Vinyl fences are typically quite durable, holding up against storms, strong winds and hot sun better than their wood counterparts. However, you should only clean your vinyl fences in very specific ways. Some cleaning chemicals could weaken the chemical bonds of the vinyl, and higher blasts from power washers may also weaken the molecular structure of your vinyl fences. Here is how to keep your vinyl fences clean without weakening them or causing them to crack.
Mild Detergents, a Sponge and a Bucket of Hot Water
One of the best approaches is to wash all of your fence panels by hand. While it is time-consuming, it does make your fence very clean because you can see all of the dirt you might have missed trying to wash them from afar. To do this, use a mild detergent, such as a dishwashing soap. If you are worried about the environment, you can also use an earth-friendly, biodegradeable dishwashing detergent. Use a large, all-natural sponge that's similar to the ones used to wash cars, a bucket of hot water and the detergent. Soap up the fence with the sponge and detergent, occasionally using the hot water to rinse some of the soap out of the sponge. Then use a sprayer attachment on your garden hose to rinse all the soap away.
Spray Nozzle and a Garden Hose
When a pressure washer might just be a little too much for the molecular structure of vinyl fences, a spray nozzle on a garden hose from farther away may be adequate. The pressure from the nozzle is not as full-force as the water sprayed from a pressure washer, so the water helps clean away dirt without over-blasting your fences. The farther away from your fence you stand, the gentler the cleaning, but you will still be able to remove mud and dirty rainwater with no trouble.
Dirt- and Water-Resistant Spray
Lastly, you could avoid the whole fence-cleaning mess with an application of dirt- and water-resistant spray. This is like the stuff with which you coat your car's windshield--dirty water beads up on the fence and runs away, while dirt is unable to find a place to stick. If you decide to go this route, you will need to paint it on your fence, either via a spray application or with a paint roller and tray. Be sure to do this on a day that is sunny and no rain is predicted so that the spray coating has a chance to dry.