How to Clean Metal Siding

Metal siding is a versatile product that is durable and tough and can be painted or manufactured in any color. It's fire, weather and termite resistant and doesn't heat up in the sun. Initial installation may be more costly than with other forms of siding, but metal siding can be cost-effective in the long term. Maintenance is easy if the siding is properly installed and cleaned regularly. Clean metal siding twice a year to keep your house or business looking fresh and to prevent problems with oxidation and corrosion.

Clean Metal Siding

Close all doors, windows and vents. Move or cover anything outside the building that you don't want exposed to water. Cover electrical outlets.

Remove stains like sap with an automotive cleaner for tar and bugs. Apply the product and let it sit for a few minutes then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Or use a cloth to apply mineral spirits, let it sit and wipe dry.

Purchase a cleaner specifically designed for your siding, or make a solution of detergent and warm water.

Spray the siding with a garden hose and scrub with a large, soft brush like the ones designed for washing cars. Start at the top and work downward. Keep the unwashed parts wet so that detergent doesn't run down the walls and create streaks.

Rinse the siding thoroughly with a garden hose. Put a nozzle on the hose to create a spray and increase the water pressure.

Deal with corrosion as soon as you discover it. Sand rusted areas to bare metal and then use an anti-rust primer on the spots.

Take care of minor scratches by cleaning the area thoroughly and applying touch-up paint.

Things You Will Need

  • Automotive cleaner
  • Mineral spirits
  • Siding cleaner
  • Detergent
  • Hose
  • Car washing brush


  • Rinse the siding before the cleaning solution dries.

About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

Photo Credits

  • Rustoleum