Comparison photo of a traditional vs an artisan pergola joist.

The Practical Guide to Cleaning a Pergola

Vinyl Artisan Pergola

One of the most important parts of owning a large item such as a house, car, or pergola, is the basic maintenance and care of those items. Any investment needs some TLC.  A little preventive maintenance can go a long way toward protecting your investment and give you many years of enjoyment.

Here are a few helpful dos and don’ts in maintaining your Pergola.


When caring for your vinyl pergola it’s important to know the types of cleaners to use.  We recommend starting out with general detergent and warm water with a soft non-abrasive cloth to clean. Simply wiping the dirt away will keep your Vinyl Pergola looking good all year long.

The best solution for stains and scuff marks is to use a melamine foam cleaner like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or Scotch-Brite Easy Eraser. Dampen with warm water and apply pressure as needed to remove the stain. Try not to be aggressive, as this could remove the glossy surface from the vinyl.

Whenever you encounter something sticky, such as a sticker, gum, or tar, try an outdoor vinyl approved product that is tough on stickier issues such as Goof Off or Goo Gone

If you haven’t kept up with the basic care and cleaning and now you have a lot of dirt and debris, cleaning with a pressure washer may be your best first step.  However, make certain it is set to a low setting for items such as Vinyl Siding. Set with too much pressure you run the risk of damaging the vinyl trim work, lattice, post skirts, and sleeves. Check the manufacturer’s recommended settings for the pressure washer before starting!

Kingston Pergola


General cleaning will help keep your pergola looking sharp all year. We recommend a general purpose cleaner with warm water and a soft bristle brush to clean away dirt and debris.

check in wood
Wood with check

When you notice checks and cracks develop in the wood, we recommend using the supplied pint of stain with your pergola to make touch-ups.

In general, your wood pergola will need completely re-stained every other to every third year. We have seen pergolas need stain sooner and some last much longer. The location of your pergola will determine how long your stain will last. If your pergola is set in a shaded area and does not get a lot of direct wind and sun, your stain will last longer. If your pergola sits out in direct sun with a lot of wind and debris, your stain will wear down faster.

We recommend re-staining your wood structure as often as you notice the stain is looking worn down. You can purchase stain from us or use any water-based stain. To apply, simply use a staining brush and brush the stain on, trying to apply an even coat all over the pergola. You can also spray the pergola if you have sprayer available. However, ensure you tarp off and protect any areas you don’t want stains, such as the patio floor, furniture, or any vinyl parts that may be on the pergola.

For more aggressive cleaning, you can use the 002 low-pressure, nozzle on your pressure washer. Be very careful about getting too close to the wood, as too much pressure damage and mar the wood. When the entire pergola dries, re-stain it.

It is important to keep your pergola clean and keep the area around your pergola free of debris. Doing so will help your investment look its best for many years. What a great feeling to bring friends and family together under a beautifully maintained Pergola.