January 28, 2023

Cleaning Render With White Vinegar

We hear so many different suggestions at Wash Your Walls about how to clean, render and achieve great results. Bleach solution, jet washing, steam cleaning render - we hear it all.


Yep, that's right. Some people on the internet are suggesting cleaning render with vinegar as a sensible way to clean it up, kill organic growth, and increase the curb appeal of your home once more.

But is that suggestion really as insane as it sounds?

Well, today we're going to find out. If you're looking for a new cleaning process for your render (and you have A LOT of time on your hands), you might just have found it... But let us explain.

How Vinegar Works In A Cleaning Process

Before we think about using vinegar on exterior walls, let's just talk about its power in any cleaning solution. It's:

  • slightly acidic, so it's capable of breaking down messes and dirt
  • environmentally friendly - much more than your average commercial cleaning product at home
  • brilliant when you need to remove stains
  • cost effective
  • suitable for a range of surfaces

Essentially, vinegar has been used as a quick and easy home cleaner for years - so it seems sensible that people have assumed the magic of this simple product can be applied to the surface of various renders to clean it up.

But is that really such a good idea?

Can It Be Used On Exterior Walls?


There is absolutely no reason why you can't use vinegar on your exterior walls. In fact, it's great at cleaning up dirty walls and removing natural grease, oil, and dirt as it goes.

As your exterior walls are porous and slightly breathable too, a vinegar mixture would penetrate deep into the render to yield results.

And a little dirt isn't all it can handle... You can check out our guide on how to clean exterior rendered walls.

What Other Messes Can Vinegar Handle?

Believe it or not, it can be used to kill organic matter too.

Things like:

  • mould (black mould, green mould, etc)
  • algae (both green algae and red algae)
  • fungi (certain types)
  • etc

Because of its acidic nature, it's able to act as bleach, killing the algae and mould at the source. This helps clean up the render of the building, and because it penetrates deeply, it helps prevent regrowth (to some degree). Check out our article on how do you remove algae from render.

Which Render Can I Use It On?

Some renders simply aren't practical for this type of cleaning. Pebble dash render, for example, would be near impossible to clean with a simple homemade solution like this.

But if it's smooth, then it should, in theory, be possible.


We recommend trying a small test area of render first before moving ahead. Use your homemade solution on a small patch, and then wipe it clean with just water. Wait a day or two to ensure no discolouration and then move ahead with the rest of the procedure if everything looks OK.

Because it's acidic, there's no way of telling how it will react with your specific render in your specific environment. So be careful.

Re rendering is more trouble than it's worth.

Using Vinegar To Clean Your Render...

If you decide cleaning up your render using this simple at-home method is right for you, then here's how to do it.

Before you rush out to buy your supplies and equipment, though, you might just want to read the rest of our post.

(Pssst: it's not as easy as it first sounds).

What You'll Need

  • sponge for applying the mix
  • sponge for washing it off
  • two buckets
  • warm water
  • cleaning vinegar (white is best)
  • brush

1. Create your mixture

Take a bucket and mix together warm water and vinegar. Start with a weaker solution than you first think. This will help avoid the smell, but it will also create a gentle solution that will protect your render if something goes wrong.

When preparing the mix, make sure you stick to this advice. You can always adjust the amounts later if you find it is ineffective.

To start: Use around 3 tablespoons of vinegar for every gallon of water.

Will I Need Baking Soda?

You might, so it's a good idea to get some just in case. If the staining is particularly bad or there's any stubborn residue from messes, then you might need to add baking soda because it's more abrasive and can add a little more pressure to the surfaces of the render to get rid of those stains.

2. Clean A Test Area

As we mentioned above, you should clean a test area first. That way, you can be sure the render isn't being badly affected and your property stays looking the way you want it to. It will also help you understand how effective the mix is, and if you need to make any changes.

Once you've applied the mix, use just water for rinsing and then wait at least a few hours to ensure your wall doesn't discolour. Renders covered in paint might, as could coloured renders.

After waiting a few hours, you can decide if it's right to go ahead with the cleaning or not.

3. Alter The Mixture If Necessary

You may find that after the test, you need to make some changes to the mix. More water, more vinegar - you'll have to decide by checking the results to make sure it can wash your walls effectively and get the job done.

4. Clean Render

Once the mix is right, it's time to get started on the real job. Cleaning the render on your entire property.

Work in sections - using the vinegar mix first before rinsing clean with just water. This will help you maintain a steady rhythm, ensure you don't miss anything, and stop the acidic mix being on the wall for too long.

Remember, too, your wall doesn't need to be wet. You only need enough for cleaning the render and removing staining and residue.

5. Rinse Clean

After the whole property has been cleaned in sections following the washing and rinsing method, you should wash the walls one more time with just water. This will ensure there is no vinegar left over, which could cause discolouration long term.

Once rinsed, allow to dry so all moisture is removed. Then you will be able to see the finished results.

TOP TIP(S) For Success

  • Work from the top down
  • Make sure your sponges aren't too wet
  • Wash in circles
  • Work one small section at a time
  • DON'T forget to rinse
  • Apply only a little pressure
  • Use baking soda for severe staining
  • Lay out a tarp to protect any plants in flower beds, etc

A Smarter Alternative...

Now, you could go to all that trouble, remembering you'll have to clean the entire wall and every spot of render during the cleaning process. (If your whole property is rendered, that's A LOT of hard work and maintenance to stay on top of things).


You could hire us. Here at Wash Your Walls, we offer a range of services that could prove beneficial. Pressure washing/jet washing is our speciality though, and the entire process will clean up the surface of your rendered building in no time at all.

Better yet, we can use chemicals to kill biological growths that make maintenance a breeze, because the products will actively prevent regrowth.

Pressure washing is best handled by professionals though, because there's a real risk of removing render from your building whilst washing if you get the pressure wrong.


We're pros who have been offering our services for years, so we know exactly how to spray your walls effectively and safely, and it'll take less than half the time of you cleaning the surface yourself with a home-made solution... If you want fast results, contact us today.

It's Your Call

Trying the vinegar method might work for you. You might be able to remove the messes effectively, and you might be happy with the results. But boy, oh boy, will it take you a long time.

We're always happy to help clients in need, so why not choose the smarter alternative, and let us clean up your render for you? We can't wait to work with you!

Call Us Today For a Free No Obligation Quote

0800 086 2965Contact Us

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