How to Remove Lichen From a Vinyl Fence

Vinyl fences offer a durable and low-maintenance option for homeowners, but even the sturdiest materials can fall victim to the unsightly growth of moss and lichen over time. These green invaders not only mar the pristine appearance of your vinyl fence but can also cause damage if left unchecked. By using a solution of vinegar and water, you can effectively bid farewell to these unwanted guests and restore the beauty of your vinyl fence. Additionally, pruning away any encroaching plants like vines and grasses will help prevent future growth. Furthermore, if your vinyl fence is plagued by water stains, worry not, as they’re easily remedied. So, whether you're confronting the stubborn presence of lichen or facing the blemishes of water stains on your vinyl fence, this guide will provide you with the information you need to restore it’s elegance and maintain it’s longevity.

What Cleans Algae Off Vinyl Fence?

One effective way to remove algae from a vinyl fence is by using a mixture of white vinegar and water. Simply combine one glass of white vinegar with a gallon of water and use this solution to clean your fence. Vinegar has natural cleaning properties that can help break down and remove algae without causing any harm to the vinyl material.

Gently scrubbing the surface with the cleaning solution will help loosen and lift the dirt and algae, making it easier to remove. Be sure to rinse the fence thoroughly with clean water after cleaning to remove any residue from the cleaning solution.

These products are typically formulated to effectively remove algae, stains, and other buildup without causing damage to the vinyl material. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for best results when using these types of cleaning products.

Other Natural Cleaning Solutions for Removing Algae From Vinyl Fences

  • Vinegar and water solution
  • Baking soda and water paste
  • Lemon juice and water mixture
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • TSP (trisodium phosphate) cleaner
  • Bleach diluted with water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Ammonia and water solution
  • Tea tree oil and water mixture

It’s important to be cautious when using vinegar to clean a vinyl fence, as using too much or a highly concentrated vinegar could potentially damage the vinyl material. It’s advisable to gradually increase the quantity or concentration of vinegar if dealing with layers of built-up dirt, or consider adding dish soap to the mixture for added cleaning power.

Will Vinegar Damage Vinyl Fence?

Vinegar is a commonly used natural cleaner that can effectively remove lichen from a vinyl fence. However, one concern that many people have is whether vinegar can damage the vinyl material. The good news is that when used properly, vinegar shouldn’t cause any harm to your vinyl fence.

A mixture of equal parts vinegar and water is often sufficient. For tougher lichen stains or layers of dirt that have built up over the years, you can either increase the quantity of vinegar or use vinegar with a higher concentration of acetic acid.

If you find that the vinegar solution alone isn’t effectively removing the lichen, you can also add a small amount of dish soap to the mixture. The dish soap helps to break down the lichen and dirt, making it easier to remove. Again, be sure not to use an excessive amount of dish soap, as this could potentially cause damage.

You should apply the mixture, scrub gently with a soft-bristle brush or sponge, and then rinse it off thoroughly with water. This will prevent any potential damage that prolonged exposure to vinegar could cause.

Adding a small amount of dish soap can also enhance the cleaning power. Remember to rinse thoroughly after cleaning and maintain regular maintenance to prevent future lichen buildup.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning a Vinyl Fence

  • Using abrasive cleaners or brushes that can scratch the surface of the vinyl
  • Using bleach or other harsh chemicals that can damage the vinyl
  • Not rinsing the fence properly after cleaning, leaving behind residue
  • Using a pressure washer at too high of a setting, which can cause the vinyl to crack or warp
  • Using steel wool or other rough materials to scrub the fence
  • Ignoring stains or mold growth on the vinyl, which can lead to permanent damage
  • Not properly prepping the vinyl before applying any cleaners or treatments
  • Using incorrect or outdated cleaning methods, such as using vinegar or ammonia
  • Neglecting to apply a protective coating or sealant to the vinyl after cleaning
  • Not following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance


By using a mixture of vinegar and water, you can easily eliminate moss or lichen, restoring the visual appeal of your fence. Additional maintenance involves trimming away any vines or grasses that may encroach upon the vinyl surface. Furthermore, the removal of water stains is a straightforward task, allowing your fence to regain it’s original luster. By implementing these techniques, you can ensure that your vinyl fence remains in optimal condition, enhancing the overall aesthetics and longevity of your outdoor space.

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