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How to Wash Your Deck in 6 Easy Steps

Deck season is on its way! Are you ready? Once every other year is a great time to clean and protect your deck. It might not be the hassle you thought it would be! Here's how to wash your deck in 6 easy steps:

Before you start, choose a cloudy day so that the sun won't evaporate the cleaning liquid. 

  1. Move everything off the deck. Cover any shrubs adjacent to the deck with plastic.
  2. 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.
  3. Sweep the deck clean.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.