I had my back vinyl fence moved back a couple feet and some of the boards that were originally facing the back are now facing forward, so now there is this appearance that some boards are darker (dirtier) and some are lighter (cleaner). If you look closely at the picture, you will notice the clean boards and the dirty ones. What is the best way to clean this? The dirty boards originally had some green mold, but I got this off with water and scrubbing with a broom and now what is left dirt (at least that is what I think it is).

Here is a picture:

enter image description here

  • 3
    I don't think that's dirt. I think that's bleaching by the sun. Sep 5, 2012 at 18:50
  • Hmm... Could you turn the discolored boards back around? Seems like the other side of the fence might have a similar problem.
    – Tester101
    Sep 5, 2012 at 18:55
  • @TheEvilGreebo - OK, interesting, why would the front part that got more sun look less bleached and the back part that did not get much sun, be darker. If it is that, can I do something about it.
    – Xaisoft
    Sep 5, 2012 at 18:55
  • @Tester101 - That would require the installers to come out and reverse it, but this company has been a pain, so I was wondering if their was a solution I handle myself.
    – Xaisoft
    Sep 5, 2012 at 18:56
  • How do you know with certainty which boards were facing which direction? Still, assuming it really is dirt... Sep 5, 2012 at 19:20

3 Answers 3


Assuming this actually is dirt and not bleaching by the sun and some confusion on which boards faced which way...

Go to Home Depot and rent a pressure washer.

Test the pressure washer on a scrap piece of fencing before you use it on the real deal - if you get too close you could blast a hole in the vinyl - but it will remove the dirt. Quite amazingly so. I've seen dirty old grey decking look like brand spanking new after a good pressure wash.

  • If I don't have some scraps, is there a certain pressure I can use or distance I can stay away and still see if it will make difference.
    – Xaisoft
    Sep 5, 2012 at 19:36
  • Pick a non-obvious spot to test on in that case
    – Steven
    Sep 5, 2012 at 20:18
  • It did turn out to be bleaching. Thanks for the help.
    – Xaisoft
    Sep 18, 2012 at 5:14

I would try some vinyl siding cleaner or Oxygen bleach like Stain Solver. It doesn't look that bad in the picture though.


Given that you cleaned the fence I'm not certain that it's dirt as mentioned by The Evil Greebo above but if it is then you have several options that we commend.

The Green Method Use regular household vinegar. Start by trying 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 Gallon of water. If that doesn't seem to be working add another 1/2 cup of vinegar to increase the strength a bit and try that. The more baked on dirt you have the harder you will have to work to get it off.

You can also try the "magic eraser" in conjunction with or (before or after the vinegar). Of course if you have a lot of fencing to clean this isn't going to be the preferred method.

Non Commercial Cleaners Use one part bleach to five parts water and try that on the vinyl fence. You need to give the bleach a bit of time to work on the surface but you should see it start working within 10 - 15 minutes. Keep in mind that your putting a caustic chemical on the fence and you need to be careful with plants nearby. Make sure you water down the plants after your done to dilute the bleach as much as possible to avoid harming the landscaping.

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