Knowing how to clean decking without a pressure washer can come in handy if you are short on cleaning equipment.
The good news is that you don’t need a pressure washer to give your decking a good clean. Instead, you can use special types of over-the-counter and/or DIY solutions to complete the deck cleaning job.
Let’s take a look at 6 alternatives you can use to easily clean your decking without a pressure washer to hand.
What Solutions Can Be Used to Clean Decking?
Let’s take a look at a few effective deck-cleaning solutions that you can use depending on how dirty your decking is.
1. Mixture of Detergent and Water
This type of general-purpose cleaning solution will usually do the trick if the decking isn’t considerably dirty. You will want to mix the detergent and water at a 1:4 ratio (or whatever you feel is best for your situation) and apply it to the deck’s surface.
Use a broom to work the solution into the decking. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes and then use the broom again before rinsing off the deck completely.
For a slightly heavier cleaning than just soapy water, consider using white vinegar. This should be diluted, as it can cause damage if used in strong concentrations repeatedly.
It should be applied to the surface of the deck and left alone for 10-15 minutes. Then, grab a stiff broom or brush and work the vinegar into the decking. Once done, use your garden hose to rinse off any leftover residue.
3. Mixture of Detergent and Bleach
A mixture of bleach and washing detergent can help remove mildew stains from your decking. The two solutions should be mixed in warm water. Once thoroughly mixed, it can be applied to the deck—and don’t be stingy here! Leave it for about 10 minutes.
After this time passes, use a stiff broom to scrub off the stains. Thoroughly rinse the deck afterwards to keep the bleach from discolouring and damaging the wood.
4. Insecticidal Soap
As a general rule, insecticidal soap will contain the potassium salts of fatty acids. These ingredients are not friends of living organisms like mould, mildew, algae, bacteria, and fungi.
So, with that being said, if your decking has some stubborn mould and mildew stains, this type of cleaning solution can help. Just make sure to rinse well after letting the cleaning agent sit for roughly 10 minutes (or as directed by the manufacturer).
5. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Another great way to remove mould and mildew from your decking is with a 1:2 ratio of food-grade hydrogen peroxide and water. This is a high-strength cleaning solution that should dissolve any hard-to-remove grime, mould, and mildew.
Make sure to scrub it in the decking with a brush or broom. After roughly 15 minutes, thoroughly rinse the surface of the deck to remove any left-behind solution.
6. Specialty OTC Deck Cleaners
There are several different types of maintenance and cleaning products available on the market that are designed to help remove dirt, debris, mould, algae, and more from your deck.
Just make sure to use a cleaning solution that is designed for your particular type of deck, such as wood, composite, etc.
How to Prepare Your Decking for Cleaning
First and foremost, you must remove everything from the deck, including small and large items. Place them in a location where they will be safe for a day or two. Make sure to also cover up any nearby plants that can’t be removed to prevent the chemicals from getting on them and killing them.
Ideally, you want to clean your deck on a day when the weather is clear. If you have had considerable rainfall recently, wait a few days for the deck to completely dry before engaging in cleaning activities.
Sweep the deck to remove debris and make sure to get between the cracks. Once the surface of the deck has been cleared of all items and debris, you can rinse off the deck thoroughly before applying a cleaning solution of your choice.
How to Maintain Your Decking After Cleaning
Once you’ve successfully cleaned your decking, you will want to take certain steps to maintain the decking. In doing so, you can limit the number of times you must perform a deep clean. One of the most effective things you can do after cleaning your deck is to add a protective layer on top.
This will help prevent heavy cleaning in the future while also expanding the lifespan of the decking.
Make sure to allow the product to dry completely before using your deck again.