Vinyl often outperforms siding types like aluminum or fiber cement because of its toughness, colorfastness, and overall appeal – not to mention its low price. But, given all of what nature throws on your vinyl siding, it can get grubby, which can detract from the curb’s appeal and even cause damage over time.
Beautify and protect your siding with an exterior cleaner formulated to make the vinyl siding look good again safely and effectively. Read on to find out what makes an effective cleaner and why the following products are considered our most popular picks among the best vinyl siding cleaners available:
- BEST FOR MILDEW: Wet & Forget Moss Mold Mildew & Algae Stain Remover
- BEST FOR STAIN REMOVAL: Krud Kutter Rost calcium and lime stain remover
- BEST FOR GENERAL PURPOSES: Scotts Outdoor Cleaner Plus OxiClean concentrate
Important properties of the vinyl siding cleaner
Consider the following factors before buying a vinyl siding cleaner.
Opt for house / siding detergents and multi-surface exterior cleaners with inorganic solvents such as water or hydrogen peroxide or soaps with water-soluble surfactants such as alkyl sulfates that will not react with the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or will damage the vinyl siding. Detergents with a chemistry similar to vinyl siding, e.g. B. those that contain organic solvents or petroleum ether such as acetone, benzene or tetrahydrofuran can damage them and cause dark and cloudy spots, streaks, yellowing and brittleness, cracks and / or distortions on the surface as well as loss of color and impact resistance. Also, resist the temptation to spot clean vinyl siding with liquid grease removers, nail polish removers, and furniture polishes, which often contain organic solvents.
Mold and mildew removal
High humidity, lack of sunlight, and exposure to dirt or tree sap can cause mold and mildew to grow on vinyl siding. So if you live in a damp, humid, cloudy climate, or have a lot of vegetation or trees in your yard, consider a vinyl side cleaner that is designed to help control mildew and mold. These products often contain fungicides such as ammonium chloride, chlorine bleach, or oxygenated bleach, all of which soften mold and mildew and remove stubborn stains like rust or lime. Be aware, however, that chlorine bleach can kill nearby plants as well. Therefore, choose products with oxygenated bleach (hydrogen peroxide) or ammonium chloride instead.
Vinyl side cleaners are commonly applied in three ways: with a pressure washer, through a cleaning bottle with a built-in applicator, or manually with a long-handled brush.
- When pressure wash (the quickest, easiest way to clean siding) Choose a vinyl siding cleaner that is specially labeled for use with pressure washers. These are usually sold in large jugs that you can put into the pressure washer’s fluid container. Be aware that pressure washing can damage some siding products. Check with your siding manufacturer before use.
- When you apply a cleaner with a built-in applicatorChoose a product in a bottle with a spray head or hose end. Connect one end of your garden hose to the hose end and the other to a spigot and run the faucet. When the hose head is set to “On”, it sprays detergent that has been diluted with water from the tap. This seamless method eliminates the need to load liquid into a separate device.
- With manual applicationOpt for a cleaner that is sold in large resealable jugs. You can pour the contents directly into a bucket and apply it with a brush. Note that most detergents designed for use with pressure washers can be applied manually.
Vinyl siding cleaners are sold in concentrated and ready-to-use formulas. Generally, you need to dilute the concentrate in water before use. However, if you use a concentrated cleaner with a pressure washer, the washer will automatically dilute the cleaner via a separate hose connection to a faucet. A concentrated formula is generally the more economical choice.
Environmentally conscious homeowners can minimize the harmful effects of chemicals with vinyl side cleaners labeled “Non-Toxic” and “Biodegradable”. The latter means that the product is decomposing. Better still, look for cleaners with the EPA Safer Choice label – an indication that the formulation meets the Safer Choice standard for human health and environmental safety, which includes carcinogenicity, reproductive / developmental toxicity, aquatic toxicity and dwell time Reinigers takes the environment into account before the breakdown. Products labeled with Safer Choice are believed to be safer for the health of your family, pets, aquatic life, and the planet than your average cleaner.
Our top picks
This bleach-free, wet-and-forget formula uses the power of ammonium chloride to remove mold, mildew, moss, and algae from vinyl siding and virtually any exterior surface without damaging nearby plants – no pressure washer, scrubbing, or rinsing required! Dilute 2.5 cups of the cleaning concentrate in one gallon of water, then apply it by hand. Let it work its deep cleansing magic for four to five hours and then admire the tingling results.
This non-toxic, bleach-free interior and exterior cleaner with the Safer Choice label uses ingredients like water and ammonium chloride to remove stubborn siding stains from vinyl and patio furniture such as rust, calcium, and lime, as well as greasy deposits such as motor oil and crayon. Apply the ready-to-use cleaner undiluted, let it sit for a few minutes, scrub lightly with a soft-bristled brush, and then rinse off with water. You can also use it indoors on surfaces ranging from kitchen sinks to showers.
You will get your money’s worth with this large jug cleaning concentrate. The cleaner, powered by hydrogen peroxide, removes dirt and stains from moss, mold, mildew and algae without damaging the lawn, plants or patio cushions. It’s safe for vinyl, wood composites, brick, and more. To apply, dilute 1.5 cups of the concentrate in 13.5 cups of water, spray the solution on the siding, and wait five or ten minutes. Then, if necessary, scrub the siding with a soft-bristled brush before finally rinsing off the solution.