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How to Clean Your Deck

Cleaning your deck is essential to keeping it looking good and lasting a long time.


  • Step 1: Prepare yourself Be safe by dressing accordingly, covering your arms, legs, and feet. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses.
  • Step 2: Prepare your deck Remove your deck furniture and cover shrubs and flowers in the area with drop cloths. Repair damaged boards, sand rough edges, and sweep away debris.
  • TIP: Use a pole sander for large areas that need to be smoothed down.
  • Step 3: Apply the wood stripper Apply the wood stripper liberally over your deck with either a paintbrush or a pump sprayer. Let it stand for at least 15 minutes.
  • TIP: Do not let the wood stripper sit too long and dry up. If it does dry, lightly spray it with a garden hose.
  • Step 4: Rinse and apply wood brightener Rinse the deck lightly with a garden hose after the wood stripper has set. Apply the wood brightener the same way you applied the stripper.
  • TIP: You may need to mix the brightener with water. Be sure to read the directions on the package.
  • Step 5: Scrub and rinse Scrub areas that have mold or buildup from spills with the cleaning brush. Rinse the deck with the garden hose or a pressure washer on a medium setting.
  • Step 6: Let the deck dry before use Let the deck dry thoroughly for 48 hours. Admire your clean deck and throw a party to show it off. Just don't let anyone walk on it.
  • FACT: Every person in the United States uses about 74 cubic feet of wood each year in one form or another.

You Will Need

  • Protective clothing
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Drop cloths
  • Sandpaper
  • Broom
  • Wood stripper
  • Paintbrush or pump sprayer
  • Garden hose with a nozzle
  • Wood brightener
  • Pressure washer
  • Cleaning brush
  • Pole sander (optional)

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