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Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

When I purchased a home a few years ago, I had no idea what kind of workload I would be faced with. In addition to trying to figure out how to keep the place clean, I was also left with the challenge of tidying up the yard and keeping things trimmed. It was a little overwhelming, but I knew that I could do it with a little hard work and dedication. I started reading a lot of books and blogs about creating gorgeous things for your home and yard, and it was a great creative outlet. This blog is all about exciting, fun ways to make your home and yard even more beautiful.

Creating A Beautiful Home and Garden

How to Clean Your Home's Siding & Spruce Up its Exterior This Spring

by Alyssa Perkins

Spring can be a good time to tackle many of your home's exterior cleaning projects, such as cleaning your home's siding. Whether your home has vinyl or aluminum siding, it is important to clean it regularly and take care of it so it can look good and last as long as possible. Here are some tips to help you remove some of the most common residues that can end up on your home's exterior siding.

Clean Your Aluminum Siding

If your home has aluminum siding installed on its exterior, cleaning it once a year can help your home's siding last for years to come. For regular cleaning, use a combination of 1/3 cup of laundry detergent with six gallons of water. Use a scrub brush and scrub your aluminum siding with this solution, then rinse with clean water.

Aluminum is durable and does not rust, but it can form oxidation, which appears as a chalky residue. You can clean this chalky residue from your siding and restore it's exterior with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Combine equal parts of water and vinegar in a bucket. Use a large sponge or a scrub brush to apply the vinegar mixture onto your siding and scrub the oxidation from its exterior. It can be helpful to work in small areas, rinsing each section clean with water from your garden hose as you work. This will prevent the water and vinegar mixture from drying onto the siding under the heat of the sun.

Aluminum siding is prone to mold and mildew growth in more humid climates. If you discover any spots of mold or mildew on your siding's exterior, mix a cleaning solution of one part bleach to four parts water in a cleaning bucket. Cover any vegetation that is growing along the base of your home to prevent the bleach solution from harming your plants. Moisten a cleaning sponge in the bleach solution and wipe it over any mold and mildew, allowing it to sit for ten minutes. The cleaning solution will remove and kill any mold and mildew. Rinse the area well with water from your garden hose to rinse away the solution and any mold and mildew.

It is important to remove bird droppings from your aluminum siding as soon as possible, as the acid in the droppings can damage its exterior. Pour some seltzer water over the bird droppings, let it sit for a minute, then wipe away with a damp rag. If you need to remove any paint spots from your siding, use paint thinner applied on a rag, then rub the spot until it is removed from the siding.

Clean Your Vinyl Siding

If your home is covered in vinyl siding, you don't need to worry about removing oxidation, but it can still become dirty. It is recommended to clean your vinyl siding using a combination of 1/3 cup powder laundry detergent, 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate cleaner, and one gallon of water. Mix this together in a bucket and apply it onto your siding with a sponge or scrub brush, cleaning as you go. Be sure to rinse off the cleaning solution with your garden hose before it has a chance to dry. 

If you find any rust stains on your vinyl siding from contact with a rust-forming metal, you can remove the stain using either lemon juice or vinegar. Spray the lemon juice or vinegar onto the stain and scrub it with a sponge or scrub brush. If this natural cleaning solution does not work, you can buy a rust remover product that contains oxalic acid. Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly after the stain has been removed and be careful not to allow any pets or children come into contact with the commercial rust removal product.

Mold and mildew on your vinyl siding can be removed using the same cleaning process as aluminum siding with a mixture of one cup bleach to four cups of water. To remove other stains, such as paint spots, pen, marker and tar, you can use a nonabrasive bathtub cleaner and a sponge. You should never use paint remover or paint thinner, nail polish remover, or straight chlorine bleach on your vinyl siding because it can damage its surface.

Use these instructions to help you keep your home's siding clean and in great shape.