What to Use to Clean Metal Roofing

A metal roof is a great investment for any home. Not only does it provide protection from the elements, but it also adds aesthetic value to your property. But like all roofs, metal roofs need regular cleaning and maintenance in order to keep them looking their best.

When it comes to cleaning your metal roof, you have several options. Water alone can be used to remove dirt and dust, while a mild detergent such as laundry detergent or car washing soap can be used for tougher jobs. For more stubborn stains like grease, tar, oil or graffiti, solvents like rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits or VM&P Naphtha may be required.

Today, we will take a deeper dive into these cleaning options.

3 Proven Solutions for Cleaning Your Metal Roof

3 Proven Solutions for Cleaning Your Metal Roof

A metal roof should be regularly cleaned to keep it looking its best and free from dirt, dust, grime, and other debris. Here is a guide for what to use when cleaning a metal roof.

1. Water

Water is often an efficient way to clear the surface of dirt and dust. If there isn’t much heavy soiling on the roof, plain water may be enough to get it clean. A light pressure washer can also be used for more stubborn dirt and debris.

2. Mild Detergent

Mild Detergent

For higher power cleaning, mild detergents such as laundry detergent, car washing soap, or mild dish soap can be used. Dilute the detergent with water and apply with a soft cloth or sponge in a circular motion. Then rinse off thoroughly.

3. Solvents

Solvents like rubbing alcohol, mineral spirits, and VM&P Naphtha can be used to remove grease, tar, oil and graffiti from a PVDF-coated roof. Protective clothing such as gloves and eye protection should always be worn when using petroleum solvents as they are toxic and flammable.

What are the best cleaning solutions for removing different types of stains on metal roofing?

Understanding different types of stains on metal roofing

Metal roofing is a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability and low maintenance. However, over time, stains can develop on metal roofing due to a variety of reasons. Some of the most common types of stains include:

  • Algae and moss stains
  • Rust stains
  • Oxidation stains
  • Water stains
  • Tree sap and bird droppings stains

Best cleaning solutions for removing different types of stains

Algae and moss stains

Algae and moss stains are common in areas that have high humidity levels and receive a lot of rainfall. The best way to remove these stains is to use a solution made of equal parts of water and bleach. Apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water. You can also use a pressure washer to remove tough stains. However, it is important to follow safety guidelines while using a pressure washer.

Rust stains

Rust stains are a result of metal roofing coming in contact with water and air. To remove rust stains, you can use a solution of oxalic acid and water. Apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the area with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse the area with water and repeat the process if needed. It is important to wear protective gloves and goggles while handling oxalic acid.

Oxidation stains

Oxidation stains occur when metal roofing is exposed to oxygen over long periods. The best way to remove these stains is to use a solution of trisodium phosphate and water. Apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water. You can also use a power washer on a low setting to remove the stains. However, it is important not to use high pressure as it can damage the roofing material.

Water stains

Water stains can occur when water accumulates on the metal roofing and doesn’t evaporate quickly. The best way to remove these stains is to use a solution of vinegar and water. Apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water. You can also use a pressure washer on a low setting to remove the stains. It is important not to use high pressure as it can damage the roofing material.

Tree sap and bird droppings stains

Tree sap and bird droppings can leave tough stains on metal roofing. The best way to remove these stains is to use a solution of warm water and dish soap. Apply the solution to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the area with a scrub brush.

Rinse the area with water and repeat the process if needed. You can also use a pressure washer on a low setting to remove the stains. However, it is important not to use high pressure as it can damage the roofing material.

What tools are needed for cleaning metal roofing?

Before starting to clean a metal roof, it’s essential to gather all the necessary equipment. Having the right tools will not only make the task easier but also safer. Here are a few tools you’ll need to clean a metal roof effectively:

Safety Gear

Safety should be your top priority while cleaning a metal roof. This includes wearing gloves, rubber-soled shoes, and a safety harness if you’re working at a height.


You need a sturdy and stable ladder to access the roof. Make sure the ladder is placed on a flat surface and secured before climbing.


A soft-bristled broom can help remove loose debris and dirt before washing the roof.

Pressure Washer

A pressure washer is an effective way to clean a metal roof thoroughly. However, it’s vital to use the right pressure and nozzle to avoid damaging the roof. Using a pressure washer can also be dangerous, so it’s essential to read the manufacturer’s instructions and take necessary precautions.

Cleaning Solution

Using a cleaning solution can help remove stubborn stains and dirt on the metal roof. You can buy a commercial roof cleaner or prepare a DIY solution using water, bleach, and soap. Always test any cleaning solution on a small area of the roof first to avoid damage.

Sponge or Brush

A sponge or brush can be used to apply the cleaning solution to the roof and scrub away dirt or grime.

Hose: A hose with a nozzle attachment is useful for rinsing away the cleaning solution and remaining dirt from the roof.

What’s the Best Thing to Clean a Metal Roof With?

To clean a metal roof, a low-pressure wash from a garden hose can work wonders to remove dirt and debris. No need to worry about damaging the paint as a mild detergent like laundry soap can tackle stubborn spots without any issues. But if you’re dealing with pesky mold or algae, try using a bleach solution made from laundry bleach and water.

Diluting the solution with water will ensure that your roof doesn’t get damaged in the process.

How Can I Make My Metal Roof Look New Again?

Want your metal roof to look like new again? Well, there are a few things you can do to rejuvenate your roof. Firstly, avoid using any products that could damage your metal roof’s surface. For instance, never use bleach in its pure form on your roof.

Why? Well, bleach can result in discoloration and cause serious damage to your roof, leaving you with costly repair bills. To avoid this, mix bleach with water before applying it to your metal roof to minimize its effect.

Next, make sure you clean your metal roof regularly. This will get rid of dirt, debris, and other unwanted organic growth that can damage your roof over time.

Use a soft brush or broom to remove loose debris, followed by a thorough rinse with water. You can also use a pressure washer, but keep it on low pressure to avoid damaging the surface of the roof. By taking these simple steps, you can make your metal roof look new again and extend its lifespan.

Will Bleach Harm a Metal Roof?

Bleach, in general, isn’t harmful to a metal roof. However, excessive use of bleach may cause harm, especially if it’s not diluted properly. Bleach can corrode and damage metal, but this only happens when you apply a highly concentrated amount.

So, make sure you use bleach in moderation and dilute it according to the manufacturer’s instructions before using it on your metal roof.

Moreover, some metal roofs have a protective coating, and bleach may damage or peel the coating. If you’re unsure about whether your metal roof has a protective coating or not, it’s best to avoid using bleach altogether. In this case, try using a mix of mild detergent and water to clean your metal roof.

By using the correct cleaning solutions and techniques, you’ll be able to maintain your metal roof’s appeal and functionality for many years to come.

How Do You Clean a Metal Roof With Vinegar?

Spraying vinegar onto your metal roof might be an easy way to clean it, but ensuring that it is done correctly is important. First, create a mixture by combining equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, generously spray the solution onto the roof’s surface and let it sit for a few minutes to break down any dirt or debris.

Finally, use a soft-bristled brush or a pressure washer to scrub and rinse the roof.

The acidity of the vinegar should help to loosen any grime or mildew, leaving you with a clean metal roof. Properly cleaning your metal roof is essential to extending its lifespan and maintaining its shine.

What Is the Best Thing to Use to Clean a Metal Roof?

To clean a metal roof, you don’t want to put too much pressure on it. A garden hose with low pressure is more than enough. You don’t need a high-powered pressure washer that can potentially damage the roof.

However, if there are stubborn stains, a mild detergent like laundry soap can do the trick. Just make sure it’s diluted with plenty of water to avoid any damage to the paint. Now, if you’re dealing with mold or algae, you’ll need to bust out the bleach.

A laundry bleach solution is best for this, again diluted with water.

How Can I Make My Metal Roof Look New Again?

If you’re tired of looking at your dull and worn-out metal roof, there’s good news for you – you can make it look new again with just a simple solution. Spray & Forget is an industrial-grade cleaner that’s safe for use on virtually any surface, including metal. Just apply it to your roof and forget about it!

Unlike other harsh chemically-based cleaners, Spray & Forget works gently to remove dirt, grime, and stains from your metal roof without causing any damage.

And the best part is, you don’t have to scrub or rinse it off. Just leave it to work its magic, and you’ll notice the difference in no time.

Can You Use Spray and Forget on Metal Roofs?

Sure, you can use Spray and Forget on metal roofs. It’s a great option for those hard-to-reach areas where using a pressure washer might not be practical. Spray and Forget is a no-rinse formula that will penetrate deep into the surface of the metal, removing algae, mold, and mildew without damaging the metal itself.

However, depending on the severity of the buildup of the unwanted substances, a second application might be necessary. It’s always recommended to read the product label and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any mishaps.

Can You Pressure Wash a Metal Roof?

Pressure washing is a feasible way to clean a metal roof. However, one must proceed carefully as the high-pressure water can dent or scratch the roofing material. It is recommended to use a pressure washer with adjustable pressure settings and start at a low pressure and gradually increase it until you reach the right amount of pressure required to clean the metal roof.

You must also use the appropriate cleaning solution to dissolve any dirt or debris on the surface of the metal roof before rinsing it off with the pressure washer. Be mindful of the direction of the water spray and avoid spraying underneath the metal roofing sheets to avoid water damage to the sub-roof. With proper care and technique, pressure washing can be a safe and effective way to clean a metal roof.

How Do You Clean a Metal Roof With a Pressure Washer?

To clean a metal roof with a pressure washer, you’ll need to use the right pressure washer. High pressure is unnecessary and damaging to your roof. So, go easy on the pressure, and you’ll get the job done safely.

Using hot water instead of cold water makes a significant difference in cleaning grime. The hot water breaks up the dirt and makes it easier to get rid of. So, don’t forget to use it.

Remember, while you’re cleaning your roof, a high-pressure spray may damage the surface or push water beneath the panels, causing water damage to your home. Therefore, it’s always better to be careful when cleaning your roof with a pressure washer.

Should Metal Roofs Be Washed?

Absolutely! Metal roofs are designed to withstand the outdoor elements, but they still require regular maintenance. You don’t want to let debris, stains, mildew, moss, mold, or any other buildup linger on your roof since it can compromise its integrity. Aim for cleaning it annually or more frequently if you notice any of those issues.

By doing so, you’ll ensure that your metal roof continues to do its job and protect your home for years to come.

Does Pressure Washing a Roof Cause Damage?

Pressure washing a roof can cause significant damage to your roofing tiles. When pressure washing companies use their machines to clean your roof, they apply up to 4,500 psi of water, which can easily shift the tiles and expose the roof to water damage. This is because the tiles may not be strong enough to withstand the force of the water they are exposed to, and it may allow water to spray underneath them, which can shorten the lifespan of your roof significantly.

Therefore, it’s essential to be careful when pressure washing your roof and protect it from possible damage.

Can I Use a Siding Removal Tool to Remove Debris from a Metal Roof?

Using a siding removal tool to remove debris from a metal roof is not recommended as it is designed to remove siding safely and easily, not clear off a roof. Opt for a tool designed specifically for roof cleaning instead to prevent any damage to your roof or injury to yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Remove Black Mold From a Metal Roof?

To get rid of black mold from a metal roof, you could use a simple cleaning formula. Mix some laundry detergent powder, a quart of 5% bleach solution and three quarts of water to make a cleaning solution. Dip a soft brush or a rag into the solution and apply it on the affected areas of the roof.

You might find it easy to remove mildew, algae and mold from a metal roof using this method. Quit worrying about the black mold on your metal roof, and grab some detergent powder, bleach and a brush to get rid of it quickly.

How Do You Get Black Off a Metal Roof?

To get black off a metal roof, you need to make a mixture of a ¼ cup of detergent like car washing soap or mild dish soap with a gallon of water. It’s important to use a soft-bristle brush, sponge, or microfiber cloth to apply the solution to your metal roof. For optimal results, let the solution sit on the surface for about 5-10 minutes.

This will give the mixture enough time to break down the black residue and dirt from the roof.

Using this technique will help you eliminate stubborn black stains on your metal roof without damaging the surface. You can also use a pressure washer to rinse the roof with water once you have applied the cleaning solution. Getting black off a metal roof just got easier with this simple but effective cleaning solution.

Why Is My Metal Roof Turning Black?

Blackening of your metal roof can be caused by the growth of various plant organisms like mold, mildew, moss, and algae. These growths thrive in damp and humid regions and are more likely to develop on the shaded parts of your roof. Rainy or coastal areas are particularly susceptible to this type of roof discoloration.

The darkening of your metal roof can be a visual indication that these growths are present, and it requires immediate action on your part.

Ignoring this discoloration can lead to severe damage to both the aesthetic value and structural integrity of your roof. Mildew, mold, algae, and moss can eat away at the protective coating of your metal roof, leading to rust formation, water leaks, and other serious issues. Cleaning your roof of these growths is crucial to ensure that your roof remains in top condition and continues to provide maximum protection to your home.

How Do You Remove Black and Oxidation From a Metal Roof?

To remove black and oxidation from a metal roof, you can use a soft washing chemical like Oxi Wash. This powerful cleaning solution is specially designed to tackle tough stains that come with years of wear and tear on metal roofs. It works by breaking down oxidation and UV damage, leaving your roof looking clean and new again.

One thing to keep in mind when using Oxi Wash is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

This will ensure that you get the best possible results without damaging your roof. Just apply the solution to the affected areas, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it away with a hose or pressure washer.

Will Bleach Hurt a Metal Roof?

Bleach is a common household cleaning agent that’s widely used to clean and disinfect surfaces. Many people assume that it can be used on any surface, including metal roofs. However, this is not the case.

Bleach can actually harm metal roofs and cause discoloration over time. When applied directly, the bleach can etch into the metal, making it more susceptible to damage and wearing down its protective layer. To avoid this, it’s important to dilute bleach with water, which ​​will lessen its effect on the metal roof while still achieving the desired cleaning results.

Overall, it’s essential to be aware of the products that are safe to use on metal roofing and those that are not. Using the wrong cleaning agent can cause serious damage and reduce the lifespan of your metal roof. So, make sure to stay informed and use only recommended cleaning agents and techniques to ensure that your metal roof stays in good condition for as long as possible.

Learn more about metal roofs:


In conclusion, cleaning a metal roof requires careful consideration and planning. While some homeowners opt for traditional methods such as using bleach, vinegar, or detergents, others prefer more advanced techniques such as pressure washing or using commercial roof cleaning products like Spray and Forget. Regardless of the approach you choose, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and avoid damaging the roof’s surface or protective coatings.

Can Cleaning Metal Roofing Improve Its Durability and Resistance to Hurricanes?

Cleaning metal roofing is crucial for enhancing its durability and resistance to hurricanes. Regular maintenance, including removing debris and dirt buildup, prevents corrosion and potential damages. By keeping metal roofs in hurricanes clean, homeowners can extend their lifespan and ensure better performance during severe weather conditions.


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