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How to Clean Cedar Siding: Tips on Cleaning Cedar Siding the Best Way

Updated: Mar 22


how to clean cedar siding

When you have gorgeous cedar siding on your home, you want to do everything you can to maintain it and keep it in good condition–including giving it a regular cleaning, among other cedar siding maintenance tasks. But, if you’ve never washed cedar siding before, you may fear that you’ll cause accidental damage and approach the process cautiously.


Luckily, cleaning cedar siding doesn’t have to be too complex–continue reading below as we lay out how to clean cedar siding on a house to keep your home looking fantastic. Plus, we’ll discuss what options you have if using the best way to clean cedar siding still leaves you with a dingy look.


Quality Cedar Products can meet all your cedar board needs.  This blog is informational only and not a replacement for expert advice. Please consult a professional before starting any building project as your needs and specifications may vary and it may not reflect the most current building codes, regulations, or industry standards.


Why Cleaning Cedar Siding the Best Way is So Important

Learning how to clean cedar siding on a house has important implications for its overall appearance and longevity. So, you need to make sure you know how to do so correctly. We will now go over some of the many reasons why this process is so crucial.


Preserving the Natural Beauty of Cedar Lumber

Cedar wood features naturally beautiful hues of red which eventually turn to grey shades as it ages. At all points in its life, cedar wood is adored for its stunning look. So, keeping cedar siding planks free from any mildew, dirt, grime, and other build-up can maintain its appearance and keep it looking amazing throughout the years.


It’s only natural that substances like these will build up over time on cedar siding–like with any other type of siding. So, it makes sense that regular cleaning is necessary for the overall appearance of the siding.


Maintaining the Functionality of Cedar Siding

The durability of western red cedar siding is one of the main appeals of using this type of wood over others. However, it still needs to receive some regular maintenance and cleaning in order to keep its structural integrity.


Mold, mildew, and pests can wreak havoc on cedar if left unchecked, which could break down the structure of the cedar siding planks. Siding materials of any kind need to stay strong and protect the house from the elements. So, if the cedar siding is not maintained properly with regular cleanings, it may reach a point where it needs to be replaced entirely to become functional again.


Preventing Damage From Improper Cleaning Methods

Cleaning your cedar siding is a great way to help it last longer and look amazing. However, you really need to know how to clean it correctly so you don’t cause accidental damage with improper cleaning methods.


For instance, you may wonder if pressure washing cedar siding is appropriate. You can use this method, but only if done with the right technique and care. If a pressure washer is used carelessly, it can lift up the grains of the cedar siding and cause permanent damage to the wood.


You’ll also want to avoid using chlorine bleach or other harsh chemicals on your cedar siding, which will likely compromise the wood and put it in disrepair. This includes using wire brushes or other abrasive materials to scrub the wood, which can also do more harm than good.


When to Clean Cedar Siding: How Often Is it Necessary?

Before we get into the specifics of how to clean cedar siding, let’s talk about how often you’ll need to do so.


Routine Cleaning

Depending on where you live and the climate of your area, you may need to wash your cedar siding more regularly to keep mold and mildew at bay. However, it’s generally recommended to wash down your cedar siding once or twice a year for best results.


This routine cleaning will ensure your cedar siding stays in good condition over its lifetime, and any burgeoning issues are taken care of in a timely manner.


Cleaning Cedar Siding Before Painting

Aside from your regular cleaning routine, you will also need to wash down your cedar siding before you paint or stain it. Doing so will remove any excess dirt or grime that has built up on the siding, allowing the product to adhere properly to the wood when you begin painting cedar siding.


So when you’re looking into how to prep cedar siding for paint, be prepared to do a thorough cleaning before you get to work.


How to Clean Cedar Siding: the Best Way to Clean Cedar Siding to Keep it Stunning

Now we can finally discuss how to clean cedar siding on a house the right way. If you already know how to clean cedar decking or how to clean a cedar sauna, you’ll find that the process is actually quite similar. So, make sure you take your time and don’t rush the process so you can end up with the best results.


Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

First, you need to make sure you have all the tools and equipment required for cleaning cedar siding. This includes items like:


  • High-pressured garden hose

  • Bucket

  • Long-handled soft-bristle brush

  • Ladder

  • Mild detergent/cleaning solution

Preparing the Cedar Siding for Cleaning

Next, it’s time to prep your siding before you get to cleaning it. At this time, you can inspect the siding for any obvious splits or cracks in the boards. If the siding is painted, check the state of the paint job to see if it’s durable enough to be washed, or if the paint will need to be replaced.


Getting problem wood wet can make the problem bigger and lead to warping or other issues. So, you’ll want to do a thorough check of your siding before you really start cleaning. This allows you to remove by hand any large or obvious pieces of debris or chunks of dirt to make your cleaning job easier in the next step.


Cleaning Methods and Techniques: What’s the Best Way to Clean Cedar Siding?

Once you have all your materials gathered and you’ve done a good inspection of the siding, you can get started. There are a few ways that you can wash your cedar siding, like using a pressure washer on a low setting, or you can simply do it by hand with a long-handled brush, a bucket of soapy water, and a hose for rinsing.


Either way, you’ll want to pre-rinse your siding to soften the fibers of the wood for a more effective clean. Then, create your cleaning solution with detergent and a bucket of warm water. If you do decide to use bleach, make sure it’s an oxygenated formula, not chlorine, or else you’ll strip the wood of its natural color.


Douse the long-handled brush into the soapy solution, and scrub the siding from top to bottom using gentle, back-and-forth motions. If needed, get on a safety ladder to reach the upper parts of the siding. Work in sections around the house, using enough pressure to remove dirt and grime, but not so much that you end up damaging the wood.


After scrubbing down each section, use the hose to rinse down the siding to remove all soap from the wood. If left on, it could create soap scum buildup that can make the cedar siding appear discolored or dingy.


Addressing Stubborn Stains or Mildew

After you’ve finished cleaning all the siding on your home, you’ll want to go back through to notice any stubborn stains or areas with mildew that require some extra attention.


Go back in with the cleaning solution and the brush, adding a little more pressure this time to get rid of the buildup. If needed, you may need to use a more concentrated cleaning solution if the problem persists. Rinse the area again once you’re done, and repeat as needed until you have remedied the issue.


Drying and Finishing Touches

Let the cedar siding fully air dry, keeping it shaded and out of direct sunlight if possible to prevent any cracking or warping. Do one final inspection to make sure you’ve done a thorough job of cleaning the siding, and you’re all set! You’ve just given your cedar siding a proper wash.


Sealing or Treating Your Cedar Siding Once It’s Clean

Once you’re done washing your cedar siding, you may consider sealing or treating cedar siding to finish off the job. Doing so will help preserve the look of your siding and seal it off from the elements, helping it to last longer.


This isn’t always necessary, but it can be a great idea to maintain the natural beauty of the siding and protect it against moisture, mold, mildew, pests, and more.


If Your Cedar Siding is Beyond Repair, Refresh Your Property With the Help of Quality Cedar Products!

If you’ve realized that cleaning cedar siding doesn’t do the trick to revitalize the look of your home, you may want to consider replacing your cedar siding altogether. Here are some helpful tips to help you make the right decision.


When Does Cedar Siding Need to Be Replaced?

Cleaning can only do so much to maintain the look of your cedar siding. Though this material tends to have a longer lifespan than others, there will still come a time when you need to replace it.


If the cedar siding has become cracked, widely infested by pests, has an overgrowth of mold or mildew, or has begun to decay, you’ll likely need to replace it entirely to fix the problem. In some cases, you can replace just a board or two. However, sometimes the issues become so large and widespread that small repairs here and there won’t do.


Why You Can Trust Us For the Stunning, Long-Lasting Cedar Siding You Deserve

When it comes time to replace your cedar siding, you can find quality cedar you can trust at Quality Cedar Products. Our exterior cedar siding is the best you’ll find in Ontario and all across the US and Canada, and we take pride in the thorough grading process we take where we personally inspect, sort, and grade each shipment by hand to ensure it meets our quality standards.


We are family owned and operated and wholly committed to the quality we provide through all our cedar products. Aside from cedar siding, we also have a wide range of other cedar products like cedar deck boards and cedar fence boards when you need to replace existing fences or decks or build a new one from scratch.


Plus, we have cedar for sauna projects if you are installing one for yourself or a client. Additionally, our acoustic sound barrier fencing helps beat commercial, industrial, and traffic-related noise to keep the peace on your property and drown out the outside world. With all our cedar products, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the quality of cedar you receive from us, we’ll make it right every time.


Wrapping Up Our Guide on How to Clean Cedar Siding

Now that you know how to clean cedar siding using our expert tips, you will have no problem giving your siding a regular cleaning each year. Not only does it help your siding look better, but it can help support its longevity and structural integrity as well.


By keeping pests, mold, mildew, decay, and other issues at bay for as long as possible, you can enjoy long-lasting siding that ages beautifully. But, when it comes time to replace your cedar siding, you know the best cedar lumber supplier where you can go for all your cedar needs.

We work directly with plenty of happy customers, but we also offer wholesale lumber for vendors all across Canada and the US.


Visit Quality Cedar Products to view our selection of cedar wood for your next project and get a quote for wholesale lumber today.



G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated does not assume any liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information provided in this blog post. The reader is solely responsible for any actions taken based on the information presented. Any reliance on the information is at the reader's own risk.


G&B Wholesale Lumber Incorporated is not responsible for any loss, injury, or damage that may occur as a result of following the suggestions, tips, or recommendations provided in this blog post. Building projects involve inherent risks, and it is essential to exercise caution, obtain proper permits, and engage qualified professionals to ensure safety and compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The inclusion of external links, references, or recommendations in this blog post does not constitute endorsement or guarantee the quality, reliability, or suitability of the linked sources. The reader should independently verify the information and assess its relevance to their specific circumstances. The author reserves the right to modify, update, or remove the content of this blog post at any time without prior notice. It is recommended to check for the most recent updates or consult with professionals to ensure the information is current and applicable. By reading this blog post, the reader acknowledges and accepts the above disclaimer and agrees to use the information provided responsibly and at their own discretion.

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