Owning a home is a goal for most people, but with that goal comes challenges not everyone expects.
Unfortunately, the outside of your home can get a build-up of mold and mildew on your vinyl siding.
Good for you; there is an easy way to address this situation.
I’ve been there and done the research to learn how to clean your vinyl siding properly.
Continue reading to learn how to remove mold and mildew from vinyl siding.
What You’ll Need
- mop or brush
- pressure washer
- OxiClean (As a last resort)
Now that you have everything you need, continue reading below for step-by-step instructions on how to remove mold and mildew from vinyl siding.
1. Create Your Cleaning Solution
In a bucket, combine one part bleach with four parts water.
This diluted solution you can use straight on the vinyl siding with a pressure washer or using the mop or brush.
2. Fill Your Pressure Washer with Solution
Next, fill the pressure washer with the solution.
Be sure that you do not add full-strength bleach into your pressure washer.
If you are in the market for a pressure washer I recommend the Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric High Pressure Washer.
It’s a great pressure washer that won’t break the bank and still has plenty of power to get any household cleaning job done the right way.
3. Spray Cleaning Solution Onto Vinyl Siding
Using low pressure and a low-pressure tip, begin to spray the solution onto the vinyl siding.
Start at the lower areas and then start spraying and applying the solution onto the higher areas.
4. Rinse the Solution from the Vinyl Siding
Use a wider tip and low pressure, rinse the vinyl siding.
Make sure you start at the top and work your way down.
This ensures that you don’t leave any of the diluted bleach solutions on the vinyl siding.
Pro-Tip: Please ensure that you use the lowest setting first and work up to higher levels.
Doing this will prevent spraying too hard and puncturing the siding.
5. Reapply and Scrub with a Mop if Necessary
You can reapply the solution using either the pressure washer or the mop and bucket for any problem areas.
Then you will want to use your mop or brush to scrub the areas that have mildew and mold remaining.
If you use a brush, I recommend this BOOMJOY Floor Scrub Brush with Long Handle.
It gets excellent reviews on Amazon plus the long handle is a lifesaver when you are trying to get to those hard-to-reach areas.
6. Repeat the Process if Necessary
Repeat any steps that are necessary to remove any remaining mold or mildew from your vinyl siding.
- Step 1 (:17) — Create solution
- Step 2 (:23) — Fill pressure washer
- Step 3 (:53) — Spray with the pressure washer
- Step 4 (1:12) — Rinse with the pressure washer
- Step 5 (1:31) — Reapply and scrub
Will Using Bleach Harm My Vinyl Siding?
If not appropriately diluted, bleach can harm your vinyl siding.
Due to the aggressive properties of bleach, in too strong a solution, you can damage your siding.
When cleaning your vinyl siding to remove mildew and mold, be sure to dilute it with a 1:4 ratio of bleach to the water.
This ratio should keep the bleach’s properties and remain effective as a cleaning agent but be diluted enough not to damage your siding.
Will Using A Pressure Washer Harm My Vinyl Siding?
You can harm your vinyl siding if you are misusing your pressure washer.
Vinyl siding is not a surface as hard as some, which leaves it vulnerable to high-pressure washers.
When using your pressure washer, you will want to maintain a sufficient distance, avoid aiming at weaker spots in the vinyl siding, such as the seams, and ensure you are using it in a low-pressure setting.
By using your pressure washer correctly, you can avoid damaging your vinyl siding.
What If I Don’t Have A Pressure Washer?
Even if you do not have a pressure washer, you can still clean your siding.
It may just take a bit more effort and creativity.
You can still clean the mildew off your vinyl siding using the mop or brush and a bucket of the solution you created.
You will still apply the solution to the lower areas and work your way up.
Next, you will want to scrub your siding with the mop or brush to remove any mildew and mold built up on your house.
Then you will rinse with a garden hose starting from the top and moving towards the bottom. Repeat any of these steps where needed.
How Frequently Should I Clean The Vinyl Siding?
It is generally recommended to use a pressure washer to clean your vinyl siding about once a year.
If it does not seem visibly dirty, you can also extend the time and wash it every two years.
Doing this can serve as preventive care, but also to remove whatever the year (or years) has washed onto your house’s siding.
If you are interested in removing mildew from other vinyl surfaces, check out our article that’s dedicated to teaching how to get mildew stains off of your vinyl boat seats.
What Causes Mildew To Grow On Vinyl Siding?
Different things can cause your vinyl siding to grow mildew on it.
If you have a house with nearby or very close trees, the sugars from their sap will promote the growth of mold and mildew.
Clogged rain gutters can cause a build-up of wet leaves and create a breeding ground for mildew.
Sprinkler systems that are too close to houses can also cause excess moisture to hit the house’s siding, and with extra water comes mildew, especially in warmer, more humid climates.
How Do I Prevent Mildew From Growing On My Vinyl Siding?
When doing a yearly cleaning of your siding, use dish soap and water to clean it.
Doing this will remove any of the materials on your siding that might promote the growth of mildew.
You can also use a solution of 70% water to 30% white vinegar and spray that on the siding to prevent growth.
Ensure that the gutters of your house are unclogged and that your sprinklers are not facing the siding.
Trim and nearby trees or shrubs so that sap cannot get onto the siding.
All of these are essential ways to keep your house and yard looking nice, regardless of mildew concerns.
The lack of mildew is just a fantastic side effect.
Are There Any Store-Bought Cleaners That Can Clean Vinyl Siding?
Yes, there are specific vinyl siding cleaners, but you can also use household cleaners, such as OxiClean, to clean your siding.
These cleaners can cut through some of the harder-to-clean mildew as well as the stains from tree sap that might be the leading cause of your mildew problem.
But as mentioned above, use harsh chemicals more sparingly as they can cause more harm than good on your siding.