How To Clean Vinyl Fences

Before and After Cleaning Vinyl Fence

Cleaning a vinyl fence is about the only maintenance needed to be done routinely. It's a fairly straightforward process and should be done before any buildup of dirt or mildew gets too bad. It's recommended to clean the vinyl fence about twice a year, depending on how quickly it gets dirty. If the fence is exposed to direct sunlight most of the time, the fence probably won't need to be cleaned as often as one that's in the shade, which is prone to building up mold quicker. There are a few ways to clean a vinyl fence and make it look brand new again. The ways depend on how bad the buildup is, so you may need to experiment with a couple of different ways and see which one works best for your fence.

Light Dirt

Cleaning a light buildup of dirt or debris on your vinyl fence is pretty straightforward. Most people have all the tools needed to clean it on hand. Get a sponge, rag, or soft brush. Then, grab a bucket with hot water. Add mild dish soap or white vinegar to the water. A good ratio for the vinegar is 2 cups (473 ml) per 1 Gallon (3.79 l) of water. If using dish soap, just a few squirts is good. Vinegar is a great non-toxic cleaner that dissolves tough stains. Its best to get the fence wet prior to scrubbing. Take a hose and rinse the fence down. This will soften and break up some of the dirt. Afterward, start scrubbing the fence until it is clean. Make sure to rinse the fence off after cleaning it, that way there isn't any residue left. If this method is not getting the dirt or stains off, you may need to try to next option.

Heavy Mildew Or Algae

This method is for tougher stains or buildups of green mildew. Using a pressure washer will save some elbow grease. If your pressure washer has a feature for a soap mixture, go ahead and mix some mild dish soap with water and spray down the fence. Be sure not to get too close to the fence, as it may damage the vinyl if the pressure is high enough. A garden hose may work also if you don't have a pressure washer. Using bleach should be a last resort as it will drain into the environment but if you do choose to use it, using a ratio of 1/4 cup (60ml) of bleach to 2 gallons (9 l) of water should be plenty. Also, make sure to only use bleach on white vinyl. It will discolor the fence if you use it on any other color.

Our Preferred Method

Our preferred method and what we've found to work the best is a solution called Wet and Forget. It can be used without scrubbing and has the option to plug directly into a garden hose. It's also EPA-registered, which is going to be better than bleach or other chemicals for the environment. This method will be the least time-consuming of the three.