How to clean vinyl siding.

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Old 06-21-19, 09:01 AM
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How to clean vinyl siding.

My siding needs cleaning. My research on the internet produced the advice that I should use an oxygen based bleach followed by pressure washing with a product made for siding.

I have tried that on two separate occasions...once about a year ago and then on my vinyl sided back porch. I used oxygen liquid bleach (a laundry product) about a year ago and found it was not all that good at bleaching/cleaning so I switched to a strong concentration
of chlorine bleach...which did much better.

Today, I used oxygen bleach (50-50 with water), on the back porch followed by pressure washing with siding cleaner. Again, it did not do so well.

There must be something better...I do not want to use chlorine bleach on my back porch due to the problems inherent in its use...smell, bio-hazard, etc. So, what REALLY works on White vinyl siding? I am too old to scrub it by hand.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 10:19 AM
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FWIW, we had ours painted. Came out looking like new.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 02:43 PM
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Painting Vinyl siding defeats the purpose of siding one's house with a medium that never needs painting. If I bought a house that had a siding medium that required painting, I would side over it with vinyl to avoid ever having to paint it.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 03:06 PM
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My previous house had beige vinyl siding. When I tried just a pressure washer I was sadly disappointed so I got a bucket and used about a five-to-one dilution of Simple Green and used a car-washing brush (long handle and fairly soft bristles) to slop it on a previously wetted area of about ten square feet. Work it in a bit with the brush but it is NOT necessary to scrub it with effort. Let it set a couple of minutes and then use the pressure washer to rinse it off.

Now this might be a problem if you have a two-story house and it may be that YOUR siding has rub marks that simply won't come off no matter what you do but for my house it made it look brand new again.

I agree with dahermit that painting vinyl is the last thing I would do and for the very reason he expressed.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 03:06 PM
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I never said it was a requirement. I said it was a solution that worked for me. Mine was there when I bought my house, so who only knows how long it was there. It was an easier and cheaper solution than cleaning or replacing it.

Oh and you're welcome! : It was only a suggestion not a requirement. Didn't need a lecture, geez.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 03:08 PM
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Oh great, yet another lecture!
 
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Old 06-21-19, 03:53 PM
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Nobody is giving a lecture, just stating that the primary reason for using vinyl is greatly reduced maintenance. Painting vinyl siding removes that reason and makes vinyl no better than any other product.

If YOU are happy with your painted vinyl siding then I am ecstatic. I'm quite certain I have things that you dislike. Doesn't make either of us better than the other, just different.
 
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Old 06-21-19, 04:16 PM
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I give up! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:02 AM
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The only times I've painted vinyl siding is when the customer wanted a color change. Normally the paint job on vinyl will outlast the same paint job on wood.

I usually use bleach when cleaning vinyl siding but a lot depends on what type of grime is on the siding. TSP helps when the dirt is more than just surface dust or mold/mildew.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:26 AM
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I have used Krud Cutter on a few houses, and was very satisfied with it. You obviously don't want to spray behind the siding so a ladder is essential, and move along the wall in the direction to avoid spraying into the end laps. Around the service entrances we hand scrubbed with TSP then lightly rinsed with a water hose.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:56 AM
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You obviously don't want to spray behind the siding so a ladder is essential, and move along the wall in the direction to avoid spraying into the end laps.
Worth repeating! The biggest mistake many make is to try and do all the work from the ground. You never want to spray water in an upward direction as that will force water behind the siding. While there should be a vapor barrier behind the siding there is no guarantee that it's intact. It's always better to rely more on the cleaning agent than to increase the pressure to clean.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:56 AM
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So getting back to the OP's original question!

Having owned several home with vinyl I have attempted many different type of chemicals and devices to clean the siding. Foam inyectores, siphon tubes etc, none really worked very well.

The final, best solution that I now use every 4 years.

This brush (an absolute must, allows contact on every side), an extension pole, extension ladder, safety glasses, and two large volume spray bottles of Simple Green and tire cleaner for the gutters which get the really black streaks.

https://www.doityourself.com/forum/a...1&d=1561200884

Nothing works better and you simply have to get that elbow grease out to get it clean!

I would caution using bleach, first, could kill plants and grass, your working overhead and getting that in the eyes would not be good!
 
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Old 06-22-19, 04:04 AM
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I almost always use bleach because it's cheap and effective. I always use a pump up garden sprayer to apply the cleaner and wetting the vegetation prior, during and after will keep the bleach from harming it. I don't recall ever getting concentrated bleach in my eyes but I do wear glasses.

A brush always helps although it does require more effort.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 05:50 AM
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What is "TSP"? Cleaning product or something else?
 
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Old 06-22-19, 06:09 AM
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Trisodium phosphate, yes, a cleaner, available with other cleaning products at any of your local hardware stores or big boxes.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:00 PM
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If you had carefully read my original post you would see that scrubbing by hand ("I am too old to scrub it by hand". Not to mention health issues, i.g., cancer recovery issues) is not an option nor is chlorine bleach. I would wish people would stick to what is asked and not offer a solution that has been identified as a non-starter.
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:03 PM
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The less toxic cleaners often require scrubbing to be effective, even the more toxic cleaners sometimes require scrubbing. Not sure there is the magic solution you are hoping for. Maybe get someone else to do it for you ?
 
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Old 06-22-19, 03:13 PM
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Not quite there yet, but sure feel that way enough days that I understand what you're saying. But the Krud Cutter I mentioned is what you did ask about, or at least I think it is, as it's used through the siphon on your pressure washer. The hand scrubbing with TSP would be around the service entrance, and if you can't do that, and/or cannot find anyone to handle that part for you, then you should leave it as is because water and electricity do not play well together. And, as for using a ladder, if you can't do that, then I suggest letting it go altogether, because spraying water in a direction that is going to get it behind the siding is very likely going to do a whole lot more damage than dirty siding ever will.
 
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