How to Clean Oxidized Vinyl Siding

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An annual washing helps keep vinyl siding looking like new.
An annual washing helps keep vinyl siding looking like new. (Image: house siding 3 image by Psycience from Fotolia.com)

Vinyl siding is touted as a superior product due to its low maintenance requirements and lower upkeep costs. Although this is true, there are things that should be done annually to preserve its quality and looks. According to the experts at This Old House, it should be washed regularly to remove mildew, dirt and oxidation. Cleaning vinyl siding is a cost-effective way to make your home exterior stand out and look as good as new.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Dish soap
  • Buckets
  • Sponges
  • Soft-bristle long handled brush
  • Garden pump sprayer
  • Garden hose
  • Ladders

Rinse the vinyl siding using a garden hose. Work in an area of about 10 to 12 feet wide. Use a ladder to allow the water to spray the siding at a downward angle. Rinse from the bottom towards the top.

Mix 1 cup of dish soap with 2 gallons of hot water. Place this solution in a garden pump sprayer.

Pump up the pressure and spray the area well. Scrub the siding using a long handled brush.

Rinse the soap using the garden hose working from the top down. Adjust the height and angle of the spray by stepping up on the ladder. The angle should always be downwards to avoid getting water behind the siding.

Continue in small sections until the entire home exterior has been cleaned. Allow several hours for the siding to dry before setting anything near the surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners on vinyl siding.
  • Cleaning the vinyl once a year will help keep the siding in good condition.
  • Work in shaded areas or on days that are overcast. The sun could dry cleaner on the vinyl and leave it stained.
  • Do not use a pressure washer to clean siding. It will force water up under the vinyl and cause water damage.
  • Wear safety glasses when doing this project.

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