Simple Tip for Quickly Cleaning Vinyl Fences (and Outdoor Furniture)

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The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!Hey hey! Summer is here and we’re in MASSIVE outdoor cleaning mode! Next week I’m sharing our new deck makeover (eeek! can’t wait!), but today I wanted to let you in on a little secret I discovered. You see, I had been dreading cleaning our vinyl fence. Occasionally I’ve hosed it down but the mildew and dirt started to build up and I envisioned hours of elbow grease to scrub it off. After 4 years of ignoring it, I finally got into my scrubby clothes and pulled out every cleaning product I had to tackle this cleaning feat. Turns out I only needed two things to easily handle this job (um, one of them is water), and the dirt and mildew came right off!

The first thing we did was spray the entire fence with the hose to get off the loose dirt. Believe it or not, this is after we sprayed it with a hose– YUCK.

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

See why I was dreading this? I don’t know the exact length, but we have two entire fences like this (and a good 4 years of dirt). Take another peek at the grossness..

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

I thought I’d need to use some heavy duty chemical cleaners (which I loathe with a passion), but on a whim decided to give the fence a swipe with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser first. And NO, this is not a sponsored post– I would have disclosed that already if it was. 🙂  Swipe it I did, and I was amazed when the dirt and algae (or whatever that green stuff is clinging to the side) wiped right off.

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

Soon, my daughter was helping too. As she cleaned, she couldn’t stop saying how AMAZED she was with the MAGIC ERASER! I had to listen to a steady steam of “WOW THIS MAGIC ERASER IS AMAZING, MOMMY! I LOVE Magic Erasers! Look at it CLEAN! Mr. Clean made these?! That guy is amazing!”

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

When the eraser got dirty, a quick spray with the hose cleaned it right off. And then a certain someone got me good on the backside with the hose and I may bave yelped. But that’s the fun in doing this on an 85 degree day, right? After we wiped down a section, we’d spray it to get off the loose grime otherwise it dries back onto the fence.

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

Less than half an hour  of spraying, wiping, and spraying again and the fence seriously looks good as new. Plus we were happily soaked and ready to tackle the one on the other side of the house.

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

We tried this on our outdoor plastic toys and furniture with the same result. One swipe, good as new! The entire fence took about 4 Magic Erasers, and some were still good enough to use on the toys and furniture afterwards.  Isn’t that so easy? NO chemicals, NO scrubbing, NO accidentally bleached clothing or need to keep the kids away while you work.

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

Feeling a little like Tom Sawyer when you rope the kids into helping with the fun? Totally optional. 😉

The BEST tip for quickly and safely cleaning vinyl fences (and plastic furniture), no elbow grease required! Who knew it was this easy?!

Do you have any quick tips to help out in the yard? Like for weeds? Because that’s the next to-do I’m totally dreading!

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29 Comments

  1. That IS amazing! You and your daughter did an incredible job there. I’ll be pinning this tip and using it soon. Thanks so much!

  2. I love using magic erasers too! They really did a fantastic job on your fence!

  3. Are you truly naïve enough to believe there are no chemicals in Magic Erasers? What do you think is doing the cleaning?

    1. Hi, nope, not naive! I did my research, there’s actually no active ingredients in a Magic Eraser except for the actual product itself. The ‘active ingredient’ is basic elbow grease. The eraser itself is made from a melamine foam, which is really the only ‘chemical’ in there. It’s not like using bleach which will irritate skin or leave anything behind. So it’s about as chemical free as you can get, aside from wiping the fence down with a cotton rag (which probably would also contain chemicals from the manufacturing & washing process, actually). More info: http://www.kitchenandresidentialdesign.com/2010/06/whats-in-magic-eraser.html and http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/eraser.asp

      1. Thanks for posting this. I too had fallen for the photos of the toddler supposedly burned by magic eraser sponges. Apparently they were abrasions (like you would get if you rubbed your skin with steel wool or any abrasive sponges), not burns. I still generally use gloves with these because they make my hands feel dry and scratchy but good to know there is nothing toxic in them.
        That being said, I’m totally going to clean my fence this way. So much easier and less water, cost, and mess than a power washer.

    2. Lol, magic erasers are melamine foam, which is abrasive on a microscopic level. They work because they scratch the dirt off. They aren’t soaked in chemicals or some nonsense like you are suggesting.

      All that said, bleach in a garden sprayer works great on cleaning vinyl and required a whole lot less (read zero) elbow grease.

  4. I love the magic eraser and have used every where in my house but had never thought about outside. Thanks for helping make my life a little easier.

  5. I wonder if you allowed the eraser to soak over night in a spray bottle filled with water if you would
    get the same affect without wiping but spraying instead.

  6. This great just saw your post and I am so excited this is what I planned to do this weekend. So thanks. Quick question. What is that lock on the fence door. I need one like that mine is always blowing open.

  7. This is great just saw your post and I am so excited this is what I planned to do this weekend. So thanks. Quick question. What is that lock on the fence door. I need one like that mine is always blowing open.

    1. It’s an Aqualock, they put them on fences that are near pools so you can easily see if it’s unlocked to keep kids safe. 🙂 It’s nice because it automatically closes and locks behind you.

  8. A small electric powerwasher will do the job with very little effort. Once you’ve made the initial investment you can use it on vinyl siding, cars, cement patios as well as fencing.

    1. ya but if dirt n mildew are in bedded there still has to be an agent that will loosen the stain! ive cleaned siding on houses fro 15 yrs and my finer house jobs when completed are by hand. But now on the market my sons are using a detergent that seems to loosen grime and then power wash off.

  9. Awesome with just using one product. Thanks for the share. Next time i will be using the magic eraser to clean away the dirt and algae.

  10. I LOVE magic erasers and use them on everything possible. The only problem was I was spending a lot of money on these magic sponges, so I started to look into buying them in bulk. When I googled something similar to “cheap magic eraser” I came upon a slew of websites, blogs and comments that really saved my wallet. So one woman said when she found out that all Magic Erasers consisted of was melamine foam she decided to find it in store locally and cut herself into desired size sponges for pennies per “magic eraser” in the end. Well if that’s too much work for you, you’ll find plenty super cheap in bulk on amazon and eBay searching pre cut melamine, melamine sponge or even magic erasers and the. Sort by price. My first try I paid less than $5 for 20 melamine foam sponges with prime 2 day shipping (listing and package also called them magic eraser sponges!) The best deals I’ve found are to buy them in 50-100 packs, but order ahead of time they’ll take 2-5 weeks usually to come in as they’re mostly coming from China. Once you get your first order in of 50 or more sponges keep in mind to order again before you’re running too low so you don’t run out! I ordered my next in a pack of 200 since my mom was so amazed (and proud of her bargain shopper daughter, she taught me well) so we decided to buy the 200 and save some $$ for buying and even larger amount at once and just split the package! When friends or family don’t believe me I never have a problem giving them a couple to try out to compare to the original name brand ones they’re currently using and paid more for a 4 Pack than I did for a 20 pack…sometimes you just have to share you’re amazing bargain secrets with everyone you can because they’re just that amazing!! I hope someone finds this helpful and saves some money on a product that does it all and now can do it all for SO much less!

  11. The fence looks great!

    My only concern about using the “magic eraser” is that I’ve found that it’s almost like a super-super fine sandpaper and can leave a dull finish on vinyl fencing (assuming the fence has a semi-gloss sheen on it). A few years ago I used it to remove the black scuff marks from the wheels of our lawn mower. Although the scuff marks came off, the areas that were scrubbed were dull compared to the surrounding, unscrubbed areas. Just wanted to throw my two cents in!

  12. Thanks Carrie this was the easiest look-up ever, we just moved our 24×12 pool and the vinyl fencing is so moldy and dirty. This should make this task so easy now…… thanks again from Ontario, Canada.

  13. Great post! We’ve recently added a fence and I found this doing some research on chemical free ways to clean it. Never even crossed my mind to use a Magic Eraser. Also learned a lot about it from you in the comments too. Thanks!

  14. Now that I’m going out to use this on our vinyl fence posts around our pool deck, do you know how to remove pine sap from Trex decking without damaging the deck? 🙂
    Thanks for your helpful Magic Eraser tip.

  15. Thank you, my fences looked just like your pictures. I had some magic erasers, gave it a try just like new. Thank you, Thank you.

  16. I was looking around the net for ideas to clean my fence. I read your article and thought I would give it a try.
    Amazing, with very little effort all that nasty brown and green algae came right off. I do have a lot of fence so I don’t think I can do it all that way as it will take a year. However for the front entrance, gates and the like it is perfect.
    Thank you

  17. Clean can be super easy. I used a mircofiber cloth, (Walmart), and dawn, and a garden sprinkling can. I get my cloth sopping wet, huge squirt of dawn and wipe down the fence(one squirt per panel) ( no scrubbing)….fill can full of water…starting at the top, slowing pour water down the fence panel. Done! It last several years.

  18. Magic Erasers are also good for Lease Return Vehicles that have black marks, scuffs, or other stuff on the paint. They will slightly dull the paint, but not really noticeable if you go gentle. You could also apply a dab or wax after cleaning.

  19. I agree, wrecking the shine on vinyl was my concern. (Leaving it dull and lack luster) I am curious if it will be harder and harder to clean as the years go by using magic erasers. ??

    This would be nice for other readers to know also. ?

    I think I will power wash mine and bleach when necessary. I don’t live in a mossy wet area tho, so I understand how nice it would be to get that off!! ???

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