Before you start, choose a cloudy day so that the sun won't evaporate the cleaning liquid.
- Clean out the cracks between boards. Tip: Use a stick with a nail in the end bent over sideways to drag through the cracks and rake out the debris.
- Sweep the deck clean.
- Get a gallon or so of “Deck Wash” from the big box store. Your wood, composite or vinyl deck will require a specific solution to best clean that particular material, so be sure to read the labels carefully.
- Apply the deck wash liquid to the deck surface with a pressurized garden sprayer. (For composite decking, use only a soft scrubbing brush). Let it set just a little while (per instructions on container). Tip: To clean railings, start from the bottom! That way cleaning solution won't drip on dry wood, which could cause double bleaching.
- Spray it off with a garden hose.
It's that easy! Once the deck has had a day or two to fully dry, you can follow your cleaning with a couple of coats of new deck stain/wood preservative finish. Roll that on with a paint roller using a long extension handle to avoid bending over. Presto: like new. Doing this process once every other year is a good schedule to follow.