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Refresh Your Vinyl Siding This Spring With Simple Cleaning

When the warm weather is finally here for keeps in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, you’ll find homeowners in droves outside on the weekends tackling those home maintenance and yard chores that have been waiting all winter.  Some are mechanical upkeep, some are winter recovery, and others are more aesthetic, such as window-washing.   If you have vinyl siding you may want to add its cleaning to your spring exterior “to-do” list.  Even maintenance-free siding products can benefit from a good cleaning periodically.  And with winter often depositing grime and dust as the snow melts, cleaning your vinyl siding is a great way to refresh its appearance and make it look newly-installed again.

Today’s quality vinyl siding products have been engineered to resist fading and cracking, but so far no one has come up with a process to completely repel dirt, dust, and other grime, so an occasional cleaning for your siding is recommended to keep it looking good.  Some homeowners go after it with power washing, but we don’t recommend it for vinyl siding.  In fact, some manufacturers specifically recommend AGAINST power washers on their warranties; others restrict their use.  If  you are considering using a power washer or hiring a professional to do it for you, check the warranty or owner instructions you received with your siding first.  Power washers pack a wallop, and unless you’re extremely experienced in their use, you can do more harm than good.  A simple rinse-down with a garden hose is usually sufficient if all you’re dealing with is dust.

Tips for Cleaning Vinyl Siding

– For mildew or mold areas, an ammonia-based spray window cleaner works well for small areas.  Simply spray it on, wipe, and rinse off.   If you have large areas, a 30/70 solution of vinegar and water is usually effective.  If entire sections of your siding are affected, try this cleaning solution:  1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent, 1 quart chlorine bleach, 2/3 cup powdered cleaner such as Spic & Span®, and one gallon tap water.  Apply with a sponge or soft bristle brush, followed by a rinse as you clean each section.

– A soft bristle brush on an extension pole makes it easy to reach higher areas.

– Work from the bottom up, rinsing each section before it dries.  We know, that’s contrary to most wall cleaning where top-down cleaning is the standard, but this method works the best for handling vinyl siding.

– Pencil and crayon marks as well as tar or grass stains can usually be removed with a nonabrasive cleanser such as Soft Scrub®

– Oil-based and grease stains can be cleaned using either Lestoil® or Murphy’s Oil Soap®

Please note:  Reference to specific products does not constitute an endorsement; these are merely recommendations for specific product types.  You may find that other similar products work just as well.  We do recommend that if you try a product for the first time that you test it on a small inconspicuous area first. 


Window Outfitters is a premier Window Replacement, doors, siding contractor and installer. As Contractor in the St Paul, Minneapolis, (Twin Cities) Minnesota (MN) metro, we proudly serve, but are not limited to, the following areas: Minneapolis Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows, Replacement Window Contractors Minnesota, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Savage, Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Eagan, St Paul, Hastings, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, Farmington MN, Chaska, Shakopee, Chanhassen, Victoria, Mendota Heights Anderson Windows Minneapolis, Marvin Windows Minneapolis.