Home Maintenance Tips: How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding So It Lasts

by Ben SanfordSeptember 1, 2016

Maintaining the Vinyl Siding on Your Home

If you purchased a home that came with vinyl siding, or decided at some point to have it installed, you’re probably well aware of its advantages in terms of never needing to be painted. If you live in particular climates, you may have noticed that despite not needing to be painted, it does need to be cleaned from time to time to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. In other areas, dust accumulation, pollen, bird droppings, insect and arachnid activities, and other issues can become problematic.

Cleaning your vinyl siding periodically is a must if you intend to keep it looking good over the long haul. But, how you choose to clean your vinyl siding matters. Certain techniques can safely clean vinyl and keep your home looking good for years to come. Other techniques can damage the finish, detach the siding from the side of the home, even wear through it.

Here’s what you need to know about cleaning your vinyl siding so it lasts the way they said it would back in those commercials from the 1990s.
maintenance vinyl siding tips home care

Elbow Grease

In accordance with most vinyl siding manufacturers’ care instructions, cleaning vinyl siding by hand is really the way to go. Many recommend a gentle cleanser. Vinegar diluted with water will work to get rid of most basic stains. But, for more in-depth cleaning, an oxygen bleach solution will get harder to clean stains without damaging your landscaping the way that some harsher household cleansers can.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing can be a great way to save on aching muscles when cleaning as massive a surface as the entire exterior of your home. Many vinyl siding manufacturers caution against using pressure washers, however, as they can be strong enough to damage the siding or in some cases, remove it from the house completely.

Generally speaking, it’s best to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions (especially if warranties are involved). In other cases, a power washer set at half strength can be a major time and energy saver.
maintenance vinyl siding tips home care

What to Avoid

Generally speaking, you will want to avoid abrasive scrubbers and any cleaner that could interact with the siding and damage it. Undiluted chlorine bleach, grease removers, solvents, and other harsh chemicals can damage siding and may void your warranty, if it’s still in effect. Gentle cleaning is usually the best way to go, energy and time consuming though it may be.

With a Little Effort and a Regular Schedule, Your Home Will Stay Looking Great

Vinyl siding may require a bit of effort to keep clean, but with a little regularly scheduled cleaning, your home will stay looking as great as it did when you had the siding installed, and it will stay that way well into the future. Be careful and gentle with your siding and you may never have to paint again.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.