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
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,
How does one remove the stain leaching from the insulation board under the vinyl siding on the house?
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
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!
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?
Try boat hull cleaner. It works very well and requires very little effort. Apply with a sponge, let sit for 5 minutes, then spray off; it worked for me on 20-year-old stains.
My lawn just got hydroseeded and it stained my white vinyl siding. Is there a way to clean it?
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
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.
Help! The dye from my fake pointsettas stained my grey siding. Any tips?
The best cleaners for dye stains are usually either isopropyl alcohol or acetone nail polish remover. Be sure to test them on a small hidden area first though to be sure they don’t have any adverse effects on your siding at all. If those don’t work, you can also try either OxiClean or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Another option is to use a baking soda paste; mix some baking soda with a little water to make a thick paste that is about the consistency of toothpaste, spread it over the stains in a thick layer, then let it dry and brush it off afterward. The baking soda should absorb the dye.
Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Remove Dye Stains from a Bathtub
How to remove bird poop?
Here are some things you can use to remove bird poop:
A mix of equal parts white vinegar and water. Spray it on the poop, let it sit for a couple minutes, then scrub it off with a soft scrub brush.
Baking soda sprinkled on a damp cloth.
Plain white toothpaste on a damp cloth.
Or if you would prefer a commercial remedy, Poop-Off Bird Poop Remover can work.
As always, be sure to test a cleaner on a small hidden area first to look for any adverse reaction. Good luck!
I was spraying bugs that were on my vinyl siding with insect killer. The next day I noticed that the spray stained the siding. I tried cleaning it with Simple Green, but the stains didn’t come off. What can I use to remove the stains?
Bug sprays are typically oil-based, so you need a cleaner that can cut through the oil stains. (Not sure if you tried the Simple Green All Purpose Cleaner or the Degreaser; the degreaser would be more effective.) Some other options to try are Windex or diluted white vinegar (50:50 water:vinegar). You can also try using a baking soda paste. To do that, mix a small amount of water with some baking soda to make a thick paste that is about the consistency of toothpaste or peanut butter. Spread the paste over the stain in a thick layer, then let it dry. This method is particularly effective because it draws the oil out of the material. Good luck!
Source: Wikipedia – Insect Repellent
We have white siding with grey stains seeping through the siding itself. How can we clean it up (siding is approx.30-35 yrs old)?
How do you take furnace oil off vinyl siding? It has been on the vinyl siding for a month.
Oil is in the first stain group with grease above, use either Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap or Windex. You could also try a grease-fighting dish liquid as that would have the ammonia like Windex and the grease-fighting power similar to Fantastik. Good luck!
Carburetor cleaner works the best by far on cleaning vinyl siding – just do not get it on any painted surfaces and rinse thourghly.