Vinyl siding is a very durable and low-maintenance material. However, when exposed to hard water — possibly from a leaky HVAC unit or water pipe — it can develop rust stains. These stains are not only an eyesore, but they can also damage the finish of your exterior cladding. If you want to keep your property in good condition, it’s important to remove rust from vinyl siding. Here’s a guide that will teach you how to get rust off vinyl siding.
How to Remove Rust from Vinyl Siding?
Homeowners have a few options for removing rust on vinyl siding. The effectiveness of each cleaning method will depend on how much rust you are dealing with. Some solutions can be very handy and efficient. On the other hand, using the wrong method can make rust removal a very daunting and time-consuming ordeal.
Here are the best methods for removing rust from vinyl siding:
1. Use Homemade Cleaning Solutions
You can clean vinyl siding just by using ingredients that are already in your home. White vinegar and lemon juice — which contain acetic acid and citric acid, respectively — can help remove rust from vinyl siding. Since they’re natural ingredients, they’re also safe to use.
For your cleaning solution, mix ½ cup white vinegar (or lemon juice) with ¼ cup baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the solution on your vinyl siding. Let the solution sit for about an hour then wash away with soapy water.
If you want a more potent rust remover, you can also mix 1/3 cup laundry detergent powder, 2/3 cup home cleaning detergent, 4 cups liquid laundry bleach, and 1 gallon of water. This solution is stronger and can help remove stains and other troublesome spots on your vinyl siding.
A homemade cleaning solution is an easy and affordable way to remove rust from your vinyl siding. It can be effective on small and light rust stains. If you’re dealing with large and stubborn rust stains, it might not work as well. You may have to choose a more potent cleaning method.
Commercial Rust Removers
Another way to remove rust from vinyl siding is to use commercial cleaning products. There are a few products that are specifically made to combat rust stains. Make sure to choose a rust remover that contains oxalic acid. This chemical targets rust stains caused by iron and water.
Create your cleaning solution by mixing 1 cup of rust remover/oxalic acid with 1 gallon of warm water. Use a non-abrasive brush or sponge to apply the mixture to your vinyl siding. Saturate the affected areas until the stains are removed. Then, neutralize oxalic acid with some vinegar and use soapy water to wash away the solution from your vinyl siding.
Rust removers are effective but they contain harsh chemicals. Thus, it’s important to take safety precautions when using these types of products. Always remember to read product labels, wear personal protective equipment, and do not mix oxalic acid with other chemicals. Avoid skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion of the chemical.
Pressure Washing or Power Washing
One of the best ways to remove rust is to pressure wash vinyl siding. The force of the water is able to knock out dirt, grime, rust, and other stains on your exterior cladding.
If you want to take it a step further, you can also try power washing. While these methods both use high-pressure water to blast away rust, the latter is even more effective because it uses hot water.
When power washing, test a small section first to see if you are using the correct PSI. You don’t want to use too high pressure because it can damage your vinyl siding. Depending on the rust stains, a pressure of about 1,000 to 2,000 PSI will be more than enough. The pressure washer wand should be at eye level so you can clearly see your target. Power washing at an angle can lead to water going inside your vinyl and causing water damage.
Some homeowners are hesitant about power washing their vinyl siding. You will have to rent the equipment, purchase cleaning products, and other time-consuming activities. Not only that, but you also have to learn how to use the pressure washer correctly in order to remove all the rust stains on your vinyl siding. If you can relate to some of these concerns, you might want to consider hiring a professional pressure washing company to do the job for you.
Why Should You Hire a Professional Pressure Washing Service for Rust Removal?
At first, it may seem like rust removal pressure washing is an unnecessary expense. However, think about all the benefits of hiring a professional pressure washing company.
Professional pressure washing service providers have extensive experience when it comes to dealing with rust stains on vinyl siding. They have professional-grade equipment and environment-friendly products that can effectively clean any surface and have them looking like new. They also make it a point to tailor their pressure washing methods based on the client’s specific cleaning needs.
While homemade cleaning solutions are more affordable, there’s a chance that they will not be as effective as pressure washing. Commercial rust removers, on the other hand, are effective but they come with a lot of health and safety hazards. DIY pressure washing is also an option, but if used incorrectly, you could end up with a lot more property damage than when you first started.
Choosing the Best Method for Removing Rust From Vinyl Siding
By now, you already know how to remove rust stains from vinyl siding. Homemade remedies, chemical solutions, and professional pressure washing are some of the best methods to remove rust from vinyl siding. They all come with their own pros and cons. You need to consider your time, money, and safety when determining which rust removal method to pursue. Whichever method you choose, remember that regular cleaning and maintenance is key to prevent future rust stains. If you need more information on removing rust from vinyl siding, don’t hesitate to contact us.