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How To Remove Deck Stain From Vinyl Siding (Chemical Recommendations)

Staining a deck is a common household chore. Occasionally, there will be accidents that lead to deck stain getting on the vinyl siding nearby. This most commonly occurs at the meeting point between the vinyl siding and the deck floor or railings. 


How can we remove deck stain from vinyl siding? What chemicals and techniques should be used? What should I avoid? How do I prevent deck stain from getting on my siding? These are all questions we will be answering in this short article.




How Can Deck Stain Be Removed From Vinyl

Deck stain can be removed from vinyl when it is still wet with a simple wet rag. Just wipe the wet stain down and the rag will absorb the stain. If there is still streaking, simply use another part of the wet rag to remove all of the residual stain. This is by far the easiest and cheapest method to fix stain on siding. When staining a deck, always keep a wet rag on you. Not only will it keep you cooler on a hot summer day, but it will fix these issues immediately, preventing needless and time-consuming trips to get a rag and get it wet.


Dried stain is the main subject of this article as it is actually very difficult to remove from vinyl siding without damaging or discoloring the vinyl (PVC) underneath. However, with the extensive experience we have at EcoWash, we have formulated a system that is both extremely effective and non-damaging to the underlying surface.


When dealing with dried deck stain, first wet the area with Simple Green. Simple Green is an eco-friendly mild degreaser and it will help to lift off some of the stain when combined with a low-grit sponge and some elbow grease. After the use of simple green, move on to Motsenbocker’s Lift-Off Latex Paint Remover. This is a water-based, biodegradable solution that is very effective at stain removal. Spray this on, let it sit for a few seconds, and use the sponge and some pressure to remove the stain. After this, grab a wet rag and keep wiping until the stain is removed. 



deck stain removal chemicals
EcoWash's time-tested chemical recommendations

This method is reliable for water-based deck stains but may not be the best method for oil-based deck stains as we rarely use those products.


What Should Be Avoided

With stain removal, many effective solutions can absolutely and permanently destroy or discolor the vinyl siding underneath. This should be avoided at it defeats the purpose of the whole stain removal anyway.


Any oil-based paint or stain remover will discolor the siding into a white color. Oil-based paint removers (i.e. Goo Gone or Goof Off) generally contain xylol, which is super effective, but discolors the siding and is not environmentally friendly whatsoever. Avoid oil-based at all costs; it is not worth it at all. We have used it accidentally many years ago and had to replace/repaint siding for multiple customers. Siding replacement is not even close to a good option as entire portions of the house need to be replaced at once due to colors not matching after fading.




xylol vinyl staining
Permanent, irreversible white stains on vinyl from xylol


Any highly abrasive method should be avoided. Although sanding/scraping the siding works (and is less destructive than xylol) it is generally not the best option for a large-scale removal. This method is really only practical in a small, inconspicuous area if you have no desire to pay for removal chemicals and it is your house.


How To Avoid Deck Stain On Siding

Deck stain should never get on siding in the first place. To avoid deck stain getting on your siding, use tape around areas where the siding and wood meet. You can also use various “shield” products. Ultimately though the best option may just be to hire a professional to stain your deck. This will increase the likelihood you are using someone trustworthy and experienced and they should have insurance to cover any issues they may cause.


For more articles and advice, read our other blogs on deck staining.


If you are a homeowner looking for a trustworthy, high-quality, experienced deck staining and pressure washing company, reach out to EcoWash today.

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