The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Siding

Your vinyl siding covers a majority of your home’s exterior. It’s important that it is well maintained and kept looking its best. With Chicago’s heavy winds and crazy weather, your siding could get dirty. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. You need to learn the best way to clean vinyl siding. We’ll show you how to properly clean your siding so your home looks its best.

best way to clean vinyl siding

When is it Time to Clean Your Siding?

One of the wonderful parts of vinyl siding is that it’s pretty maintenance free. That being said, there are still times where it gets dirty. Cleaning your vinyl siding isn’t a weekly chore. It should be done every 6 months or as needed depending on how dirty it gets. You’ll have to inspect your siding after large storms or heavy wind. If it’s starting to get dirty, that means it’s time to start cleaning. The inspection will also help you determine what solution you’ll need to use – we’ll explain more about that later.

The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Siding is on a Cloudy Day

Believe it or not, the weather plays a role in how you clean your vinyl siding. If the sun is out and it’s hot outside, you may want to hold back on cleaning. This is because the sun and heat will dry your solution and could prevent you from getting the deep cleaning you want. The best thing you can do is wait for a cloudy day.

What You’ll Need

Before you start any project, it’s important to make sure you have all of your tools. Cleaning vinyl siding is no different. We have a list of tools you’ll need before you start your cleaning project.

  • Garden hose: to water your plants and rinse off your solution.
  • A bucket of hot water: the base of all solutions.
  • Vinegar (optional): could be used in your solution.
  • Bleach (optional): for a stronger solution.
  • Soap or laundry detergent (optional): could be used in your solution.
  • Scrub brush: to scrub built up grime.
  • Power washer: for more stubborn stains. It’s also great for hard to reach areas and multi-level homes.

Several of these things are optional because there are many different ways to make your solution. You’ll need to inspect your siding and determine how badly it needs to be cleaned and what solution you’re going to use. That will determine which supplies you’ll need.

Water the Plants Around Your Home

Before you start mixing a solution and scrubbing your siding, you need to water the plants around the perimeter of your home. This is where you’re probably wondering, “What does watering my plants have to do with cleaning my vinyl siding?”

Well nothing but this is for the safety of your plants. Chemicals that could be used in your solution may damage them. By watering them beforehand, you’re diluting the soil and preventing them from absorbing harmful chemicals such as bleach, vinegar or soap.

watering plants

The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Siding is With the Right Solution

Now that your plants are watered and you have the right tools, it’s time to start the cleaning process. The best way to clean vinyl siding is to use the right solution. Which is the right solution? We’ll show you a couple of good examples you can use on your home.

Household Cleaners

The easiest way to clean your siding is to use household cleaners. Soaps and laundry detergents can be found in any home so it’s simple to mix them with your hot water and get going. That being said, they aren’t environmentally friendly and that won’t cut through more stubborn stains.

Natural Solution

If an environmentally friendly solution is important to you, you can mix vinegar with hot water to make a solution. Vinegar also cuts through grime and dirt better than common cleaning products found around your home. The perfect mixture would be 70% water and 30% vinegar.

For More Stubborn Stains

With the erratic weather patterns of Chicago, you never know what could happen. Some stains are stubborn and caked onto your siding to a point where vinegar isn’t enough. That’s when you need to break out the bleach. Similarly to the vinegar solution, you should have a 70-30 mix of hot water to bleach.

Apply the Solution and Scrub Your Siding

Finally it’s time to start cleaning. The best way to clean vinyl siding is to scrub it with a brush. Cover the entire surface of your siding with the solution.  Allow the solution to soak in to loosen up any remaining dirt and grime.

scrubbing vinyl siding

Stubborn Stains Are No Match for a Pressure Washer

How are you going to scrub between boards or the 2nd story of your home? For those hard to reach areas, you’ll have to use a pressure washer. They’re perfect for getting places that aren’t easily reached. Be careful not to point the washer towards you when it’s on – the spray is very powerful and could hurt you or anything else. You should also be careful around your windows. Again, allow the solution to sit for a little bit so it loosens the dirt and grime.

This is why you want to clean your vinyl siding on a cloudy day. If you don’t, the solution will dry up and evaporate before you can rinse it off. That may leave spots and stains.

power washing siding

Rinse Your Siding

After letting the solution soak into your vinyl siding, rinse it off with a garden hose. Since the solution was left on the siding for a little bit, any debris should wash off easily. Make sure you rinse it off completely. Your siding will start looking beautiful and clean again.

Now You Know The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Siding

Don’t let crazy Chicago weather get between you and a beautiful home. You now know the best way to clean vinyl siding. No amount of grime or stains will remain once you use our cleaning tips. Remember, clean your siding ever 6 months or as needed it and your home will always look gorgeous.

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