How to Clean a Vinyl Fence
Many homeowners are drawn to the glossy, modern look of vinyl fencing, as it is the convenient, low-maintenance alternative to traditional wooden fencing. Not only is it extremely weather resistant, it won't ever rot, splinter, warp or crack. It's also insect-proof and never needs to be painted, scraped or sanded. One of the only downsides is that it tends to show dirt and stains somewhat quickly (particularly on white vinyl fencing).
Algae growth can tint vinyl fencing green or yellow. Algae feed on the sugars and other nutrients that collect on the fence from nearby vegetation. Fortunately, vinyl fences are non-porous, which means that any staining, whether it be from algae, mold and mildew or dirt and leaves, will only be on the surface level. If your fencing starts to accumulate these discolorations and other general grime, it may be time to give it a good pressure washing, rather than a simple spray down with the garden hose. To learn more about proper pressure washing equipment, technique and cleaning products, click here.
Cleaning a vinyl fence with bleach can dry out and degrade vinyl, in addition to harming surrounding plants, patios and other surfaces. You should also never use any type of abrasive cleaner, melamine or scouring pad on vinyl fencing. Abrasives can scratch and dull the glossy sheen of vinyl.
Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck and Fence Cleaner is ideal for both manual and pressure washing to lift and remove dirt and debris from fencing. The fast-acting foaming formula eliminates tough stains from mold and mildew, tree sap, pollen, scuff marks, oxidation, weathering and other grime. It utilizes the power of peroxide to provide high-performance cleaning without toxic or abrasive chemicals.
If you prefer cleaning with a pressure washer, it's best to do it under cooler, non-windy conditions, when the surface you're cleaning is not in direct sunlight. This ensures the cleaner does not dry on your surface before rinsing, and the spray doesn't blow back in your face.
Use the directions below to deep clean your fence at least once a year.
- Wet. Rinse a small section of your fence with water at a low setting. Hold the pressure washer wand firmly with both hands, keeping the nozzle at least three feet from the surface. Start further out and work your way in as needed, as any closer and the pressure could cause damage.
- Prepare pressure washer. Drop the siphon tube into your bottle of Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck and Fence Cleaner or fill the on-board soap reservoir.
- Apply Simple Green. Use the soap tip to apply Simple Green Oxy Solve to the same rinsed area. Apply the cleaner from bottom to top.
- Scrub stubborn stains. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any heavy buildup or noticeable streaks.
- Let it sit. Allow the cleaner to dwell on the surface for 3-5 minutes to lift and dissolve dirt, stains and grime. To avoid streaking, do not allow the product to dry.
- Flush pressure washer. Change to your 40° nozzle and flush out any remaining detergent from the line.
- Rinse. Rinse the fence with clean water, moving from top to bottom.
- Repeat until clean. Continue wetting, cleaning and rinsing the fence in small sections until the entire fence is clean.
- Prepare cleaning solution. Fill a bucket with 1.5 cups of Simple Green Oxy Solve with 2 gallons of water.
- Apply Simple Green. Dip a soft-bristle brush or sponge into your solution and scrub a small area.
- Let it sit. Allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes without drying.
- Rinse. Rinse with a hose at high pressure.
- Repeat until clean. Move to a new section and repeat.
TIP: Each time you mow the lawn, it's a good idea to hose down your fence immediately afterward so algae will not be able to feed on the grass clippings that get blown onto the fence.