When it comes to how-to advice on cleaning
vinyl siding, I'm amazed at how often the word "bleach" comes up. Like here
, for example. But think about it -- is bleach really necessary? After all, it's harmful to the environment
, including your very own local waterways, flora and fauna. And not just wild fauna -- I met someone whose little dachshund was killed when a careless neighbor accidentally sprayed the pup with a bleach solution while cleaning his siding.
Here are eco-friendly
tips to help you keep your vinyl siding looking like new.
1. Go back-to-basics: I use just plain old hot water and a long-handled scrubbing brush. Rinse with a regular garden hose. There's no need to add bleach or detergents to remove what is likely just a thin buildup of dirt or pollen. Green mold on the shady sides of the house can be removed the same way.
2. You can use a pressure sprayer
, but be very careful. You could inadvertently force water back behind the vinyl panels
. That's exactly where you don't want moisture to accumulate.
3. Bleach is
an efficient mildew killer. If you must use it for that purpose, carefully dilute it at a ratio of one quart of bleach to around one gallon of water. Next, be very careful to keep it away from plants, pets and, of course, your own or anyone else's skin. Consider using a bleach alternative
such as oxygen bleach or a vinegar and water solution.
4. Still have marks or stains? The Vinyl Siding Institute's website includes a handy chart
to help you choose the right cleaning agent for the job. In my humble opinion, even this goes a little overboard on the chemical side of things. Example: commercial detergents to remove grass or top soil? I don't think so. Bottom line: think before cracking out the industrial-strength cleansers.