Vinyl siding is quite durable but it does need a good cleaning from time to time. My home is brick with vinyl siding on the back deck and over the eaves of the home. I have some very hard to reach areas where dirt had accumulated and in addition to several spots that had a handful green “algae” looking spots on the backside. This was due to having an object sitting on my deck against the house and the vinyl stayed damp a bit longer due to the natural shading. If you find that you have algae in other areas of your vinyl, be sure to investigate a bit further as this could mean that there is a hidden problem and the vinyl is at a risk of rot and insect damage.
Some choose to pressure wash their vinyl but I am nervous, inexperienced and did not want to chance damaging the vinyl. In the past I have created cleaning solutions, but this time I purchased “Moldex instant house wash” from a local hardware store. This worked like a charm and this made the job so much easier from when I cleaned the vinyl last, a couple of years ago. I have a portion of the house that requires a ladder when cleaning the vinyl with a rag but this solution, simply used with attaching my garden hose, avoided the use of a ladder. A 56 oz bottle was $12 and I used 2 bottles of solution on my house to clean the front and back. The amount of solution needed will vary, based on the amount of vinyl and amount of accumulation that you have on your siding.
If you would rather not purchase a product, you can clean simple dirt accumulation with 1 gallon of water with 1/3 cup laundry detergent and 2/3 cup TSP (trisodium phosphate cleaner). For tougher stains, molds and mildews, you will want to mix one part bleach to four parts water. Use a pump up sprayer to apply and let the cleaning solution set for about 10 minutes, then rinse. Be sure to first use plastic sheeting over plants and items that you want to prevent damage from and wear gloves as the solution from the pump sprayer will get on your hands … goggles are not a bad idea either.
A rag or a brush will be needed on some of the darker spots. To prevent the water from running behind the vinyl, spray in the direction of the overlapped joints and start from the top of the house and working your way down.
This might seem like a very tedious task to clean your vinyl, but it really wasn’t strenuous. You’ll also be surprised at the difference in the appearance of your home once the vinyl is clean!