How to Get Paint or Stain off Vinyl Siding [4 Ways]

Paint and wood stain spills can happen all the time, and it can be very frustrating when they occur on your vinyl siding. Not only are they at times difficult to remove, but their removal process can also be damaging to the siding if you aren't careful.  So how do you do it? And what products are best to use to remove these chemicals from vinyl siding? We've done the research to bring you the best solutions.

Here are a few methods that you can use to get paint and stain off your home's vinyl siding.

Methods to remove paint from vinyl siding:

  • Laundry detergent and water solution
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Mineral spirits
  • Graffiti remover

Methods to remove wood stain from vinyl siding:

  • Deck stain remover
  • Dish soap
  • Orange oil-based cleaner
  • Pine-Sol
  • Clear PVC pipe cleaner
  • PVC pipe cleaner
  • Oxalic acid
  • Goo Gone
  • Lift-Off

But how on earth do you utilize these methods and products to remove stain and paint? What causes yellow staining on the siding? Can you pressure wash vinyl siding? For the answers to all this and more, keep reading. 

A worker pressure washing the siding of a house, How to Get Paint or Stain off Vinyl Siding [4 Ways]

How To Get Paint Or Stain Off Vinyl Siding

Vinyl is considered a "through-body" material. This means that its color is the same from the top layer of the material to its innermost layers. Also, paint does not bond to vinyl siding particularly well. This also means that removing wood stain and paint is a relatively straightforward process in many cases--though it's always better to remove the stains as soon as they occur.

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Wall of the house lined with Vinyl siding

Continue reading to learn more about the methods that you can use to remove wood stain and paint from vinyl siding.

Methods to remove paint from vinyl siding

Laundry detergent and water solution

Water-based paint can quickly be removed by using a simple solution of laundry detergent and water.

Things you'll need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • A spray bottle or garden sprayer

  1. To create the solution, combine 3 cups of water with a tablespoon of laundry detergent and pour it into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution on the stain and use a soft-bristled scrub brush or a garden sprayer to remove it.
  3. After you have successfully removed the stain, be sure to go back over the vinyl siding with just water to remove any lingering paint chips and detergent residue.

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Pouring laundry detergent

Rubbing Alcohol

If you have an oil-based paint stain on your vinyl siding, you can use rubbing alcohol to help thin and remove it effectively.

Things you'll need:

  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A dry cloth
  • A soft-bristled brush

  1. Start by dipping a soft cloth in rubbing alcohol and applying it directly to the stain.
  2. Rub the alcohol onto the stain until it is lifted from the siding. If the affected area is on the smaller side, you can also use a disposable toothbrush. 
  3. Wash the affected area thoroughly with water to remove any old paint chips and residue.

Spraying rubbing alcohol on top a kids hand

Mineral spirits

Things you'll need:

  • A soft cloth
  • Mineral spirits
  • A soft-bristled brush

  1. Start by applying a small amount of the mineral spirit to a soft dry cloth. Allow the spirit to sit on the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes--15 minutes if the stain is over 6 inches wide.
  2. Use a scrubber brush to work the spirit into the stain, using a circular motion to lift it out.
  3. Repeat the process as many times as needed to remove the stain.
  4. Rinse the vinyl siding with water to remove the spirit and any remaining paint residue

Click here to see this mineral spirits solution on Amazon.

Graffiti remover

If you are looking to remove spray paint from your vinyl siding, a graffiti remover is probably the best option for you. It's best to do a test area on the siding first to ensure that the remover doesn't leave the siding discolored.

Things you'll need:

  • Graffiti remover
  • Water hose (or garden sprayer/pressure washer)

  1. Simply fill the reservoir on your sprayer or washer with the diluted solution and apply it to the siding until the stain has lifted.
  2. Next, rinse the vinyl siding with water to remove any remaining paint chips or solution residue.

Click here to see this graffiti remover on Amazon.

Note: Always check the instructions before applying graffiti remover to your vinyl siding, as applying too much or leaving it on too long can cause discoloration. And if you aren't able to remove the paint or stain using any of the above-mentioned methods, it's possible that the vinyl siding may have simply absorbed too much of the chemical and you'll likely need to contact a siding or roofing contractor.

Methods to remove wood stain from vinyl siding

Deck stain remover

A deck stain remover is one of the easiest ways to remove a wood stain from vinyl siding. To use the remover, simply apply it to the stain and wipe it off with a soft rag or sponge.

Click here to see this deck stain remover on Amazon. 

Dish soap

You can also use and everyday dish soap to remove deck stain. To use this method, mix a couple of teaspoons of the dish soap with 2 cups of water and apply it to the stain with a sponge.

Orange oil-based cleaner

Orange oil-based cleaners are great at removing sticky wood stains. Consider using Gojo Natural Hand Cleaner to remove the wood stain from your vinyl siding. Apply the cleaner with a soft cloth and be sure to rub it in gently. The pumice in the cleaner will easily remove the stain without damaging it.

Click here to see this Gojo cleaner on Amazon. 


Pine-Sol can also be used to remove a stain from your vinyl siding--and rather quickly. Apply it to the area using a soft cloth. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before scrubbing it off with a soft brush.

Click here to see this Pine-Sol on Amazon.

Clear PVC pipe cleaner

One solution that you may not consider is a PVC pipe cleaner. Vinyl is made from polyvinyl chloride, the same as PVC pipe. You can apply the cleaner to a soft cloth and rub it in the affected area to remove the stain.

Oxalic acid

Oxalic acid, though not typically a household item, is quite effective at removing wood stains from vinyl siding. To apply it, mix about 5-6 tablespoons of the granules with a gallon of warm water and apply it to the stain, let it sit for 2-5 minutes. Then, remove the solution with a soft sponge.

Click here to see this oxalic acid on Amazon. 

Goo Gone

The great thing about Goo Gone is that it comes with a sponge so that you can apply it directly to the stain from the applicator. Use the sponge tip of the applicator to work the solution into the stain until it's lifted.

Click here to see Goo Gone on Amazon.

Motsenbocker's Lift-Off

Motsenbocker's Lift-Off is a safe and biodegradable solution that can be used on multiple surfaces to remove paint, stains, enamel, and other chemicals. Apply it to the affected area and let it sit for about 10 to 30 seconds, and then wipe it away with a dry soft cloth.

Click here to see Lift-Off on Amazon.

What Causes Yellow Stains On Vinyl Siding?

Pressure washing a dirty house vinyl siding

The main cause of yellow staining on vinyl siding is the oxidation of the chemicals within the vinyl. Over time, these chemicals are exposed to large amounts of UV rays and acidic rain, which causes them to change the color of the vinyl. In addition to this, the residue from cleaning chemicals, insect repellents, and roof cleaning solutions can wash down on the siding, leaving behind yellow stains over time.

Will Mineral Spirits Damage Vinyl Siding?

Generally, mineral spirits won't harm vinyl siding as long as it's removed promptly. However, it shouldn't be left on the siding for over 30 minutes at a time and should be rinsed off thoroughly after the paint or stain has been removed. It's also a good idea to first do a small spot check to ensure that the spirit will not damage the vinyl.

Can You Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding?

A worker in overalls washes a white wall from a siding with a water gun, How To Clean Vinyl Siding Without Killing Plants

Yes. You can pressure wash vinyl siding to clean it or remove paint or wood stains. However, it is important to exercise extreme caution when doing so, as you can easily damage the siding from the pressure of the sprayer. Setting the pressure washer on the lowest pressure setting and doing a quick spot test helps to ensure that this does not happen.

What Is The Best Cleaner For Vinyl Siding?

There are several highly-recommended vinyl siding cleaners on the market today. Many of them can be purchased on Amazon. Here is a list of the top sellers:

Home Armor Siding Cleaner

The Home Armor vinyl cleaner can remove stubborn paint stains in a matter of minutes. It also rinses off easily.

Click to see it on Amazon. 

RMR-86 Vinyl Cleaner

This is probably the highest-rated remover on Amazon. Not only does it remove stains, but it also refreshes your siding, making it look brand new.

Click to see it on Amazon.

Simple Green Pro Vinyl Cleaner

Simple Green products have become a staple in many American homes, and for good reason. Their professional-strength vinyl cleaner gets rid of paint, mold, and other stains without requiring much elbow grease.

Click to see it on Amazon.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has introduced you to several methods that you can use to remove paint and wood stain from your vinyl siding! But before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts:

Can You Paint Vinyl Siding On A Mobile Home?

How To Keep Spiders And Other Bugs Off Vinyl Siding

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