Soft washing different colors of vinyl siding

Been looking at different posts on this topic and cant really find anything too specific. Hoping that this topic can be useful when others search for help on the subject, however here’s my question.
I’m wondering if when it comes to soft washing; since your using a mixture of surfactant and bleach, is it safe to use that softwash mix on vinyl siding that ISNT white? Ya know cuz bleach tends to discolor things that aren’t white (lol)

Maybe I’m answering my own question, but bear with me as I’m a total newbie when it comes to softwashing… and maybe a couple other areas too (def not an expert) but just would like to hear some specific and direct answers to help my research and to make it simple for others using the search bar that may be wondering the same thing !

When searching for topics somewhat related to this, where people have experienced discoloration; I’ve seen some people mention not to do certain colors of houses… Is this because the bleach ruins or maybe “fades” the colors of the vinyl? I heard someone say not to wash blue, red or green siding… the type of bleach I plan to use is a 10% pool bleach, and i plan to use a 50/50 ratio of the bleach and surfactant to water, (still new to this and trying to figure out what that sweet spot is for the water/bleach/surfactant ratio) I’m going to be using an xjet, and as most of you know, the xjet comes with little plastic proporrioners that when inserted into the bottom of the downstream injector, give you a certain ratio of mix to the water coming from your machine… what I’m wondering is; when SW a house with say -" red vinyl siding", should you use less bleach or a lower percentage of bleach, and maybe a higher water ratio for your overall mix, with the same or necessary amount of surfactant? Or do you simply just not use bleach AT ALL with colored siding, and maybe just use a different chemical that isnt S.H.?

Hopefully these are valid questions and I’m not putting my own foot in my mouth, but any advice is good advice so long as its helpful, and like I said, I’m hoping this could help other people new to softwashing as well, when using the search on this topic… also if anyone would like to maybe tell me of a better ratio of the 10% S.H. to water, that would be great too ! Lol. thanks !!

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It doesn’t have anything to do with the strength of your mix. The issue is that those colors oxidize, or show the oxidation, much heavier than lighter colors. You run more of a risk of removing that oxidation unevenly, which makes it look like you ruined the siding.

Thats helpful, thank you ! But out of curiosity- what would your approach be, if say; a customer
Friend or neighbor asked you to wash a house, with siding that was either blue, green, or red ? Would you just simply not do it? How would you go about it? if it can in fact be done properly anyways …

It’s difficult to explain if you don’t have the experience of dealing with this issue. If you are going to do them, you need to set the customers expectations on what could happen. Even if it is brand new siding, these colors will dry really weird.

If the customer sees it in during the drying process, and it looks like crap, they may call you complaining, or the neighbors see it during this process.

It doesn’t look good for you as a company and that is new siding. If it is old siding, you run the risk of tiger striping the whole house.

I don’t do them because I’m not in the business of hand scrubbing entire homes.

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@FATJOE he is loving you and us. He is “softwashing” with an xjet lol. Love him and he may eventually stay


To be honest he has done a fair bit of reading on here by the looks of it. Sometimes it is hard to research a topic with a lot of posts stating “use the search button”. It can take awhile to get a legit response you can trust but admittedly it is here somewhere. Now to seperate the good advice from the bad is the problem. But realistically if you have researched enough posts you can tell who to trust and who not to over time. Just my 2 cents worth.


Thank you @FATJOE for being helpful ! and Thank you @BrickStoneConcrete for your advice it’s much appreciated… I’m not trolling anyone… im going to ignore the obvious troll and just keep a listen out for helpful advice from professional people that want to help (which is what a forum IS), and try to learn as much as possible while I’m here ! Cheers guys thanks again !

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Read read read. It’s all here by the looks of it, and there are a lot of seasoned pros that give sound advice. The more you read the quicker you will be able to see who’s advice to listen to and who not to. Best of luck with your research. I’m sure will learn a lot in the process. I don’t think anyone who has had a good look at this forum hasn’t learned something they didn’t know. (even the pros) I cant speak for what others have learned or not. All I know is I have learnt a huge amount just by reading this forum. So stick with it and try the advice you hear from the people you learn to trust on here. Then adjust the method so it works for you. What works for someone else may not be what works best for you. Trial and error my friend. But it’s all here if you look.
Good luck


Thank you very much sir ! Will do ! Have an awesome day bud !

When talking colors to watch out for I believe you’re confusing vinyl siding with certain colors of painted wood siding. I’ve always seen IBS say run away from painted blues and reds. There might’ve been some other colors of paint to be careful with too.

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Thanks Marine ! So it’s safe to wash colored vinyl as long you rinse very well after dwelling ? Just gotta stay away from colored painted wood then ? Am I on the right track ?

Kinda. Paint will flash and change colors. Seen brown houses to green. Vinyl will fade and run

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Thanks for the tips IBS. Its appreciated. With that being said I’m assuming maybe the way to go with colored siding would be to just go low to medium pressure and stay away from chems, and maybe use a downstream method with soap and or cleaner that’s maybe designed for siding but doesn’t contain any S.H. ; instead ?

Nope. Just don’t wash them

From what I’ve seen and read, when people have issues with colored vinyl, it isn’t from the bleach. It’s either:

  • something else in their mix (like using dawn or some other soap instead of a professional surfactant)
  • too much pressure, which will disturb the oxidation layer
  • downright faulty siding (like some vinyl shake siding manufactured in the late 90’s - early 2000’s)
  • allowing solution to dry, not rinsing thoroughly enough, or forcing solution behind the siding to weep out later

I clean colored vinyl homes with my standard mix and tips. I use soap tips for rinsing everything, and am careful not to use my shooter or 5° too close to the siding.

If I had my schedule booked out a year and was employing a bunch of guys who might not have as much sense as me, I would skip anything that could cause complications, just like IBS.



I wish we could pin this to the top of the forum.


I agree squidskc. Alex _ Lacey, that is some of the best info, advice I have
seen posted on this or any other forum Great job!

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