Is your hardwood timber wood decking slippery with mildew or algae, or dirty with mud and grime? Don’t worry. Decking is not difficult to clean if you follow our advice.
Cleaning a wood deck with vinegar
There’s really no need for harsh chemicals to clean your decking. Commercial cleaners can shorten the life of the timber, and damage plant life in the surrounding area. Simple vinegar is capable of removing mold and mildew, so why not try this environmentally-friendly approach to get your decking clean.
- Remove all furniture and pot plants from the deck
- Clear the decking of any soil or dirt with a stiff broom or brush
- Rinse the deck with a garden hose to remove any dirt that’s stuck on
- Mix one gallon of water with one cup of white vinegar
- Following the grain of the wood, use a mop, scrubbing brush, or decking brush
- Leave for a few minutes, then rinse with the hose. Leave to dry naturally.
How to clean decking with bleach
In most cases, the above method using vinegar and a brush should be enough to get your deck looking clean and free from slippery mildew. If you want to use bleach to tackle a really dirty deck, then try the following. It is important that you do not use chlorine bleach, which will damage the wood, as well as surrounding wildlife.
- Remove all objects from the deck – garden furniture or plant pots
- Use a broom to sweep any debris from the surface of the deck
- Rinse the deck with your garden hose
- Mix one gallon of warm water with one cup of powdered oxygen bleach, taking care to follow these safety points:
- Wear gloves when working with bleach
- Wear boots, as the bleach will make the decking slippery
- Mix the solution outside or in a well-ventilated area, as the fumes can be harmful
- Saturate the deck with the bleach solution, and scrub with a brush
- Leave the suds to soak in for five minutes
- Rinse thoroughly with your garden hose
Get clean decking without a pressure washer
It is normally not necessary to use a pressure washer to get your decking clean. Moreover, if used on the wrong setting a pressure washer can damage the wood. The methods outlined here will help you to get your decking looking great without the need for a pressure washer.