Dirty Vinyl Siding
It’s getting warm out, time for some cleaning! How about sprucing up the outside of your home by cleaning your vinyl siding.
Vinyl siding is a low maintenance material, but low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance, it still needs cleaning from time to time to remove dirt and grime. In our sometimes humid climate vinyl siding can also develop mold or mildew.
To Remove Dirt
Hosing down vinyl siding with a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle or a pressure washer set on a medium spray pattern is often enough to remove dirt and grime.
- Be sure the pressure washer spray is wide enough to prevent damage to the siding, and be sure to keep the spray moving back and forth. Don’t stay in one place too long.
- Always start from the bottom and work up; then rinse from the top, down.
- Try to prevent water from running behind the siding, spray even with or down on the siding, and spray in the direction of the overlapped joints.
Here’s an easy cleaning solution:
Your vinyl siding may need some heavier cleaning, add this to a pressure washer, or in a bucket to clean by hand:
- 1 gallon water
- 1/3 cup powered laundry detergent
- 2/3 cup TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner
Now use a long handled, soft bristle, brushand the solution; scrub the vinyl siding gently starting at the bottom and working your way up. Once done with scrubbing now rinse off the cleaning solution with a garden hose, starting at the top and working your way down.
Removing Mold and Mildew from Vinyl Siding
Killing mold and mildew on vinyl siding can be tough, but you can always apply a mold and mildew remover of your choice, just be sure it won’t harm your siding by doing just a small spot first.
You can also use bleach to treat mold and mildew on vinyl siding by adding one quart of household bleach to each gallon of the cleaning solution above, then:
- Be sure to take care of any plants close to the house by wetting them down, and/or cover them with plastic sheeting. This protects them from bleach. Be careful it’s not too hot when you cover your plants because it could cause over heating.
- Use a pump sprayer to wet the siding down with the solution, working from bottom to top.
- Allow the bleach solution to remain on the siding for about 10 minutes or so.
- Now scrub the siding from bottom to top with a long handled, soft bristle brush.
- Rinse the bleach solution off the siding from top to bottom with a garden hose.
Always be safe: Wear rubber gloves, long sleeve shirt, long pants, and goggles when working with strong chemical cleaners such as bleach. Follow the instructions on cleaning products carefully. Do not mix bleach with cleaners that contain ammonia, vinegar, or any cleaner that says it should not be mixed with bleach, since it can cause a chemical reaction and release poisonous chlorine gas.