Removing Iron Stains from Vinyl Fencing

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 13, 2012)


Believe it or not, iron stains can be among the most common types of stains that appear on vinyl fencing. These stains are common because sprinkler systems are often spraying water all over the fencing, and some water contains large amounts of iron deposits. Removing iron stains from vinyl fencing is something that anyone can and should take the time to do periodically. While vinyl fences may be durable, that doesn't mean that they can't end up looking as shabby as some wood fences.

Since vinyl fencing is an extremely popular choice among homeowners, it's pretty common to see them everywhere you look. However, many people think that because this type of fencing is extremely durable that it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to keep them clean. In order to get your vinyl fences looking like new again, use one of these simply method. Before using any of these methods though, rinse any dirt off of the fencing. This will make the cleaning process a whole lot easer.

  • Acetone. Acetone is the major ingredient in most brands of nail polish remover and can remove just about any kind of stain. When using this type of cleaner, apply a small amount to a soft cotton cloth (such as a t-shirt). Rub, wipe, and scrub at the stain, reapplying the nail polish remover as needed until the stain has disappeared. Use only as limited an amount as possible since the acetone may damage the grass or other foliage around your home. When finished, rinse off the fence to get rid of anything that remains.
  • Bar Keeper's Friend. This cleanser can be found in most grocery stores. Simply follow the directions on the back of the product and you will soon have a perfectly clean vinyl fence. One thing to remember, though, is that when scrubbing the fence you will want to use something that won't scratch the fence too much since gouged and scratched material is easier to stain.
  • Radiator cleaner. The same type of cleaner that you use on your radiator, you can also use to remove rust stains from vinyl fencing. Simply apply a small amount of cleaner to a soft bristled brush and then scrub away the stain. Make sure you move the brush in a circular motion, as this limits the chances of damaging the fence.
  • Magic eraser. One of the greatest inventions to come out of the laboratories of Mr. Clean in a long time can be used to remove just about every kind of stain there is. To remove rust stains from your vinyl fencing you may need to use several of these, depending on how large of an area of your fence is stained. Simply wet the sponge, and scrub!

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is two less than 5?

2017-03-06 15:38:24


Good off rust remover from lowes works on taking iron off fence. I have iron in my water and I use that in a spray bottle and wipe down with sponge then spray with hose.

2017-01-10 21:25:14


My beige pvc fence has marks and streaks due to Christmas decorations placed on it. What product will remove them without changing the color of the fence? Magic Eraser didn't work. Comet or Barkeepers Helper or something else?

2016-07-10 22:08:04

Toni Johnson

The only thing that I have found works fo
me to remove the rust from the vinyl
fence, is using the Scrotch Brite sponge
and The Works.I use the one which is in
the green bottle works better and I tried
both. I transferred it into a spray bottle, spray it on the fence, use the
sponge with elbow grease and using the
hose spray it off. The fence looks brand
new white and clean. Good luck!

2016-04-23 12:59:46

Joe Cazz

Pressure wash it. Looks brand new.

2015-10-06 12:27:55


My white vinyl fence was pathetic. I had not been faithful in cleaning it so mold and some type of fungus looking stuff had attached themselves to it. I used Lysol mold and mildew remover and baking soda. My fence looks terrific! It did require a little elbow grease and sweat but it was well worth it!

2015-09-13 15:21:06

Joe Bruton

Beyond Very Easy!! Forget about acetone, hand scrubbers, tire brushes, bleach, expensive cleaners, etc - I tried them all to no avail- until this:
I purchased off Amazon - "The Revolver Brush (3 for about $29), a brush that fits into an electric drill and will not scratch your fence.
Then in a two gallon pail - add 1 gallon of water and empty the entire contents of two large size Comet with bleach powder canisters - continually stir (with brush/drill)into a liquefied paste. Dip brush and Start at the top of each panel frequently re-dipping your brush into the solution, rinse with hose after completing one 6-8" slat (otherwise the solution dries too fast!)! Take care with extension cord keeping it away from water! In about 4-5 hrs I finished a 8"x 80' fence that using any other method would have taken days or weeks! It looks great, even between panels was cleaned!!!

2015-08-22 15:20:11


The sprinkler system was damaged at our condo unit. It took management over a week to send someone out to fix it. In the meantime water was shooting out for days. Our brand new white vinyl fence is ruined, and we are putting it on the market this week. Thanks for the suggestions.

2015-08-08 04:07:06

Shari H.

Ya i tried outdoor bleach..scrubbing bubbles..and clr none of those worked..I'm thinking chlorine?

2015-07-22 13:07:11

Owen Fitch

I have tried every product you have suggested to remove Iron Stain from a vinyl fence nothing has worked (radiator cleaner,Acetone,Magic eraser,Bleach nothing has worked

2015-06-16 16:17:49

jim stewart

i have a 8ft vinyl fence white i have over sray oil base paint i try evert thing can help me

2012-08-13 06:15:26

Pierre Laberge

Two other ideas:

1) CLR
2) Some hardware stores sell "iron remover" Read the label before using as some does not work well on vinyl.

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