Mold Busters (Or How to Clean Vinyl Siding)


As I mentioned earlier this week, we are on Phase 1 of Operation Paint Our Shutters, which is a thrill for me. Phase 1 of painting the shutters led to another house project, cleaning the vinyl siding. Ooh, now that’s a homeowner’s high if I ever heard of one (hope you caught that sarcasm). But clean it must get.

Check out this mold (this side of the house gets very little sun, thus the mold). Yup, cause now I’m showing mold on the blog. You’re welcome.

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

With the shutters down we thought it was a great time to get a clean, shiny vinyl house. Well, at least in the parts where we have vinyl. I am really appreciating the rest of our house that is brick.

To clean the vinyl we picked up Clorox Pro Results Exterior (this is the spray bottle and this is the big concentrate bottle for refills)  to attach to our hose.

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

It’s a very easy process in theory: just spray, scrub and spray again. Yet it’s also a back-breaking chore. Look at my muscley husband taking control of that mold. Go get ‘em mold buster.

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

He first sprayed down the mold with the cleaner attached to the hose. Then he took the scrub brush to it and sprayed it down with the cleaner again. As a final hoorah, he sprayed it with a strong stream of regular water from the hose. He took that process to the side of the house and front of the house and the windows.

Now here is our mold free home.

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

www.rappsodyinrooms.com

Really, it is beautiful to see a mold free house. And when you touch it, it’s literally squeaky clean. So nice for a clean freak like myself. Now, when our nice, newly painted shutters go up on the house it will be all sparkly clean and fresh looking. So fresh and so clean, clean.

Get the products we used here:

PS – From my research I have read that you shouldn’t pressure wash vinyl siding as it can create too much force and hurt the vinyl siding. Just a tip I picked up along the way.

PPS – Affiliate links are included in the post for the convenience of the reader. 🙂


  • Looks good, a great summer day project *eye roll*  that may be one reason I love green siding. You can’t see a touch of mold if you go a little longer between siding cleans they you’d like.ReplyCancel

    • Haha. That’s hilarious! I will remember that if I ever pick siding!ReplyCancel

      • Judy

        Did the bleach hurt your landscaping at all? We are needing to do the same thing, but fear it will kill our plants:/ thx:)ReplyCancel

        • No this product did not. It is made specifically for outdoor use and I’ve never had our plants harmed.ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Newton

    Thank you for this info! Our gutters need cleaning BADLY! This looks like a viable solution. By the way, you have a lovely home. I really like the colors on your front door!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks Debbie! I have used this same method for gutters and it works great. But I have bad news for you…I just repainted our front door! I’ll be posting about that tomorrow. 🙂 Hope you still like it! And good luck on the gutters!ReplyCancel

  • […] now) and it’s outdoor living time. I started it by cleaning and painting the shutters and by cleaning our vinyl siding. The dot on the “i” for this project was refreshing the color of our front door. It was […]ReplyCancel

  • […] they were down we cleaned the vinyl siding (mold be […]ReplyCancel

  • […] in my step to getting things done outside! From painting the front door and shutters, cleaning the vinyl siding, gardening, and attacking the sun room (here, here, and here), it’s an outdoor frenzy! This is […]ReplyCancel

  • crystal

    I use tilex..spray on brush and rinse.ReplyCancel

  • […] year, I decided to try to work smart, not harder. I decided to give the cleaner we used to clean the vinyl siding – Clorox Pro Results Outdoor […]ReplyCancel

  • Becky Smith

    We use Simple Green that is a concentrate and really goes a long way. It is safe for the environment and goes a long way and is reasonable. You just mix in a bucket,scrub and rinse. It is so safe that you can drink it and it won’t do any harm.ReplyCancel

  • Fran Rydzewski

    I pressure wash my house every spring and fall after I spray it with diluted regular bleach,no scrubbing required.ReplyCancel

    • Great tips! Although I have heard that pressure washing can hurt vinyl siding so I’ve always just used our regular hose. Your way sounds easy!ReplyCancel

      • My husband pressure washed our home and it was too strong that it caused moisture to accumulate between our double panes windows. I have no idea how to correct this other than buying new windows.ReplyCancel

        • Oh no Valli. I am so sorry to hear this. That is one of the reasons I’ve never pressure washed our house either. Unfortunately I have no idea on how to fix this either. Perhaps someone in the comments knows? Hope you find a solution that isn’t new windows.ReplyCancel

        • Maria

          Try silicone packets (they come in every shoe box, new purses etc) they will soak up the condensation.ReplyCancel

          • What a cool suggestion! Thank you!

  • Denice cram

    My water left a yellow stain on my siding any idea how to get it off.ReplyCancel

    • Oh no Denice! That is terrible. I would try the method I used or perhaps one of the ones mentioned in the comments. If those don’t try perhaps you can talk to a siding specialist locally. They may have a suggestion. Best of luck!ReplyCancel

    • Joe

      That sounds like an iron stain, if you have have iron in your water
      try “IronOut” it will remove the stainReplyCancel

  • Looks like alot of hard work to me 🙂 I myself, have been in the vinyl siding industry for around 20 years. The products that you purchase from stores are expensive and actually aren’t good for the shrub or anything that it may come in contact with. Every vinyl siding that I have ever sold recommends:
    1 C Spic & Span
    1 C Tide Detergent
    3/4 C bleach
    ** water, depending on how dark your siding is**
    You mix this mixture and spray on your siding, starting top to bottom and wash off with a low powered pressure washer. Just make sure that you don’t spray the water towards the laps of the siding. A pressure washer WILL NOT hurt your vinyl siding as long as you don’t get it to close and it is not a high powered commercial one.
    I actually keep a small bottle of this on hand, you would be surprised at what all it will clean.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much for sharing your recipe Tammie! I will definitely have to give that a shot. I appreciate your expertise!ReplyCancel

    • Marilyn

      Is the Tide & Spic & Span in powder form or is it the liquid?ReplyCancel

  • Patty

    We have dealt with this problem for years and have washed the house with bleach and power-washed it. Tedious work but an instant fix. We found this product called ‘Wet and Forget’ made for mold and mildew on all surfaces. It is fabulous! You just spray it on, let it dry, and forget about it. The mold disappears over several days and so far it hasn’t come back (it’s been about a year since applied).ReplyCancel

    • Oh that sounds like an interesting and easy (key word, right?!) product! I will have to look into it. Thanks so much for sharing it!ReplyCancel

  • Phyllis

    For small areas, try Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. It worked well for us.ReplyCancel

    • Great idea! Aren’t those Magic Erasers fantastic?! They really can do anything!ReplyCancel

  • […] MOLD BUSTERS OR HOW TO CLEAN VINYL SIDING […]ReplyCancel

  • Rhonda

    Be very careful that these mixtures do not land on the plants beneath,it will destroy your expensive landscaping.Spay the plants down and then do your best to cover them with a tarp or plastic, or if you have perennial’s planted in the area underneath,cover the area and clean before they emerge.ReplyCancel

    • Great tips! However, I have not had any problems with this cleaner killing our plants. It is supposedly plant friendly! I’ve found that so!ReplyCancel

  • sharon

    we were told bleach strips UV coatingReplyCancel

  • les

    1 Gallon warm water, cup of bleach, cup of TSP, 2-3 Tbl spoons laundry detergent. Wet any kind of siding, spray or mop on solution move around with broom let set bout 5 minutes hose off. don’t let dry it takes longer to hose off. Makes an excellent surface to paint, it etches the old paint a little. Had one friend had this done to his wood frame house, it looked so good he didn’t paint it. been doing this over 40 years.ReplyCancel

    • If I ever have a wood house I will have to try this! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Peggy

    You can do the same thing with cheap bleach and a pump up sprayer. Spray it with bleach and then go back with a stream of water from water hose.ReplyCancel

  • My husband sprays on bleach and water. Let it soak for a few minutes, then rinse. You are wasting your time and energy scrubbing.ReplyCancel

  • Jeane

    What about the bleach and the plants?????????????????????????ReplyCancel

    • This particular product that I used is made for outdoor use. It is a very diluted bleach product as well. I have not had any issues with our plants dying.ReplyCancel

  • nancy

    gosh, i wish you had known about jomax cleaner. i’m an interior designer and work with a great contractor who told me about this product. you literally just spray it on, wait maybe 5 minutes or so- no scrubbing necessary – then rinse. you do not need a pressure washer, unless you are trying to get to a high spot on the siding near a roof peak, say. i believe it’s made by rustoleum. anyway, check it out. if you need to wash your house every few years as i do in east texas, this is a lifesaver.ReplyCancel

    • Thanks so much for the information Nancy! I will definitely check out this product! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi

    Non toxic siding cleaner. Spray on Simple Green then spray off with water and you’re done. I use 1/2 cup to 1 gallon of hot water in a garden type sprayer then use my regular spray nozzle on the hose. No harmful chemicals left behind in the piddles of water. Husband has been in the siding industry for over 30 years and this is all we ever use.ReplyCancel

  • Carol McCrudden

    Now that it clean……spray it with car wax…..It will make all the water run off quicker and help stop the moldReplyCancel

    • Oh such a good idea Carol! I’ll have to try that! Thanks for the suggestion!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer

    Does this technique also take care of the oxidation of the siding????ReplyCancel

    • Hi Jennifer. I’m not sure about oxidation. I’ve never had to deal with that. However, I’ve heard that a vinegar and water mixture can work. Vinegar and water really cleans everything!ReplyCancel

  • Romeo

    Hi just read this post and I have been installing siding for over 15yrs a couple of tips for everyone
    1 wash every yr just garden hose it keeps the siding shiny and clean you won’t ever need to use cleaners. Bonus do it on a hot day cools the house off
    2 for marks the best is brake fluid put it on a rag and rub off the mark
    3 don’t spray water in to the laps of the siding also try to stay about 16-18″ away from the eves. If water gets in the vented soffit it always leaves water marks the only way to clean them is to wipe away with a rag not fun
    And like anything you try try it where it can’t be seen first just in case your siding decides to mark.ReplyCancel

    • Hi Romeo! Awesome tips! Thanks so much for sharing! The brake fluid is a great idea – I would have never thought of that before!ReplyCancel

  • I HAVE RUST RUNNING DONE THE SIDE OF MY ALUMINIUM SIDING. ITS FROM AN OLD GUTTER (WHICH AS BEEN REPLACED). BUT HOE TO GET IT OFF? PLEASE HELP. THANK YOU. BOBBIEReplyCancel

    • Hi Bobbie. I’m so sorry you are having rust problems! That’s no good. However, I do not have aluminum siding (I have vinyl) so I don’t have any first hand advice for you on this. However, I’ve heard that a good soapy water scrub down following by using a magic eraser. Also, perhaps try Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover (CLR). Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Candi

    Have problems with snails crawling on my siding!! Any solutions on what to use to get there slime off the siding??ReplyCancel

    • I’ve never had to deal with this Candi but I have heard that using lacquer thinner on them helps. Blot, don’t scrub or the stain will smear. Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

  • sheryl

    my mobile home was egged… any idea on how to remove the dried egg stain?ReplyCancel

  • Eric Bryfogle

    Using a pressure washer is very very effective, I have done this on our vinyl siding…& so have our neighbors, w/no bad results, plus, it’s faster, cuts out the additonal steps, and in the end you use les water, nuff said!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks for the info Eric. I’d read that it would hurt your siding to use a pressure washer so it’s good to know that’s not always the case.ReplyCancel

  • Abe

    I know a lot of people use clorox. As a cleaner. It will however over time fade your vinyl. I use a product called boss. It does same job and brings back true color.ReplyCancel

  • Betty Schmitz

    I would any info on outdoor itemsReplyCancel

  • lorine

    Ok, so first off, it isn’t mold, it is algae. Second, it is so much cheaper to use a solution of bleach tsp and water…………ReplyCancel

    • Good to know Lorine! Algae, mold, I still want it gone! 🙂 Thanks for the tips!ReplyCancel

  • Jeane

    My biggest concern is what these products mentioned here are doing to humans, plants, possibly animals and the environment. Yes, they do work, but at what cost? I found a product that I’m thrilled with, it’s organic, does not harm plants or animals and it works great! I’m not paid to say this, just a very satisfied consumer. You can use this product for all kinds of jobs too, from laundry stains to roofs, siding and decks. Check it out you won’t be sorry. http://www.stainsolver.com/ReplyCancel

    • Thanks Jeane. I will definitely have to check that product out.ReplyCancel

  • Roseann D

    Great article. I do know the product that you do use and it does work great. my husband is a professional painter and he does power washing as well. if done correctly with a power washer it will not damage the vinyl. I understand not everyone has a power washer or hire a professional power washer. it would just wouldn’t need the scrubbinI like the product you are using though it works wonderfulReplyCancel

    • Thanks for the affirmation Roseann. It’s good to hear that other people have had good results with the product. Also good to know about power washing. We don’t own one so we use the scrubbing method. It’s a great workout!ReplyCancel

  • jay

    “Really”. I have something easier. Take a two gallon sprayer like a sprayer for weeds and put 3/4 bleach and the rest water. Take and spray a little part of your house down then take a pressure washer and spray it down. There is no need for using a mop to clean it. The mold comes right off.ReplyCancel

  • Grace

    JoMax, chlorox & water-spray on, sit a few minutes & rinse off. NO scrubbing.ReplyCancel

    • JoMax – haven’t heard of it. I will have to check it out. Thanks Grace!ReplyCancel

  • Marty

    I use this solution TSP is a very strong cleaner at the dilutions normally used, which vary from 1/2 cup TSP to 2 gal. warm water for “heavy duty cleaning” to 1 cup TSP to 3 quarts warm water for “ridiculously heavy duty cleaning” (source The Savogran Company). For mildew killing, household bleach is added to the TSP/water mixture. The recommended ratio is 1 part household bleach to 4 parts water. I spray it on with a garden sprayer let it sit for a while then powerwash.

    Read the manufacturer’s mixing ratios, as they may vary.Please proper safety glasses and make sure your skin is covered and heavy rubber gloves.ReplyCancel

    • Thanks for the great info Marty. I will have to check out this product.ReplyCancel

  • David

    No scrubbing required. Just wet and let 30 to 40 percent bleach to water ratio sit a few minutes then use a high velocity nozzle and hose to wash off. I do this every two years and it looks like new siding. If really bad in areas might require a second dose but have never needed more.ReplyCancel

  • bobbie donaldson

    Looks like something I can do it really needs to be done. Please forward instuctions!ReplyCancel

  • I use white vinegar and water, half and half. Use spray bottle and apply. You can use mop to spread on siding,wait a few minutes and hose off. My siding is around 25 years old and looks like new. Will not hurt shrubbery.ReplyCancel

    • Great suggestion! I’ve recently found the amazing uses of white vinegar. I might need to give this a try.ReplyCancel

  • Jerrold

    I have used a product called Wet and Forget. You just spray on and literally forget. It truly has the job.ReplyCancel

  • karen

    Mix that chlorox with JoMax the next time…spray on with a pump sprayer, wait 5 minutes and rinse…no scrubbing. Really strong mold/mildew may need a second application. Have been using this product for the past 3 years and works like a charm with next to no effort. Can usually do my entire house in one day including soffits and gutters.ReplyCancel

  • Sally

    What about bug and bird stains? My new siding already has stains on the East side…..No trees, no wires so I’m not sure where the stains came from.ReplyCancel

    • Hmm…ours did not have stains on them but I bet this same method would work. However those spots may need a little more scrubbing. So weird about the mysterious stains!ReplyCancel

  • We have used “JoMax” on our mobile home for the past few years, mixed with outdoor bleach according to directions and it works great ,very little if any scrubbing and use a low pressure, pressure washer for reaching the roof line and all.ReplyCancel

  • Tina Ward

    I have been cleaning our siding annually for over 20 years. I don’t believe it’s mold though. Never seen green mold, it’s algae and it mostly grows on the south side and areas with shrubbery that keeps the siding shaded and moist.ReplyCancel

  • Shelby Williams

    You can do the same thing with a cleaner named “mean green”.ReplyCancel

  • Margo

    My whole 2 story house is covered in vinyl siding and my husband has pressure washed it several times in the 10 yrs. we have lived here. It has not harmed it in any way whatsoever. Just sayin. He is an interior/exterior painter by trade and pressure washing is part of his job, so I know that he knows what he is doing.ReplyCancel

  • Danny

    Bleach dries out vinyl siding and makes it dull looking. I use Wet and Forget. They make it for exterior mildew, interior mildew and to clean fiberglass tub and shower soap scum. You just spray it on and your done. It will remove the mildew and leave a coating on to prevent future mildew. I’m not a salesperson. I used it and it does what it says it does. You can get it at Lowes, home depot or online.ReplyCancel

    • That is a great tip! Thanks for suggesting that product Danny. I will definitely have to check it out. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • ZioBob

    The suggestions are good but might I add that in a bucket of water with bleach and “Car Wash Soap”. The Car Wash Soap will leave the siding streak free and super clean.ReplyCancel

  • does the Clorox pro cleaner hurt the plantsReplyCancel

    • Hi Martha! This product has not hurt my plants. This is made to be an outdoor cleaner. I think it works great!ReplyCancel

  • Larry Huchings

    After reading these comments, I’m very surprised that no one has tried a very simple and cheap product to clean vinyl siding, brick and any other type of siding. Just one (1) $0.99 bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide will clean the entire outside of your house. I use a 2 gallon sprayer and mix 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to 2 gallons water and spray the siding and then rinse off with the water hose. If you have a lot of mold, go to Lowe’s and purchase a cobweb brush with one of those expendable handles and brush the siding after spraying and then rinse. You will see the mold and dirt starting to run while you are spraying. Hydrogen Peroxide is made of water and oxygen. No harm to plants or flower gardens, they will even thank you for using it, the black spots you see on the leaves will just fade away.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy

    When done cleaning siding, apply a car wax product like turtle wax and stops mold from growing for several years and leave a nice gloss finish. Many products available to add to your garden hose.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve never heard that tip. Sounds awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Manon

    Wish had seen this yesterday. I used a pressure washer.ReplyCancel

  • Frances Farley

    Use a thin liquid wax and pressure apply to prevent mold and protect your siding for an extended period. Mixes with the water as applied. Have the wax at hardware and mobile home supply outlets.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Doesn’t it look nice when it’s all done! We were also told to buy a brush specially made for siding….isn’t too stiff so it won’t scratch…and made to fit on an extension.ReplyCancel

    • It is so rewarding when it is done!! Good to know about the siding brush. We used a pretty stiff one but it wasn’t made especially for siding. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • therese canning

    I use mean green mold and mildew spray. Can buy at dollar General for about 2 dollars. Wet down siding, spray with cleaner and let sit for 5 minutes, rinse. Never harmed my flowers.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn

    If you have any pest control done to your house as we do every year for spiders and bees and such, bleach will not allow the pest control chemical to work. Therefore wasting the money you spent on pest control!!!
    Soap and water + elbow grease is best!ReplyCancel

  • Calla Brantner

    I’m short. Do not have a long scrubber or pressure washer. No one available to do it and cannot afford the expense to have professionally done. Now what?ReplyCancel

    • Hmmm can you afford to buy a long scrubber? Or ask someone to help you or borrow some items? You can also rent pressure washers. Or you can just try spraying the siding with water, then with cleaner, and then with water again. See how it works without the scrubber.ReplyCancel

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