A well-preserved wooden deck adds charm to your home, but the elements can take a toll, leaving it covered in dirt, grime, algae, and moss. While many resort to pressure washers, there are safer alternatives to revive your deck. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to clean your wood deck without a pressure washer, emphasizing the importance of regular maintenance for both aesthetics and safety. 


Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for preserving the beauty of your deck and providing a safe place to relax. Mold, mildew, and algae can grow because of exposure to the elements, posing potential health risks. Proper maintenance turns your deck into a haven for relaxing. 


Step 1: To begin, remove all furniture, grills, and outdoor items from the deck to avoid damage during the cleaning process. 

Step 2: Sweep the deck with a broom to remove dirt and leaves. Use a putty knife to remove any sticky substances, such as gum or sap. Make sure the deck’s surface and undersides are clean. 

Step 3: Use deck cleaners to clean your deck: 

  • Pour the deck cleaner onto the surface in sections. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. 
  • Scrub the deck with a nonmetal brush or push broom, working in the direction of the wood grain. 
  • Rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden hose, covering the surface, railings, and stairs.

Ensure that all of the cleaning solutions have been removed. 

Step 4: To remove standing water, use a push broom to speed up the drying process. It is suggested that you wait at least 24 hours before using the deck again. Weather, temperature, and humidity can all have an impact on drying times.


For a homemade wood-friendly and environmentally friendly deck cleaning solution, use a blend of vinegar and baking soda with these easy steps: 

  • Combine a cup of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water for an eco-friendly mix. 
  • You can start by rinsing the deck with a hose, using a light spray nozzle to soften wood fibers. 
  • Apply the mixture to the deck, adding extra baking soda if desired. Let it sit for 15 minutes. 
  • Scrub the deck with a brush, focusing on stubborn spots. Thoroughly rinse the deck to remove residue. 


For challenging stains, especially those entrenched for months, an oxygen bleach solution can work wonders. Follow these steps for effective stain removal: 

  • Mix 2 gallons of warm water with 1 cup of oxygen bleach in a bucket. Don’t forget to wear gloves. 
  • Dip a brush into the prepared solution and generously apply it directly to the stained area. 
  • Allow the solution to work; you may notice bubbling as it lifts stains. Wait until the bubbling subsides. 
  • Use a brush to scrub away the detergent and rinse the area thoroughly with a garden hose. Follow the two-step scrubbing method.  
  • For the best results, focus on one stain at a time to ensure the cleaning solution doesn’t sit for too long. 


When dealing with persistent mold on your deck, a simple homemade cleaning solution using soap and water can do wonders. Follow these steps for an efficient and thorough cleaning process: 

  • Mix 1/3 cup of laundry detergent with a gallon of warm water. Ensure thorough mixing. 
  • Begin by brushing the entire deck to remove any loose debris and prepare the surface for cleaning. 
  • Apply the prepared detergent solution generously to the areas affected by mold.
  • Use a scrub brush to work the detergent into the mold-affected areas, ensuring a thorough scrub for effective cleaning. 
  • After scrubbing, rinse the deck thoroughly with water to remove the detergent and loosen the mold.
  • If stubborn stains persist, consider using an oxygen bleach solution after applying the detergent. Ensure the deck is dry before proceeding. 


Regular cleaning, ideally once or twice a year, maintains the deck’s appearance and longevity. If it looks worn or becomes slippery, consider more frequent cleaning. Applying a protective coating after cleaning can prolong the deck’s cleanliness. Ensure the wood is well-dried before applying any protective coating to avoid undesirable interactions. 


Northwest Decks provides top-notch deck inspection services for real estate agents, homeowners, and homebuyers. Beyond inspections, we excel in repairing decks, porches, and patios. We’re passionate about creating enduring outdoor havens for relaxation and connection. You can trust us for expert deck solutions, ensuring your outdoor space remains beautiful and functional for years. 

Schedule your appointment today. Call us today at 253.342.4688 or 360.731.8445