How to Clean Vinyl Siding the Right Way

Service house

Keeping your house exterior clean brings you peace of mind, maintains curb appeal, and keeps your siding from deteriorating at an accelerated pace. Algae and mildew hold moisture onto your siding and cause it to wear at a quicker rate and keeping these contaminants off your house keeps your neighborhood looking nicer and more friendly. Cleaning vinyl the right way is different than what is popularly spread around; it requires no high pressure and is mostly effortless.

Pressure washing is a broad term that is used to describe cleaning exterior surfaces with water. Most people imagine cleaning their vinyl house as blasting their siding with high pressure water to knock off mold and mildew.

The correct way is to use an algicide (a liquid cleaning agent that kills algae and mold at the source) at low pressure, and to rinse it at low pressure with a garden hose. You are essentially giving your house a shower. We are going to tell you, step-by-step, how to clean a vinyl house like a professional.

PSI Needed to Clean Vinyl Siding

PSI is a common talking point of how to pressure washing a house. Most correlate PSI with effective cleaning – which is usually the opposite case. Commercial-grade pressure washers that cost thousands of dollars use less PSI than residential-grade pressure washers!

The correct answer on how much PSI to use on your house is to use as little as possible. If you choose to rinse your house with a pressure washer, use the white or green tip from a far distance, or use the black “soap” tip, which essentially turns your pressure washer into a garden hose that shoots further. We will get further into the details down below.

Vinyl Fence Cleaning

Cleaning vinyl fencing is just as necessary as cleaning the vinyl on your house. Due to fences having a flat surface at the top of the planks, mildew and algae grows on top of the fence and leaves dirty streaks down the side of the fence. Fences can get dirtier much quicker than siding, so it is just as important to maintain their appearance.

Vinyl fence washing is the same process as cleaning the house. Cleaning vinyl fencing can be even easier than washing your house, as most houses reach 15-20 feet tall at its highest point, whereas vinyl fences reaching 6 feet tall at the most. Take advantage of how easy it is to clean a vinyl fence – most homeowners can tackle these projects with no ladder work required.

How Often to Clean Vinyl Siding on a House

The frequency between cleaning depends on several factors such as how much shade your house gets and what climate you live in. Houses that are exposed to the sun during the majority of the day will stay cleaner longer than houses that are surrounded by trees. The same goes for the area of the world you live in – humid climates are a breeding ground for algae and molds, whereas dry climates are exempt from these contaminants for the most part.

Most homeowners can expect to get 1-2 years of clean siding out of their vinyl house washing. Homeowners in wet climates with lots of tree coverage can expect 6-12 months of cleaning siding. No matter how good you can clean, mother nature always triumphs when it comes to exterior maintenance.

Steps on How to Clean Vinyl Siding

Cleaning your vinyl house can be an easy exterior project with the right set of tools and cleaners. We recommend getting the following items below:

  • Garden hose (100 foot)
  • Garden hose sprayer
  • Outdoor bleach (about 5 gallons)
  • Plastic deck sprayer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Painter’s tape
  • Protective eyewear and rubber gloves

Before getting started, fill your plastic deck sprayer with water and see how high it reaches on your house. If it does not reach the peak of the areas you are trying to clean, buy or rent a step ladder that will help you reach the tough spots.

Start by taping off all exterior outlets, doorbells, garage door openers, and any other outdoor electrical items with the painter’s tape. Getting water behind these pieces can damage them or trip breakers, Once you do this, it is time to start mixing your outdoor bleach mixture.

Outdoor bleach contains sodium hypochlorite which is a biocide that kills mildew and algae. This is the chemical that all professional power washers use to clean vinyl siding. There are non-bleach options, they are just more expensive and less effective at cleaning. Look for outdoor bleach that contains 7% sodium hypochlorite in the active ingredient section.

Begin by filling your deck sprayer 80% of the way full of water and the rest with your outdoor bleach. This will give you a concentration roughly 1.5% sodium hypochlorite, which is how strong most pressure washing companies run their house wash mixture. For added bonus, pour in 1 ounce of laundry detergent of your choice to hide the bleach smell and make it stick to your siding better during cleaning.

We recommend using a timer to work in sections of your house for about 5 minutes at a time. For example, sprayer a coating of the mixture on your siding for 5 minutes straight, and once your timer is up, re=apply on the dirty areas or rinse off with your garden hose. First, pre-wet a section of your house and the nearby plants with water from your garden hose. Put your protective equipment on and begin applying your house wash mixture to the siding in an even coating. Once your timer goes off, rinse the area and nearby plants or do any touch ups. Repeat this until you are done with your house! Make sure to clean everything including the siding, fascia, soffits, windows, doors, and weather stripping. Do not be afraid to take your time! This cleaning should last a year, so spend your time doing it right the first time.

Tip: Avoid getting any cleaning mixture on stained wood, shiny metals, and flowers. It will damage them.

Need a Power Washing Expert?
Contact Us Today!

Pressure Washing Tips

  • How to Clean Vinyl Siding the Right Way

    Keeping your house exterior clean brings you peace of mind, maintains curb appeal, and keeps your siding from deteriorating at an accelerated pace. Algae and mildew hold moisture onto your siding and cause it to wear at a quicker rate and keeping these contaminants off your house keeps […]

  • The Dangers Of Mold On Your Home Or Business

    Mold is a living organism that can be found all around us. It can appear on the exterior or interior of your home in many different forms and colors. These different molds have various effects on human health, such as toxic reactions and allergic reactions. Mold […]

Contact Us Today

Contact Kirk's Power Pressure Washing Today

Call Today For Professional Pressure Washing In Jacksonville And The Surrounding Areas!