How to Clean Siding

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Easy Idea to Clean Siding

Just wanted to pass along this little tip. Today my husband and I decided to pressure wash the exterior of our home. It was fairly dirty and it seems the spiders are really out-doing themselves this year. We used a pesticide spayer (the kind you purchase for spraying chemicals on weeds etc- the pump kind) and mixed a solution of 2/3 water to 1/3 bleach.

This was a very inexpensive cleaner and did a fabulous job. We sprayed on the bleach solution and then let it sit a few minutes then we made sure to rinse everything throughly so no bleach was left behind. Just wanted to pass the money saver along because I looked at siding washing solutions and they were outrageous.

Signed Clean inside and now out :)
Malynda from Indiana

Note from Tawra: This is great timing!! Mom was just talking about how to clean the steel siding on her house. It’s pretty grungy and she tried just using bleach water with a scrub brush but that didn’t phase it. Anyone have any other suggestions? We would love to hear them as she would love to get it cleaned this fall!


photo by: peasap



  1. Debbie says

    Just wondered if the bleach/water solution would harm plants? I want to clean my siding next weekend, but I still have a lot of annuals planted and didn’t want to harm them.


    • says

      Yes, it probably would. I would just soak the plants really well before and after and that should leach the bleach out of the soil. I would call a nursery and ask for sure.

  2. Auda M Adler says

    I was told never to pressure wash so I have only used bleach, and plain old dish detergent and it did not matter which kind.

  3. Sib says

    We usually pressure wash ours. My mom uses a bleach solution as suggested but she uses a broom to scrub the siding then rinse. She says it goes quick for her.

  4. Debra johnson says

    We use Tilex, mildew remover. You can either put it in a spray bottle or use the bottle it comes in. I spray it on there full strength, then leave it for a few minutes, then come back with the water hose on high and it washes right off. Dont know how it would effect plants though. For tough spots you might need a brush. Tilex is kinda expensive but works great.

  5. Betsy says

    My dad uses a pressure washer with a bleach solution, helped along with an old broom to scrub at the really dirty spots and along the eaves. I’ve used a 5 gallon bucket full of hot, soapy water and a long handled scrub brush, but that tends to be labor intensive.

    • says

      My problem with my siding is I have huge streaks of rust which have washed all the way down my white siding. I have tried all the well known commercial rust removers and all the natural rust removers and my rust is just not removing!!!! :( :( I have even called siding people and they don’t know what to tell me. Oh, well. Maybe I could just grow vines all over my house. HA!HA!

      • megan says

        Jill, when you wash your siding, you need to start at the bottom and work up. That will help with the streaking. For rust removal, have you tried steel wool soap pads or brass pads? I had some rusted stuff that nothing seemed to crack, and i ended up making citric acid (grapefruit peelings left in white vinegar for two weeks) and allowing the rusted items to soak in it. Then i scrubbed with a brass or copper pad (looks like a steel wool one, but is copper in color. You can get these at most hardware stores or a marine store). Rust came right off.

        When we wash the siding, we usually use dish soap mixed with bleach. We rinse very well, and cover the plants with a tarp. I’ve also used the homemade laundry detergent.

  6. earline woods says

    On the house we use a mixurte of bleach and water fifty fifty in a presure washer or sprayer pumper just let it dry can treat again if it do not come off you can try the blue liquid soap with a little house hold ammonia but wear good protective gloves and a face mask

  7. Susan says

    I was told by the siding people to never pressure wash my vinyl siding as it removes the protective finish that seals it and then that allows the dirt or algae to penetrate the surface even more. I simply use my garden hose and the siding wash bottle attachment to clean it. I’d rather buy the siding wash than have to replace the siding!

  8. Christine says

    We had a very dirty house and did the whole bleach thing. It worked wonderful. I like the suggestion for the pesticide sprayer for applying the bleach (I used a common water bottle b/c our house was little.) When it came time to clean it off, we borrowed my father-in-law’s power washer. Depending on how long you let the bleach set, the mildew came off really easy.

    • says

      Thanks! Mom doesn’t know it but while she is gone we are working on getting it cleaned off. So far it’s a lot of work but it is coming clean. We are using a scrub brush with bleach water. I am going to try the garden sprayer with the hose tomorrow.

  9. Marilyn says

    Perfect timing. It is time again to clean the vinyl siding on my mobile home.I buy a couple of bottles of Mean Green for mildew as my cleaner. First I hose an area I will be cleaning, then spray on the cleaner. Wait a few minutes and then use a mop to clean the siding. hose it off and I am done and ready to move to the next spot. It is easier than it sounds..Inexpensive. I can’t afford a pressure washer. I am retired this year, so I will be doing it at a more leasurly pace which will be better than ever.

  10. Jan says

    I use this product called “Quick N Brite” It comes in a bucket as a gel. You can use it on anything, for anything, and it really works. I originally bought it for a spot on my kitchen chair that was stained with Kool Aid from the kids. Nothing I tried would get it out. This stain was there for quite awhile as nothing I used would work. So I bought this stuff from a tv commercial. For the kool aid I used the gel straight from the bucket and I was amazed, but it came out completely. Now I use this stuff for everything. I tried it on my shed first, as it is a lot smaller than the house and it has the same shingles/siding. I used a broom, put the gel on the broom, scrubbed it off, dipped the broom in a bucket fill with water and the quick n brite, (it wasn’t an easy task) and then washed it off with the hose. I did this two summers ago, and the green mold is just starting to come back this year, and there is not as much of it. The shed was completely covered.

  11. says

    found a great product to remove rust on siding and tolit called the works at dollar general i squirt it on leave couple mins and wipe with old rags so it want hurt my plants

  12. says

    we had steel siding when I lived in Pittburgh and my Dad used boric acid (very little) and very hot water and a brush that you would use for spreading hot tar on a flat roof, you can buy them at Lowes or Home Depot. It work really well.

  13. megan says

    If you want to avoid the drips that seem to be there for all to see, use the same technique that one does washing walls (yes, i still do this every year or two in my house). START AT THE BOTTOM. This way, if the the water and cleaner drip when you’re working higher up, it doesn’t leave streaks.

    For the rust, is it really rust? Or is it something like copper or maganese? Would copper or steel wool work?

  14. Vicki W. says

    We mix some pine cleaner that we buy at the dollar store in the pressure washer jug. It works great, doesn`t harm the paint on the aluminum siding, and smells so clean for days!

  15. says

    You can use awesome and it works well. You can buy it from the dollar tree. My son told my husband about it and he’s been using it for years. Your aluminum siding well look great.

  16. Jeanne says

    I would caution to be careful about the spray that could hit your clothes while washing siding, especially if there is any wind. Your clothes could get bleached.

    Also, I remember the first time I cleaned the deck in my first home; I was single at the time and was fortunate to find a family-owned lumber yard/hardware store that offered advice on cleaning my deck. I was told that if you just use bleach you are only bleaching the boards, not really cleaning them. The better solution is TSP and and bleach in a water solution, using a deck sprayer. The TSP is the detergent that cleans; the bleach disinfects.

    So if I were to clean the siding on our house I think I’d use the above solution to do so. Just my two cents.

  17. Kerry says

    I use a half cup each. Lead and washing soda in 2 gallons hot water wet the siding with theater hose then dip a driveway brush( one of those stiff brisly ones) and scrub botom to rob then rinse our big problem is mold and this works well for us in humid NC

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