Winter can be hard on wood decks with the associated standing water, freezing cold, and salt. By spring, your deck will benefit from a deep cleaning and an application of sealer or stain. The following technique is recommended as an eco-friendly way to clean your wood deck inexpensively and quickly.

Oxyclean and generic oxygen bleach powders are available in the cleaning aisle of grocery and dollar stores. Oxygen bleach works by stripping greasy dirt and grime then oxidizing the surface. It’s more gentle than bleach but just as effective when used properly.

For this project, you’ll need a pair of rubber gloves, a bucket, a deck brush, and a garden hose. You can use a pressure washer to rinse but don’t use the soap attachment because it will clog from the oxygen granules.

Begin with two gallons of hot water in a bucket. Add two cups (500ml) of oxygen bleach and 1/4 cup (75ml) of dish soap. Stir thoroughly until the granules are completely dissolved. If your deck has mildew stains, you may want to add borax to the cleaning solution.

Sweep and hose off the deck to remove loose and embedded dirt. If the deck is very dirty, you may want to pressure wash it first or use the deck brush and plain water. Rinse and repeat, if necessary.

Apply the eco-solution liberally with a stiff deck brush. Working toward the stairs or a patio door, scrub the solution until it forms a light lather. Keep the brush wet for best results. The oxygen bleach needs time to work so leave the solution on for 15 minutes and then rinse. If any deep stains remain, make a paste with the cleaning solution and leave it on the stain for 30 minutes before rinsing.

At this point, the deck surface will be ready for a close inspection. Replace loose nails with a good quality deck screw and sand any edges where someone might get a splinter. Allow the wood to dry thoroughly before applying any treatments such as a sealant or stain.

Contact us for professional deck cleaning and pressure washing services.