How to Clean A Deck

The wooden backyard deck is great for relaxing with friends and family. But keeping the deck well-maintained is not easy. A few seasons can take a toll on the deck, making it look worn and old.

Thus, you must regularly clean and maintain the deck, so it stays in good condition. You should reseal the deck every two years. But first, prepare the deck.

To clean your wooden deck, follow these steps.

Steps to Cleaning a Wood Deck

Almost all the decks installed in the backyard need regular maintenance to stay stronger and last longer. But properly cleaning the deck can sometimes be an issue.

That’s why we have created a checklist so you can have a healthy deck:

Step 1: Sweep the Deck

floor cleaning

The finish and shine of a wooden deck fade over time. Harsh sun rays and weather are the main culprits for aging the deck boards.

In addition, moisture penetrating the deck is responsible for mold and mildew growth, which can eventually rot the deck board.

But you can easily fight these issues with thorough annual deck cleaning. Plus, you can apply a fresh coat of sealer on the deck to preserve its beauty and strength. This way, you can ensure that the deck lasts longer and is functional for a long time.

Remove all the furniture and flower pots from the deck. Keep them aside in a safe place. Then sweep the deck with a broom to remove leaves, debris, and dirt.

Debris stuck down in the space between deck boards can be removed using a putty knife or screwdriver.

Step 2: Wash Away Dirt and Debris

Wash Away Dirt and Debris

After sweeping, you need to wash away the dirt and debris. You can use a hose or power wash for this work.

Before actually washing the deck, practice on a small area to ensure the high water pressure does not damage the deck. Adjust the water flow as needed and begin the deck rinsing process.

Try to keep the hose or pressure washer at least 6 to 12 inches away from the surface of the wood. The water pressure needs to be strong enough to wash away the debris stuck in the deck. But if the water stream spray is too hard, it might damage the boards.

Step 3: Apply a Cleaner

Apply a Cleaner
Brush, plastic canister with mortar and soapy water on wooden terrace boards. Cleaning and maintenance of cleanliness in the country house.

After washing away the dirt, apply a cleaner. You have two options: you can use a homemade deck cleaner, or you can purchase a professional cleaner from the market.

While applying the cleaner, you must follow the instructions to ensure you work correctly. Some cleaners are for wet surfaces, while cleaners are for dry surfaces.

Avoid applying the cleaner on the deck during summer because the harsh sun rays can evaporate the cleaner. So, the ideal day to apply cleaner is during cloudy weather. For better application, you can use a paint roller or brush broom.

After coating the entire deck with cleaner, let it soak properly. Then rinse it with a hose or a power wash.

Before applying the cleaner, you must cover the plants so they don’t get damaged during the process.

Step 4: Scrub Hard Surfaces

Scrub Hard Surfaces

Suppose you notice any stubborn stains on the deck, scrum them off using a scrub brush. You can also power wash the tough stains while the cleaner is still on to quickly remove them. After removing the stains, rinse the area thoroughly.

Step 5: Brighten the Deck

Don’t forget to brighten the deck, so it no longer looks dull and faded. For this, you can purchase good quality wood brighter (easily available at any hardware store).

Brighten the Deck
Once you apply a coat of wood brightener, the natural color of your deck will be visible. Brightening the deck also ensures that the deck lasts longer.

You can use the paint roller, pump-up sprayer, or brush to have a natural and smooth finish on the deck. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to know how long to wait before rinsing the deck.

Step 8: Let the Deck Dry Completely

Once you have properly cleaned and brightened the deck board, let the deck dry completely. The drying process can take several hours. So, you need to be patient. You must begin the deck sealing work only after the deck is completely dry.

Step 9: Inspect the Deck

After the deck completely dries, closely inspect the surface to make sure you don’t miss any areas. If any particular area is not cleaned properly, repeat the cleaning steps for that area again. If not done, these spots might be after applying the sealant.

While inspecting, check for loose nails. If you find any such nails, tighten them before sealing.

Step 10: Apply Sealant

At last, it’s time to protect the deck by applying sealer. A layer of sealant blocks the UV rays, preventing mold and mildew buildup on the wood.

In addition, the sealer shields the deck surface from water damage. The water no longer penetrates into the wood, the water beds on the surface and slowly evaporates. It increases the lifespan of the wooden deck.

Before applying the sealant, you should lightly sand the deck to remove any loose dirt. Applying sealant on a dirty surface might not help you get the right finish.

Do not apply two thin coats of sealant. Instead, apply one thick coat to get the right finish. Allow the sealant to dry completely before moving the furniture and flowerpot back on the deck.

Do’s and Don’ts of Deck Cleaning

Do Clean the Deck Once a Year

You must clean the deck once a year with a stiff bristle brush. This way, you can remove any mold or bacteria build-up, which will keep the deck in good shape for a longer time.

Don’t Use Chlorine Bleach

Using chlorine bleach to clean the deck can alter the color. Eventually, your deck will look dull and faded. Instead, mix vinegar with baking soda to create a non-toxic cleaner.

Do Be Careful While Power Washing

While power washing the deck surface, you must be careful because heavy water pressure can damage the deck. Also, after power washing, immediately seal the deck.

Don’t Use Wire Brush

Avoid using wire brushes because they can scratch off the natural shine of your deck. Use the brush suggested by the experts.


Deck cleaning is important, but it can be tiring. Plus, there is a chance that you might not clean the deck the right way.

But you can follow the tips, do’s, and don’ts mentioned in this post for deck cleaning to get the best possible result.

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