Vinyl siding is one of the most popular exterior wall materials, and with good reason. It is tough as it is beautiful, making it a smart choice in nearly any climate and conditions. Though vinyl siding is an excellent material, it is not completely immune to the elements. Over time, imperfections and environmental build-up make it dirty and dated. Fortunately, this article has compiled an easy rundown on cleaning and restoring your vinyl siding to its former glory.
Make a Vinyl Siding Wash
Cleaning your vinyl siding starts with a good wash solution. Luckily, the ingredients you’ll need might already be lying around your house.
- Start by mixing 70% water with 30% vinegar in a bucket. This simple yet effective cleaner removes dirt, mildew, and mold that’s been building up.
- For a more heavy-duty cleanup, get a gallon of water, then add a third cup of powdered laundry detergent, two-thirds cup of powdered household cleaner, and one quart of liquid laundry bleach.
Not in the mood for DIY? That’s fine. There are countless options, from potent industrial cleaners to eco-friendly landscaping-safe cleansers, in the market that cater to your different cleaning needs. Just be cautious and avoid solutions containing organic solvents, liquid grease, nail polish remover, undiluted chlorine bleach, or furniture polish since they can affect the surface of your vinyl siding.
Washing Vinyl Siding Using the Right Equipment
You don’t need anything fancy to clean your vinyl siding. A cloth or a long-handled brush can do just the trick. Depending on how dirty your vinyl siding is, make sure to get plenty of fabric on hand, as you might go through them a lot. Although you can use any soft cloth, microfiber cloth works best as it won’t scratch or chip off the surface of your vinyl.
When choosing your brush, you can use a regular brush for areas you can easily reach and a long-handled brush or a broom for those that are difficult to access. Just make sure to avoid abrasive brushes or steel wools. Instead, opt for brushes with soft bristles to prevent scratching and other damage.
After you have brushed your vinyl siding, it is now time to give them a good rinse. Do this by using your garden hose to wash off any dirt, debris, or leftover cleaning solution. A good rule of thumb is to start from the bottom and slowly work your way higher, keeping in mind to rinse each section entirely before cleaning a new one.
Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding
Though cleaning vinyl siding is a relatively simple task, another method makes the job a lot easier and faster. A pressure washer is an excellent tool for cleaning your vinyl siding in that you can clean it without manually brushing each one, saving you time and effort. When using a pressure washer, it is best to stream the water at an eye level than pointing it at an upward angle. Doing this prevents water from being pushed behind the siding.
Take into mind that some manufacturers have limitations regarding the amount of pressure their siding can tolerate and the type of cleaners it should be used with. For this reason, some manufacturers are against using pressure washers on their vinyl siding. Siding companies recommend always using caution when using pressure washers. Finally, remember to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Wrapping it Up
Durable, versatile, and chic, it is no wonder why vinyl siding is the staple for house exteriors. But like all great things, it does require a little bit of love every now and then to keep it in tip-top shape. Luckily, learning to clean them is now easier, thanks to the process outlined above. Just whip up a cleaning solution of your choice, apply it to your vinyl siding with a cloth or a soft bristle brush, then rinse off with a hose. You can use a pressure washer if you have one to make the job easier, but this is completely optional. Make sure to follow manufacturer guidelines to prevent damage to your home exterior. Additionally, avoid using harsh cleaners and equipment because they can harm the material. With this in mind, you’re on your way to making your vinyl siding sparkle like new!