How To Clean Decking With Or Without A Pressure Washer

Pressure Washer Cleaning Weathered Deck

Whether your decking area is small or large, it can be difficult knowing where to start. They can often be the centrepieces of our outdoor living space, and so we want them looking their best. Some people opt to use a pressure washer, but if you don’t have one, there are other ways to get your decking in top shape and fight back against damage the elements can cause.

Our easy step-by-step guide will show you how to clean your decking, whether you have a pressure washer or not. If you need the tools to help you get started, check out our range of affordable cleaning products, including pressure washers and hoses.

What You Need

  • Pressure washer (optional)
  • Hose (optional)
  • Broom
  • Large bowl or bucket
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Bristle brush or sponge
  • Decking stripper (only used on irremovable stains)

Cleaning With A Pressure Washer

Step 1: Clear And Prepare Your Decking Area

First things first, clear the area of any furniture or loose debris, such as leaves and branches. This will give yourself as much space as possible when you start cleaning.

Once the area is clear, prepare a bucket or large bowl of soapy water.

Step 2: Use Your Pressure Washer

Before using your pressure washer, make sure it is on the lowest setting (higher settings may damage the timber). Ensure there is at least a few feet of distance between the nozzle and the decking surface.

Next, use your washer along the surface of each plane, removing any dirt. Target the spaces between each plank to dislodge any stuck debris.

Step 3: Wash Away With Water

Take your prepared container of soapy water and with either a bristle brush or sponge, rinse your decking to clear away any remaining stains or dirt, leaving it thoroughly clean.

Rinse away the soapy water and dispose of any loose debris which was dislodged when using the pressure washer.

If there are some stains that still refuse to come off, you can use decking stripper. However, this will also remove any oils from within the wood, potentially leaving it exposed to water damage. To prevent this happening, make sure to use replacement wood oil, if you decide to apply wood stripper.

Cleaning Without A Pressure Washer

Step 1: Clear The Decking Area

Remove all the furniture and debris from your decking area. Use a broom to sweep away any loose clutter.

Once cleared, prepare a bowl or bucket of soapy water, washing-up liquid will create a suitable cleaning solution.

Step 2: Use A Hose To Clean The Dirt

Use a hose to clear away any dirt or grime. Due to the lower pressure compared to a pressure cleaner, direct the hose closer to the decking to ensure you are thoroughly cleaning each plane. Many hoses allow you to adjust the water flow, so find the right setting that removes any dirt, but does not damage the timber.

You can also clean your decking with a bristle brush and plenty of warm, soapy water, if you do not have a garden hose. It may take a little longer, but it can still leave your decking looking brand new.

Step 3: Rinse Your Decking With Water

Use your container of soapy water to give your decking a final clean. Rinse the water away and clear any debris.

Wood stripper can be used on hard-to-remove stains, but this can also remove vital oils contained in the wood, which if removed can increase the risk of water damage. We advise only to use wood stripper if you plan to replace your decking’s wood oil afterwards.

Whether you wash your decking with a pressure washer, hose or brush, a deep clean can leave your garden looking revitalised.

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