Does your deck look dirty and desperately need cleaned after a long winter? Do you need tips on how to DIY pressure wash and clean your deck? Then keep reading to make your deck look great this season!
Table of Contents
- 1. Gather the Best Materials to DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck
- 2. Remove All Items Before Starting to DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck
- 3. Get Rid of the Debris on the Deck
- 4. DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck Begins in the Corner
- 5. Operate the Pressure Washer in a Sweeping Motion
- 6. Maintain the Recommended Distance Between the Pressure Washer and the Deck
- 7. DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck with Proper Pressure
- 8. Use the Right Kind of Deck Cleaner
- 9. DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck with a Scrub Brush
- 10. Touch Up Following the DIY Pressure Wash
- 11. Return Furniture After the DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck Project
Whether you have a natural wood deck, soft wood, composite material deck, or another wood decking, pressure washing (power washing) your outdoor deck and deck boards is an essential part of regular maintenance.
This will help ensure your deck’s surface stays in tip-top shape for years to come.
In addition, regular cleaning is essential as it can also help prolong the life of the deck.
Also, it helps to keep it looking beautiful for outdoor use year after year by removing any major stains.
Unfortunately, hiring a professional pressure washing service can be costly, and scheduling an appointment can be time-consuming.
Fortunately, there is a great alternative for a very good cleaning and a great deck wash.
Try it yourself!
Grab a pressure washer (power washer) and get started!
With a little elbow grease, the best DIY deck cleaner, the right tools, and a little know-how, the next time you pressure wash your deck it can be done easily and affordably with a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach.
If you have no clue where to start getting a refreshed deck – we’ve got you covered!
We’ll outline a step-by-step guide on the best care of your deck and how to pressure wash with ease.
In addition, we’ll cover all the important factors, including selecting a pressure-washing decking product.
Also, we’ll review selecting necessary deck materials, prepping every square inch of your deck, and choosing the right pressure washer for your type of deck.
Moreover, we’ll cover if you should have yearly scrubbings, and safely operating and following the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the best results.
In addition, you’ll also learn about the various types of pressure washers available, and which one is best for your deck cleaning project.
Furthermore, we will include helpful tips, tricks, and hacks to make the process as effortless and effective as possible.
So, let’s get into it!
1. Gather the Best Materials to DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck
The first step before beginning to pressure wash your deck is to gather the necessary supplies to ensure the job is done effectively and efficiently.
First and foremost, you will need a pressure washer!
For my pressure washing project, I selected The Ryobi 1600-PSI Electric Pressure Washer.
It was one of the easiest ways to make my old deck look new again with some easy and basic steps.
Pro tip: If you need a clean deck and you don’t own a new pressure washer or if one isn’t in the budget, you can easily rent one from a local hardware store.
In addition to the power washer, you may require an outdoor extension cord, depending on the distance between the power outlet and the deck.
I was lucky that on my deck, the outlet was near – but when I did my patio – I needed the extension cord.
You will also need a water supply source via a garden hose that can be connected to the pressure washer.
Be sure to have some eye and ear protection during the process to protect yourself from any debris that may be propelled by the pressure washer.
I didn’t realize when you hit a certain affected area on the deck, debris goes flying.
I found myself covered in high concentrations of leftover dirt and grime from my nearby plants and trees.
Lastly, whether you select a homemade cleaning solution, a homemade deck cleaner, a premade option for clean composite decking, or just soapy water (that’s what I did) it’s recommended to treat the deck before pressure washing.
By gathering all the necessary supplies, you can set yourself up for success and help make your DIY pressure washing project a breeze.
2. Remove All Items Before Starting to DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck
Once you’ve assembled your materials, move all your outdoor furniture and patio furniture to another area of your home.
It’s always a good idea to start with an empty deck.
Although I wasn’t able to move my table or umbrella base off the deck, I did work around both of them.
By moving these items around, I noticed a stubborn stain where my umbrella base was last season.
In addition, there were areas of the stair tread, side of the deck, and overall area that looked grimy from trees and the sun’s rays.
So, whether you have wooden decks or a composite deck – make sure to start with a clear area to check an inconspicuous area that might need more attention during the washing process.
3. Get Rid of the Debris on the Deck
This includes tree limbs, leaves, or anything fallen from the trees.
4. DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck Begins in the Corner
When it comes to DIY pressure washing your deck, pick a corner and work out from there.
This will help prevent debris and dirt from falling onto areas you’ve already cleaned and help keep a workflow.
It is also good practice to start with the most delicate areas of the deck, such as railings and spindles, before moving onto more resilient surfaces like decking boards.
Starting at the top also allows you to work your way downward, which can help save time and prevent you from missing any spots.
By following this simple tip, you can make the most of your pressure-washing efforts and ensure that your deck looks as good as new.
5. Operate the Pressure Washer in a Sweeping Motion
Whether you use a homemade cleaner or commercial deck cleaner, it’s key to operate the pressure washer properly.
Keep in mind, it’s best to keep low pressure when you pressure wash your deck.
This will protect the composite decking or wood fibers and wood grain in another kind of deck.
In addition, it’s important to operate the pressure washer in a sweeping and fluid motion spending 5-10 minutes each on several sections.
A sweeping motion means instead of pointing the nozzle directly at the surface, you should move it back and forth in a sweeping motion.
By using this option, it may help to evenly distribute the cleaner recipe solution and water across the surface, avoiding any streaks or an uneven cleaning result.
Additionally, using a sweeping motion helps to avoid any concentrated areas of pressure on the surface, which can cause damage to the deck.
This technique may take a bit of practice to master, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it’s an effective way to evenly and efficiently clean your deck.
6. Maintain the Recommended Distance Between the Pressure Washer and the Deck
Each surface is different and may require its own type of cleaner and pressure washer.
It’s best to always check your manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to pressure wash or clean your own deck.
However, generally, to safely and effectively pressure wash your deck, it’s important to maintain the recommended distance between the pressure washer and your own deck.
In addition, generally, it’s recommended to start with a distance and gradually move closer as needed.
Keep in mind, if you get too close to the deck, you risk damaging the wood and creating an uneven surface.
By maintaining the recommended distance, you can avoid many issues and achieve a clean and polished deck without causing any damage.
7. DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck with Proper Pressure
Pressure washing your deck is a great way to give it a thorough cleaning, but it’s important to use the correct pressure settings for the type of wood and decking you may have.
Ensuring proper pressure is used is key to avoiding damage to your deck during the cleaning process.
Softwood and hardwood have different levels of tolerance to pressure, so it’s important to know what kind of wood you have and what pressure settings to use.
A general rule of thumb is to use lower pressure for softer woods and higher pressure for harder woods.
However, it’s always best to check the recommended pressure settings in your pressure washer’s manual, as well as consult with a professional or a knowledgeable store associate to determine the most appropriate pressure setting for your specific deck.
Also, composite decking has its own set of recommended pressure settings.
So, be sure to always check on your specific deck before following any specific advice.
By using the appropriate pressure, you can effectively clean your deck while avoiding any costly or unsightly damage.
8. Use the Right Kind of Deck Cleaner
Now that we have the right way to add pressure and wash the deck, it’s important to select the proper type of cleaner.
Keep in mind that each deck is different and adhering to the manufactures information or a trained contractor is always best.
Personally, I used a very gentle approach to cleaning my deck.
My only active ingredient was Dawn dish soap which helped to create a light lather and gently lifted the dirt with the pressure washer.
Although my selected pressure washer did not have a container to add soap, I added soap to a spray bottle with a part water and added it to my deck slowly.
There are other options on the market such as using a homemade mixture of white vinegar and baking soda (I’ve used this to spot clean dog accidents) and many commercial-grade cleaners.
However, be sure to avoid using any harmful chemicals on your deck.
9. DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck with a Scrub Brush
Now that everything is free of debris and grime, the next step to easily DIY pressure washing your deck is to make sure it’s truly clean.
For your situation, this next step in the pressure washing process may or may not be necessary.
When I was done pressure washing, I noticed there was still some grime and debris on the deck and railings.
So, to offset that I got a gallon of water, some extra dawn soap, and a broom.
I spread out the mixture and used the broom to really lift any leftover grime.
This helped to ensure that the deck was not only clean – but extra clean.
Once I finished cleaning the deck surface I rinsed the soap off the deck with a gallon of warm water, and let it dry completely.
10. Touch Up Following the DIY Pressure Wash
Before moving on and finishing your newly washed deck, it’s important to take a closer look at some of the problem areas that may need more attention.
Take a walk around your deck and inspect any spots that may not have been thoroughly cleaned during the pressure washing process.
These areas may include hard-to-reach corners and crevices, or persistent stains that require extra attention.
Be sure to check the railings and make sure they are clean.
If not, add some extra clean water and soap to really go over them carefully.
In addition, to touch up these areas, simply scrub them with a deck brush or broom, allowing the process to soak in for a few minutes before rinsing with a hose or pressure washer.
Once you’ve finished touching up, give the entire deck one final rinse to ensure that all cleaning solution or soap mixture has been thoroughly rinsed away.
By taking the extra time to touch up problem areas on the surface of your deck, you can ensure a thoroughly cleaned surface that’s ready for a great season.
11. Return Furniture After the DIY Pressure Wash and Clean Your Deck Project
When it comes to maintaining a clean and welcoming outdoor living space, pressure washing is great.
The best part is the last step – putting back deck furniture.
After all your hard work and pressure washing, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the look of a clean and fresh-looking outdoor deck.
Your newly cleaned deck will create a relaxing atmosphere for your family and guests to enjoy throughout the entire deck season.
Pressure washing your deck can be an easy and effective DIY project that can breathe new life into your outdoor living space.
By following these DIY pressure wash and clean your deck steps outlined above and taking proper safety precautions, you can have your deck looking clean and refreshed in just a few hours.
So, why not give DIY pressure washing a try and see the difference it can make for your own deck?
Does your deck need some TLC after a long winter?
What do you think of these steps to DIY pressure wash and clean your deck? Do you have any tips on deck maintenance?
Do you want to try the Ryobi 1,600-PSI 1.2-GPM Electric Pressure Washer?
Let me know in the comments!