Power Washing Vinyl Fences: The Do’s and Don’ts

As a fellow owner of a white vinyl picket fence, I know sometimes washing all the grime, debris, and dirt off can be a bit intimidating. I have been there and it is no walk in the park! I’ve heard a lot of different methods of washing vinyl fences, but here is what I found to be the most useful.

Do wash your vinyl fence regularly and pay attention to the solvent. Spray effectively by first rinsing, then disinfecting, and working in ideal conditions. Do not wash with over a forty-degree tip, with a washer over 2,800 PSI, and don’t just spray disinfectant.

We will go over the DO’s, the DON’Ts, give some other ideas as to how to wash your vinyl fence. As a bonus, we will cover a couple of typical methods on how to wash a vinyl fence as well.

The Do’s Of Washing Vinyl Fences

As a side note, each fence is different (depending on its age, environment, etc) so be sure to know what your fence and the area around your fence can handle. I have used some tips I have found and it proved to not work well with my fence, at all. There is no “one size fits all” to this. Number one rule, use your best judgment and be careful.

However, washing a vinyl fence can be a pretty easy task once you get the hang of it. Here are some great tips on how to wash vinyl fences effectively.

Do it in nice weather, of course. Make sure you are washing your vinyl fence on a bright, clear day with no possibilities for storms or wind. If there is a chance it’ll be windy or even dirty, skip it for now. Power washing doesn’t really mesh well with bad weather conditions and can leave your project dirty and unsatisfied.

Be diligent and consistent with your vinyl fence. Make sure to wash it regularly so you don’t have to deal with major issues in the future. If you really want it to look nice and spiffy, experts recommend washing it at least once every few months, preferably more. If you’re not too picky, be sure to wash it at the very least once a year.

Vinyl fences are very durable, practical fences but without the proper care and treatment, it won’t look too clean for too long and can leave stains that you can’t get out easily or at all. Just be careful.

Pick the best solvent for your project. People have found that simply using soap and water probably won’t do the trick. Others have used specialized vinyl solvents (for the touch stains), some use detergent (simple stains), and some have used bleach solutions (regular projects).

One possible do-it-yourself bleach solution is 1/3 of a cup of laundry detergent, one quart of bleach, and one gallon of water. Easy enough!

Use a Magic Eraser to eliminate the fine edges. I love using a magic eraser, it is such a time-effective way to get tough stains out, especially along the edges of your fence. They are really inexpensive on Amazon. See the current price on Magic Erasers here (Amazon link).

Sorry, the dollar store brand simply does not work well, especially with a vinyl fence. I recommend using the Mr. Clean brand for the best results.

Wash before you begin spraying with a solvent. Start at the top and make your way down while you are washing. Without rinsing your fence thoroughly, the dirt will set completely and make it very hard (or almost impossible) to come off. Don’t risk it.

The Don’ts Of Washing Vinyl Fences

Start cleaning without rinsing off the area around you. Make sure there are not any sort of loose items around you (f.e. no twigs, pieces of wood, nails, etc.). These can prove to be very harmful as you are trying to wash your vinyl fence. Also, there have been incidences where chemicals or unwanted liquids (dirt, paint, etc.) get on the vinyl fence and cause issues.

If you use a well or are in an area with a shallow aquifer, you should avoid using petrochemical cleaners. Petrochemical cleaners are among typical household outdoor cleaners so be sure to check the materials used on the bottle as you buy it! These can lead to major problems in your household and should be well-avoided.

Don’t let kids or small children be around the area of the power wash for at least several hours. Power washing can prove to be very harmful, especially if there are chemicals involved and even when there are no chemicals involved because dirt and toxins are released during cleaning.

Not reading the instructions on the chemicals you are using! This is very important not to do. Some materials may require you to dilute or add extra ingredients to your pressure washing mix. Failure to this can lead to unsatisfactory cleaning or can even cause a toxic environment.

Don’t just spray with the disinfectant, then wipe it up. I’ve made that mistake! Depending on the material on your fence, a disinfectant can cause unwanted materials to stick.

Methods To Wash Your Vinyl Fence

Method One: Simple Pressure Wash

Here is a universally friendly way, created by the DeuceLiter Youtube Channel, on how to wash your vinyl fence quickly and easily.

He mentions using these materials:

  • House Wash Disinfectant (he uses Mold Armor, link to their site is right here, very practical to use)
  • A Pressure Washer. Here is a great article that lists some of the best pressure washers out there. If you have a vinyl fence, might as well get one! I found the information to be very helpful, here are the best Power Washers Of 2021
  • A 45 Degree Tip (he recommends using Amazon, see these tips on Amazon here).

Method Two: Roundup Sprayer!

Can’t use a power washer? No problem!

Here is a great video on how to clean a vinyl fence, without a power washer.

The supplies she uses are listed below:

  • Large bucket with water (enough for thorough cleaning)
  • A bigger measuring cup (at least one cup, no worries about a specific size)
  • Roundup plastic sprayer (RoundUp’s website is right here)
  • Push brush

Fence Frenzy

We at Fence Frenzy absolutely love taking on the challenge of building, or even restoring, a fence. Especially elaborate and exotic fence designs that really make us scratch our heads! We're happy to share everything we've learned with you.

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