how to clean vinyl siding using bleach

Cleaning Vinyl Siding Made Easy

Vinyl siding is one of the easiest ways to go if you want an exterior that is easy to clean. Cleaning vinyl siding often includes little more than a pressure washer or a soapy bucket of water and elbow grease. Choosing which cleaning method is really up to the individual homeowner, though most agree that the soapy water and elbow grease method is the best way to go.  Either way, cleaning vinyl siding is a breeze.

Which method is best for my home?

When choosing the method of how to clean your vinyl siding, you really need only look at two options.  One is pressure washing the vinyl, and the other is by hand.  The vinyl siding really determines which one you should go with.  If the vinyl is well done, and the corners, creases and seams of the vinyl are done properly, you can likely clean using a pressure washer. If you have many creases and poorly done corners, you need to do it by hand.  The reason for this is because a pressure washer will usually be powerful enough to get into the creases of the siding and wet the wooden parts underneath, if your homes exterior walls doesn’t have a protective vapor barrier between the siding and the walls sheathing.  This can lead to mold and other serious problems.  You have to be careful either way you are cleaning vinyl siding, because even a water hose can shoot water behind the siding if you are careless.

How do I clean my vinyl siding with a pressure washer?

The key to cleaning vinyl siding with a pressure washer is to use the right solution.  The commercial vinyl siding cleaners are great, but household dishwashing liquid mixed with water is just as good.  Regardless, you want to make certain you are not using bleach.  Bleach is loaded with toxins that will kill your plants, shrubs and trees quickly when the water seeps into the ground, and also can eat away at the protective coating layers of your vinyl siding. Oxygen bleach is better if you must use bleach on bad stains or mildew.

Begin by spraying the vinyl siding in sections of 2 to 4 feet at a downward motion, never, I repeat never spray upwards at your siding, you’ll risk water seeping in through behind the siding.  Do not move on to another section of vinyl siding until you rinse the current one.  This will leave ugly patches if the solution dries before rinsing.  You will clean your siding from bottom to top, taking careful precautions to spray at 45 degree downward angle. Also, you want to avoid direct spray from the pressure washer, direct spray can seep into the cracks and crevices easily.  Shoot away from the edges of windows and doors to avoid seepage as well.

How do I clean my vinyl siding by hand?


This is considered the safest way to clean vinyl siding because it is the least intrusive on the crevices and seams.  You can set your water hose to the low setting so you are not using a direct spray on the vinyl.  While this is good, it does mean that you will be cleaning vinyl siding the old fashioned way – by hand.  No worries though – vinyl siding is super easy to get clean.  Get that soap filled bucket (the same as used with the pressure washer above) and a nice extend-arm soft brush and get busy!

Cleaning by hand is similar in most ways to pressure washing. You will wet the section, work from bottom to top, and then rinse at a 45 degree angle. You can use a ladder and traditional soft brush, but an extend-arm is much easier when cleaning vinyl siding. Take special care around windows, doors and seams and you will be just fine.

Regardless of your method of cleaning vinyl siding, you will find that it is easy as can be.  No other form of housing material comes close, and that is one of the many reasons that vinyl siding is so popular.


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  1. Siding Repair Help says

    I have just recently replaced my siding, however, the contractor that did it was terrible. I think they have installed it incorrectly.

    So now I really need some help for my siding repair. Could you give me some advice or recommend someone please?

    I still consider second opinions. I really cannot afford to make another mistake so I really like to get more details on this before deciding what to do.

    Thanks for the help in advance! =)

  2. That’s very unfortunate that the siding company you hired did a terrible job! The best advice I could give anyone searching for a siding contractor is to get reliable references from the contractor and to verify them one by one. Visit each home to see how the siding installation looks and make your best decision then. Also, be sure that you’re getting the best siding prices too!

  3. Hmm… some people say that vinegar is a good replacement for bleach. If it is true, then you can save time and effort in finding an effective cleaning agent for your vinyl.

  4. I agree with Mike. Vet a bunch of siding contractors before you pick one. Trust me, if they give you a reference and that person isn’t happy, they’ll let you know what went wrong. Good luck!

  5. Great article and wish I would have read it last summer before I went and almost ruined mine!
    Thanks for the post.


  6. It can happen when you don’t use proper techniques to cleaning vinyl siding. You can’t go balls to the walls and spray upwards.

  7. If you lived in the Boston area, I could help. However, depending on where you live, I could suggest someone to help you with your siding.