It’s halfway through May already! And we’re well into spring cleaning, preparing for barbecue and outdoor gathering season. At Fence Central in Central Florida, we encourage people to include their fence in a spring cleaning routine by taking a close look at the fence to see what, if any, maintenance or cleaning needs to be done for the year.

If you determine that your vinyl fence could use some spot cleaning, a garden hose and soft bristled brush may be all you need to get rid of a few grass stains or scuff marks. For a more thorough cleaning, consider using a pressure washer.

How do you know if a vinyl fence needs pressure washing? Vinyl is a nonporous material, so discoloration on the fence won’t be permanent, like it could be with a porous material like wood. If there’s a lot of stuck-on debris, dead leaves, and/or algae, though, it could be troublesome to remove by hand. Pressure or power washing can help with that.

You may be thinking, I thought pressure washing and power washing are the same thing! And, you’re correct in that most people use them interchangeably.  There is a small difference, however. Pressure washing uses pressure + cool water, power washing is pressure + hot water. For most vinyl fence cleaning needs, a pressure washer will be sufficient.

Set your pressure washer to 500-800 PSI to start with, gradually increasing pressure if needed to get the fence clean. Use a cleaning solution of 1 gallon water + 1 quart bleach + 1/3 cup powered laundry detergent + 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner.

Stand 3-4 feet away from the fence, start at the bottom of the fence and work your way up. If the residue isn’t budging, slowly walk closer to the fence to add pressure before adjusting the pressure settings on the machine. Clean for 15 minutes, then rinse off the fence with a garden hose to remove the remains of the cleaning solution.