How To Clean Vinyl Fence and Railing

By Todd Fratzel on Maintanence

picture of white vinyl railing

Cleaning Vinyl Fence

One of the few problems I’ve found with vinyl railings and fencing is how dirty it gets from the weather. After a season of rain, snow, ice and bird droppings these white vinyl railings great really dirty. You can’t tell from a distance but if you get up to it you won’t want to hold on to the railing.

At first I thought I was going to have to scrub the rails all by hand with some type of Soft Scrub or similar product. Then the other day I was talking to my neighbor and he mentioned that his power washer cleans them beautifully. He just sets the pressure to a low setting and makes sure not to damage the soft vinyl.

Fence Installation

If you’re looking for some good fence installation resources then you may want to check out the following:

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Keith Bloemendaal says:

    Also, it won’t hurt it to spray some diluted bleach on it for the tougher mold or mildew stains. I would recommend about a 25% bleach to 75% water to start with. I also have seen vinyl cleaned this way with just a water hose after the solution was sprayed on if you don’t have access to a pressure washer. As I always recommend, test a small area first.

  2. jeannie says:

    Powering washing didn’t work for me, there were so many small black spots, very tough to remove, a neighbor said they were spider droppings. I used a steam cleaner and then Mr. Clean magic eraser, and finally ended up with a scrubby pad and comet. It was nearly impossible to remove. We are now considering waxing the rails with car polish to help keep it clean.
    Am I the only one?

  3. Julie says:

    Clean your white vinyl with:
    1/3 C. Tide (powder detergent)
    2/3 C. Spic & Span
    1 C. regular Clorox bleach
    1 1/2 gallon of water

    Just srub them with this solution and use a garden hose to rinse, it works like a charm!

  4. Michelle says:

    I have an old fence and railings they are not good in look and my neighbors always stare it. I try my best to make it clean as I can but the material is very old. I decided to replace it with new railings and fence and I see it on the net this site I purchase there online and I see many designs of railings and fences to choose from for a very cheap price. They are easy to install and maintain. Proven and tested that the products of is the best.

  5. sylvie says:

    Well, none of the above have worked for me. I have tried clorox, baking soda, all kinds or household cleaners, soft scrub, laundry detergent, dishwasher powder, the powerwasher, to no avail. My vinyl fence is brown and the problem I have is WHITE stains. It is unclear to me if this is discoloration or not as it is ONLY on some of the boards, not all. I have not been able to correlate the stains with shade or sun. The only thing that seem to work is a thorough sanding, which I know would be a big mistake as it would only expose more material to the elements.
    The fence is very long and intricate (overlapping boards and lattice at the top) and only 4 1/2 years old. The company (Palkar) offering a lifetime warranty seems to have gone out of business (hmm… I wonder why…)
    Any new suggestions are welcome.

    • Todd says:

      @ Sylvie – Not sure but have you tried a Magic Eraser? I just discovered that they clean shower doors REALLY well. Give that a try with some Dawn dish soap.

  6. J. Michael Allen says:

    I have been trying to get off rubber tire marks off of our vinyl fence, but nothing so far has worked…Simple Green was recommended, but it didn’t work…any other suggestions?

    • Todd says:

      J – Have you tried a Magic Eraser? Try that with some Dawn Liquid soap….works awesome on other things and might do the trick.

    • Greg M says:

      Mike – Did you find a solution? I too tried simple green with no avial. Don’t want to damage the sheen… Have not yet tried the magic eraser.

  7. Julie says:

    Mr Clean Magic Eraser really work like “magic” – I use them on the white vinyl railings on my deck and on the vinyl siding on my house which is yellow and gets mildewed and stained easily. The eraser work so well you don’t even have to scrub!

  8. I just used crest whitening toothpaste with scope and an old tooth brush and it lightened the worst stain and got rid of the lesser ones. Am going to buy and try teeth whitening gel and see if that clears everything up. T

  9. Crest 3D White Luxe did the trick. It completely removed all stain!

  10. C. Hess says:

    I know a lot of people rave about Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser, but I haven’t been impressed. You have to scrub really hard especially on vinyl window trims and then they fall into these annoying crumbly pieces. Tried it on my new porch railings and they didn’t touch the fly dirt. Last time I used Murphy’s Oil soap with a scrub brush and it worked well…this time not so much. Maybe because it’s hotter now?? I love my new porch, but I feel like I’m always having to clean it. What a chore! Even as I’m cleaning, the flys are all over my railings. Ughhhh! Does anyone know what really works on getting the fly dirt off? And is there a way to deter them?

  11. Quiggley says:

    I have used Wet and Forget to remove green algae on my gray vinyl fencing. I mix it, per container directions, and spray with a tank sprayer. No rinsing required. Works over time and has always done a good job. Had a lot of bird poop that rolled down the top and sides of the end post of my 36″ picket fence. Tried a TSP/water mix and a scrub brush but it took a lot of effort to get some of the poop removed. Still had some caked on poop left. Sprayed with Wet and Forget earlier this week. Haven’t checked on it yet to see if it worked.

  12. Wally Melilli says:

    I have a dark vinyl railing on my deck. The top of the railing that’s exposed to the sun and weather gets white streaks on top, that I can’t remove. I’ve scrubbed it with Simple Green, Vinegar, Magic Eraser. Nothing works, the white streaks are still there. Is there something that I can use that would wipe this off?


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