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Deck Cleaner: Get Your Backyard Space Ready For Summer

You want to use the best deck cleaner for your backyard patio. Outdoor decks are great, but they come with responsibilities. Like any exterior structure connected to your home, wood decks are susceptible to wear and tear and will accumulate dirt. 

Best Deck Cleaner for Your Patio

If you ignore necessary maintenance, your deck could become more of a liability than a luxury. Many deck cleaners offer at least one year of outdoor protection. 

To keep your wood deck clean, use a deck cleaner that’s best for the material. Most of all, you want to use a deck cleaner that can prevent future stains.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. But before we show you the best deck cleaners, we’ll offer cleaning tips on how you can take care of your wood deck. 

Why You Should Keep Your Deck Clean

Nobody wants to relax and unwind on a dirty deck. If you don’t clean your deck regularly, permanent stains can develop and you’ll end up with cracked wood and in some instances, even mildew and mold.

As your outdoor deck is exposed to a variety of weather conditions such as sunlight and rain, it’s important that you take care of it properly.

If you don’t maintain your deck, it could become a backyard hazard. For example, the wood could rot or catch fire. When a wood deck breaks down, people could trip on it and hurt themselves. The structure could also attract termites.  

Top 5 Best Deck Cleaners

Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

This deck cleaner is great for all surfaces. Not only can you use it on vinyl, plastic, and fiberglass but it’s also suited to rubber, metal, and even painted surfaces. As it comes with special chelating agents, you also won’t need to vigorously scrub your deck – the agent will do the heavy lifting for you.

Thanks to the protective polymers, it’ll also help to provide a barrier against any future stains, making cleaning a breeze.

If you need to clean non-textured areas, this is also a great deck cleaner to purchase as it won’t remove any wax or polish. It also doesn’t contain no harsh chemicals.


  • Effective cleaner for fiberglass, vinyl, plastic, rubber, metal, and painted surfaces
  • Special chelating agents lift dirt and spills without the need for heavy scrubbing
  • Protective polymers protect against stains


  • Harmful to human skin
  • Wear protective clothing when using it

Complete Wood Cleaner & Wood Brightening Kit

Complete Wood Cleaner & Wood Brightener Kit for Wood Decks

This deck cleaner will revitalize wood types from pine to redwood and more. It’s also good for wood restoration projects. Once you’re done with the restoration kit, your wooden deck will look as good as new.

What’s great about this deck cleaner is that it brightens wood surfaces without bleaching them. It also cleans dirty and old wood. Active cleaning chemicals strip existing oil based stains, grime, and dead wood fibers.


  • Works well on maple, pine, redwood, and Brazilian mahogany
  • Good for wood restoration projects, wooden floors, and log cabins.
  • Wood brightener and neutralizer make wooden surfaces look new without using bleach


  • You can’t return the product, even if it isn’t opened
  • Requires more scrubbing than necessary

Wet and Forget Moss

Wet and Forget 800006 1 Gallon Outdoor Moss Mold Mildew Cleaner Remover

If your deck has mold and mildew, this is the deck cleaner that you need. With this deck cleaning formula, you don’t have to worry about scrubbing.

All you do is apply to the surface and leave it alone. You can use it on any outdoor surface. Also, this formula does not contain bleach, which is harmful to wood surfaces.

It also protects against wind and rain to remove stains and can keep your deck clean for at least a year or more.


  • No scrubbing, rinsing, or pressure washing
  • Safe for use around landscaping and plants
  • Unlimited shelf life
  • Safe for virtually any outdoor surface


  • Containers are .75 gallons
  • Doesn’t remove algae

Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck


This deck cleaner is great if you’ve got a pressure washer in your home. Not only will it ensure that your deck is sparkling clean, but it’ll also keep your fences and outdoor structures clean.

It will help with removing grime, dirt, mold, and more. It doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, so it won’t damage your deck.


  • Works great on pergolas, gazebos, and carports
  • Removes grime, oils, grease, and eliminates stains
  • Uses peroxide to lift grime without harsh chemicals


  • Cleaning ingredients aren’t strong
  • Doesn’t work well on painted surfaces

RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray

Deck Cleaner for Your Deck

This is the best deck cleaner for mold. It’s great at removing mold and mildew stains. It’ll also help to get rid of any unwanted odors and keep your home musty-free.

Feel free to use this not just on your deck, but also in your toilet area, drywall, and more. It’s a fast-acting spray that targets embedded stains. There’s also no scrubbing required, just spray it on and watch the stains disappear.

You can use the deck cleaner on multiple surfaces from bathroom tiles to concrete floors – wherever mold and mildew grow. Customers love this product and mentioned that it even helped with getting rid of black mold. If you’ve got stubborn stains in your home, this is absolutely the deck cleaner that you should purchase.


  • Removes black mold and mildew
  • Fights odors 
  • Fast acting stain remover 
  • Doesn’t require scrubbing


  • Shipping issues
  • Container leaks

Homemade Deck Cleaning Tips

Homemade Deck Cleaning Tips

What is the best homemade deck cleaner?

If you’re thinking of making your own homemade deck cleaner, you can consider the recipe below:

  1. Mix two cups of bleach with two gallons of water
  2. Pour in ¼ cup of dish detergent and make sure that everything is properly mixed
  3. Use a broom or another large brush to cover the entire deck with the solution
  4.  Scrub where there’s any stubborn dirt or grime and proceed to rinse everything off

How do I naturally clean my wood deck?

There are a couple of ways that you can naturally clean your wood deck.

  1. Vinegar and baking soda – mix warm water with white vinegar and baking soda and scrub the deck thoroughly.
  2. Homemade soapy deck rub – You can use dish soap to scrub your deck. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with vinegar and warm water.
  3. Homemade powdered bleach scrub – You’ll use powdered oxygen bleach laundry cleaner for this scrub. Since it’s milder, it’s good for decks that are in pretty good condition.

Make sure that you don’t use pure bleach as it will damage your wooden decking. If you’ve got a pressure washer, it does make things easier. If not, scrubbing is most likely required.

How do I clean my deck without a pressure washer?

There are a couple of ways that you can clean your deck without a pressure washer.

  • Mix oxygen bleach and detergent and pour it on top of mouldy stains before scrubbing with a broom.
    Applying a general wood deck cleaner on top of a deck and letting it sit there for about 10-minutes or so before rubbing it in with the broom.
    Use a general vinegar spray and work the mixture into the wood with a stiff brush. Once you’re done, you can rinse the area with cold water.

Pre Mix Or Concentrated Deck Cleaners

Something that you can consider is whether or not you’d like to go for a pre-mixed or concentrated deck cleaner. Pre-mixed deck cleaners are simple and easy to use.

Concentrated deck cleaners on the other hand need to be diluted with water before you proceed with the application. They cost less but you’d need to follow the directions properly to ensure that you’ve got the right amount.

Different Cleaners For Different Decks

Different Cleaners For Different Decks

Deck cleaners are great for your deck as they’ll not only remove stains, mold, mildew, and grease but they’re also specially formulated for certain materials. Here’s some insight into the different deck cleaners that you can use for your deck type.

Wooden Decks

If you’ve got a dirty wooden deck, go ahead and use an all-purpose wood deck cleaner. The cleaner is good for cedar, tweak, or even redwood. Apply cleaners with a sprayer or deck brush. You should spread them evenly and rinse with a garden hose.

Related: These Wood Deck Tiles are Absolutely Stunning On Your Patio

Dull Wood Decks

Got a dull wooden deck? Use a cleaner that has brightening or restorative qualities. These cleaners come with oxygenated components that help with lightening wood surfaces and removing stains.

Removing Mold From Wood Decks

If your deck has mold or mildew, it’s time to get rid of them with a cleaner that contains mildewcide. Unlike other deck cleaners, you shouldn’t rinse it off. Instead, leave the solution on the wood and allow it to soak through and kill fungi.

Composite Decking

If you have composite decking, you’ll need a specialized deck cleaner made for composite lumber. To apply composite deck cleaners, spray or brush them on the deck surface with a soft deck brush before rinsing with a garden hose.

Related: Gas and Electric Ryobi Pressure Washers To Tackle Every Mess

Painted Decks

If your deck is painted, you’ll need an all-purpose cleaner that’s gentle and doesn’t contain ammonia. You don’t want to use a harsh cleaner that could damage the paint.

With these cleaners, you’re able to spray or squirt it on before mopping lightly to clean away any dirt and grime.

Extra Deck Cleaning Tips

New to cleaning your deck? Try these techniques:

Washing And Cleaning

It’s important that you clean your deck at least once a year to upkeep your outdoor space. If you don’t remove leaves and dirt, it could result in discoloration, mold, and rotting.

You should sweep loose debris and dirt away from your deck. Then, go ahead and use a good deck cleaner to scrub your deck’s surface. If you need something thorough, consider using oxygen bleach to clean your deck.

Pressure Washer

You’ll need to use a pressure washer to remove stains. For example, tree sap, stubborn mold, and tough grease stains will require a pressure washer.
Never spray a deck with the power washer tip close to the wood surface. Power washing can damage the wood by imprinting lines and marks when a sprayer is held too close to the surface.
When you use a pressure washer, give your deck some space and pull back on the washer to allow for even application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What should I clean my deck with?

It really depends on the type of deck that you’ve got. Earlier we’ve given some suggestions on the deck cleaner that you should use – depending on the material of your deck. Different types of decks will require different types of cleaners.

What Is The Best Homemade Deck Cleaner?

The best homemade deck cleaner is ½ cup of oxygen bleach mixed with two gallons of warm water in a bucket until it dissolves.

How Long To Wait To Stain A Deck After Cleaning?

After you clean your deck and you want to stain it, you will need to wait at least 48 hours. Before you stain your deck, it should be completely dry.  

What Is The Best Cleaner For Trex Decking?

Trex is a composite decking and fencing manufactured from wood and plastic particles. For light stains, use soap and water. If you want to use a pressure washer, make sure it has a psi lower than 3,100.

Also, when removing snow from a trex deck, do not use a metal shovel as it would scratch the surface. 

Do You Have To Wash Off Deck Cleaner?

Even though this DIY deck cleaning solution isn’t toxic, it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves while mixing and applying the solution. If splashes do get on skin, simply rinse them off. Do not mix ammonia-based ingredients with bleach.

How Long Do You Leave Deck Cleaner On?

After applying deck cleaner, you should leave it on for 48 hours if the surface has been washed. This timeframe takes into account how much direct sunlight the deck receives. If your deck is covered by trees, you should leave the cleaner on for 72 hours.  

Deck Cleaner Conclusion

Decks are easier to clean than composite decks. With composite materials, it’s best to use a pressure washer. When cleaning most wood deck surfaces, a deck brush will be sufficient. 

Most deck cleaners do not require extra tools. When working with wood cleaners, pressure washers aren’t necessary unless you need to remove extra thick grime or rust stains. If you don’t want to use your hands, a garden sprayer will get the job done.

Do not use a deck cleaner or cleaning solution on a wet deck. Your deck surface should be dry. If you want to brighten wood, do not use bleach. You want to use a deck cleaner that has a wood brightener.