How to Clean Vinyl Siding with a Pressure Washer | Step By Step Guide

How to Clean Vinyl Siding with a Pressure Washer


Vinyl siding is a common choice for home exteriors in the United States, and many people question if they can clean their vinyl siding with their pressure washer. True, filth, dust, grime, and spider webs can collect on vinyl siding over time. Cleaning these with a pressure washer is simple, but you must exercise caution and plan ahead of time before beginning.

To keep your home and family safe, you should clean the exterior of their home once a year to remove dirt, mold, mildew, and stains. Power washing is the quickest and most efficient way to do the task, but how does the cleaning procedure differ when power washing vinyl siding rather than brick? In this guide post, we will answer how to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer and frequently asked questions.

How To Power Wash Vinyl Siding

Users are frequently confused when it comes to washing vinyl siding with a pressure washer since, on the surface, the strong pressure from the washer appears to be damaging the siding. It is best to use the pressure washer at a low pressure to prevent siding damage. Other considerations include the use of proper washing chemicals, accessories, and cleaning methods. Let’s take a closer look at these variables.

1) Use a safe detergent.

Vinyl siding is durable, but the use of industrial-strength cleaning solutions is not advisable. Utilize only vinyl siding-specific pressure-washing detergents. Additionally, you should look for environmentally friendly detergents that do not harm the environment.

2) Select the Proper Settings for the Pressure Washer

For pressure cleaning vinyl sidings, the washer should have a minimum flow rate of 2.3 GPM (Gallons Per Minute) and a maximum pressure of 1300-1600 PSI. Check the pressure washer settings on your vinyl siding by spraying a small area with a test spray. In general, when washing vinyl siding, pick a lower PSI setting since it is the GPM that helps remove dirt.

3) Check the Area 

Examine the area you want to pressure wash. Make sure the vinyl siding is free of cracks. If there are any windows in the siding, close them to prevent water from entering the house.

Turn off all electrical connections to prevent damage to the electronics. The soil can absorb any additional chemicals in the water if plants are near the siding before you begin cleaning.

Cleaning the vinyl siding wall with a high-pressure washer

4) Apply the Soap 

The soap application is tough since you don’t want to spray the soap on the siding haphazardly. It’s better to start at the bottom and work your way to the top with broad pressure washer strokes.

If you’re spraying siding that extends to the second floor, you can also utilize an extension adapter with the nozzle. If there are stubborn stains on the siding, apply the soap with a brush attachment to the problem areas.

5) Rinse off the soap 

 Let the soap sit on the vinyl siding for 15-20 minutes, depending on how dirty it is. While cleaning the vinyl, keep the pressure washer wand at least a foot away from the siding and wash it from top to bottom.

Do not spray water into space between sidings, as this can harm the insulation. The wand should be kept perpendicular to the surface when washing off the soap.

Related: 12 Best Pressure Washer Under $600

Precautions to Take While Cleaning Vinyl Siding with a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are not as straightforward as they seem to be for cleaning vinyl siding. There are many steps to follow in order to clean the siding effectively and safely. The following are a few of these safety measures.

1) Avoid Using Abrasive Detergents 

Cleaning vinyl siding necessitates the purchase of a proper detergent. Other soaps that contain harsh chemicals may damage your siding and may also be harmful to your health.

2) Wear protective equipment 

 Make sure you have eye protection, gloves, and closed-toed footwear. It is important to exercise caution when using a pressure washer because its spray can cause serious injury. Always keep the pressure washer away from other people and your own hands and feet.

3) Keep an Eye on the Weather 

If you want to wash the siding, pick a day when there won’t be heavy rains or strong winds. Also, make sure you clean the siding on the side of the house that does not receive direct sunlight to prevent it from drying. After you’ve washed the soap away from the vinyl siding, let it air dry.

4) Avoid Ladders 

 Using a ladder to reach higher places of the house can be enticing. However, the pressure from the pressure washer may cause the ladder to collapse or become unbalanced while you are on it. Ladders should be avoided at all costs, and you can acquire an extension wand to reach higher spots.

Before and after photo of vinyl siding with mold/algae.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is likely that you have questions if you are new to pressure washing vinyl siding. Let’s take a look at some questions people frequently ask.

  1. How often should I wash my vinyl siding?

    Ideally, you should wash your vinyl siding every two years, but you may have to clean it once a year if you live in a cold area. A chilly environment and wet environment can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, making regular cleaning necessary to maintain your home's beauty.

  2. Can I reach high-up areas with a ladder that are out of reach of the pressure washer?

    You should not use a ladder because the washer's pressure may cause you to lose your balance. A platform vehicle or an extension wand can be used to reach the upper locations and clean them thoroughly.

  3. What kind of soap or detergent should I use on my pressure washer?

    You should avoid using strong detergents since they can damage vinyl siding and interfere with the pressure washer's operation. Always wash vinyl siding with detergents designed specifically for pressure washers. It is usually better to use an environmentally friendly detergent. Choose soap with a “recommended for pressure washer” label on the packaging.

  4. Should I use a gas-powered pressure washer or an electric pressure washer to clean my vinyl siding?

    With an electric power washer, you can easily clean all the surfaces in a one-story home. When cleaning a large area of a double-story home, a pressure washer powered by gas is the smartest option.

  5. My house is quite old, and the walls appear to be filthy. Can it be cleaned with a pressure washer?

    The paint on your walls might contain lead if your house was built before 1978, and washing it with a pressure washer may disturb the paint. In addition, some pre-1970 homes have asbestos bricks at their foundations, which can be harmful if disturbed with a power washer. If your house is quite ancient, you may consider contacting the local municipality for professional cleaning assistance.

Final Thoughts

Vinyl siding can be thoroughly cleaned with a pressure washer as long as you take the necessary precautions and follow the steps. Use the appropriate pressure washer and begin with low pressure. Make sure the pressure washer won’t damage the siding by testing it on a small area first.

If you have any reservations about utilizing a pressure washer, get advice from your local cleaning pros. When using a pressure washer, you should use your discretion and judgment, as this article is simply designed to be a guideline.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us using the comment box, and our team will respond as soon as possible.

Joseph is Green Home and Kitchen's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated home improvement and automation advisor. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of innovation. Joseph closely follows the latest trends in the industry to keep the visitors in the flow.

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