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How to Get a Stain out of Vinyl Siding

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Larry in Wisconsin on the line who’s dealing with some siding issues. Tell us what’s going on.

    LARRY: What I did is I was watching This Old House a couple years ago and my house was just built four years ago so I just had a brand-new driveway and everything. And they were showing you how – that you could stain your driveway. And I live in Wisconsin, so I decided to stain my driveway and stuff.

    TOM: Yep.

    LARRY: And then during that time, I got some of that stain on my siding, on my – or yeah, my vinyl siding. And I can’t figure out how to get that stuff off.

    TOM: It’s on the vinyl siding, huh?

    LARRY: Yes.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s going to be a challenge. Well, since vinyl is a solid material, have you tried to sand it with a very, very fine sandpaper, like an emery cloth that may be a 220-grit or finer? Or you could try to use rubbing compound, like you use for a car.

    LARRY: OK.

    TOM: And that’s kind of abrasive, too. You’re going to have to abrade through that surface to see if you can possibly get down to the raw vinyl.

    LARRY: Right. I’ve tried Comet and I even – a little bit of gasoline or some mineral oil and all kinds of – you know what, though? I would never, ever put that stuff back on my driveway again, because the first time we had an ice storm and I went to shovel – and all that stuff just peeled right on up.

    TOM: Oh, really?

    LARRY: Oh, yeah, it was terrible. And then I had to get a pressure washer and rent that and then blow the stuff, you know. It’s just a mess.

    TOM: Maybe you need to go back and look at that This Old House segment again.

    LARRY: Well, here’s what happened, though. I was in sales for 25 years myself; I sold cars. And if I sold somebody a car, I would sell you an extended warranty, rustproofing, fabric, whatever.

    TOM: Right.

    LARRY: So all that contractor had to do was just tell me, “Hey, what color driveway would you want?” And I would have said, “What do you mean by that?” Because they can put that dye in there, that powder and then they could have mixed it right up with the cement and boom, it would have been perfect.

    TOM: Exactly, yeah. Yeah.

    LARRY: But that didn’t happen.

    TOM: You know who was one of the first architects to ever use that technique?

    LARRY: Frank Lloyd Wright?

    TOM: Frank Lloyd Wright. That’s exactly right. You are correct, sir.

    LARRY: Well, he built a lot of beautiful houses right here in my town.

    TOM: He did.

    LARRY: I live in Boyd, Wisconsin and – oh yeah, he was really gifted, that’s for sure.

    TOM: Yeah. Yep. He was way ahead of his time.

    LARRY: Yes, he was.

    TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. I think if you try to abrade that with some sandpaper or some rubbing compound, then that’ll do it.

    LARRY: Alrighty. I’ll try that. Thank you so much.

    TOM: Alright. You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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