How to Clean a Vinyl Fence: 7 Effective Ways

Vinyl fences are famously low maintenance but they still do require cleaning from time to time to get rid of dirt, debris, and tougher stains like mold, mildew and algae.
Renee Lewis
Renee Lewis
Last Update:
August 31, 2023

Vinyl fences are well known for being low maintenance. These types of fences are easy to install and to keep looking great year after year! However, vinyl fences, do require some cleaning now and then - especially if you have a white vinyl fence. Like anything that is outdoors, grime from dust, dirt, and other debris is bound to accumulate. And if you live in a wetter climate, mold, mildew, and algae may appear over time too. However, even if you do see stains accumulating on your vinyl fence, fear not! Vinyl fences are still much easier to maintain than wood fences. You will never have to stain, paint, or sand a vinyl fence, and a vinyl fence will never warp, crack or splinter like wood fences do.

Once you've decided on a vinyl fence style and have it installed, there are easy steps to take to keep it looking brand new. To keep your vinyl fence looking great, there are easy solutions that are inexpensive and will not take too much of your time. And the supplies you need to clean even the toughest stains are likely already in your kitchen cabinets!

If you need any of the necessary supplies, you can visit our storefront. It's a one-stop-shop for all of your vinyl fence cleaning needs.

7 Ways to Clean a Vinyl Fence

1. Soap and Water

Soap and water is a tried and true method of cleaning just about anything, and vinyl fences are no exception! To clean your pvc fence with soap and water, first create the soapy water solution. Add about a tablespoon of soap to a gallon of water and stir it up. We suggest using biodegradable soap instead of the usual dish soap so that it does not harm any plants or outdoor landscaping you have near your fence. Once you have your cleaning solution ready, apply it to your fence either by hose, spray bottle, or by dipping a sponge or a soft bristled brush into the soapy water and get to work. When you have cleaned off the fence, rinse it with water from your garden hose.

2. Garden Hose

If you are doing routine maintenance of your vinyl fence or you are just trying to get some light dust or debris off of the fence, a simple spray with your garden hose should do the trick! Start by spraying the top of your vinyl fence and then work your way down from there. Make sure to spray down the entire fence to get a clean vinyl fence that looks like new! If this does not get all of the grime off of your pvc fence then try one of the other steps we describe such as using soap and water or a diy vinegar cleaning solution.

3. DIY Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Did you know you can make your own diy vinyl fence cleaner using only products you likely already have around your house? Well you can! White vinegar is a popular cleaning solution for many types of projects. Vinegar can be added to water to clean tougher stains than water alone can tackle. It is a great cleaner for dirt and other stains like algae. Just add a half a cup to one cup of vinegar to a gallon of water and then apply to the fence. Clean off those stubborn stains by scrubbing with a soft bristled brush or sponge. When you are finished, be sure to rinse off thoroughly with a garden hose. And although vinegar is eco-friendly compared to other cleaning products, it is acidic, so be careful getting it on plants near your fence.

4. Magic Eraser

If soap and water or your diy vinegar solution did not work to remove the stains from your vinyl fence, then it is time to consider a magic eraser. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a little different from the children’s art supply but the same logic applies. A magic eraser looks like a sponge but does so much more! It is twice as strong as your household bleach cleaner and can remove stains like ... magic. Just get the magic eraser sponge wet and get to work scrubbing your fence where it is dirty. The magic eraser removes scuffs and stains from your fence that you would not be able to clean using other methods.

5. Pressure Washer

Use a pressure washer to clean your pvc fence when your usual garden hose pressure is not strong enough to clean off your fence. With a pressure washer, you can remove tough stains on your vinyl fence panels even without any special cleaning solutions. In most cases, pressure washing is all you will need to keep your vinyl fence looking like new. Most homeowners probably do not have a power washer hanging around the house, and if you are one of them then look into buying a high pressure nozzle to add to your garden hose sprayer. It is likely more affordable than you think, and cheaper than renting a power washer.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide Bleach

Using bleach on a vinyl fence is a bit controversial. If you have a vinyl fence that has become covered in mold or mildew, then you need more than soap and water to clean the fence. Most people will think: “I’ll use bleach”. But the reviews on using bleach on vinyl are mixed - some say it is too tough of a cleaner and can actually break down the vinyl surfaces like vinyl fences or vinyl siding. Others say as long as your bleach solution is properly diluted it will be just fine. If you use this cleaning solution, it should get rid of just about any stain! Just remember this is best for white vinyl fences, as it may cause discoloration.

7. Commercial Vinyl Fence Cleaner

As an alternative to the controversial use of bleach on your vinyl fence, there are commercial vinyl fence cleaners available on the market. These cleaning agents are recommended for stains from iron or mold, or even tree sap. These are powerful cleaners and are not necessary for removing run of the mill dirt and debris off of vinyl fences. You can find many brands of this kind of heavy duty cleaning product online or at your home improvement store. One example is the very highly rated 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner and Concentrate. With this cleaner, you simply spray on and then hose off for a clean vinyl fence!

Vinyl Fence Cleaning FAQs

How do you remove green algae from a vinyl fence?

The best way to remove green algae from a vinyl fence is to use a solution that combines vinegar and water. Add about a half a cup to a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water and then apply to your vinyl fence. Scrub with a soft bristled scrub brush or sponge and then be sure to rinse thoroughly with your garden hose.

How often should I clean my vinyl fence?

If you want to avoid tough stains, then preventative cleaning is the answer. Aim to spray down your vinyl fence about once a week to go on the offensive against dirt and grime. If you continue to see build up despite the spray downs, then try cleaning the fence about once a month with soap and water. Clean tough stains in small sections as you notice them.

Will vinegar damage a vinyl fence?

Vinegar will not damage a vinyl fence as long as you follow the recipes given in the instructions above. Usually, a half a cup to one cup of vinegar per gallon of water will do the trick, but you can increase that dose to two cups of vinegar per gallon of water for really tough stains. As long as you dilute the vinegar, and make sure to rinse it off really well, it will not damage your vinyl fence.

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