Steve asked: What works for cleaning corn stove soot from vinyl siding? The siding has black, soot film on it. I have tried car soap with a power washer. It helped, but it’s not really clean yet. Can you help?
There are a few commercial products designed to remove soot, but for a simple at-home solution that won’t hurt your wallet, give this method a try. It’s a great all purpose solution for vinyl siding with enough kick to get rid of hard-to-remove dirt like soot and grime.
You Will Need:
- Soft bristled, long handled brush
- Powdered detergent
- Spic and Span household cleaner (or similar)
- Garden hose with running water
- Ladder (as needed)
- Plastic tarp (optional)
Steps to Remove the Soot:
- Begin by protecting plants and shrubbery with the plastic tarp. This will prevent the soapy mixture from damaging any landscaping.
- Sweep the siding with a stiff broom or brush to remove as much of the loose soot as possible.
- Mix a solution of 1/3 cup powdered detergent, 2/3 cup household cleaner and one gallon of water.
- Use the brush to apply the cleaning solution to the siding, working from the bottom up to reduce streaking.
- Work in small sections so you can rinse frequently.
- As soon as you are finished, and before the siding has a chance to dry, rinse it thoroughly with the garden hose.
Additional Tips and Advice
- If you can find the type of washing brush designed to attach to a garden hose, it will make your job easier. If not, a bucket and a regular brush works just fine.
- Whenever possible, clean siding on a cool, cloudy day. Heat and sunlight will make drying time faster, giving the cleaning solution less time to work.
- Use rubber gloves and eye protection if you will be working over your head or have sensitive skin.
- If soot build up is a common problem, clean it at least every three months to keep the stains at bay.
- Though it may be tempting to increase the concentration of the cleaner, this is not advisable. The stronger concentrations can damage the siding.