So you decided to go with the virtually maintenance free vinyl fence. Excellent choice! While it is essentially maintenance free, you won’t have to repaint or stain like with wood or fix loose nails, it is still outside and will still get dirty from time to time.
With a vinyl fence, especially a white one, a good rain or hosing down will not completely clean the fence and leave obvious dirt behind. Vinyl fences are subject to scuffmarks from tractors or mowers, dirt, mud, mold and mildew, grease, wax, and man made marks like gum and nail polish marks.
To start: The first thing you should do when cleaning your fence is to hose it down to get rid of the dirt and grime that can easily be removed with a little water. Next utilize a brush with the garden hose to get rid of looser grime. After you do this you will be able to assess your true problem areas and where the dirt and grime is the heaviest.
To clean: The best way to clean your fence is to create a simple solution yourself. Just add a cup of a safe cleaning agent like Simple Green to a gallon of water. If the fence is exceptionally dirty you can make the solution stronger. Apply the solution to the fence and let it sit for a few minutes then scrub it with a soft brush and cloth until the stains are removed. If the stains are significant you can use a solution that contains bleach and water but be careful, the bleach might change the color of the fence creating a bigger problem. Always test any cleaning solution before using it to make sure it will not damage your fence.
When to do this: Your vinyl fence really doesn’t need to be cleaned more than once per year, twice if you live in an area where it gets easily dirty from mud or mildew. Generally the advice is to clean it in the spring, after snow has melted from around it but you can also clean it in the fall. It is all about the weather; no one wants to be outside with a hose in the cold!