Vinyl siding is an excellent building material. It’s easy to maintain and holds its color well to keep your house looking good for generations.
However, because it’s located on the outside, vinyl siding is constantly exposed to harsh elements and over time, it may collect things like dust, bird or insect droppings, pollen, etc., causing it to become dirty and stained.
While regularly hosing down the siding can help you get rid of this filth, some stains will require a little extra work. Keep reading and we will show you how to remove stain from vinyl siding properly.
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Materials Needed to Remove Stain From Vinyl Siding
There are many products on the market that can be used to take stains off vinyl siding without damaging it. But most stains can be removed using simple products from our households. For this particular guide, we will use:
- Powdered oxygen bleach: You can buy this from your local supermarket or make your own by mixing natural soda ash with hydrogen peroxide.
- Clean water: Use cold water.
- Bucket: Any regular bucket or large container will get the job done.
- Stirrer: Use a wooden spoon or paint stirrer to mix any products that need to be blended together.
- Sprayers: Get several spray bottles so you can easily mist different cleaning solutions onto the vinyl. If you are going to use one sprayer for different cleaners, make sure to clean it thoroughly before pouring a new cleaner into it to get rid of any remains of the previous product.
- A clean piece of cloth: Use soft clothing to avoid scratching the vinyl.
- Scrub brush: Use one with soft bristles.
- Contractor-grade vinyl siding cleaner: You can buy this from any supermarket. Read the instructions on the packaging before using the product.
4 Easy Steps to Remove Stain From Vinyl Siding
If you have all the right products and materials, the rest of the process will be pretty straightforward. Let’s get start!
Step 1: Prepare an Oxygen Bleaching Solution
Put one gallon of clean water in a bucket or large container and add one cup of powdered oxygen bleach. If you don’t have any powdered bleach, you can whip your own by treating natural borax or natural soda with hydrogen peroxide.
Because oxygen bleaching materials do not use chlorine, you can remove stubborn dirt and stains without harming your vinyl siding.
Once you have added the oxygen bleach to a bucket of water, stir the contents with a wooden spoon or paint stirrer. Then, put some of the resulting solution in a sprayer and tighten the top.
Step 2: Soak the Stain With the Bleaching Solution
Spray the affected area with the bleaching solution and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Next, pour clean water into another bucket and dip a soft piece of cloth in it. Use the damp clothing to rub over and rinse the stain.
Step 3: Scrub the Stain With a Brush
If the stain is still visible, spray it again and wait for about 10 minutes. Then dip a soft brush into the bleach solution and gently scrub the area. Wipe down the stain with a piece of cloth soaked in clean water.
Note that the oxygen bleach will get rid of all the dirt that may have darkened the siding. As such, you may need to clean the entire area so the previously stained plank doesn’t look too different from the rest of the planks.
Step 4: Try a Contractor-Grade Siding Cleaner
Some stains may prove difficult to remove even with bleach and scrub brush. In that case, we recommend using a contractor-grade siding cleaner. There are many that are designed to take off stains from exterior surfaces and would be a great option if nothing else works.
Simply spray the product over the stained area and let it sit for the amount of time indicated on the label. Then rinse with a damp rag.
How long it will take you to remove stains from vinyl siding will depend on the type of stain and how deep it is. For the most part, you will be able to get rid of almost any siding stain with the above simple steps. Here is a video that can further help you take dirt and tough stains off your vinyl siding.
Other Products You Can Use to Remove Stain From Vinyl Siding
The good old dish soap can come in handy when you have nothing else to take stains off your vinyl siding with. Simply mix a few drops with water then apply to the affected area with a sponge or a piece of cloth. Wait for a few minutes then rinse with clean water.
This one works best on wood stains. Spray the cleaner over the stain and gently scrub with a soft brush. The pumice in the product will quickly clean off the sticky stain without harming the vinyl siding.
PVC Pipe Cleaner
Another product that will act on tough vinyl siding stains is the PVC pipe cleaner. Because vinyl is made from PVC, a product that can clean PVC pipes can also clean your vinyl siding. Just pour a few drops on a sponge and rub it over the offending area to get rid of the stain.
While oxalic acid is not typically something you will find at home, it can be extremely effective when it comes to removing deep wood stains from vinyl siding. You can buy it online or from any lab chemicals store in your area.
To use oxalic acid, pour one gallon of water into a plastic bucket and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the acid. Then transfer the solution to a plastic spray bottle and mist over the stain. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse with a damp cloth.
Extra Tips For Removing Stain From Vinyl Siding
Don’t Let Mineral Spirits Sit for Too Long
If you are using acetone, turpentine, naphtha, or any other mineral spirit to remove an oil-based stain from your vinyl siding, make sure to rinse it off promptly. And once the stain has been removed, thoroughly clean the area with water.
Contrary to what many people think, mineral spirits will not harm vinyl siding. They will only do so if they are left to sit for more than the time indicated on the label.
Use Pressure Washers With Caution
Some people will opt for a pressure washer to rinse the cleaners out of the vinyl siding after stain removal and to clean the rest of the planks. Well, there is nothing wrong with pressure-washing vinyl sidings, but it should be done with a lot of caution.
The extreme pressure from the sprayer can easily damage the siding, leaving you with expensive repairs. You can prevent this by adjusting the washer to the lowest pressure setting.
Spot Test Products Before Use
Not all cleaners claiming to remove stains from vinyl siding will actually do so without damaging the material. It is, therefore, important that you test your product in a small inconspicuous area before using it on the stain. This is especially true if you are dealing with a large stain.
Doing a spot test can help you determine products that are not fit for your vinyl siding, which can help you prevent any adverse reactions.
If a Stain Can’t Be Removed, Paint Over It
Most stains will easily come off using the products we have listed above. If it doesn’t or if it is too intense that removing it will require you to scrape the vinyl, it would be best to just paint over it. Just make sure to choose a color that matches the rest of the planks.
Wear Protective Gear
Put on a mask, eyewear, and rubber gloves to protect yourself when working with vinyl cleaners. The mask will keep you from inhaling dangerous chemical fumes, the protective eyewear will keep the cleaners from entering your eyes, and the rubber gloves will keep the chemicals from coming into contact with your skin.
And if you accidentally get cleaners on your skin or into the eyes, rinse yourself with water immediately.
Read Product Instructions
Do not apply any cleaning product on your vinyl siding without first reading the instructions on the packaging. Even though you have used something similar to the product in question before, do not ignore this important step.
Different manufacturers may have different rules on how their products should be applied to the vinyl, and you can only know how some of these cleaners work if you read the label.
Any stain, no matter how small, is unsightly and will make your vinyl siding look older than it actually is. Use the steps and products we have discussed here to get rid of any dirt and stain from your vinyl. And before you apply any store-bought cleaner, make sure to do a quick spot test to ensure that it doesn’t damage your siding.