Safely Cleaning And Restoring Vinyl PVC Fencing

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Vinyl PVC fencing is an attractive, easily installed and more durable option than many other conventional fencing options. Nevertheless, there is one challenge: vinyl fencing can become dirty and stained with time. With wooden fencing, the fence can simply be resurfaced -- and metal fencing tends to resist such issues. Still, with some careful work, you can usually restore your vinyl fencing to a like-new appearance.

Removing Minor Stains

A gentle cleaner, such as dish soap, can be used to remove most minor stains. Look for dish soap that specifically says that it is a "degreaser," and mix it in with water. Try your best to wipe the excess soap off with a clean cloth or paper towel, as you don't want to get soap in your grass. Do not scrub with anything abrasive, like a scrub pad or a scrub brush. That will dull the surface of your fence and, more importantly, make it more susceptible to stains in the future.

Removing Darker, Larger Stains

Most PVC fencing is white, which comes with a great benefit: you can use bleach. Along with the bleach, use an "eraser" type foam sponge. An eraser sponge is a mild abrasive but, unlike harsher abrasives, they won't damage the surface. Make sure you use rubber gloves when using bleach, and dilute the bleach to about 25% in a solution of water. A color-safe bleach can be used on non-white PVC fencing, but it has to be washed off thoroughly.

Greasy or Oily Stains

If the stain just won't lift, use mineral spirits directly applied to the stain to try to dilute it. Once the mineral spirits have been thickly applied, you should rub the area in a circular motion with a dry wash rag until the stain comes up. If the stain does not come up after a few minutes, you should wipe down the area and clean the mineral spirits off. You may need to repeat this process multiple times, especially if the staining is over a large area of the fence, as the grease will spread when diluted. 

The most common type of staining for vinyl PVC fencing is grass. Grass tends to stain bright green, but it usually only occurs when the grass becomes damaged against the fence. By keeping your grass trimmed and by trimming very carefully around the fence, you can usually avoid this. If all else fails, contact a fencing contractor, like Lishman Fence-- they can usually provide some useful cleaning tips.