How to Clean a Deck and Extend its Lifespan

Congrats, you just had a beautiful new deck installed—hopefully by us!—and you want your investment to be enjoyed for years to come. So the question is: “How do I keep it clean without damaging the material?”

Cleaning methods depend on the type of decking material that was used. If you chose to install a composite or PVC deck, you are privy to a lower maintenance schedule because neither staining nor sealing is necessary. Composite materials from DecKorator’s can be cleaned with a power washer, but it’s best to use a fan-tip nozzle and use the lowest setting the power washer has to offer. Trex, on the other hand, states that a power washer will damage the material.

It’s also an option to spray the deck with soap or a cleaning solution specifically for decks, then scrub lightly with a soft brush. Just keep in mind that the cleaner then has to be rinsed away thoroughly or a dirty film can be left behind!

Use a fan-tip nozzle and choose the lowest setting the power washer has to offer

Wood decks take a little more care because regular staining and sealing is required to keep the deck looking beautiful and bright. Cedar can also be cleaned by combining 3 quarts of warm water, 1 quart of oxygen bleach, and ¼ cup of non-ammonia dish soap into a garden sprayer. Saturate the deck with the solution and then allow it to sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing any of the tough stains out with a scrub brush. Once the scrubbing is complete, spray the deck with regular water to rinse away the cleaning solution. Pressure washing cedar can help blast away mold and mildew that has may have built up over the rainy season. Another option is a handmade solution of 4 oz. of oxygen bleach and 1 gallon of hot water along, that along with a stiff scrubbing brush will get the job done.

Be careful with a power washer and Cedar decks. If the spray is too powerful you may damage older boards.

Now if cleaning really just gets on your last nerve, there’s always the option to hire a professional. No matter which option is best for you, just make sure your deck gets the care it deserves at least once per year so you can maximize its life and your family’s enjoyment.


Is it time for a new deck? Let’s talk.