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How to Clean a Wood Deck

How to Clean a Wood Deck

Usage of bleaches and household cleaners is an easy way to clean a wood deck effectively. For larger decks, manual cleaning alone is not helpful and a pressure washer may be recommended.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018
Beautiful Garden With Table
Wood decks are a costly investment and require cleaning on a regular basis to protect the deck from rotting and staining. It is observed that over time, the surface of wood decks become dull from exposure to air, sunlight and dirt.
Pressure Washer Cleaning a Weathered Deck
Hence, one should not ignore cleaning their wood deck as it also helps to restore and preserve the natural color of the wood. With proper cleaning, your decks will last much longer and will retain that new look for many years. Here's how to clean a deck.
Deck Cleaner
For best results, it is essential to use the right cleaner. Bleaches and household cleaners are effective in removing dirt. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is often used to remove grease and soot. TSP is an all-purpose cleaner and has been in use for years. It is generally mixed with a laundry detergent for cleaning jobs.
Cleaning Deck
Use of oxygen bleach is yet another way to clean a wood deck. It is non-toxic and can practically remove any stain. Hy-Tech House Wash is a powdered concentrate formulated with oxygen bleach for effective cleaning. It is environmentally friendly and will not damage your wood decks.
As handling problems are often associated with deck cleaners, it is better to wear rubber gloves and eye protection while using these cleaning products.
How to Clean a Wood Deck
Backyard Deck
First, remove all the items from the deck. Before applying any cleaning solution, dampen the deck surface with water. For using the cleaner, mix oxygen bleach with warm water in a bucket. The recommended ratio is 6 oz bleach to 1 gallon of water.
You can also take the help of a toilet brush for stirring the mixture so that the bleach powder dissolves completely in the water. Now put the mixture in a standard sprayer and spray the deck. Use it generously and allow it to remain for at least 15 minutes. This will help remove tough stains. Take a stiff brush and scrub the wood deck.
cleaning with high pressure water jet
You can also use a toilet brush to scrub around the railing. Rinse the area thoroughly with water. If you want to use other cleaning solutions as mentioned above, apply them as per the manufacturer's instructions.
Washing wooden terrace
A pressure washer is generally used for cleaning larger decks. Pressure washers give you the option of using cleaning solutions. However, this is usually not required as their washing action is capable enough to get rid of the grit and grime.
However, these machines generate extreme pressures that may remove the wood finish. This will decrease the durability of the wood, leaving it with a rough surface. Experts recommend a low power pressure washers (1500 psi or less) that have a wide fan tip. They do a nice job of cleaning decks without harming the wood finish.
So if you want to retain the appearance of your wood deck, cleaning is a must. Factors such as usage, weather, humidity, and UV exposure decide the need and the frequency of cleaning.