Tips for Cleaning Mold, Mildew from Siding Without Using Bleach

One of the traditional ways of removing mold and mildew from the siding on a house is to use a mixture of bleach and water. However, bleach has some downsides. First off, the fumes from bleach can damage the mucous membranes and can cause headaches or other health problems if you are exposed to them for any length of time. Since cleaning the outside of your house is a big, time-consuming project it is a good idea to look for a safer alternative. Second, it is questionable how safe bleach is for the environment. Until more solid statistics and data are in you may want to consider a greener cleaning alternative.

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So how do you remove mold and mildew from your siding without using bleach? Opt for vinegar instead. White vinegar is actually more effective at killing mold and mildew on porous surfaces than bleach and doesn’t have the hassle of toxic fumes. It is also generally considered to be a greener, more eco-friendly alternative.

So here are some tips for how to clean mold and mildew off of your house siding using vinegar.


  •  A scrub brush
  •  White vinegar
  •  Water
  •  A bucket
  •  A ladder
  •  Rubber gloves
  • optional: baking soda and a toothbrush or small scrub brush
  1. Start by making a plan of attack for how best to tackle cleaning all of the siding on your house. It is a big project and you probably will do better if you break it down into sections instead of trying to tackle it all at once. You may want to consider trying to do the most visible part of your house all in one day (usually the front of your house) and then breaking the sides and back of the house down into smaller sections. Or, just break the project into sections as you see fit.
  2. Mix about a 70/30 mixture of water and vinegar in your bucket. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from the acidity of the vinegar.
  3. Take your ladder to whichever part of your house you have decided to start with. Starting at the top of that section, dip your scrub brush in the vinegar amp; water mixture and start scrubbing the siding. Try to work with the grain of the siding so the brush can get into all the little grooves and crevices. Rinse the brush as often as necessary to remove any built up mold or mildew that accumulates.
  4. Work your way across the top of the section you are working on. Any excess water should run down onto the siding below which will help to start loosening the mold and mildew there. Gradually work your way down from the top of the section toward the bottom.
  5. Just like bleach, vinegar can kill plants so use caution not to drip it onto any plants or foliage below you.
  6. Got a tough spot that just won’t come off? Mix a paste of baking soda and water and use a toothbrush or small scrub brush to scrub it away. The mild abrasive nature of the baking soda is very effective at removing even the toughest stains.

These simple tips should have you on your way to mold-free siding in no time. And the best part is it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to do it since vinegar is very inexpensive.