About the Post

Jerry Hardy

Author Information

I was a Building Contractor along with owning rental properties where I did most of the repairs myself. Its my pleasure to pass on to you some of the methods I had used in the past. Hopefully, this will save you the expense of hiring a professional to do the work.

Cleaning Decks

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Tools needed

 * Rubber gloves * Drop cloth * Hard bristle push broom

Deck inspection

Prior to cleaning decks, check the deck boards for rot or loose nails. Make the necessary repairs.

Types of cleaners

 * Oxygen bleach cleaner

Oxygen bleach is good in removing mildew stains and discoloration due to ultra-violet sun rays. This is the prefered cleaner when cleaning decks since it is also a good general cleaner for removing dirt deposits.

* Oxalic acid cleaner

Oxalic Acid cleaners are good for removing tannin stains but will not remove mildew stains. Tannin is a brown resin found in redwood, cedar and oak. This cleaner works well with Oxygen Bleach cleaners.



Before using the cleaner you have selected for cleaning decks, make sure you cover all shrubs and plants near the deck with a drop cloth. Always use eye protection when working with the cleaner.


When cleaning decks ,don’t cover the entire deck surface with cleaner at one time. Clean the deck in small sections. Allow the cleaner to set for a period of time as recommended by the manufacturer. After the cleaner has been working over the required time, using a hard bristled push broom, scrub the deck in the direction of the wood grain. When finished in one section, rinse with water and start another section.

Power washing

If you decide to power wash the deck, keep the pressure low. The pressure for cedar and pine should be around 500 to 600 psi. Any pressures above 600 psi could etch the wood. Hardwoods can withstand pressures from 1200 to 1500 psi without causing etching. The disadvantage of power washing when cleaning decks is that in most cases the wood fiber will raise because of expansion with water. After drying, the wood fibers may remain raised and could cause splinters. If this is the case, the deck will require sanding before staining if a professional looking job is desired.

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Cleaning Decks

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