How to Remove Stains from Vinyl Siding


Tiffany asked: How do I get cooking oil off of vinyl siding? I went out on the deck to pour out some vegetable oil in the garbage and dropped the pot. Oil got on the vinyl siding. I also sprayed the siding around the door with insect killer spray and it looks like it’s trying to stain.

Vinyl siding may appear maintenance free, but if you are the proud owner of a home with siding, you have already learned that it simply isn’t so. Vinyl siding requires care to keep it looking its best. It needs to be properly cleaned and stains removed to keep it from looking dirty and dingy. Here are the steps to clean the siding on your home and remove any stains that may have developed over time.

You Will Need:

  • Hot water
  • Strong detergent such as TSP substitute, siding cleaner or Spic and Span
  • Scrubber
  • Cleaners for stain removal
    • Grass/Grease/Oil: Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap, Windex, Lysol
    • Rust: Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap, Windex
    • Tar: Soft Scrub
    • Dirt/Soil: Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap, Lestoil
    • Mildew: Laundry bleach
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles

Steps to Remove the Stains:


  1. Before attempting to remove stains, it is best to clean the area with a general cleaner. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and goggles.
  2. Mix a strong solution of siding cleaner or other strong detergent and hot water.
  3. Scrub the area with a scrub brush and the solution.
  4. Once the general cleaning is completed, you are ready to tackle the stain. Use the cleaner designated for the particular stain you are working to remove. Try several different cleaners to find which one works best on the particular stain for your siding.
  5. Fill a bucket with hot water and either add the cleaner to it or have it ready to go.
  6. Moisten the area with water and then scrub it using the cleaning solution.
  7. Start at the bottom of the stain and work your way to the top. Ensure that the areas under the area where you are cleaning remain wet. Avoid getting dirty water on dry siding as it can be harder to rinse off.
  8. Work in small sections and rinse each section when completed. This will help to ensure that each area is cleaned and rinsed before it dries.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • When using cleaning products, always read the labels thoroughly and educate yourself about any necessary precautions that should be taken while using the products.
  • Never mix bleach with cleaning products that contain ammonia. This mixture produces toxic fumes.
  • Though painting seems like a quick fix, it is not recommended for vinyl siding. The surface of vinyl siding is such that paint does not adhere to it well at all.
  • Regular cleanings are important for keeping vinyl siding in good condition and lasting for many years. For cleaning instructions, see our article about How to Clean Vinyl Siding.



  1. Kenneth says:

    Good Morning!
    I hope you can help me. I believe I got some “over spray” of Thompson’s Waterseal on the vinyl siding of my home while I was waterproofing my deck. Since it was clear, I didn’t think I did, but clearly now I can see that I did. It is causing a blackish stain on my nice pale yellow/tan vinyl siding. Any suggestions on how to get it off? I’ve been afraid to use different types of “stuff” for fear of making things worse than they already are! HELP!

    Thanks for your time,

  2. How does one remove the stain leaching from the insulation board under the vinyl siding on the house?

  3. Good Morning!
    I was spraying wrought-iron railing, and though I thought I had masked the house well, I find I had an over spray [slight] on the vinyl siding. I tried to remove it with mineral spirits, and thought it had worked but I find, after it dried, a stain remained. The product was Rust-oleum ultra 2x coverage. Can you help me?
    The customer is upset and I understand, I am just looking to see how to fix it?
    Yours gratefully, Norman

  4. The Murphy’s Oil Soap worked perfectly to remove the bug spray from my siding. At first, I didn’t put much elbow grease into it and it wasn’t coming off very well. A little pressure (with a scrubber) and it was gone!

  5. I have white siding with one side facing a dirt road. The siding looks as though it is stained with red clay from the dust of the road. Have tried a power washer and scrubbing with Mean Green, but it doesn’t help. Anything that will cut this stain?

  6. Scott,
    This article might help: How to Remove Georgia Red Clay Stains. There are several cleaners mentioned in that article that are also mentioned in this one (Murphy Oil Soap, Lestoil, Windex/ammonia). Good luck!

  7. My grandchildren sprayed themselves with a sunscreen and then they leaned on vinyl siding of my home and there are now sunscreen stains on the vinyl siding. How do I remove the stains from the siding? Thank you.

  8. Frances,
    This article might help: How to Remove Ink and Sunscreen off Vinyl Boat Seats. It recommends using ammonia. There is also ammonia in Windex, so you could try that as well.

  9. Mini sunflowers grew really well this summer and came into contact with the vinyl siding on our buildings. It stained the siding black, which I was able to remove, but there is a brown stain remaining that I am not able to remove. I’ve tried many different cleaners. Any ideas?

  10. I have coffee ground stains on my vinyl siding. What is the best way to remove it?

  11. Dale,
    Using laundry bleach would be a good choice. However, keep in mind that chlorine bleach and other types of bleach, including laundry bleach, can kill any plants or lawn underneath the area being cleaned if you’re not careful. Water the plants before beginning the cleaning, then cover them with a tarp to protect them as much as possible.
    Source: HowToCleanStuff – How to Remove Coffee Stains

  12. My lawn just got hydroseeded and it stained my white vinyl siding. Is there a way to clean it?

  13. Melanie says:

    According to The International Association of Hydroseeding Professionals, “the green dye that may have splashed onto your foundation or walkways will usually fade away within a few days and can be hosed off with a garden hose.”
    Source: The International Association of Hydroseeding Professionals – Hydroseeding FAQs

  14. If you have mud stains on vinyl siding, try cleaning it with Bar Keepers Friend. Just mix the powder with a little water and use a soft brush, then rinse; works really well. The product can be bought a local Wal-Mart.

  15. When someone did my roof, they got tar on my vinyl siding. To make matters worse, they used break parts cleaner (swore by it) to remove the tar. That was great, except now there are shiny streaks on my siding where they used the break parts cleaner. Does anyone have anything to recommend to get rid of these?

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