How to Clean a Wood Deck Without a Pressure Washer

by balconyboss
Published: Updated:
wooden deck in mountains
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As a homeowner, your wood deck needs to be properly maintained if you want to keep it in good condition. If your deck is not cleaned, it may be prone to issues such as staining, mildew growth and a host of other problems. One of the most popular ways to clean a deck is with a pressure washer. But what if you don’t have a pressure washer or would rather look for a solution that doesn’t involve this tool? Thankfully, there is an effective method that allows you to clean your deck without anything more than standard tools. The following guide will teach you how to clean your wood deck without using a pressure washer.

What You’ll Need

The following are the basic tools and supplies that you will need to wash your deck using the method below.

  • Broom
  • Cleaning brush
  • Wood-safe detergent
  • Wood-specific cleaning product (look for a “wood deck” cleaner)
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach (oxygen bleach only)

Step by Step Instructions

The following are step by step instructions to clean your wood deck without a pressure washer.

1. Scrub off any mold and mildew

First, you’ll need to remove any mold and mildew present on your deck. Fill a bucket with warm water and then add a 1:1 ratio of oxygen bleach and the detergent into the water. Make sure that you are not using detergent which contains any chemicals that will negatively interact with your bleach.

Pour your mold-killing solution onto the mold or mildew, let it rest for a maximum of 15 minutes, and then scrub with the broom or cleaning brush. Rinse with cold water. Depending on the amount of mold and mildew, you may need to repeat this process. If the mold and mildew on your deck is stubborn even after scrubbing with this solution, then you may want to consider using a mold-killing product designed to penetrate deeper into the wood.

2. Scrub the deck

Next, you’ll want to take your wood deck cleaning solution and use it according to the instructions. This will typically involve applying the solution, letting it rest for a set period of time, and scrubbing the deck with a brush or broom. Rinse the deck afterwards with cold water. If you have a hose, you can use the hose to rinse the deck. Otherwise, fill up a bucket with clean water and rinse the wood carefully.

3. Treat problem spots with vinegar

If there are any areas of the deck which still appear moldy or dirty after the first two steps, you can create a concentrated vinegar solution to treat them. Dilute 1 cup of vinegar in 2 cups of water, then spray or pour the solution onto the problem areas. Let the vinegar solution rest for no more than 10 minutes, then scrub with the cleaning brush before rinsing it off with cold water.

Note: A vinegar solution is ideal for low key deck cleaning maintenance throughout the year, and will reduce the need for having to clean the entire deck every single time.

Final Thoughts

Having access to a pressure washer is nice, but you can still thoroughly clean your wooden deck without one, as long as you follow all the necessary steps and repeat if necessary.