How to Clean Vinyl Siding

If your vinyl siding has begun looking drab, dull and faded, clean it with a pressure washer. Learn how with these easy step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Weigh your Cleaning Options – You can rent a pressure washer from an equipment-rental center for $50 to $75 per day. Use a 25-degree nozzle for good coverage that won’t damage the vinyl siding.

Pressure washers generate very high pressure, so it’s essential to take safety precautions when using them:

Use both hands when holding the spray nozzle.
Don’t use pressure washers while standing on a ladder.
Never point the nozzle at anyone.

An alternative to using a pressure washer is to use a home-washing kit that attaches to the garden hose, but the kits aren’t as quick or as effective as pressure washers.

Step 2: Prepare to Clean – First, cover anything you don’t want the spray to hit. Cover lights and electrical fixtures with plastic bags, and secure them with duct tape. Cover any electrical outlets with plastic sheeting, and secure them with duct tape. Place drop cloths over any plants or shrubs near the house, and move any outside furniture away from the house.

Go around the house and check for trouble spots that are covered in mildew, mold or moss. To determine whether a trouble area is affected by mildew, apply a small amount of household bleach to the area. If it clears up, the problem is mildew. Pressure washers usually don’t remove mildew, so you’ll need to clean those areas by hand. Scrub off the mildew using a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach.

Step 3: Spray the House – Attach a garden hose to an outside faucet, then attach the pressure washer to the hose (Image 1). If the pressure washer has a soap feed, mix a mild solution of water and detergent in a bucket, then place the soap-feed tube in the bucket (Image 2). Make sure the water is turned on, and start the pressure washer.

Begin spraying the house, holding the nozzle at a 45-degree angle. Work from the bottom up, and move across the siding from side to side at a steady pace. When cleaning around windows, hold the nozzle at an angle, and direct the spray away from the windows.

Rinse the siding with clear water. Work from the top down to prevent streaks.

Tip: Before returning the pressure washer, take the time to clean decks, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, the garage floor and even garbage cans. .

What is needed for the job
  • Duct Tape
  • Brush
  • Garden Hose
  • Safety Glasses
  • Drop Cloth
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Small Plastic Bag
  • Cleaning Solvent
  • Pressure Sprayer
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