Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Vinyl Siding?

We often hear horror stories of people who have tried to use rubbing alcohol on vinyl siding. Are all of these stories true or are they just fabricated to demonize rubbing alcohol because it competes with commercial products? We have done the investigation and here is the result.

Generally, vinyl sidings can withstand the chemical properties of rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol has a tolerable caustic level and it will not damage the surface of the vinyl. 

Rubbing alcohol is one of those household items that you're probably already familiar with, so we won't spend too much time talking about its uses. Instead, we'll dive right into the question of whether it's worth the price or if there is a cheaper alternative to achieve the same results. Read on!

What Type Of Stains You Should Use Rubbing Alcohol For

According to Twin Cities Siding Professionals, a professional vinyl siding contractor, rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, is a strong and effective solvent that can be used to remove oil-based paints from vinyl siding. It is a quick and easy solution that is safe for use on most surfaces, including vinyl.

When applied to the paint, the alcohol helps to dissolve and loosen the paint, making it easier to remove. It is also a good option for removing paint from hard-to-reach or delicate areas, as it is less abrasive than other methods such as sanding or scraping.

Additionally, alcohol evaporates quickly, so it will not leave a residue behind and is easy to clean up. Overall, rubbing alcohol is a good choice for removing oil-based paint from vinyl siding because it is effective, safe, and easy to use.

Is It More Cost-Efficient to Use Rubbing Alcohol Than Paint removers To Remove Paint On Vinyl Sidings?

There are several reasons why it may be more cost-efficient to use rubbing alcohol than paint removers to remove oil-based paint from vinyl siding.

Less expensive and easily accessible

One reason is that rubbing alcohol is generally less expensive than paint removers. Rubbing alcohol can be purchased at a lower price than paint removers, especially if it is purchased in bulk or on sale.

Additionally, rubbing alcohol is more readily available than paint removers, as it can be found at many stores, including pharmacies and supermarkets.

Removes paint effectively just as paint removers

Another reason is that rubbing alcohol is just as effective at removing oil-based paint from vinyl siding as paint removers. Rubbing alcohol is a powerful solvent that can dissolve and remove oil-based paints, making it easier to clean surfaces and remove paint stains.

Safer and more environment-friendly

Finally, rubbing alcohol is less harmful to the environment than paint removers. Paint removers contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can release harmful fumes into the air and contribute to air pollution. Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, is a less toxic and more environmentally-friendly alternative to paint removers.

Overall, using rubbing alcohol to remove oil-based paint from vinyl siding can be a more cost-efficient, effective, and environmentally-friendly option compared to using paint removers.

brand new Usa rubbing alcohol on the mall

How To Remove Paint Stains on Vinyl Sidings Using Rubbing Alcohol

Removing paint stains on vinyl sidings is a simple task that can be completed by anyone with little DIY knowledge. It's just as simple as putting rubbing alcohol on a piece of soft cloth and wiping the affected area.

Common Alternative Household Cleaning Solutions for Vinyl Sidings 

Vinyl siding has been the predominant exterior material for American homes for many years. It owes that popularity to its durability, affordable price, and ease of installation.

However, vinyl siding does require upkeep to keep it looking good. Here are the most common household cleaning solutions that can be used for vinyl siding cleaning:

Mild detergent (or dish soap) and water solution

A mild detergent and water solution can be effective in cleaning vinyl sidings because it can remove dirt, grime, and other types of surface contaminants without damaging the vinyl material.

Detergents work by breaking up dirt and grime so that it can be easily rinsed away. They also often contain surfactants which help to lift dirt and grime away from the surface of the vinyl.

It is important to note that when cleaning vinyl siding, you should always use a mild detergent, as harsher detergents or chemicals can cause discoloration or damage to the vinyl.

Additionally, Bob Vila recommends that you use a soft-bristle brush, soft cloth, or sponge to apply the cleaning solution, rather than a stiff-bristled brush or a pressure washer, to avoid damaging the vinyl.

However, if you have a large home, pressure washing will help you save time and money. Pressure washing allows you to clean every surface of the vinyl siding efficiently and makes cleaning much easier. 

In fact, according to Home Depot, vinyl sidings can withstand up to 3,000 psi of water pressure. However, it is recommended to start at 1,000 psi and adjust the pressure accordingly as you work your way through the siding. 

Check out this power washer on Amazon.

Water and vinegar solution

vinyl siding texture window outdoor new install brand new, Will Rubbing Alcohol Damage Vinyl Siding?

Vinegar is a natural cleaner that can be effective in removing dirt, grime, and other types of build-up from vinyl siding.

When combined with water, vinegar can create a solution that is both gentle and effective at cleaning the surface of the siding. The ideal ratio for this solution is 70% vinegar and 30% water.

The acidity of the vinegar helps to loosen and dissolve dirt, while the water helps to rinse away the dirt and debris. In addition, vinegar is a natural disinfectant, so it can help to kill any germs or bacteria that may be present on the siding.

You can also add a general all-purpose household cleaner and a little bit of laundry bleach to the mix if you need a stronger solution for tougher jobs. 

chemical free home cleaner products concept

Proper Method Of Cleaning Vinyl Sidings

Cleaning vinyl siding with a power washer can be an effective way to remove dirt, grime, and other types of buildup that can accumulate over time.

The key to safely and effectively cleaning vinyl siding with a power washer is to use the right water pressure and cleaning solution.

It's also important to keep the nozzle at a distance from the siding, using the 40-degree spray angle nozzle attachment. This will help to decrease the impact of the water pressure.

Additionally, to avoid damage to the lawn or other landscaping, use a low-pressure spray setting and redirect the water runoff to a non-landscaped area.

How To Clean Vinyl Siding Using a Power Washer

To clean vinyl siding:

  1. Start by spraying the siding from the bottom up, working in sections.
  2. Always wear safety goggles when cleaning vinyl sidings using a power washer to prevent the cleaning solution from getting to your eyes.
  3. Hold the nozzle about a foot away from the siding and keep it moving to avoid over-concentrating the pressure in one spot.
  4. Repeat the process on the rest of the siding, and then rinse the entire area one final time with plain water to wash away the smell of vinegar.
  5. Some homeowners don't rinse and simply allow the vinegar smell to go away on its own through evaporation. This can be advantageous, especially during high-humidity conditions where mold and mildew can easily grow.

It's also important to be careful when cleaning around windows, doors, and other areas where water can seep in. Use a low-pressure setting and take care to direct the spray away from these areas to avoid damage.

Check out these safety goggles on Amazon.

What Cleaners To Avoid On Vinyl Sidings

According to Vinyl Siding Institute, you should avoid the following cleaning solutions for your vinyl sidings:

  • Nail polish removers
  • Furniture cleaners or polish
  • Grease remover
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Organic solvents

How Often Should I Clean My Vinyl Sidings?

It's a good idea to clean your vinyl siding at least once every two years to remove dirt, grime, and other environmental buildups. This can help prevent discoloration and staining, and also keep your home looking its best.

However, the frequency with which you need to clean your siding can depend on a number of factors, including the climate you live in and the surrounding environment.

If you live in a region with a lot of pollution or industrial activity, you may need to clean your siding more frequently. Similarly, if you live in a damp or humid area, your siding may be more prone to mildew or mold, which can also necessitate more frequent cleaning.

On the other hand, if you live in a dry or arid region, you may not need to clean your siding as often.

Keep an eye on the condition of your siding, if you notice it looking dirty or dingy, that is the sign that it is time to clean it. It is also a good idea to inspect your siding after severe weather events, such as heavy winds or hail, to check for any damage or dirt buildup.

Regular cleaning will not only keep your home looking good but will also prevent any damage caused by dirt and grime build-up in the long run.

selective focus pure acetone solution brown

Is Acetone Safe on Vinyl Siding?

Acetone is an organic solvent that can be used to dissolve certain types of plastics, and vinyl siding is made from a type of plastic. Therefore, using acetone on vinyl siding may cause damage or discoloration to the material.

Acetone can also remove any paint or stains that have been applied to the vinyl siding, which could make it look unsightly.

Further, acetone is also very flammable, if exposed to high heat or flame, it could cause a fire. It is not recommended to use acetone on any part of your house unless you know what you are doing and it's the only solution to a specific problem.

In Closing

vinyl siding texture window outdoor new install brand new

While commercial vinyl siding cleaners do work as a cleaning solution for vinyl, they're really not worth the money you'd have to spend to get a similar result. As mentioned in this article, there are plenty of more cost-effective, chemical-free alternatives available, and rubbing alcohol is just one of them. The best part is that you can use them to clean just about any surface in your house.

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