Last Updated: June 15, 2018
What’s holding you back from splurging on that high-maintenance cedar railing? Don’t let the effortless look of a wood railing deceive you. These fashionable options come with a big responsibility. You simply don’t have time. You don’t want to spend more money on maintenance products. You don’t enjoy spending your time scrubbing, sealing, and painting a railing.However you want to say it, you should never feel ashamed for wanting a low-maintenance railing product. The lack of maintenance won’t just save you time and money, but it will also ensure that your railing endures for many years without any frustration on your part. Vinyl railings are the perfect choice for a homeowner that wants a beautiful railing without all the hard work. The most maintenance a vinyl railing will need is a weekly rinse and a good yearly cleaning to prevent stains. If you’re wondering how to clean vinyl railing, keep reading.
How to Clean Vinyl Railing
To clean vinyl railing, you don’t need to break the bank on a fancy pressure washer. In fact, using a pressure washer on a high setting could damage the vinyl. All you need is a garden hose and a little bit of patience. Using a spray hose with moderate pressure, simply rinse away any debris or grime that’s accumulated on the railing. You’ll be amazed at how much better your vinyl railing already looks! If your railing doesn’t have any stains on it, your job may be complete.
If you’re wondering how to clean vinyl railing, always keep in mind that less is more. If you start off cleaning your railing too aggressively, you could be left with destroyed vinyl. To clean off any mold, mildew, or debris, start with a simple soap solution made with detergent and water. Alternatively, you can also use a solution of vinegar and water. Try cleaning just one spot on your railing first to make sure your cleaner of choice is safe to use on the rest of your railing. Then, spend a few minutes scrubbing the railing with the cleaner and a soft brush, and rinse with water.
For trickier spots, consider letting the soap solution sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing. If your vinyl railing needs a little extra attention, try using a vinyl cleaner, which is available at most hardware stores. Whatever you use to clean your railing, avoid steel wool and other abrasive cleaners. These can damage the gloss and discolor your railing.
Attack Algae and Dark Marks
Having trouble with algae? If you’ve found it growing in the nooks and crannies of your railing, it might be time to invest in a pressure washer or borrow one from a friend, and use it on a low setting. If the stain is still there, try scrubbing it off with a brush. You could also spray on an anti-algae product (typically found in pool stores), but make sure to test it on a small area of the vinyl first to avoid widespread discoloration.
If you’ve noticed some dark, scratch-like marks on your railing, try using a cleaning product like Soft Scrub, Scrubbing Bubbles, or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Apply the product, let sit it for however long the directions dictate, and then wipe it away.
Don’t forget that cleaners leave residue. Once you are happy with the look of your clean vinyl, rinse the entire railing off with hose water. When it’s dry, enjoy an afternoon on the deck with friends, or even by yourself!
Further Tips on How to Clean Vinyl Railing
A railing’s hardware can become rusty if it is not properly cared for and covered. Inspect the hardware and bolts from time to time, and immediately treat the first signs of rust. If a piece of hardware becomes badly rusted, remove and replace it. Rust can stain vinyl, and a loose railing can be a danger to your guests, kids, and even pets.
Although vinyl is easy to care for, you will need to clean it regularly so that staining agents don’t blemish the material. These stains can become permanent if you aren’t careful. Try to rinse the railing about once a week if possible – you can even pair it with another chore, like watering your plants. This task is also easy to delegate to a child. Keep in mind that you might need to clean your railing more often in the fall because leaves and other debris can wreak havoc on your vinyl.
Watch for Residue
Keep in mind that certain substances, like suntan lotions, wet leaves, and permanent markers, may contain dyes that can permanently stain vinyl. If your railing comes into contact with any of these items, clean your railing as soon as possible. Sticky hands dripping with ice cream and other sweet treats are also a threat to your vinyl. Consider teaching your children to rinse their hands off with hose water before grabbing the railing and running inside.
Now that you know how to clean vinyl railing, are you ready to make the investment? Be sure to purchase your vinyl railing from a reliable company and have it installed correctly. You can’t fix a shoddy product through vigilant maintenance, after all. A durable, well-installed railing can last for decades to come with very little maintenance whatsoever.
If you’ve followed all of the steps for cleaning your vinyl railing, but you’re still having issues, it might be time to purchase new vinyl railing. If so, be sure to check out MMC Fencing & Railing. You might be interested in the PolyRail Vinyl Railing system, which is distinctive, versatile, and virtually maintenance-free. Amongst the many available styles, you’re sure to find one that fits your home’s style and your personal preferences. If PolyRail doesn’t charm you, take a look at the TRX Vinyl Railing system. The styles are classic, simple, and airy, and they’re also available in a number of different colors and design variations. For more railing options, please check out the MMC Fencing & Railing online store or give us a call at 1-866-931-5002. We look forward to working with you!