How to Clean a Vinyl Pergola Like a Pro (& Prevent Future Filth)

dirty vinyl pergola that needs cleaned

Ah, the good old days. Back when the sun was out, your vinyl pergola was still new, and you could actually enjoy your backyard portal to paradise.

When you first bought your pergola, you could have never imagined it looking like anything less than stunning. But over the years, its glistening white gleam has turned into more of an underwhelming glow of slimy green disappointment.

Stains may be a pain — but they don’t have to be! We’ll teach you how to clean a vinyl pergola. You can feel free to fall in love with your backyard again thanks to these 3 easy DIY pergola cleaning hacks.

What causes this dirt, anyway?

Despite what you may think, the dirt on your pergola didn’t appear overnight. Sunlight, abrasion, heat, and strong solvents are all virtually unavoidable factors that can cause blemishes to your spotless outdoor oasis. And, unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there!

Green mildew on your vinyl pergola is easily the most common — and the most noticeable — eyesore. When moisture sticks to the surface, it can result in that all-too-familiar earthy green grime. In addition, if your pergola is near the street, road dirt can also be to blame for seemingly unexplainable filth.

The good news is, there IS hope!

DIY Solutions for Vinyl Pergola Cleaning:

soap bucket for vinyl pergola cleaning

Low-maintenance doesn’t mean no-maintenance!

The best strategy for vinyl pergola cleaning is to regularly wash the surface area with water. But, if your structure is past the point of a gentle washing, here are 3 easy ways to clean a vinyl pergola AND prevent the dirt from returning.

  1. Soap it — Yup, it’s that easy. In most cases, a good vinyl pergola cleaning can be done with just a few minutes, a mild dish soap, and a little elbow grease. If that’s not simple enough, pergola cleaning kits are also available for purchase that contains everything you’ll need to return your pergola to its former flawless glory.

    Pro Tip: Bleach may be known for reviving white clothes, but take caution when considering it for your vinyl pergola! Our experts recommend AVOIDING this cleaning chemical altogether, as it can cause major damage to your pergola surface.
  2. Scrub It — You’ll be shocked at how much a simple wipe-down with the right tools can transform your outdoor living space! To best clean a vinyl pergola, often times a soft bristle brush is all you need.

    Fill a bucket with warm water and use a Magic Eraser, an old toothbrush, or other textured cleaning sponge to scrub the stains away.

    Pro Tip: Remember to always test a small section of the surface before committing to doing the entire thing! In the slim chance that one of the brushes would scratch the vinyl, you want to make sure to keep it at a minimum.
  3. Spray It — For more stubborn dirt, try the powerful blast of a pressure washer! First, start by removing any furniture or hanging plants surrounding your pergola so that you don’t damage them.

    By pressure washing your pergola from top to bottom — like you would when washing a car – you can save tons of time and effort. The strong stream of water eliminates dirt and grime by easily dislodging it from every crevasse – leaving you with a stunning structure that looks good as, or even better than new.

    Vinyl is strong, but it’s still a good idea to be mindful of the strength setting on your power washer. It should be just powerful enough to clean the surface, but gentle enough not to cause dents.

    Pro Tip: If you don’t have a pressure washer handy for vinyl pergola cleaning, a garden hose with a strong nozzle can also be effective! These inexpensive additions can be bought online or at most local hardware stores.

Effective & Preventive Vinyl Pergola Maintenance

free standing pergola with canopy

Now that you’ve used some DIY pergola cleaners to restore your structure, you want to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Remember, the better you treat your vinyl pergola, the better it’ll treat you. Just like your outdoor plants, your pergola needs occasional upkeep and maintenance, too. Cleaning it seasonally, or at least twice a year, is a perfect way to do this.

One of the most cost-effective ways to keep your vinyl pergola protected from the elements that damage it is to dress it with drapes or curtains. Our experts love this solution because it’s an easy way to add an extra style element to a pergola, while also protecting its exterior!

Lastly, if you use the structure strictly for shade, keep furniture away from the support posts. Doing this will prevent unwanted scratches from occurring.

Vinyl Pergolas from the Nation’s Favorite Team

While most dirty pergolas can be restored, some are just too far beyond repair. If you have stubborn stains or scuffing completely ruining yours, Garbrella Pergolas would love to help you replace it with a brand new attached pergola, free-standing pergola, or custom pergola kit!

Shop online, chose your favorites, and start the conversation today with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

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