How to Clean Exterior Wood Siding

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The siding on your home is one of the first things people notice when they drive up to the house. Wood siding, just like vinyl or aluminum siding, gets dirty and must be cleaned periodically. Mold, mildew, dirt and other grime accumulate on the siding over time, making it look unsightly. Clean your wood siding once a year to prevent excessive buildup and keep it looking like new.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • ¼ cup liquid dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Long-handled, soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • 1 qt. chlorine bleach
  • Garden sprayer
  • 4 oz. oxygen bleach

Light/General Cleaning

  • Mix 2 gallons of warm water with ¼ cup liquid dish soap into a bucket.

  • Dip a long-handled, soft-bristled scrub brush into the cleaning solution. Scrub the wood siding, starting at the top and working your way down, with the scrub brush and cleaning solution. Work in sections about 3 feet wide and the entire length of the house so the cleaning solution doesn’t dry onto the siding.

  • Rinse each section with water from the garden hose.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

  • Combine 1 qt. chlorine bleach with ¾ gallon of warm water in a bucket.

  • Dip a long-handled, soft-bristled scrub brush into the bleach solution. Scrub the moldy or mildewed areas of the siding. Rinse out the scrub brush frequently while cleaning.

  • Rinse the siding with water from the garden hose.

Deep Cleaning

  • Fill an empty garden sprayer with 1 gallon of hot water. Add 4 oz. of powdered oxygen bleach. Swish around the garden sprayer several times to mix up the oxygen bleach and water.

  • Spray a generous coating of the oxygen bleach onto the siding. Let it sit on the siding for 10 to 30 minutes. Work in sections of about 3 feet wide and the entire length of the house.

  • Scrub the siding with a long-handled, soft-bristled scrub brush. Rinse with water from the garden hose.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turn off the power to any exterior lights that might get wet while cleaning. Remove any items surrounding the house that you don’t want to get wet.
  • Close all doors and windows before cleaning.
  • Cover surrounding plants and shrubbery with plastic sheeting to protect them from the cleaning solution.

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References

  • Photo Credit Weathered Red shingle siding on the side of a barn image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com
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