A ladder set next to a home in preparation to clean the vinyl siding

Stained or Grimy Vinyl Siding? Here’s How to Clean It Yourself.

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Sometimes, I don’t know how our homes take it: all that heat and rain, the bugs. Vinyl siding absorbs stains more easily than wood or Hardie panels, so cleaning it can feel challenging. That’s where my homemade vinyl siding cleaner and DIY siding stain removers come in.

One thing to keep in mind: homemade cleaning products are gentler on the environment but that means they need more time to work. Doing this on an overcast day keeps the sun’s heat from drying the vinyl siding cleaner and stain removers before they do their job.

How to Clean Vinyl Siding

Make a vinyl siding cleaner by filling a 5-gallon bucket halfway, then stir in 1 cup of oxygen bleach until it’s dissolved. Mop your siding with the cleaner, working in 6-foot sections and cleaning side-to-side.

Hose off each section as soon as you’ve cleaned it and rinse your mop before cleaning the next spot. Dump out your vinyl siding cleaner or the rinse water if they look grimy.

Did You Know?

Oxygen bleach is safe to use around plants, lawns, and pets. Oxiclean is one brand, or you can make your own.

Need to clean a high spot? Attach fill a hose end sprayer bottle with homemade vinyl siding cleaner then attach it to your garden hose. Spray the solution on then scrub with a mop head attached to an extension pole and switch settings on the sprayer bottle to rinse.

DIY Vinyl Siding Stain Removers

Use these homemade cleaners to remove grime and stains from your home's vinyl siding.
Type of Recipehomemade cleaner
Use AsSpray
Keywordscleaning, outdoors, siding, stain remover

Equipment and Materials

  • 2 5-gallon buckets
  • garden hose
  • outdoor water supply
  • Cleaning rags
  • mop
  • hose end sprayer optional


Homemade Vinyl Siding Cleaner

  • 1 cup powdered oxygen bleach or ingredients to make your own
  • 2.5 gallons water



  1. Fill a 5-gallon bucket halfway with water and stir in 1 cup of oxygen bleach until dissolved.
  2. Apply the cleaner in 6-foot section using your mop or a hose end sprayer. If mopping, rub side to side.
  3. Hose off each section as soon as you've cleaned it, and rinse your mop.

Rust Stains

  1. Use a damp cloth and a paste of baking soda or Bar Keeper's Friend and water.
  2. Rub gently, side to side. (Circles cause hazing.) Rinse.

Sticky Spots and Sap

  1. Rub the area with olive oil or oil-based Castile soap.
  2. Wait 5 minutes then carefully scrape away the mess with a rubber spatula. Reapply if needed.

Dried Paint

  1. Press a white rag soaked with rubbing alcohol (or Krud Kutter) on the dried paint for 5 minutes.
  2. Gently scrape away the softened paint with a rubber spatula. Reapply if needed. Rinse.

Mold or Mildew

  1. Spray moldy or mildewed areas on vinyl siding with a solution of 2 tablespoons of borax, 2 ounces of white vinegar, and 16 ounces of hot water.
  2. Keep the surface wet for 15 minutes, scrub it with a clean damp cloth, and rinse well.


  1. Use a spray bottle filled with 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water to keep the area wet for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Scrub side to side with a clean, damp rag and rinse thoroughly.
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Safety Tip

Use a separate cleaning rag and for the algae treatment so you aren’t combining the vinegar and oxygen bleach, even passively.

Cleaning your home’s vinyl siding is a great task to do as part of Spring Cleaning and again in autumn to keep grime and stains from setting in permanently.

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  1. Carole Tiep says:

    Hi Katie, You have helped me make my house easy to clean, healthier, and saved me money, I am a big fan.
    This information is very timely, but I live on the west coast and have wood siding. Can I use the same ingredients to clean my painted white wood siding? After the endless rain this my siding is looking kinda sad?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Carole!
      You’ve certainly had an abundance of rain this year. The cleaning methods in this post would work for wood siding, but when it comes to stain removal you should avoid using ones with rubbing alcohol or long exposure to vinegar, since both can damage paint. (Vinyl is dyed during manufacturing, so that’s not a concern.) With painted siding, try Simple Green or look for eco-friendly products at your local home center.

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