How to Pick a Vinyl-Safe Cleaning Solution

Cleaning your siding is one way of revitalizing your exterior. However, if it isn’t done properly, you could end up damaging your siding and curb appeal. Commercial cleaners usually contain ingredients that can corrode vinyl, a popular siding material. The siding installation contractors at Rapid Roofing list below the things you should look for in a commercial cleaner.


Avoid cleaners that contain organic solvents or petroleum ethers like acetone, benzene or tetrahydrofuran as they can damage vinyl siding. Cleaners with a similar chemical composition to vinyl can damage it. Instead, look for outdoor cleaners containing inorganic solvents like water and hydrogen peroxide, or water-soluble surfactants like alkyl sulfates. 


Cleaning solutions can be sold in either a concentrated form or ready-to-use formula. You need to dilute cleaners in concentrated formulas before you can use them. If you’re using a power washer, the machine will dilute it for you. As a rule of thumb when shopping, concentrated formulas are the more cost-effective choice.


Certain cleaners are exclusively for use with a built-in applicator while others are solely for manual scrubbing. Most cleaners that are used in power washers can also be used for manual scrubbing. Keep in mind that not all vinyl siding can handle the water pressure from a power washer. Check the manufacturer’s guide to find out which is the recommended way of cleaning.

Environmental Impact

Remember, while doing home improvement projects, safety is always paramount. Choosing a non-toxic and biodegradable cleaner can help minimize health risks. An U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice label means a product is safe for your family, pets and the environment. However, if you’re having doubts, it’s always a good idea to consult a certified siding contractor.

Looking for a certified contractor in your area?

Rapid Roofing offers siding and window replacement. To get a free estimate, call us at (734) 234-1174 or (269) 222-7171, or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Ann Arbor, MI.