Vinyl siding is found on many homes across the country and beyond, and there are numerous reasons for its incredible popularity. This material is durable, affordable and stylish. It is available in a wide range of colours and styles, and it is relatively easy to care for. While maintenance needs are minimal, vinyl siding does require your attention from time to time. You may have noticed that your home’s siding has some stains or is covered in a layer of natural grime. These issues can affect aesthetics, the pride of ownership and more. Thankfully, the best way to clean vinyl siding is also relatively easy for the average homeowner to do.
Prepare a Homemade Vinyl Siding Cleaner
While cleaning vinyl siding is easy, it does require the right combination of supplies. The homemade vinyl siding cleaner that you use will be dependent on the type of mess that you are trying to remove. Generally, a combination of water and white vinegar or water and liquid dish soap may be effective. White vinegar is effective at removing most types of filth on siding, and it can even remove mould and mildew. Either of these two homemade cleaning products can be used across the vinyl siding, but you may have some special stains that require individualized attention.
Crayon, ink, gum, topsoil and other elements may not be removed by a dish detergent or white vinegar concoction. For these areas only, you may use general household cleaning products, but make sure that they do not contain abrasives or bleach. You may need to use a specialized rust removal product if part of your vinyl siding is rusted.
Be aware that the vinyl siding manufacturer may have published recommended care and cleaning guidelines. Before you apply these or other products to your vinyl siding, review the manufacturer’s guidelines so that you do not inadvertently cause irreparable damage to your home’s exterior.
Gather the Other Essential Supplies
After you have decided which types of cleaning agents to use and have researched the manufacturer’s care instructions, you are almost ready to get started. The best way to clean vinyl siding is usually with a pressure washer, but some manufacturers specifically recommend against doing so. An alternative is to use a sprayer nozzle attached to your garden hose.
Prepare a large bucket of your homemade cleaning agent. You will also need a large scrubbing brush with an extension handle. The brush’s head should fit inside the bucket. Depending on the size of your home, you may also need a ladder. If you will need to apply a general cleaner to any small spots on your home, you also should have a separate sponge or brush available to use specifically for that purpose.
Before you start, it is helpful to create a clear work area around your home. Remove all patio furniture, potted plants and other items that may get in the way. Remember to close all windows and doors. If you are using cleaning products that may be harmful to vegetation, cover them and the surrounding soil with plastic sheets.
The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Siding
The best way to clean vinyl siding is to begin by hosing down the area of the siding that you will be working on first. Consider starting at the top of the home. Work in sections that are approximately 6 to 8 feet wide. After hosing down the surface, use the scrub brush with the extension handle to rub-down the vinyl siding with the vinegar or dish soap mixture. Follow the lay of the siding when scrubbing it. Work your way down to the bottom. Rinse this entire area thoroughly. Then, move on to the next 6 to 8-foot section.
Keep in mind that the cleaning solution can potentially dry on the siding before you can rinse it off. You can avoid having to deal with this mess by choosing a cloudy day for your project. If you must clean the vinyl siding on a sunny day, only work on areas of the home that are in the shade. Otherwise, start your project early in the morning when direct sunlight exposure is minimal.
If your home’s vinyl siding is growing increasingly grimy, now is the time to plan for your upcoming cleaning project. While the project is relatively easy to do, it can take a lot of time and energy if you have a large home. Depending on the size of your home and your need to complete any portion of the project on a ladder, you may prefer to recruit the help of a friend or family member to get the job done faster and more safely.