White vinyl fence can be the ultimate addition to your beautifully landscaped garden or backyard. It introduces an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere to your property and considerably lowers your maintenance duties in the long run. A vinyl fence is weather-resistant, and unlike a wooden fence, it won’t crack, warp, splinter, or rot.
However, low maintenance doesn’t mean you should neglect your vinyl fence entirely. Regularly cleaning your white vinyl fence is key to keeping it looking like new and ensuring its longevity.
Those shining white panels can quickly turn into a dingy mess if not properly maintained. Dust, debris, mold growth, and algae build-up can dim your vinyl fence’s glossy, eye-catching look.
Thankfully, cleaning your white vinyl fence doesn’t have to be a complex nuisance. With some simple tools and supplies, you can restore your outdoor fencing to its original color in no time. Read on to learn how to clean your white vinyl fence.
Remove Light Dirt and Debris
The first step in cleaning your white vinyl fence is to remove any light dirt or debris. This step is vital because if the dirt gets mixed up with the cleaning solution, it could create a messy mixture that can be difficult to clean up.
Here is how to get rid of light dirt and debris and some options for light cleaning:
Use a Garden Hose
Start by gently spraying the fence with water to remove debris, dust, and light soil caused by outdoor elements like water splashes. A garden hose with a sprayer attachment will do the trick.
While pressure washing can get the job done faster, its pressure is too high for this step and may damage the vinyl fence. If you want more dirt and grime gone, use a soft brush to scrub the fence while it’s wet or use a spray nozzle with a higher pressure.
Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
You can easily eliminate light dirt with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This product works wonders on white vinyl fences and will remove dirt and stains while restoring the original color of your fence. The eraser is perfect for light stains caused by yard pollution, dust, and dirt.
To use the Magic Eraser, simply wet it with water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Then, gently rub the eraser over the vinyl fence in small circular motions until you see the dirt and grime start to lift away. After using the eraser for some time, you can cut off the dirty bit and continue cleaning.
Apply a Cleaning Solution
If spraying the fence with a hose doesn’t remove most of the dirt, you can apply a mild cleaning solution. You can use an all-purpose cleaner mixed with warm water in a bucket. You can also use a mild detergent like dish soap or laundry detergent.
Use a sponge or a soft rug to wash the vinyl fence with this solution. Don’t use any harsh chemicals or detergents that are too strong for your fence material.
You can find many all-purpose cleaners that don’t contain any abrasives or harsh chemicals. Abrasives can damage the vinyl’s glossy finish by scratching it. Be sure to rinse any excess soap with clean water so it doesn’t leave a residue on the vinyl.
Use White Vinegar for Mold and Mildew Treatment
Mildew and mold growth will make your white vinyl fence look dirty and dingy. If your fence still has unsightly mold and mildew spots, you can use vinegar to remove them.
The main benefit of using vinegar is that it can kill mold due to its mild acidity. It’s also an environment-friendly and non-toxic cleaning solution.
Mix a solution of white vinegar and water in a bucket and apply it to the affected areas with a soft rug or sponge. Let the solution sit for several minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.
Cleaning Stubborn Stains From a Vinyl Fence
If the steps above don’t work, you’ll know you are dealing with a tougher stain. Examples of tough stains include:
- Oil stains caused by lawnmowers
- Scuff marks
- Paint or tar
- Ink from permanent markers
- Caked-on dirt caused by car exhaust
- Extensive mold and mildew
You need to use a strong cleaning solution or more effective cleaning methods to remove these tough stains. You have the following options to remove tough stains from your white vinyl fence:
Use a Bleach Solution
Using bleach to clean a vinyl fence can effectively remove yellow stains and green mold. However, it is important to use caution when doing so. Bleach is powerful enough to break down the vinyl if not used correctly.
Here are the precautions you should take when using bleach on a white vinyl fence with stubborn stains:
Dilute the bleach: Mix a solution of one part bleach and four parts water in a bucket. The goal is to avoid a high bleach concentration, which can erode the vinyl and cause it to break down faster. Remember that if you’re using bleach on a colored vinyl surface, you should dilute it more to avoid discoloration.
Use Protective Gear: When using bleach, always wear gloves and eye protection to avoid skin or eye irritation. If possible, cover your entire body to avoid any contact with the bleach solution. Avoid creating splatters by pouring the solution slowly as you apply it.
Rinse the Solution: Once you have applied the bleach solution, let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean water. Rinse any excess bleach from your vinyl to prevent damage.
Test in an inconspicuous area: Test the bleach cleaning solution on a small, hidden corner of the fence before using it on the entire fence. Testing will help you evaluate how the vinyl fence reacts to the bleach solution.
Cover the surrounding plants: Make sure that you cover any nearby plants with a tarp to protect them from the bleach solution. If the bleach solution gets to the surrounding vegetation, it can kill it.
Use eco-friendly bleach: Look for an eco-friendly bleach solution that is more biodegradable and less toxic. For instance, oxygen bleach is safer for the environment and just as effective as chlorine bleach. It will remove tough stains, eliminate mold, and disinfect without the hazardous toxicity of chlorine.
Pressure Wash Your White Vinyl Fence
Sometimes, pressure washing will be the only solution left to get rid of stubborn stains from your white vinyl fence. Pressure washing delivers a powerful blast of water that can remove even the toughest dirt and grime.
However, there’s a high risk of damaging your fence if you don’t follow the appropriate safety guidelines when pressure washing. Here are some tips to help you safely pressure wash a vinyl fence:
Check the settings: Before starting, make sure you adjust the pressure washer’s settings to suit the fence material. Experts recommend using 1,300 to 1,600 psi on vinyl surfaces, but you can start with a lower pressure setting and increase it if needed. The wrong pressure setting can cause permanent damage to your vinyl fence by puncturing it or eroding protective sealants.
Use the right nozzle: A pressure washer allows you to fit various nozzles, producing different spray patterns. The narrower the nozzle, the more force it will yield, increasing the risk of damage. Use a wide fan spray setting, ideally a 40-degree nozzle, to distribute the water more evenly across the surface of your fence and reduce its impact.
Adjust the spray angle: Even though you’re dealing with tough stains, you don’t have to hold the pressure washer’s nozzle at a perpendicular angle. Point the nozzle at a 45-degree angle when cleaning the fence. This angle will reduce the impact of the spray on your vinyl while still being powerful enough to remove tough stains.
Protect the landscaping: When pressure washing a vinyl fence, the water can be powerful enough to damage nearby landscaping. Cover any plants or flowers with a tarp before you start, and ensure the water runs away from them. You should also presoak the plants by watering them before pressure washing so that any bleach or detergent runoff will be diluted, preventing it from causing harm to the plants.
Keep the Washer Moving: Don’t keep the nozzle in one spot for too long, as it can cause permanent damage to the vinyl. Keep the washer moving continuously over the surface of your fence to ensure that every part is cleaned effectively without risking any damage.
Keep your distance: Keep a minimum distance of 8-10 inches from the fence when pressure washing it. Holding the nozzle too close can damage its surface due to the intense water pressure. Remember, you can always increase the pressure setting if needed instead of getting closer to the fence.
Keep Your White Vinyl Fence Sparkling
Cleaning a white vinyl fence is easy when you know the right techniques. However, you should be aware of the potential risks associated with each cleaning method before you start. When in doubt, it’s always best to call a professional for help.If you’re looking for a professional cleaning company in Houston, TX, to help you care for and maintain your vinyl fence, reach out to our team at Advantage Pro Services. We have over 20 years of experience cleaning homes and businesses for Houstonians. Check out our full list of home maintenance services to learn how we can help you clean, protect, and restore your surfaces.