This Is How to Clean White Vinyl Fence the Right Way

How To Clean White Vinyl Fence

Vinyl fences are the absolute best.

They don’t rot or blister.
They are strong and safe.
They are easy to install.
They are immune to fungus.

And they are not porous. So no way water and air can pass through them.

Plus, my white vinyl fence really adds a sophisticated charm to my garden.

But only after a couple of months of installation, I saw my pristine white fence losing its shine.

And since then I’ve tried a bunch of DIY and store-bought products to keep my white vinyl fence white.

The gist of all my experimentation about cleaning white vinyl fences

Cleaning a vinyl fence is easy. But you need to find the right white vinyl fence cleaning methods to use based on what got your fence dirty.

So today, I decided to write down all the methods that work for cleaning different types of stains on white vinyl fences.

Feel free to skip to the section that deals with the type of stain that is disgracing your white vinyl fence. And then start cleaning right away.

1. Cleaning A White Fence That Has Turned Yellow

Vinyl fences don’t stain easily. But they still need continuous cleaning. Or else they get yellowed, primarily due to dust and dirt and hard water.

Wondering how to clean a yellowed vinyl fence?

Here are the most effective ways to clean your yellowing white fence without damaging it:

Pressure Washing

Things that you’ll need: High-speed water spray, rinse and soap nozzles, vinyl fence cleaner or detergent, a soft-bristled brush.

  1. Start by spraying water on the entire fence (or the part that you want to clean).
  2. Stand 4 feet (at least) away from the fence while you wash your fence.
  3. Use the soap nozzle to apply the vinyl cleaner or detergent. A thin layer would appear on the fence.
  4. Let it sit for 5 minutes so that all the stains can dissolve and get removed.
  5. You can also use the soft-bristled brush to scrub away any visible stains.
  6. Then use the rinse nozzle to rinse off the fence. Make sure the vinyl cleaner doesn’t dry on the fence or it would leave marks on it.

Don’t have pressure water at home? Fret not. Here’s what else you can use:

Household Cleaning Products

It is not hard to make a homemade vinyl fence cleaner yourself. All you need is a cup of vinegar and two gallons of water.

Vinegar contains acetic acid which works great to dissolve grime and even rust. Also, it is mild and won’t damage your garden greens. Plus, vinegar is also effective against some types of bacteria and viruses.

For the cleaning process, you’ll need a garden hose, a bristled brush, and a sponge or a rag.

  1. Add vinegar to water. (That’s all you need to do and your homemade vinyl fence cleaner is ready!)
  2. Dip the rag or sponge in the solution and wipe down your entire fence. Move from side to side or top to bottom.
  3. Let your homemade vinyl cleaner sit on the fence for at least five minutes.
  4. Then use the bristled brush to clean the visible stains. You might have to repeat the process to clean stubborn stains.
  5. Once satisfied, use the garden hose to clean any solid particles and residual vinegar. 

Bleach

People often ask me: Will bleach damage vinyl fences?

My answer: No. If you remember to water down the bleach correctly, it will do no harm to your fence.

Bleach is one of the best products if you want to whiten your yellowed fence. For fences of other colors, it might not be the best solution. But for white fences, it works wonders.

However, know that bleach doesn’t work on its own to clean your fence. You’ll have to scrub and rinse it. It will take a bit of elbow grease, but the results will be worth it.

What you’ll need: laundry detergent, bleach, two gallons of water, a spray bottle, a soft sponge, and gloves to keep your hands safe.

  1. Add laundry detergent into two gallons of water.
  2. Add a quarter cup of bleach to the solution and mix.
  3. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on your fence.
  4. Let the solution sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Use the sponge to scrub and wipe down the bleach.
  6. Rinse your fence with plain water.

2. Cleaning A Light Buildup of Dust And Dirt

A light buildup of dust and dirt is incredibly easy to clean. In most cases, using a garden hose or pressure spray will leave your white fence shining like new.

For a little more yard pollution buildup, products like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser work great.

  1. Get the eraser wet.
  2. Squeeze out the excess water.
  3. Swipe it on your fence starting from the top.
  4. As the rubber edges gather dirt, you can cut those portions. 
  5. Continue the method till you’ve removed all dirt and dust from the vinyl fence. 

3. Cleaning Organic Stains Like Mold and Mildew

Bleach is an excellent product that can be used to clean mold and mildew from vinyl fence. We’ve already discussed how to go about that.

And we’ve already established that organic stains and cleaning them with bleach takes effort. To avoid having to take that effort, it is better to prevent mold on vinyl fence in the first place.

Algae, mold, and mildew grow on your fence if it doesn’t get sunlight. The sun is a natural vinyl fence protector. In humid weather, the sun isn’t as effective. So you can use store-bought protectors or use vinyl-safe paint to avoid the growth of these water-hungry organisms that leave green or yellow hues on your white fence.

4. Cleaning Tar And Grease

Seeing tar and grease on my white vinyl fence threw me into hysteria the first time. But today, when I know what to do, I don’t panic.

Instead, I grab a plastic scraper, a tar remover, rags, my rubber gloves, and mineral spirits (from the local home improvement store).

Once you too have the supplies in order follow the light cleaning process that includes using water and detergent. After that:

  1. Dampen the rag in mineral spirits or the tar remover.
  2. Lightly rub the damp rag on the fence. Remember the maxim of less is more here.
  3. Once all the stains are gone, rinse the fence with cold water using a garden hose.

5. Cleaning Tire Marks

In my household, my husband and I have distributed garden duties. I do the cleaning, he does the mowing.

And in doing so he leaves large mower tire marks on our white vinyl fence. Telling him to not mow too close to the fence obviously didn’t work. So I devised ways to clean those tire marks.

For the lighter marks, I use a large pencil eraser. And surprisingly it works.

For bigger, deeper, and darker stains, you’ll need lacquer thinner.

  1. Dampen one end of a rough-textured cloth with the lacquer thinner.
  2. Rub the tire marks with the damp cloth until your fence is all clean.
  3. For more stubborn stains use a bristle brush to scrub them off. (The bristles shouldn’t be too hard or too soft)
  4. After that, make a dishwashing liquid and hot water solution (1/4th dishwasher liquid in a quart-sized spray bottle works fine for me). Shake the bottle well.
  5. Spray the solution on the area on your fence that you cleaned.
  6. Clean it well with a sponge or a rag to remove the leftover lacquer thinner.
  7. Then rinse off the fence with water using a garden hose.

6. Cleaning Caked-On Dirt

I know we are talking about how to remove stains from vinyl fences and cleaning caked dirt is somewhat different. But believe me, no stain makes your white vinyl fence as ugly as caked-on dirt does.

So here’s what I do when I have dirt caked on my fence.

I take a soapy solution. You can use detergent, dishwashing liquid, or anything else for that matter. Then dip a soft-bristled brush in the solution and start scrubbing.

It will take time, but the caked-on dirt will come off. And the stains that it leaves behind can be cleaned with ease using either the same soapy solution or vinegar in water solution.

7. Cleaning Graffiti

Whether you have a vandalism problem in your area or your kids consider white vinyl fences a convenient canvas, graffiti on the fence is going to ruin the look of your garden.

But don’t worry, lacquer thinner works on graffiti. Do exactly what you’d do in case of tire marks and your white vinyl fence should be looking white again.

Can still see some faint paint? Use acetone to clean those parts. However, you’ll have to work swiftly here. Acetone eats into vinyl. So try to use it only when and where necessary. After you are done, don’t forget to remove any remaining acetone using a soapy solution and sponge to avoid damaging your fence.

4 Best Cleaners For Vinyl Fence and Siding

Sometimes all the household cleaning products and quick hacks fail to work. I’ve been in that situation myself.

And if you too hate seeing your white vinyl fence dirty, don’t shy away from using specialized vinyl cleaners. They are quick and effective and will restore shine to your vinyl fence in no time.

Here are four tried and tested options that I trust for keeping my white vinyl white, always.