pressure washer since it will be automatically diluted by the attached water source.
Things Needed to Clean With Bleach
- Household bleach
- Protective gear (goggles, covering for clothing)
- Pressure washer (along with cleaning solution) or bucket and brush
- Hose to spray off solution and debris
4. How to Clean Without Bleach
Okay, so you might want to know how to clean vinyl siding without bleach. There can be several reasons not to use bleach – it can be irritating or even dangerous to children, pets, plants, and so on. But what are you supposed to use to thoroughly clean your siding?
Using a pressure washer? A handy solution is one part trisodium phosphate (TSP), one part powdered laundry detergent, and three parts hot water. Spray from top to bottom. Use a scrub brush if necessary, and then rinse off from top to bottom after several minutes of soaking time.
One effective alternative is a combo of white & vinegar followed by a baking soda paste. This can be especially helpful if you’re not using a pressure washer. Combine three parts white vinegar and 7 parts water. Once you’ve covered the siding with this solution, take equal parts baking soda and water to form a paste. Use in conjunction with a brush (particularly over heavily soiled areas). Finally, rinse off with a hose.
Items To Clean Without Bleach
- TSP, laundry detergent, and hot water (power washer)
- Water and white vinegar (if doing by hand)
- Baking soda (if doing by hand or for heavily soiled sections)
- Pressure washer or bucket & brush
- Hose with adjustable nozzle
5. How to Clean Without Pressure Washer
If you’re concerned about getting water behind your siding, it pays to know how to clean vinyl siding without a pressure washer. Though a pressure washer provides speed and convenience, it can cause issues down the road.
Essentially, you’ll need a bucket, brush, and some elbow grease. There are a number of cleaning solutions you can choose from (refer to other sections for more info). It’s also a good idea to have goggles, rubber gloves, and something to protect your clothing.
First, spray the vinyl siding with a regular garden hose. To avoid getting water underneath your siding, spray in a downward motion. Next, grab the bucket filled with your choice of cleaning solution and start scrubbing. Scrub side to side. You can also use a brush attachment to reach higher spots and make your work easier. Rinse with the hose, and if needed, go over again with a brush and rinse off until you get the desired results.
6. How to Clean Without Killing Plants
Need to know how to clean vinyl siding without killing plants? In most cases, there will be a variety of flowers, bushes, and other plants located directly below or in close proximity to your siding. Of course, it’s handy to keep them alive.
In this scenario, you’ll need a ‘green’ cleaning solution. Products can range from outdoor-use bleach to vinegar to environmentally friendly cleaners that are non-acidic and non-corrosive. Biodegradable, non-toxic is the way to go if you want your plants to stay healthy.
Items Needed To Clean Without Killing Plants
- Pressure washer (use carefully)
- Soft bristle brush
- Green cleaning agent
7. What to Use to Clean Vinyl Siding
When considering what to use to clean vinyl siding, you have choices. There are several products on the market, particularly for mold, mildew, and algae. Consult a store associate if you’re not sure which one to purchase.
Another option is the use of products you may already have at home. This can consist of mild detergent, all-purpose bleach, and tap water. Another option is white vinegar and white. A solution of approximately 30% white vinegar and 70% water can often do the trick. But keep in mind that this is for mild use cases when it comes to mold and mildew. You’ll want to consider another option if dealing with years of buildup.
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