Many homeowners live under the impression that the only way to clean vinyl is with a pressure washer, or to have Mobile Vinyl Siding Co. come out. While a pressure washer can be the simplest solution, it’s not necessarily the most effective, or the most reasonable. Maybe you don’t have a pressure washer, maybe your neighbor borrowed it and moved, or maybe you don’t want to pay the ridiculous price to rent one. Whatever your reason may be for finding alternative cleaning methods, we’ve got two solid solutions that will provide you with some surprising results and have that vinyl siding looking good enough to make your neighbors drop their pressure washers and ask what your secret is.
Bleach Solution- One of the most popular alternatives to power washing your siding is detergent, bleach and water. If your white siding is beginning to look a little green, then this is the route you want to go, as it is very powerful against mildew and mold. Always use caution when dealing with a harsh chemical like bleach.
Mix the following household ingredients in a garden sprayer, which you can get for under $20, or find in your garage.
1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent
2/3 powdered household cleaner
1 quart liquid laundry bleach
1 gallon of wate
Once you have the solution mixed, you will begin applying it to your siding. One gallon of your should cover a 10’ X 20’ area or a little further, depending how liberal you are with it. Once you apply a good coat to your vinyl siding, let it stand for five to ten minutes. After this lapse in time, use your garden hose to rinse the siding off. If you don’t have a garden hose, thoroughly cleanse your garden sprayer and fill it with water to rinse the siding. Depending on the severity of mold, you may need to apply a second third coat and repeat the steps we already covered. Most find that using a bleach mix takes a bit longer than a power washer but it gives you much more thorough clean. The work is worth it
Vinegar Solution- Some find using vinegar and water is not only safer for them and the environment, but does a more thorough job dissolving mildew than any other concoction. You’ll find that this method also removes light mold and mildew stains. Vinegar is more effective at killing mold and mildew on porous surfaces than other cleaning methods, however the process is a bit more time consuming. Here are the supplies you will need for the job:
Large Scrub Brush
Small Scrub Brush (if you really want to be thorough)
Small plastic container, like an old butter tub
Because you will be conquering this method by hand, it’s smart to divide your siding into sections. Vinegar can kill plants as easily as bleach so try not to have whatever you rinse out fall on any foliage.
First, take your bucket and begin your mixture of 70/30 mixture of water to vinegar. It doesn’t need to be precise, but one of the easiest ways to do this is 7 cups of water to 3 cups of vinegar. In the small plastic container, mix a paste of baking soda and water, a good mixture is ½ cup of baking soda to ¼ cup of water. You want to keep the gritty consistency
Next you will grab your ladder and go to the first section you have decided to clean. Start from the top of the house siding. Make sure you are wearing rubber gloves when dealing with this mixture to keep hands from drying out. Use the large scrub brush and brush against the grain so you can hit small grooves you would be most likely to miss. If you reach a tough stain, use your baking soda paste and smaller scrub brush to tackle the blemish. The baking soda’s mild abrasive nature will work to remove debris and tough stains. Make sure to remove any excess baking soda paste after your stain has vanished.