One of the great things about vinyl siding is that you don’t have to repaint your house to keep it looking nice. However, whatever kind of siding you have, it will eventually accumulate dirt, grime, mold or other dulling substances. Giving it a good cleaning every year or so will keep your home looking brand-new and maintain its value.
Cleaning vinyl siding is an easy do-it-yourself task if your home is not too large. If it requires getting on the roof to reach higher sections of your home, then you may want to hire a contractor. A reliable contractor with a pressure washer could do the best job. If you are ready to tackle the job yourself, here’s how to get your siding perfectly clean, just like the professionals.
Step 1: Gather tools and equipment
First, gather these items:
- Laundry detergent or TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
- A 5-gallon bucket (Old paint buckets work great)
- Soft bristled brush with a pole
- Spray Bottle
- Old towels, rags
Step 2: Prepare the area
Because you will be spraying water everywhere, take these precautions to protect you and your home.
- Close all the windows and doors tight.
- If you have any outdoor electrical outlets or lights, turn them off at the breaker
- Remove anything around your house that’s in the way such as outdoor furniture
- If you are using bleach, cover any plants or shrubs that could be damaged
Step 3: Prep the siding
If your siding appears to have mold or mildew, you can tell by putting a drop of bleach on it. If discoloration turns white, then it’s mold. If it stays dark, it’s dirt. If there is mold, mix up a mild solution of 1 part bleach to 5 parts water and put it in the spray bottle. Spray it on the mold and let it sit for a bit while you go on to the next step.
Step 4: Mix up your cleaning solution
Mix 4 gallons of water in the 5 gallon bucket with ¼ cup of laundry detergent or TSP. You can buy trisodium phosphate at most hardware stores. It is a little more heavy duty than laundry detergent.
Step 5: Hose the siding down
Start by hosing one side of the house off to free any loose dirt or debris. If you sprayed any bleach on mold, and it doesn’t come off when you spray it with the hose, get your bristle brush and scrub it by hand. A brush with a pole will make the job easier.
Step 6: Start scrubbing
Starting at the top of you siding, work in manageable sections of 4 to 5 feet and begin scrubbing the siding with the soapy water. Work your way down to the bottom of your section and then hose off any soap or the siding will have blotches. Wipe dry with the old towels or rags until there is no more dirt showing up.
Step 7: Rinse and repeat!
Keep repeating until the side of the house is done, then move on to the next side. If you have to use a ladder to reach any high places, always have someone spot you.