How to clean wood deck without pressure washer

Decks undoubtedly serve an additional spice to homes. They help improve your home’s value and as well increase outdoor beauty. Proper maintenance of your deck doesn’t only keep it looking ravishing over again, but it also protects and extends the life of the deck. Learning how to clean your deck for whichever purpose positions you to spot problems when they occur and take proper and immediate actions.

So, you want to know how to clean wood deck without pressure washer? You didn’t just stumble on this page; trust me; you’re right on track. This article has been put together to solve every of the challenges following this quest. However, follow through with this piece and get a complete understanding of how it’s done.

Why should I clean my wood deck?

Most times, when decks are abandoned, they can look pretty gruesome. With time it begins to develop some permanent stains, wood being cracked, and in some cases, molds and mildews start to show up. All of these are often a result of the decks being exposed to all kinds of weather conditions. The surface might as well get affected by the sun, suffer from wet autumn leaves, drown by spring rains, and as well exposed to the wrath of winter.

Failure to take care of this area could be dangerous as it’d start to dry rot. Many homeowners are ignorant of this fact hence ending up with a damaged decking and putting their health at risk.

Needed supplies for cleaning wood decks.

  • Oxygen bleach
  • Broom
  • Vinegar
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Garden hose
  • General detergent
  • Wood deck cleaning products

Preparing your decks for cleaning

In order to have a clear working space, you have to remove firstly, any outdoor furniture, toys, pots and so on.

After that, to avoid chemicals potentially killing your plant-friends, you protect the flowers planted close to the deck with a plastic cover. Then you get your broom and sweep off the dirt on the deck, after which you rinse clean with a garden hose and repeat the process until your deck is sparkling as the case may be.

Cleaning methods and solutions

  • Have your mixture of oxygen bleach, and detergent prepared

Having discussed the problems of molds and mildews resulting from abandoned decks, a splash of oxygen bleach mixed with a little bit of detergent can damage the yet nasty spot. So you want to get a bucket filled with warm water and a 1:1 ratio of both oxygen bleach and cleaning agent.

Then you pour this solution on top of the moldy stains while you wait for about 15 minutes and nothing longer than that. After which, you get your broom and start scrubbing the treated area. Then you rinse the wood with cold water, and that’s all for it.

  • Stir up a general maintenance vinegar spray

This is one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways to have your deck looking all good. Trust me, this DIY vinegar is sure the way to go. This method is only suitable for general upkeep as it is not advisable for heavy-duty cleaning endeavors.

So you need to do get a container filled with warm water, measure out 2 cups of vinegar, and mix. Then you treat your deck with this solution and leave it to do its magic for about 10 minutes. Get your stiff brush and get this mixture worked into the wood. After which, you wash the area with cold water to remove the vinegar residues.

  • Make use of general wood deck cleaner.

Probably the area isn’t all that dirty; this method is best applicable. So to get this done efficiently, get your bucket filled with 4 liters of water and stir up one cup of laundry detergent into it. Then get the mixture on top of the deck and work it into the surface with a broom. Now you want to allow the solution for about 10 minutes to sit there, after which you rub it in with the broom once again. Then use your garden hose to rinse the deck from the solution.

  • Use trisodium phosphate

This product is often used to clean up exterior areas from paint. So if you’re on the lookout for a cleaning method that’s really transforming your deck, you want to try using TSP. However, when dealing with this solution, you need to be extra careful as it could damage paint surfaces and metal areas. It could also stain the wood on your deck if allowed to sit for too long.

So here is how to go about the solution: Have a mixture of 1/2 cup of TSP and 7 liters of water, then stir well. Add some little quantity of oxygen bleach to address any mold or mildews spots. Pour the solution on your deck and have it worked in with your broom. Then you leave it to sit for about 10 minutes, after which you wash it off with cold water. Repeat this process until all the TSP residue is gone.

Maintaining the deck

So you think you’re done with the whole process after you’ve cleaned the deck to a point in which it looks perfectly clean, but unfortunately, there’s still a little bit more work to do if you’d rather spare yourself the task of repeating the same process. You really want to apply a protective product on top of the deck, and by doing this, not only will you avoid future heavy-duty cleaning, but you also guarantee the deck an expanded life span.

However, before you start to apply this product to it, check if the wood has been treated. If it looks pretty okay, it means there aren’t any cracks or missing chunks of products so that you can ignore this step. If not, I’d advise you to apply for the sealing agent.

Once the protective agent has been completely dried out, you can proceed with arranging your furniture and other garden items. This is also a great chance to declutter. Those kinds of stuff like the old broken flower pot the sun-bleached chair pillow that makes your garden space look unkept now is the time you might want to get them out of the space.

Finally! You get to enjoy your newly renovated deck and garden.

Note: If you’re using oxygen bleach to clean your deck, be sure not to leave it for more than 10 minutes on the wood, as this could lead to discoloration. Take time to remove as much debris and dirt located in the wood panel of the deck beforehand.

Easy-to-follow steps in cleaning your deck.

  • Clean the surface

Before proceeding to the next step, be sure to remove garden pieces of furniture and pots from your deck.

  • Vacuum the deck

This is, however, optional, but you’d find it much easier to work on a surface free of debris, dry mud, or any large particles.

  • Clean the gaps

Using a broom, remove dirt and leaves from in between the decking gaps. You might have to use a leaf blower if needed.

  • Rinse your wood deck

Do a preliminary rinse on your wood deck using a garden hose and a suitable quality nozzle sprayer attachment.

  • Get the cleaning solution of your choice.

Based on the type and extent of contamination, here you want to decide on what deck cleaner to use from the above-listed methods.

  • Have a rough substance check

I always advise people to test whatever substance they intend working with on an inconspicuous area of some active ingredients of the solution(hydrogen peroxide, oxygen bleach, e.t.c)

However, never use regular bleach to clean your deck, as this may adversely affect the deck’s color or wood itself.

  • Apply product mixture

Using a mop, apply the deck cleaning solution to the surface. Consider working your way in sections if the decking is on the large side, as you do not want the cleaning agent drying before completion of the job.

  • Scrub thoroughly with a stiff broom/brush

With a bristle brush or an outdoor broom, get the surface agitated by scrubbing the cleaner well into the surface. Avoid using metal brushes to prevent damages.

  • Allow the solution some time to penetrate.

Allow the deck cleaner to work its magic for about 10-15 minutes, depending on what method you use. However, if you opted for a store-bought product, carefully follow the labeled instruction before use.

  • Give it a thorough rinse.

To be on the safe side, we often recommend that you wash the surface severally with your garden hose to remove any substance residue.

  • Allow the deck to dry completely
  • Apply protective sealant if necessary.


If you have a wooden or concrete deck, there are quite a few ways to make do with the cleaning process without having to use a pressure washer. However, learning to clean a deck without pressure washers may require your time and hard work, but it’s nothing compared to the budget-friendly, satisfying, and excellent outcome afterward. I hope you find this article helpful!

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