How to Clean Exterior Siding


Cleaning your exterior siding definitely needs you to spend some time and effort whether your siding is made of vinyl, aluminum, wood, brick, or even asbestos concrete shingles. The most common type of exterior siding is vinyl where its material is recognized for its affordability, durability and diverse style. One of common methods of cleaning is by using a bucket that contains soapy water to enable you to scrub the siding with a stiff bristle brush. Dirty exterior siding not only makes your house’s exterior look unattractive and is also able to attract mold.

To clean exterior siding, you need:

  • One table spoon of liquid dish detergent
  • One-gallon of warm water
  • Clean plastic bucket
  • Plastic drop cloths
  • Spray nozzle
  • Garden hose
  • Sturdy ladder
  • Long handled nylon scrub brush
  • Plastic drop cloth

Cleaning Exterior Siding

How to Clean Exterior Siding

  • First thing to do is to create a soapy mixture
    • Mix one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent together with one-gallon of warm water in a clean plastic bucket
    • Ensure that the mixture is thoroughly diluted in the warm water
  • Also make sure to cover the grass, bushes and plants near the surrounding of your house using plastic drop cloths for protection against the chemical that you use. Bricks or walls nearby your siding also need to be covered with plastic drop cloths.

In order for you to remove any grass and mildew stains on your exterior siding, you can use a solution of one-quart of chlorine bleach, 3/4 gallons of water, plus also one table spoon of liquid dish detergent

  • The next step is to rinse off loose debris, insects and grime on the siding by using your garden hose spray nozzle.
    • Always aim the nozzle at your eye level or downward so that you will not damage the siding.
    • Ensure that you stand on sturdy ladder in order to reach high section of the siding

Pressure washer is good for cleaning your sidings, but you need to be extra careful when using it on certain material. For instance, if you use pressure washer on masonry, you might blast off some of the mortar in between the bricks

  • After that, you need to dip the scrub brush into the soapy solution and do some scrubbing on the siding
    • Firstly, you need to scrub a 3-by-3-foot section of your siding
    • Use the long handled nylon scrub brush during the task starting from the bottom of the siding
    • Then, rinse the 3-by-3-foot section using your garden hose so that the soapy solution is washed away together with other dirt.
  • As for the rest of your 3-by-3-foot section of sidings, you need to repeat the same process as mentioned above. If the need arises, use the ladder to reach the top of your sidings
    • In order not to let grime to return back on your siding, refill your bucket with new and fresh soapy solution
  • Finally, you have to leave the siding to air dry thoroughly to be able to see whether your cleaning task is a successful one or not.
  • In order to clean stucco stains on sidings, you can use a lower pressure power cleaner, but you need to be extra care. Another option is by using a little dishwashing detergent, a cup of washing soda and a cup of borax. Mix them together along with two gallons of hot water and apply the mixture solution with your scrub brush.
  • For cleaning brick sidings, you can also use a lower pressure power washer. Another alternative is to use an oven cleaner and spray it on the brick sidings. For stubborn grime or latex paint spots, you can also try using turpentine, mineral spirits, or paint thinner.
  • To clean wood sidings made of clapboard or shake, you should clean them using a brush with some liquid detergent. Try not to use power wash even at a lower level because the wood might get damage during the process.
  • Another type of siding is the log siding that normally comes in quarter or half logs. Due to its natural look, the log sidings can be cleaned only by using a feather duster.

    Always remember that when you clean your exterior siding

    • Be extra careful whenever you use step ladder or while standing on the ladder so you would not be falling off it.
    • Vinyl siding surfaces can be damaged by the usage of undiluted chlorine bleach, organic solvents, liquid grease removers, furniture cleaners or nail polish remover.
    • Maintain the color of your exterior siding by cleaning them at least two times in a year.

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