Your vinyl fencing is exposed to a lot of different elements. However, one of the biggest benefits to vinyl fencing is that it is able to withstand elements such as sunlight and rain without fading. However, while the fence may not fade, it can become dirty and this dirt can affect the appearance of the fence. It can make it look old and dingy. Knowing how to properly clean the fence can breathe new life into it and make it look new and fresh. Here are three items that may appear on your fence and directions on how to remove them.
When it is windy, or dirty water hits your fence, dirt will accrue on its surface. Many vinyl fences are white, so dirt is noticeable. Fortunately for you, dirt is relatively easily to remove from vinyl fencing, even if it is thick or caked on. Follow these directions to remove dirt from your vinyl fence:
- Fill a bucket with warm water and a couple of squirts of your favorite liquid dish soap.
- Using your hose, spray down a small section of the fence to dampen it. Only spray the portion of the fence you can clean in the time it takes the water to dry.
- Dip a soft-bristled cleaning brush into the soapy water and scrub the wet portion of the fence clean. Do not use a hard-bristled or metal cleaning brush. This can scratch your vinyl fence or damage the paint.
- Spray the cleaned area with a hose to remove soap residue.
- Spray the next portion of the fence you need to clean.
- Repeat this process until your fence is clean.
It is not recommended that you hang any metal items from your vinyl fencing. This includes items like metal clips, lights, or nails. However, if you did, and you see iron or rust spots on your fence, you will want to work quickly to remove these items. Iron and rust spots can eat away at your paint and/or cause permanent stains. Working to remove the spots quickly will help reduce the likelihood that this leaves behind a permanent problem. Follow these steps to remove rust from your vinyl fence:
- Purchase your preferred rust removing product. There are a variety of different ones available at home improvement stores, hardware stores and big box retailers.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions and mix the rust removing product with warm water.
- Dip a soft cloth or sponge in the mixture. Wipe the affected area with the rust removing product and allow it to sit on the spot for about 60-90 seconds. Do not allow it to sit longer or it could affect the finish on your vinyl fencing.
- Use a hose or a clean, water dampened cloth to thoroughly remove the product from the area.
- Repeat the process until the entire stain has lifted.
Ink or Paint
Unfortunately, your fence may become unsightly if vandals target it. If you notice graffiti on your fence, you will want to remove the stain quickly. Follow these directions to remove ink or paint from your vinyl fencing:
- Dip a paint brush in a container of lacquer thinner. Coat the affected area in a thin, even layer of the thinner. This will help remove non-acrylic ink and paint.
- Allow the lacquer thinner to sit on the stain for about ten minutes.
- Rinse a soft cloth in cool water and wring it out so that it is damp, not dripping wet. Wipe away the lacquer, rinsing your cloth periodically. Try and wipe in one direction, rather than a circular motion. The lacquer can damage the shiny finish on a vinyl fence, but that damage is less noticeable if you wipe in the same direction. If the paint is lifting, repeat the process until all of the graffiti is removed. If it is not lifting, it is probably acrylic-based. Move on to the next step.
- Dip a rag in acetone.
- Dab at the affected areas lightly. Acetone will eat away at acrylic paint and ink but can also eat away at your vinyl fence's finish. Use it sparingly and only in affected areas. Continue dabbing until the spot has lifted.
- Using a water-dampened cloth, dab away at the area to remove acetone.
- Clean the entire fence using dish soap and warm water to remove any remaining residue from the cleaning process.
A vinyl fence requires minimal maintenance. However, it should be cleaned as needed to keep it looking its best. Learning how to properly clean your fence will help you remove items that may appear on the fence and keep your fence looking great for years to come.