The 7 Best Deck Cleaner in 2024

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You may be skeptical about the idea of a ‘best deck cleaner’ because there are so many options available in the market. However, when it comes to thoroughly cleaning and restoring your deck, choosing the right product is crucial. In this article, we will delve into the topic of the best deck cleaner, exploring various options that have been thoroughly tested and proven effective.

Whether you’re looking for overall performance, value for money, pre-staining capabilities, pressure washer compatibility, or eco-friendliness, we have got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover the top deck cleaners that will bring your outdoor living space back to life.

How We Tested the Best Deck Cleaners

To determine the effectiveness of the best deck cleaners, we conducted a comprehensive testing process that encompassed various outdoor surfaces and evaluated their performance based on several criteria.

Initially, our plan was to test all the deck cleaners on standard pieces of wood decking boards that we purchased from the lumber yard. We slathered the boards with mud and grease to simulate real-world conditions. However, we soon realized that some of the deck cleaners were specifically designed to remove mold or algae. This prompted us to seek out different materials to test them on, including concrete, masonry, siding, and other outdoor surfaces.

During the testing phase, we used a rubric to score the performance of each deck cleaner. We evaluated aspects such as the clarity of the application instructions and whether the cleaner lived up to the manufacturers’ claims. This allowed us to objectively assess each product’s effectiveness in cleaning a deck and removing deck stain, mildew, and other stubborn stains.

Once all the deck cleaners had been tested and evaluated, we tallied up the points earned by the top performers. These points were used to determine the various categories, such as the best deck cleaner for wood surfaces and the best deck cleaner for use with a pressure washer.

Our testing process ensured that we could provide accurate and reliable recommendations to help you choose the best deck cleaner for your specific needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

STAR BRITE Non-Skid Deck Cleaner & Protectant -Ultimate Boat Deck Wash - Protects Against Future Stains & UV - Ideal for Fiberglass, Vinyl, Plastic, Painted & Metal Surfaces - 128 OZ Gallon (085900)

Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

Easy to use; simply apply, wipe off, and rinse.

No mixing or diluting required before application.

Dissolves dirt without harming painted surfaces.

Best Budget

Concrobium 126056 House & Deck Wash, 68 oz.

Concrobium House & Deck Wash

Cleans up to 2,500 sq. ft. per bottle.

Hose end sprayer for easy application on horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Strong smell for a short-term period ( 10 mins ).

Best Eco-Friendly

Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Pressure Washer Cleaner – 1 Gal

Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner

Reliable product; earned a ‘Safer Choice’ award from the EPA.

Won’t harm plants or grass; safe to use on decks near gardens or wildlife.

Tester found the smell disagreeable.

The 7 Best Deck Cleaner

1. BEST OVERALL: Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

2. BEST BUDGET: Concrobium House & Deck Wash

3. BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner

4. BEST FOR PRESSURE WASHER: Karcher Pressure Washer Multipurpose Cleaner

5. BEST FOR MOLD AND MILDEW: Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate

6. BEST FOR OIL AND GREASE: Oil Eater Original Cleaner and Degreaser

7. BEST PRE-STAINING: Defy Wood Brightener

Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

Best Overall
STAR BRITE Non-Skid Deck Cleaner & Protectant -Ultimate Boat Deck Wash - Protects Against Future Stains & UV - Ideal for Fiberglass, Vinyl, Plastic, Painted & Metal Surfaces - 128 OZ Gallon (085900)

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Easy to use; simply apply, wipe off, and rinse.

Reason #2 – No mixing or diluting required before application.

Reason #3 – Dissolves dirt without harming painted surfaces; ideal for sealed wood varieties.

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 – Failed to impart a nonslip surface; may not be ideal for some users’ preferences.

The Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is the ideal choice for those seeking an easy-to-use, effective solution to clean and maintain their painted or composite decks. This cleaner is specifically designed for painted decks and fiberglass decks, making it a versatile option for various types of surfaces.

One of the standout features of the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is its ability to effectively loosen stains without damaging the paint. In a test, the cleaner was applied full-strength to a painted board covered in mud and grease. After letting it sit for a few minutes, the stains were easily wiped off with a soft rag, leaving the paint intact.

This cleaner doesn’t require any mixing or diluting before application, making it convenient and user-friendly. It dissolves dirt without harming painted surfaces, making it ideal for sealed wood varieties. However, it’s important to note that the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner may not provide a nonslip surface, which may not be ideal for some users’ preferences.

Overall, this cleaner is highly effective in cleaning painted or composite decks without causing any damage.

Best For: Those looking for an easy-to-use and effective solution to clean and maintain their painted or composite decks.

Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12 x 12 x 12 inches; 9.23 Pounds

BrandSTAR BRITE
Item FormLiquid
Specific Uses For ProductDeck
Material FeatureBiodegradable
Item Volume1 Gallons

Concrobium House & Deck Wash

Best Budget
Concrobium 126056 House & Deck Wash, 68 oz.

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Non-toxic formula safe for use around plants.

Reason #2 – Cleans up to 2,500 sq. ft. per bottle.

Reason #3 – Hose end sprayer for easy application on horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 – Strong smell for a short-term period ( 10 mins ).

For those seeking an effective and safe deck cleaner, look no further than Concrobium House & Deck Wash. This deck cleaner isn’t only highly efficient but also offers great value for your money. With its non-toxic formula that contains no bleach or harsh chemicals, you can rest assured that it’s safe to use around plants.

The Concrobium House & Deck Wash can clean up to 2,500 sq. ft. per bottle, making it suitable for large outdoor surfaces. Its hose end sprayer allows for fast and easy application on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Whether you have stubborn stains on siding, patios, decks, fences, or awnings, this deck cleaner is the ideal solution.

Choose Concrobium House & Deck Wash for a thorough and cost-effective cleaning experience.

Best For: Those who want an effective and safe deck cleaner that offers great value for money.

Manufacturer‎Rust-Oleum
Item Weight‎4.8 pounds
Product Dimensions‎3.8 x 6.8 x 10.75 inches
Size‎68 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Color‎White
Container Material‎Plastic
Item Form‎Spray
Coverage‎Up to 2,500 sq. ft.
Special Features‎Non-toxic
Usage‎Outside; Professional, Outside; Amateur

Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner

Best Eco-Friendly
Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Pressure Washer Cleaner – 1 Gal

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Reliable product; earned a ‘Safer Choice’ award from the EPA.

Reason #2 – Won’t harm plants or grass; safe to use on decks near gardens or wildlife.

Reason #3 – Versatile formula; cleans multiple surfaces effectively.

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 – Tester found the smell disagreeable; may not be ideal for some users’ preferences.

Looking for an effective and environmentally-friendly deck cleaner? Look no further than Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner.

This concentrated liquid cleaner has earned the EPA’s ‘Safer Choice’ award, making it a nontoxic option that’s kind to the environment. With a 1-gallon jug, it can treat up to 6,400 square feet of decking, masonry, siding, and other exterior surfaces once diluted.

Simple Green isn’t just effective on wood decking, but it also works wonders on concrete and masonry, making it a versatile choice for multiple surfaces. Users have found it to be powerful in removing dirt, stains, and even tough grease, without the need for harsh chemicals.

It’s also safe to use around plants and grass, so you don’t have to worry about any damage. The only downside mentioned by some users is the smell, which may not be to everyone’s liking.

Overall, Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner lives up to its claims and is a reliable, eco-friendly option for deck cleaning.

Best For: Individuals in search of an effective and environmentally-friendly deck cleaner.

Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.68 x 4.7 x 11 inches; 9.27 Pounds

BrandSimple Green
Item FormLiquid
ScentUnscented 
Specific Uses For ProductWashing
Material FeatureEco-Friendly

Karcher Pressure Washer Multipurpose Cleaner

Best for Pressure Washer
Kärcher - Pressure Washer Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap Concentrate – For All Outdoor Surfaces – 1 Gallon

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Versatile formula; safely cleans many outdoor surfaces.

Reason #2 – Suitable for power washer use for a very deep clean.

Reason #3 – Biodegradable formula; ideal for households that prefer low-chemical formulas.

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 –Left my skin slightly red and itchy where it splashed.

The Karcher Pressure Washer Multipurpose Cleaner is the ideal choice for those seeking a powerful and effective deck cleaner. This versatile formula is designed for use with a pressure washer, making it convenient and efficient for removing dirt, debris, and stains from your deck. It can also be applied by diluting it in a bucket and brushing it on the surface.

The Karcher cleaner isn’t only suitable for decks but also works well on other outdoor items like concrete and siding. With its powerful ingredients, this cleaner breaks down and dissolves stains for a deep and thorough clean. It’s biodegradable, making it a great option for households that prefer low-chemical formulas.

However, it’s important to note that it may cause skin irritation, so protective clothing is recommended. Choose the Karcher Pressure Washer Multipurpose Cleaner for a reliable and efficient deck cleaning solution.

Best For: Pressure washer owners looking for a powerful and effective deck cleaner.

Manufacturer‎Karcher
Part Number‎9.558-144.0
Item Weight‎8.25 pounds
Product Dimensions‎7.25 x 11 x 4 inches
Scent ‎Multi-Detergent
Material FeatureBiodegradable
Item Form‎Liquid
Size‎128.00 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Color‎Green
Style‎1 Gallon

Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate

Best for Mold and Mildew
Wet & Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew, & Algae Stain Remover Multi-Surface Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate, Original, 128 Fluid Ounces

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Can be used in a pump-sprayer for ease of application.

Reason #2 – No-rinse formula; simply leave on and forget.

Reason #3 – Kills mold and lightens mold stains; ideal for those that live in moist environments.

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 – May harm foliage; spray nearby grass and shrubs with water.

The Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate is an effective solution for those seeking a deck cleaner that requires minimal effort and delivers impressive results against mold and mildew. This liquid concentrate is designed to be diluted with water, making it easy to use. It doesn’t require any scrubbing, mopping, or rinsing, saving you time and energy. With a 1:5 ratio of cleaner to water, a 1-gallon jug can treat up to 2,250 square feet, making it a cost-effective option for larger areas.

In tests, Wet & Forget proved its effectiveness in removing mold and mildew. Applied to a mold-infested foundation, the solution soaked in for up to 5 hours and then was left to dry. The previously mold-darkened areas turned light and powdery, indicating the removal of mold and mildew. Even after rain, the treated area remained free of mold.

With its no-rinse formula and ability to kill mold and remove mold stains, Wet & Forget is an ideal choice for those living in moist environments. However, it’s important to note that it may harm foliage, so care should be taken to protect nearby grass and shrubs by spraying them with water.

Overall, Wet & Forget offers an efficient and convenient solution for tackling mold and mildew on decks and other outdoor surfaces.

Best For: Those seeking a deck cleaner that requires minimal effort and delivers impressive results against mold and mildew.

Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.25 x 4.5 x 10.5 inches; 8.35 Pounds

BrandWet & Forget
Item Weight8.3 Pounds
Liquid Volume128 Fluid Ounces
Item FormLiquid
Coverage750 – 2,250 square feet

Oil Eater Original Cleaner and Degreaser

Best for Oil and Grease
Oil Eater Original 1 Gallon Cleaner, Degreaser - Dissolve Grease Oil and Heavy-Duty Stains – Professional Strength

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Flexible diluting ratios depending upon individual users’ needs.

Reason #2 – Can be used in power washer or applied directly with a brush.

Reason #3 – Dissolves both new and old oil stains; suitable for deep cleaning..

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 – Required a second application (and scrubbing) to remove old stain.

For those dealing with tough oil and grease stains, the Oil Eater Original Cleaner and Degreaser is an effective solution to easily dissolve and remove them. The manufacturer claims that this product can remove even thick, greasy stains and spills, and my test results support this claim.

The dilution instructions for Oil Eater are flexible, allowing users to adjust the ratio depending on the severity of the grease and grime. I found that a 1:5 ratio worked well for removing both mud and grease stains from a test board.

In addition, this cleaner is suitable for multiple surfaces, including decks, walks, and siding. While the manufacturer doesn’t provide an estimated coverage, the flexible dilution rate allows for customization based on individual needs.

Overall, I was impressed with the performance of Oil Eater and would recommend keeping a bottle in the garage for tackling oil and grease stains.

Best For: Those dealing with tough oil and grease stains.

Brand‎Oil Eater
Model‎Cleaner Degreaser, 1 Gal
Item Weight‎8.5 pounds
Product Dimensions‎12 x 3 x 12 inches
Item FormLiquid
ScentFresh Lemon
Specific Uses For ProductFloor,Deck
Material FeatureBiodegradable

Defy Wood Brightener

Best Pre-Staining
Defy Wood Brightener 1 Gallon

Reasons to Buy

Reason #1 – Easy to use (dilutes at a 1:4 ratio); simply apply, wait, and rinse off.

Reason #2 – Versatile application; can be applied with a brush or pump sprayer.

Reason #3 – Lightens (bleaches) wood to remove stains.

Reasons to Avoid

Reason #1 – Raises the wood grain and leaves a slightly rough surface.

For those with a weathered wood deck or pre-stained deck in need of a thorough cleaning and brightening, Defy Wood Brightener is the best choice. This cleaner is perfect for treating decks up to 1,000 square feet and effectively removes light dirt, rust stains, and dark tannin stains caused by decaying leaves. It can be used on all types of wood, making it versatile and convenient for any deck.

What sets Defy Wood Brightener apart is its easy application process; simply dilute it at a 1:4 ratio, apply it to the deck, wait, and rinse off. You can use a brush or pump sprayer for even coverage. One thing to note is that Defy Wood Brightener may raise the wood grain slightly, leaving a rougher surface. Nevertheless, its ability to lighten and remove stains makes it an excellent choice for revitalizing your weathered wood deck.

Best For: Pre-Stained decks in need of cleaning and brightening.

Brand‎DEFY
Surface Recommendation‎Wood
Item Dimensions LxWxH‎7.5 x 4.25 x 12 inches
Item Weight‎9 Pounds
Recommended Uses For Product‎exterior

Our Verdict

After carefully evaluating the options, we’ve reached our verdict for the best overall deck cleaner. Our top choice is the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner.

Here are the reasons why it stood out among the rest:

  1. Easy to use: The Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner doesn’t require any mixing or diluting before application. Simply apply, wipe off, and rinse. This user-friendly feature makes the cleaning process quick and hassle-free.
  2. Effective on various surfaces: This deck cleaner is gentle yet powerful enough to dissolve dirt without harming painted surfaces. It’s especially suitable for sealed wood varieties, ensuring that your deck remains stain-free and well-maintained.
  3. Versatile cleaning solution: The Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner isn’t only great for removing stains, but it’s also effective in tackling mold and mildew. This comprehensive cleaning solution saves you time and effort by addressing multiple deck maintenance issues.

With its ease of use, compatibility with different surfaces, and versatility as a cleaning solution, the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is our top choice for keeping your deck in pristine condition. Say goodbye to stubborn stains and hello to a deck that looks as good as new.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Deck Cleaner

When choosing the best deck cleaner, there are several important factors to consider.

First, you’ll want to determine the type of deck cleaner that’s best suited for your specific needs. Options include all-purpose wood deck cleaners, gentle all-purpose deck cleaners, restorative wood deck cleaners, and composite wood deck cleaners.

Each type has its own unique benefits and considerations, so it’s important to choose the one that will work best for your deck.

Types of Deck Cleaner

When choosing the best deck cleaner, it’s important to consider the type of decking material you have and the specific grime or debris you need to remove. Here are three types of deck cleaner to consider:

  1. Wood deck cleaner: If you have a wooden deck, look for a cleaner specifically formulated for wood. These cleaners are designed to remove dirt, stains, and mildew while protecting the wood from UV rays and other environmental damage.
  2. Composite deck cleaner: For composite decks, choose a cleaner that’s safe for use on this type of material. Composite deck cleaners are typically gentler and won’t damage or discolor the surface.
  3. No-pressure washer deck cleaner: If you prefer to clean your deck without a pressure washer, there are plenty of options available. These cleaners can be sprayed or brushed onto the deck surface and don’t require any rinsing. They’re effective at removing grime and restoring the deck’s appearance.

Consider the specific needs of your deck when selecting the best deck cleaner to achieve the best results.

All-Purpose Wood Deck Cleaner

To choose the best all-purpose wood deck cleaner, consider the type of wood used for your deck and whether it has been treated with a specific chemical.

All-purpose wood deck cleaners are designed to clean your deck and remove dirt, spills, and grime. They work well on exterior-type woods like cedar, teak, and redwood, as well as pressure-treated wood decking treated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azole (CA).

These cleaners can be applied using a sprayer or a deck brush, and then spread evenly with a mop. Afterward, rinse your deck with a garden hose. For stubborn stains, you may need to use a scrub brush.

All-purpose wood deck cleaners aren’t recommended for use on composite decks.

Gentle All-Purpose Deck Cleaner

For optimal results in choosing the best deck cleaner, it’s essential to consider certain factors such as the type of wood used for your deck, whether it’s painted, and the specific cleaning requirements it entails. When it comes to gentle all-purpose deck cleaners, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  1. Painted wood decks: If your deck is painted, it’s important to use a gentle ammonia-free deck cleaner that’s specifically labeled as safe for painted surfaces. Harsh cleaners can damage the paint and lead to cracking and peeling.
  2. Surfactants: Look for a deck cleaner that contains surfactants. These substances adhere to the surface of the deck and help repel stains, keeping your deck looking cleaner for longer.
  3. Application method: Most gentle all-purpose deck cleaners come premixed and can be sprayed or squirted onto the deck. After applying the cleaner, lightly mop the deck to clean away dirt and grime, and then wipe it dry with clean, soft rags.

Restorative Wood Deck Cleaner

Consider the following factors when selecting a restorative wood deck cleaner to ensure optimal results and a revitalized appearance for your deck.

When it comes to cleaning your deck and removing stains, a quality deck cleaner is essential. Look for a cleaner that’s specifically advertised as a restorative cleaner, as these products are designed to lighten the wood and fade stains. They often contain bleach, oxalic acid, or oxygenated components like sodium percarbonate.

To clean your decking effectively, spray the cleaner onto the deck and work it into the grain using a deck brush for even coverage. Afterward, rinse with a garden hose.

Restorative wood deck cleaners are particularly useful before staining, as they help to lighten darker areas and create a more uniform color for your deck.

Don’t forget to address any mildew stains or rusty streaks on the surface of the wood.

Composite Wood Deck Cleaner

When selecting the best deck cleaner for your composite wood deck, it’s important to choose one specifically designed for composite lumber to avoid stripping the sheen and leaving a dull appearance. Here are three key factors to consider:

  1. Compatibility: Ensure that the deck cleaner is safe to use on composite materials. Wood deck cleaners may contain ingredients that are too harsh and can damage the surface of your composite deck.
  2. Ease of Use: Look for a deck cleaner that allows you to clean your deck without scrubbing. This will save you time and effort. Some deck cleaners can be applied with a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime effectively.
  3. Coverage: Consider the square feet of deck that the deck cleaner can cover. This will help you determine how much product you need to purchase and ensure that you have enough to thoroughly clean your entire deck.

Vinyl Deck Cleaner

To choose the best deck cleaner for your vinyl deck, prioritize products that are safe for plastic and composite decks and avoid those with bleaching ingredients or that leave behind a film.

Vinyl decks are resistant to weather damage and can withstand most exterior all-purpose cleaners. However, it’s important to avoid cleaners that contain bleaching ingredients, as they may dull the surface of the deck. Additionally, no-rinse deck cleaners that leave behind a film should be avoided, as they can also dull the deck’s appearance.

Instead, look for deck cleaners that are safe for use on vinyl, plastic, and composite decks. These cleaners can be applied using a brush to clean the deck without the need for a pressure washer or electric pressure washer.

Mildewcide Deck Cleaner

If you’re dealing with mold and mildew on your wood deck, it’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage. One effective solution is using a mildewcide deck cleaner. Here are three things to consider when choosing the best deck cleaner for mildew growth:

  1. Look for a cleaner that contains mildewcide: Ensure that the cleaner you choose specifically mentions its mildewcide properties. This will help kill the fungi and prevent future mold or mildew growth.
  2. Opt for a cleaner that remains on the surface: It’s crucial for the cleaner to stay on the wood rather than being rinsed off. This allows the solution enough time to eliminate the fungi and seep into the deck’s surface, reducing the chances of future growth.
  3. Consider a premixed or liquid concentrate: Choose a deck cleaner that comes in either a premixed formula or as a liquid concentrate. Both options can be effective, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application.

Deck Cleaner and Sealer

Consider several factors when choosing the best deck cleaner and sealer for your wood deck. Most deck cleaners don’t include a sealer and only focus on removing stains, grease, and dirt.

However, there are some deck cleaners that not only clean the deck but also act as a water repellent, offering a temporary layer of weather resistance. It’s important to note that these combo products aren’t a substitute for an actual deck sealer, as the water-repellent benefit will wear off quickly.

When cleaning your deck, you have the option of using a pressure washer or applying a deck cleaner solution. Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to thoroughly clean the deck before applying any stain or sealer.

Eco-Friendly Deck Cleaner

When selecting the best deck cleaner for your wood deck, it’s important to consider eco-friendly options that are gentle on the environment and won’t harm surrounding grass and plants. Here are three key factors to consider when choosing an eco-friendly deck cleaner:

  1. Non-toxic ingredients: Look for deck cleaners that contain vinegar or baking soda, as these natural ingredients can effectively break down grease and brighten weathered wood without causing harm to the environment.
  2. Oxygen bleach and peroxide: These common household ingredients are often found in environmentally friendly deck cleaners. When used with a pressure washer, they can remove stains and brighten wood without the use of toxic chemicals.
  3. Safety precautions: Even eco-friendly cleaners can irritate the skin, so it’s important to wear protective clothing, such as long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, when applying any deck cleaner. Additionally, protective eyewear should be worn to prevent the solution from splashing into the eyes.

Premixed vs. Concentrated

To determine the best deck cleaner for your needs, it’s important to weigh the advantages of premixed liquid options against the benefits of concentrated deck cleaners that require dilution before application.

Premixed liquid deck cleaners are the simplest to use, as you can just pour them into a pump sprayer or bucket and then spray or brush them onto your deck.

On the other hand, concentrated deck cleaners come in both powdered granule and liquid form and must be diluted with water before application. This allows you to control the strength of the cleaner based on the level of dirt and grime on your deck. Additionally, undiluted concentrated liquid deck cleaner can be used in a pressure washer or hose-end sprayer, which dilutes the solution during application.

It’s important to note that cleaning a deck doesn’t mean you have to wash away the cleaner right after applying it. Some deck cleaners are designed to remove dirt and stains by allowing them to sit for a few minutes before rinsing. However, be cautious with painted surfaces, as some cleaners may strip away the paint.

If you want to achieve better results, you may need to apply a second coat and let it sit for a longer period of time.

Lastly, be aware that certain deck cleaners may leave behind a film, so make sure to choose a product that’s specifically designed to leave your deck clean and residue-free.

Coverage

To ensure you choose the best deck cleaner, it’s important to factor in the coverage, or the area that a gallon of the cleaner can treat, based on the level of dirt, mold, and stains on your deck. Here are three things to consider when determining the coverage of a deck cleaner:

  1. Type of cleaner: Different deck cleaners have varying levels of concentration. Some may require dilution with water, while others are ready-to-use. The concentration of the cleaner can affect its coverage, so be sure to check the instructions on the product label.
  2. Level of dirt and stains: If your deck is heavily soiled or has deep stains, you may need to apply more cleaner to achieve the desired results. In such cases, a gallon of deck cleaner may cover a smaller area compared to a deck with lighter dirt and stains.
  3. Application method: The way you apply the deck cleaner can also impact its coverage. Using a pressure washer can provide more power and coverage compared to a hose-end dispenser or manual scrubbing. Consider the tools and equipment you have available when determining the coverage you need.

Safety

Considering the potential impact on nearby plants and the safety precautions involved, choosing the best deck cleaner requires careful consideration of certain factors. Some deck cleaners may contain ingredients that can harm plants and lawns. To minimize damage, it’s important to rinse off plants and grassy areas immediately after cleaning the deck.

Some products may recommend wetting down plants and grass before cleaning and then rinsing them off again when finished. Additionally, when using a pressure washer, there are safety issues to be aware of. The intense pressure of the water can cut the skin on bare feet and legs, as well as remove chunks of soft deck wood.

It’s advised to start with the pressure at the lowest setting and gradually increase it until the desired result is achieved.

Application

When choosing the best deck cleaner, it’s important to consider the various application methods and whether rinsing is required after use. Here are three key factors to consider:

  1. Application Method:
  • Pressure washers are a popular choice for applying deck cleaner, as they provide a strong stream of water to remove dirt and grime.
  • Alternatively, you can use a pump sprayer or a hose-end sprayer to apply the cleaner, followed by scrubbing with a deck brush to remove stuck-on debris.
  • Another method is to dilute concentrated deck cleaner in a large bucket of water and then apply it with a scrub brush.
  1. Rinsing Requirement:
  • Some deck cleaners require rinsing after application, while others are designed to remain on the decking.
  • These cleaners saturate the wood with mold- and algae-fighting ingredients, and some even contain polymers that form a protective film on the surface.
  • It’s important to read the instructions carefully to determine whether rinsing is necessary.
  1. Product Features:
  • Consider the specific features of the deck cleaner.
  • Does it have any additional benefits, such as UV protection or a non-slip formula?
  • These features can enhance the overall performance and longevity of your deck.

Tips for Buying and Using Pump Sprayers

For optimal performance and ease of use, it’s essential to carefully select and effectively utilize a pump sprayer when cleaning your deck. Here are some tips for buying and using pump sprayers that will help you achieve the best results.

Firstly, when purchasing a pump sprayer, look for one with a sturdy construction and a comfortable grip. This will ensure that you have a durable and ergonomic tool that can withstand the rigors of deck cleaning. Additionally, choose a sprayer with an adjustable nozzle, as this will allow you to control the spray pattern and intensity according to your specific needs.

Before using the pump sprayer, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Familiarize yourself with the sprayer’s features and any safety precautions that need to be taken. This will help you avoid any accidents or damage to your deck.

When using the pump sprayer, make sure to properly dilute the deck cleaner according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Over-diluting or under-diluting the cleaner can affect its effectiveness. Additionally, ensure that the sprayer is fully pressurized before applying the cleaner. This will ensure an even and consistent application.

During the application process, move the sprayer back and forth in a steady motion, overlapping each stroke slightly to avoid missing any spots. Be mindful of the wind direction to prevent the cleaner from drifting onto other surfaces.

After using the pump sprayer, clean it thoroughly to remove any residue and prevent clogging. Rinse it with water and flush out any remaining cleaner from the sprayer. This will help maintain its performance for future use.

Best Deck Cleaner FAQ

What is the best deck cleaner?

The best deck cleaner is a product specifically designed to clean wood or composite decking and remove dirt, stains, mold, and mildew. It is recommended to use a wood cleaner or deck cleaner that is compatible with your deck material to ensure optimal results. Our best overall deck cleaner pick is the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner.

Can I use chlorine bleach to clean my deck?

Yes, you can use chlorine bleach to clean your deck, but it should be mixed with water or a deck brightener to avoid damage to your deck’s surface. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and rinse the deck thoroughly after cleaning.

Should I use a pressure washer or a bristle brush?

Using a pressure washer or a bristle brush depends on the condition of your deck. If your deck has heavy dirt and stains, a pressure washer can be effective. However, if your deck only requires light cleaning, a bristle brush can be sufficient. Always be careful when using a pressure washer, as excessive pressure can damage the wood or composite material.

What is the best way to clean wood decking?

The best way to clean wood decking is to use a deck cleaner specifically formulated for wood, along with a stiff bristle brush. Mix the cleaner according to the instructions, apply it to the deck, scrub it with the brush, and rinse off with water. Regular cleaning will help maintain the appearance and longevity of your wood deck.

Are there any deck cleaning products available in the market?

Yes, there are many deck cleaning products available in the market. These products come in various forms such as powders, concentrates, sprays, and liquids. Some popular options include commercial deck cleaners, cleaners containing chemicals to remove mold and mildew, and exterior wood cleaners. Choose a product that suits your deck type and cleaning needs.

How can I clean a deck without using chemicals?

If you prefer to clean your deck without using chemicals, you can opt for a power wash using water pressure or an exterior cleaner designed for chemical-free cleaning. Scrubbing the deck with a bristle brush and water can also help remove dirt and mildew. However, note that tougher stains and mold growth may require the use of specialized deck cleaners.

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Ira Njoroge

Hey, I’m Ira Njoroge, the founder of MySpaceAffair. Early on in my life, I had a passion to embark on a mission to create a cleaner, and more organized household. With a bachelor's degree in engineering after graduating from the University of Maryland in 2015 and seven years as a General Contractor and professional cleaner, on top of my DIY Enthusiasm. I saw the need for a reliable information source for homeowners. My passion, diligence, experience, and hired professionals confirms the reliability of all the advice given in My Space Affair and I hope to provide you all with reliable and thorough content!