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tinker1121

What do you clean your white vinyl porch railing with?

tinker1121
16 years ago

I would be curious to know if anyone else has a problem with their white vinyl porch railing. We replaced old wrought iron railing with the white vinyl farmhouse type and chose a good brand, Fairway, which is better quality than the instock type at the HD and Lowes.

I hose it down but it seems to have black scratches here and there which I can't figure out how they got there and I have tryed Fantastic and other spray cleaners. The Fairway website recommends Soft Scrub and I know not to use that. I have used it on patio furniture and it creates roughness that attracts more dirt.

Any ideas?

Comments (29)

  • neetsiepie
    16 years ago

    DH swears by Scrubbing Bubbles for cleaning anything plastic or rubber, and has used it on our vinyl slider doors with no problems. Spray it on, let it set, then wipe off.

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  • squirrelheaven
    16 years ago

    Wow, SoftScrub.

    I was going to say those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers too. Hopefully not too big an area, though.

    Vinegar and water does an amazing job of removing dirt, even wax and adhesive from glass.

    I guess if they're recommending SoftScrub, it's safe to try a diluted solution of Clorox and water, like with grout??? Just rubbing the areas -- not rinsing into the landscape or anything.

    I've heard baking a baking soda paste takes off paint and other scuff marks from furniture legs.

    So, vinegar and baking soda sounds good : )

  • tinker1121
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am afraid the Magic Eraser would also scratch as Soft Scrub can. I used the eraser on my formica counters and can see every spot where rubbed.

    The baking soda sounds the safest but I will try all ideas in inconspicuous areas, if we ever get a warm day around here.

  • cpathens
    16 years ago

    Thanks for this thread. One of the dumbest things we ever did was to install white vinyl railings on our screened porch and deck, in an area where there is substantial tree debris. Dumb. For the first few months, I was wiping it down daily with just a wet paper towel. But if the debris isn't cleaned off shortly after a rain, it leaves stubborn stains. I agree that abrasive cleaners will just make it worse. I'm going to try the bubbles but I fear we're going to just have to get used to dingy.

  • squirrelheaven
    16 years ago

    That's pretty interesting about the stains and scratching since people are wanting the no-maintenance, carefree longevity of the vinyl fencing products. True though, those plastic chairs get pretty crumby looking too.

    A few people down the road just put in some vinyl fencing. I sure wish they'd take the gloss off so they don't look so plastic. Esp bad at night with lights. They're also just too perfectly formed, so don't look at all real.

  • Robbi D.
    16 years ago

    Soft scrub works on the black marks that are on our travel trailer. You know, the ones that streak down the sides from the roof when it rains? The trailer is vinyl siding, so I don't see why it wouldn't work on the railing. Very easy to use, too, with little to no scrubbing.

    We've always admired those while vinyl fences and thought we'd like to do them around our pasture (for horses) because of the low maintenance. But after passing by ones that have been installed for a few years, we've changed our minds because of they way look after a few years. I guess we'll just stay with the natural look of wood.

  • graywings123
    16 years ago

    I find that most any cleaner works if you hand rub with a cloth or sponge. But none of the spray-on, hose-off products seem to work for me. I use Mr. Clean.

    I use a sponge on the end of a pole for areas I can't reach by hand.

    I have frequently used Soft Scrub with Bleach on vinyl without problems.

  • graywings123
    16 years ago

    Should have added - I use liquid Mr. Clean mixed with water - not the sponge.

  • gk5040
    16 years ago

    I would be afraid any type of abrasive cleaner, would marr the luster of the plastic. Did you try asking at Home Depot. They sell many cleaners for outdoor furniture that might work well. They recommended Simply Green to me for another project. They might have something specific for plastic patio furniture. Good luck.

  • brutuses
    16 years ago

    Have you posted this on the cleaning forum?

  • stu2900
    16 years ago

    I've used Mr. Clean eraser and haven't had any problems.

  • kimkitchy
    16 years ago

    We have a white vinyl fence around our back yard. It still looks great after 8 years. I "clean" it about once a summer. I use warm water and baking soda. It works like a charm. Easy.

  • fran1523
    16 years ago

    I bet Oxy Clean and warm water with a sponge would work really well. That stuff is amazing.

  • tinker1121
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I tried the baking soda, mixed up a paste yesterday in a small area and it didn't work at removing the black marks. I like the Oxy Clean suggestion and will try all these suggestions and post when I find one that works.

    I am still holding off on the Magic Eraser as way too many small areas to rough up with it. I should add that for several Christmas we attached garland to the railings and I assume from the movement of the wind, the top of the railing is full of black marks and scratches.

  • squirrelheaven
    16 years ago

    Try some vinegar too. It seems to just melt stuff off. I can't believe those 'fences' take a beating like that. Seems to defeat the purpose and you have to start over rather than just paint.

  • fivefootzero
    16 years ago

    Try Simple Green. That's what we used to clean our old white vinyl patio furniture.

  • tinker1121
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    I just wanted to post that I found something that works great.

    OxyClean Mircle Foam

    Found it at Bed, Bath and Beyond today and I purchased the powder version in plastic canister and mixed some in a small container and applied with a kitchen scrubby when I got home. Worked like a charm!! I didn't to the entire railing, just the top rail but sparkling clean, no scratches and didn't bother the shiney finish. It also comes in an aerosol can.

    I spiffed up the porch a bit with some purple pansies from Lowes for $4.99 a pot and put them in metal pot holders I have that attach to the railing. Looks nice for Easter with my purple and yellow easter egg house flag.

    Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

  • novalee
    15 years ago

    I,too,suffer from the black staining and minor scratches on my vinyl railing and was directed to this site for assistance. After reading many thoughtful suggestions and considering them, I went to the basement and pulled out what I had. I then tried 15 products ranging from a 1:10 H20:Chlorox mix to several automotive waxes. The BEST, by far, way and above anything I tried, was Turtle Wax Polishing Compound Wax and Scratch Remover. I've used it on all 13 sections of railing. Now let's see how long it holds up! Thanks to everyone for sharing your suggestions. Without you I would not have come to this "organized" conclusion. I even created a spreadsheet to track my results.

  • waterstar
    8 years ago

    Hi Novelle,

    What did you finally decide did the easiest and best job?

    I noticed no one commented on the scrub bubbles.

    Tinker1121, did you stay with the oxyfoam?

    Dud anyone find something to put on the vinyl to slow down the dirt accumulation?

  • LucyStar1
    8 years ago

    A blast from the past!

  • waterstar
    8 years ago

    Yes, an age old problem..... ( :

  • tmc703
    8 years ago

    We recently had the white plastic railings installed on our deck. Like one of the other commenters the deck is in a wooded area with constant liquid and debris falling from the large oak trees. So far we are keeping up with it. Has anyone tried putting wax on the top railing to help keep it from staining?

  • Mary Kellogg
    7 years ago

    I've had pretty good luck just using windex.

  • cindyloo123
    7 years ago

    I have a vinyl pergola and it has vines on it all summer. When I take down the vines, I simply spray it down with 409. I let the 409 sit for a few minutes, then run a very soft brissel brush all over it. Then I hose it down. It is rare that I have to pay any special attention to a given area. I clean the outside vinyl on all of my windows the same way, about twice a year. I've been in my house for 32 years and that vinyl is looks new.

  • k9arlene
    7 years ago

    Bleach.

  • rebeccamomof123
    7 years ago

    I use spray bottle with warm water and a cup of bleach added. Not sure if it damages the material but they look new after I spray and wipe them down.

  • brdrl
    7 years ago

    Cindyloo - do you have plants close to it? I am afraid most cleaners will kill the landscape close to the pergola. Ours looks terrible but I have only used water and a brush.

  • vickyaadams
    6 years ago

    Murphys Oil Soap!!! We get green mildew like substance and black streaks on our vinyl rails. You may have to apply a little elbow grease on sap but it definitely doesn't affect the protective coating. NEVER power wash it either.

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