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
- Cleaners for stain removal (choose one)
- Grass/Grease/Oil: Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap, Windex, or Lysol
- Tar: Soft Scrub
- Rust: Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap, or Windex
- Dye: isopropyl alcohol, OxiClean, or a baking soda and water paste
- Dirt/Soil/Clay: Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap, or Lestoil
- Mold/Mildew: Chlorine bleach (diluted 1:4 in water)
- Bugs/Plants/Organic materials: Enzyme digester like Nature’s Miracle or Biz laundry detergent
- Suncreen: Windex
- Thompson’s WaterSeal: Mineral spirits or concentrated degreaser like Simple Green or Krud Kutter
- Bird droppings: diluted white vinegar (50:50), plain white toothpaste, baking soda or Poop-Off Bird Poop Remover
- Skunk spray: use the steps in the guide How to Remove Skunk Spray from Vinyl Siding
- Rubber gloves
Steps to Remove the Stains:
- Before attempting to remove stains, it is best to clean the area with a general cleaner. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and goggles.
- Mix a strong solution of siding cleaner or other strong detergent and hot water.
- Scrub the area with a scrub brush and the solution.
- 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 from the list above. Try several different cleaners to find which one works best on the particular stain for your siding.
- Fill a bucket with hot water and either add the cleaner to it or have it ready to go.
- Moisten the area with water and then scrub it using the cleaning solution.
- 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.
- 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.
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
- Baking Soda Bonanza by Peter A. Ciullo