How often do you encounter orange stains/oxidation/weird issues on vinyl siding etc?

Question here. (Another one haha)

I have been hitting this forum and youtube hard to try and learn as much as i can. While checking out a video on youtube i had seen that occasionally you will have issues with siding turning orange and you can use oxalic or BARC to help get rid of that stuff. This was the first time in probably two weeks or so that i had heard/seen anyone mention it which probably means i just need to research harder and keep at it but it made me wonder on what kind of issues id run into and what chemicals and such id need to mitigate problems like that.

So im asking a few questions here because i dont know what the right terms to ask…Since i DO live remotely, and am not capable of just going to the store and picking stuff up if stuff goes south…

what percentage or how often do you run into vinyl that requires extra chemicals and such? What other issues could arise that i have not found so far and what chemicals are used to mitigate those? IBS says he avoids houses he hasnt cleaned already and houses with oxidation but i dont have that luxury yet. Is that done with an eye test? Just running your fingers along the siding and if its chalky or has a bunch of discoloration you just NOPE on out of there or what? What should i be looking for aside from that to give me the biggest indication that a house is going to be a headache aside from a weird/crappy customer vibe, obvious neglect, and what ive previously mentioned? It seems like the biggest thing you can do to get ahead of potential unknown stains/issues is educating the customer beforehand and setting realistic expectations. Do you agree with that?

I promise im not looking to be spoon fed here and am searching, but it would be nice to have a list of stuff i could order preemptively so im not stuck with my pants down waiting a few weeks for chemicals i might need down the road for common issues that i somehow missed if that makes sense.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this far. This forum is so full of information and im so glad to have found it!

Everyone that is new to this area has questions, and everyone who does this as a side hustle or full time eventually runs into something new or different, or a new to them issue. It is part of the gig as a professional cleaner.

If the job looks bad to start…do what IBS says and walk away. It is hard to do at first, but you will learn to do it.

You are going to run into so many different things that you can’t plan for every single different issue. If you get stumped on one come to the forum and bring some pics, people love trouble shooting it. Besides we all learn something that way. Keep a couple of things on your rig besides SH and soap and you should be ok the majority of the time. It is ok to tell a customer that you will be back.

Be careful what you watch on the tube, some of those videos will get you into trouble if you are inexperienced. Just because some guy claims to be the internets greatest PW of all time doesn’t make it so. I saw people doing things in videos I couldn’t believe, guy claiming to be great at cleaning concrete driveways and there were stripes all over when he was done and another Guy cleaning a wooden fence and never once bent his knees.

Trying to pick through bad information for good information is the equivalent of of putting chicken poop in a glass of water, then picking it out and drinking it. I am doing my best with researching though.

What other few chemicals would you have with you in a “starter kit” for a truck to cover most or at the least the most common issues?

So far I would think extra hose, fuel, backup spray bottles etc for mechanical failures but I feel I am woefully unprepared on the extra chemicals side aside from proper ratios of SH mixes for different surfaces.

Looking at the orange stains I saw on YouTube I could just imagine my jaw hitting the floor and trying to stay composed while hiding in truck sending you guys pictures asking for help and would like to try my very best to not have that happen! :joy:

We keep deactivator (I know, almost no one uses it, but it’s a solid part of our processes), we also keep oxallic and Gutter Butter on every truck at all times. Some of the guys like to have BARC and Efflo on hand, and most carry a little One Restore.

The issues you mentioned are extremely rare in my limited experience, but when they happen you want to have what you need to remedy ASAP.

Oxidation is the biggie for us. If it’s present, you either walk away or prep the client’s expectations properly before you spray even water, or you’ll own the problem in their mind. Pointing out issues beforehand is setting expectations, afterwards it’s just making excuses…that’s just a fact of life.


Soap for your hw mix, oxalic, which you should be able to get up there pretty easily, a degreaser, with and w/o hydroxide in it. I’m sure someplace has Purple Power up there, which will work for your degreaser for oil stains, a gal of wire wheel or aluminum brightener cleaner (cheapest you can get, it’s just an acid) and you’ll be fine. I’ve never seen any orange stains on vinyl and I’ve cleaned thousands, other than red clay stains, so don’t worry about it. Post a link to the video if you have it.

At least 90% of the vinyl houses we clean have oxidation, just explain to client that sometimes they’ll be clean spots or that it may look splotchy, but that rarely happens unless it’s already that way. But you want to try not disturb it, ie reason it’s called soft washing.

CYA, always take before and after pics, especially if any potential problem areas.

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Thank you. I will start looking at some of those chemicals and se what i can find locally. I will also start searching them and what they are all used for on here and youtube as well! I am pretty sure ive seen purple power before. Here are some of the videos that i saw…

Read the instructions on your products. One restore says to always do a test spot.

One restore instructions can be read here: