How to Clean a Deck Guide

Knowing how to clean a deck properly will bring beauty back to one of your prized possessions, and does not require as much work as you might expect.

Today, there are a number of good products on the market that make easy work of this task that can be found at most major hardware and lumber stores.

Deck wash and whiteners are two commonly used mediums to help reverse the years of grime and algae that accumulate on your deck. The products are very easy to use and quite often are very effective in maintaining the beauty of your backyard deck.

Once you discover how to clean a deck and how easy it can be, having an old, dingy, and stained deck will be only a memory…


Deck Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning your deck does not require a lot of supplies or tools. You may find that you already have the items you need – except maybe the deck wash. Here’s a list of items you will want to have on hand, or atleast have access to:

  • Deck Wash– These can be found at most major lumber stores and typically run around $15 – 20 depending on the brand.
  • Cheap Garden Sprayer– Nothing fancy needed. The cheapest sprayer you can find will work fine.
  • Pressure Washer– This is not an absolute necessity, but it definitely makes the job easier. If you do not own one, you may be able to rent one for a day or 1/2 day.
  • Cheap Hard Bristled Brush – This is not a necessity, but it helps to work the deck wash into stubborn stain areas – like beneath your grill.


How to Clean a Deck – Step-by-Step

  • Make sure backyard deck is clean and dry– remove all furniture, and make sure all plants are clear of the deck. Cover any plants that are planted around the deck.
  • Read all directions on Deck Wash– don’t assume you know what to do… Not all manufacturers recommendations will be the same.
  • Add recommended amount of deck wash to garden sprayer– follow the manufacturers recommendations for application and time to let soak.
  • Spray deck wash onto your backyard deck– quick and easy using a pump up garden sprayer.
  • Let deck wash soak recommended time– again follow the directions on the deck wash.
  • Pressure wash your backyard deck removing all deck wash– take your time. If you go to fast you may miss spots which will cause streaking.
  • Let your backyard deck dry– be sure to let your deck dry the recommended amount of time before bringing your patio furniture and/or grill back.
  • Enjoy!


Helpful Tip: Be careful not to get the pressure washer too close to your deck boards or you may splinter the wood.


How Often to Clean a Deck

Now that you know how to clean a deck, the next question is how often should you clean your deck. Once a year should be plenty for most decks.

You will need to take into account the type of decking material you have and the maintenance requirements for it. Also, where you live will play a big part in how often you will need to clean your deck.

Obviously, not all areas of the country/world are the same. A hot humid climate will have a different effect on a deck than a cold rainy climate.

So, now that you know how to clean a deck and how easy it can be – go ahead and give it a try. Your deck will thank you…

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