How To Clean Your Deck: A Step-By-Step Guide

how to clean your deck

As the summer months approach, you might be thinking about preparing your outdoor area for more frequent usage. That means giving your BBQ a scrub and wiping down the patio furniture. But have you thought about giving your deck a clean? This article will teach you what you need to know to get your deck ready for summer with a thorough clean.

Sprucing up your deck will reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep it structurally sound. By cleaning your deck properly, you will ensure your deck looks beautiful, so you can enjoy it with family and friends for years to come.

To get the most out of your investment, we’ll teach you the correct way to clean your deck.

Step 1: Clear the deck

In order to easily get to the wood and give it a good clean, you first need to remove everything from the deck. Ideally, you’ll want to move the furniture to another part of the property, but if that isn’t feasible, you can stack it neatly in a corner. If necessary, have someone else assist you with this, so you don’t injure yourself in the process. And remember, lift with your knees.

Step 2: Sweep the deck

There is no point bringing out the cleaning solution if there is still debris like leaves, pine needles and dirt on the deck. Grab an outdoor broom and give the deck a thorough sweep. You should be sweeping your deck regularly throughout the year to prevent the build-up of matter that can adversely affect the condition of the deck.

Step 3: Select products

Despite the wide range of products on the market, one of the best ways to clean your deck is simply with soapy water and a brush the gentle pressurised water. It will clean the surface more effectively than you might think without damaging the finish. However, if you do want to use deck-cleaning chemicals, please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, which will inform you of which products are safe to use.

If you are trying a new cleaning solution, test the solution in a non-prominent part of the deck before cleaning the entire deck, to make sure it doesn’t leave any stains.

Step 4: Wash and rinse

Give your deck a good wash by using a power washer or apply some good old fashioned elbow grease with a scrub brush – but be careful to not scrub too hard — you don’t want to scratch the surface. Wash the deck as if you are mowing your lawn – in strips to ensure you do not miss any spots. Concentrate your efforts on areas of high traffic, as they are likely to be the dirtiest.

After you are finished cleaning, rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden house or the gentle power washer with clean water.

Step 5: Maintain

Now that your deck is clean, it is the perfect opportunity to do a little maintenance work by applying a coating.  The type of coating you should use will depend entirely on the material of the deck and the coating that has previously been applied.

If you are not sure, contact your decking supplier or a hardware store.


Food and oil stains – If you spill anything on your deck: oil, food or a glass of red, the best course of action is to wipe it up immediately with warm soapy water and then rinse down the area. This will prevent stains from developing. If a stain sets on uncapped composite, use a cleaner that is safe to use on that particular product.

It is important to implement a regular cleaning schedule if you want to maintain the condition of your deck. As discussed, it is not particularly difficult to keep your deck in tip-top shape. If you continue to look after your deck, you will be rewarded with a deck with a lasting aesthetic appeal. 

For more decking tips, check out our Timber Blog.

Mike Rowney