Steps to Clean Vinyl Siding

Its long-lasting durability is just one reason why vinyl siding is such a popular choice among homeowners. The sturdy exterior handles harsh weather with ease, and it’s resistant to direct sunlight, which makes it an efficient and cost-effective material.

Still, although this power material is known to last for decades, it still needs a bit of maintenance along the way. While the panels will hold up to most issues quite well, they do have to be cleaned from time to time—which will keep them looking their best and increase their life span. Fortunately, cleaning vinyl siding is a simple process. Anyone can do it effectively and easily, without any specialized equipment other than a ladder and a brush.

Dirty vinyl siding - Image Source

Dirty vinyl siding – Image Source

Obtain Your Supplies

You can’t begin the cleaning job without having all the necessary supplies. Luckily, the list of items is pretty small, and it’s easy enough to get what you need from a local home improvement store or even some general stores.

Cleaning Brush

The main tool that you’ll want for the job is a long-handled, soft-bristled brush—this is what you will do all the washing with. It will look similar to a push broom and will make it easy to reach large sections of your siding effectively. If you have family or friends helping out, make sure to get several of these brushes to speed up the job.

The Cleaner

When it comes to choosing a cleaner, there are quite a few available options. If you don’t want to mess with mixing up your own cleaner, you can go with something like a bio-degradable vinyl cleaner, which you should be able to get at most home improvement stores. However, if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and mixing up a cleaner yourself, you can make a DIY solution for less money.

Light Duty Cleaner

To create a light-duty cleaner, mix together seven parts water to three parts white vinegar. That’s all you need to remove light mold, mildew, and discoloration. The mixture will work well on your home and you won’t have to worry about doing damage to anything nearby. Best of all, its’ a natural solution and doesn’t pose a risk to anyone. The only downside is that you’ll have to deal with that vinegar smell as you wipe down the house.

Heavy Duty Cleaner

For heavy discoloration or mold, you’ll have to rely on household cleaners to get the job done. First, add a gallon of water to a large bucket. Then toss in a third cup of powder laundry detergent, two thirds of a cup of household cleaner, one quart of liquid laundry bleach, and one gallon of water. This solution will smell strong, but it will do a thorough and effective job at cleaning heavier stains.

A Ladder

Unless you live in a single-level home, you probably won’t be able to clean all the siding off of the ground. If sections of your home will still be out of reach with even a five- or six-foot handled brush, you’ll have to invest in a ladder.

If you only need to get an extra six feet or so off the ground, it makes sense to go with a step ladder, because it will be more convenient to work from. If you need to go even higher, you’ll likely want to invest in an extension ladder instead to make sure you can reach all the parts of your home.

For safety measures, make sure the ladder is durable and can hold your weight—and anyone else’s weight who will be using it—without a problem.

Scrubbing vinyl siding - Image Source

Scrubbing vinyl siding – Image Source

Clean the Siding

Dip the brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the upper portion of the siding first, working your way down to the ground as you go. Use a heavy back-and-forth motion to scrub away any dirt and grime. After you scrub one section of your home, rinse it off with a hose with a sprayer or a garden sprayer. Continue around the outside of the home until all the sections are scrubbed completely.

It might take a few days to complete the job, but cleaning your vinyl siding will prevent mildew and mold from developing—and you only have to do  a few times a year to keep the siding in good shape. This will extend the life of the covering overall, and it’ll also save you money in the long run.


5 Responses


    Thanks for the post! I learned a lot about how to clean Vinyl Siding. I like how you said that,” It might take a few days to complete the job, but cleaning your vinyl siding will prevent mildew and mold from developing—and you only have to do a few times a year to keep the siding in good shape. This will extend the life of the covering overall, and it’ll also save you money in the long run.” I have cleaned my vinyl siding before, and it was easy, but I prefer just hiring a professional to do it because it is a lot faster and he will do a perfect job on cleaning my vinyl siding.

  2. Jackie Oliver

    I saw a picture of our house from a few years ago, and it looked so nice! The siding was so much cleaner than it is now, I want to go back to that. It looks like I need to go get a big scrub brush and start scrubbing! It’s good to know that we need to use a back-and-forth motion, and then use a sprayer to clean it off.

  3. Charles Kemp

    Cleaning the vinyl is pretty important if you want to extend the life of your siding. I like that you mention light duty and heavy duty. It would save you a lot to use the right materials for the siding. Then you aren’t cleaning too much.

  4. Taylor Parker

    These are all such great suggestions. We had a really bad storm a couple days ago, and the vinyl siding on our home looks terrible! It’s not bad enough to replace, but I really need to clean it all off. The suggestion to get a soft-bristled brush to clean the siding is especially helpful. I wouldn’t have thought of it otherwise.

  5. Kate Hansen

    My house has vinyl siding on the side and over the years it has lasted, but it has started to look like it’s in need of a good cleaning. I like that cleaning it can be so easy and that all you need is a cleaning brush and a ladder to reach everything. I bet we could get the whole family out there with brushes cleaning and get it done in no time!

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