How To Clean A Deck Without A Power Washer?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
30 min read

Does anyone know how to clean a deck without using a pressure washer? As you read on, you’ll discover the four simple methods we recommend. Here’s a brief rundown of the options:

Wood fibers, filth, mold, mildew, and grease can all be swept away by sanding the surface first. Never let it to get unclean, as this will prevent the sealer or stain from adhering properly. Even though power washing a deck is simple, not everyone has the necessary tools. You could always rent one, but if it’s on the smaller side, a simple wipe down will do the trick. Footprints, sawdust, garbage, and dirt had to be cleaned off the brand-new deck. If you want the cleanest surface possible, stain your deck after you’ve thoroughly cleaned it. There’s a lot more to read up on, so don’t stop now!


Ways To Clean A Deck Without A Power Washer

Do you want to know how to clean a deck without using a pressure washer? There are a few things to keep in mind when washing a deck without a power washer, including the ones listed below.

#1. Use baking soda and vinegar

Your composite deck will not be damaged by using deck cleanser. Make your own DIY cleaner out of baking soda and vinegar to determine which spot has been removed. Half a cup of vinegar, a quarter cup of baking soda, and a gallon of water should be mixed together. You can use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar; the choice is yours. It’s a toss-up because they’re both efficient. To combine the three components, stir them together in a large container. Get a spray nozzle for your garden hose and wash the deck off. It is recommended to rinse the deck before applying cleaning so that the cleaner can go deeper and soften the fibers.


Scrub the deck clean by attaching a soft brush to the cleaner and scrubbing in a circular motion. Decking should be rinsed with clean water after each board has been cleaned. Use a high-pressure nozzle and water to remove the film completely. A solution of one part water and two parts vinegar can be used to get rid of mildew and mold. You should put the remedy on the affected region. The next step is to apply baking soda to the affected area, cover it, and let it sit for twenty minutes. Remove any mold or mildew by giving them a good rinsing.

#2. Use oxygen bleach and hot water

Use hot water and oxygen bleach in a large bucket to remove rotten moss patches. Use the cleaning solution and a brush to remove the stain. The stain should be given 5 minutes to absorb the solution. You can use a scrub brush to clean the area once you notice the bubbles have stopped. Use a garden hose to spray the area down with the solution to clean it. To find the stain, go down here. Use the garden hose to spray the stained area once more. Next, wash the deck to get rid of any remaining oxygen bleach. You should give them multiple washes. Make sure the wood is completely dry before putting it back where it belongs. Grime and filth in the soil are most effectively removed by oxygen bleaches like Ajax, OxiClean, and Oxi-Boost.

If the detergent contains sodium percarbonate or sodium carbonate, you can use it. These components are crucial to the oxygen bleach’s effectiveness. Wood siding cleanser and oxygen bleach diluted properly can be used to restore the deck’s original appearance after years of neglect. Use a nylon brush to spread it on the ground near to the wood. Carefully wipe down the wood’s surface. The cleaner will penetrate deeper into the wood if you keep the board moist before scrubbing. If it doesn’t need to be cleaned, just rinse it off with clean water to get rid of any residue. Also, find out what you can do to prevent mold from growing on your deck when it’s damp and shady outside. One-third cup of laundry detergent added to one gallon of water is an effective cleanser for getting rid of black mold. To remove decay stains, bleach with oxygen. If you use oxygen bleach, you need use a brightener solution thereafter.

#3. Use the potassium salts in the fatty acids

Useful as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and algaecides, soap salts are multitasking wonders. As a result, they are an excellent means of removing mold and mildew from a hardwood deck. Get rid of the plants and the deck furniture first. Get your hands on some fatty acids and some potassium salt. Spread the mixture using a mop over an area of the deck of three feet by three feet, or four feet by six feet. Then, scrape the area of the deck where you want to apply the solution with a stiff brush. Use the garden hose to rinse off the soap and grime off the deck. You should apply a protective coating, but only after it has dried.

#4. Use soda and bleach

Just combine three times as much baking soda as bleach and you’ll have your cleaning solution. Stains on the deck go well with this traditional concrete cleaning. Pea soup analogy works here. It needs to be pourable, hence it needs to be thin. However, it needs to be substantial to prevent it from dispersing everywhere. Determine if bleach can be used in a pressure washer.

How to clean a wood deck without a power washer using a specialied solution?

So, you don’t have the tools and are looking for a pressure washer alternative since they aren’t kind to your electricity bill or because you’re concerned about conserving water and the environment. Whatever your reason might be, you can replace a power washer with safe and quick specialised solutions that will get the job done in no time.

And the best part is, well, you already know.

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to pressure wash without a pressure washer, your search is over. Here are some do-it-yourself methods for sprucing up your deck’s appearance.

Method #1 – The Detergent and bleach mix

Cleaning detergent and bleach will do the trick if mildew stains are present on the grimy deck.

  • Combine the two in a bowl of hot water;
  • Deck area that has been dyed, thoroughly;
  • Give it a ten- to fifteen-minute rest;
  • Use a strong brush to scrub the spots away;
  • Bleach can eventually discolor and damage wood, so be sure to rinse your deck thoroughly.

Method #2 – Potassium salts of fatty acids.

They are employed as fungicides, insecticides, algaecides, and herbicides, and are also commonly referred to as “soap salts.” Thus, they are ideal for cleaning a hardwood deck that has become infested with mold and mildew.

Here are the measures that must be taken:

  • Remove all of the potted plants and patio furniture off your deck;
  • Buy the ingredients for the potassium salt of fatty acids and prepare it as per the instructions you can see on the box. Please wear gloves at all times.
  • Buy the ingredients for the potassium salt of fatty acids and prepare it as per the instructions you can see on the box. Please wear gloves at all times.
  • You can buy the potassium salt of fatty acids and make it at home by following the directions on the package. Always use gloves when handling hazardous materials.
  • To finish cleaning the deck, repeat the previous steps on a different section.
  • Once you are finished cleaning your deck with soap and debris, rinse it off with a hose.
  • Protect it using the method of your choice, but wait until it’s dry before applying the solution.

How to clean a deck without a power washer by sanding and resealing it?

Here’s a little-known fact: sanding is required even for those who choose to power-wash their deck.

The floorboards will splinter because wood expands when moist, causing the fibres to rise to the surface. The deck will not look the same if it is not sanded thoroughly.

Consequently, it’s obligatory regardless of your decision.

How to clean a concrete patio without a pressure washer?

To those who think we are just concerned with those who have wooden patios, you could not be more mistaken.

Let’s start with an overarching strategy. Follow these instructions to clean concrete without using a pressure washer:

  • Take everything off your deck, including the furniture and plants, as a first step.
  • For a spotless finish, give it a thorough sweeping.
  • Weeds that have made through through the concrete gaps will also need to be removed.

If your concrete patio has been gently stained, you can use this bleach-based do-it-yourself treatment.

  • To make a dishwashing solution, combine 1/8 cup of liquid dish soap with water and bleach.
  • Pour the remedy into a spray bottle;
  • Spray the deck down thoroughly;
  • You should give it a few minutes to rest;
  • Nylon bristle brushes are ideal for cleaning your deck. This solution contains bleach, so be sure to always use protective gloves when handling it.
  • Do not use a metallic brush, as it is not recommended for this purpose. Little pieces may come off as you scrub. Time will cause them to corrode and leave unsightly scars on the concrete floor;
  • If you have any flower or vegetable gardens, please don’t spray them;
  • Commercial oxygen bleaches are available and offer a safer alternative;
  • After scrubbing, spray everything down with water from a hose;
  • Oxygen bleach should have a thick consistency, like peanut butter, so add a little water at a time. This is an excellent solution for stained concrete decks. Put it on the stained areas and let it soak in for an hour;
  • Scrub again with your nylon brush.

How to look after your Garden Decking | Blog | George Hill Timber & Building Supplies

Eco-friendly cleaners to ease scrubbing your concrete deck

Furthermore, there exists a wide variety of options that are much gentler on the planet. They are also budget-friendly because you presumably already have all the necessary components on hand.

How to clean concrete without pressure washer using soda and bleach paste?

There isn’t much to this recipe.

You may make a conventional concrete cleanser suitable for removing hardened stains on your deck by combining two parts bleach with three parts baking soda. In the fall, for instance, decaying leaves might leave behind unsightly stains.

Pea soup consistency is about right for this solution. Create a consistency that allows you to pour it, but is still thick enough to contain any spills.

Use vinegar as a pressure washer alternative for algae

They are annoying, we agree.

But fortunately, the answer has probably already been sitting in your kitchen cupboard: vinegar!

Algae can be killed by spraying them with undiluted vinegar or, if that fails, pool chlorine. You’ll quickly eliminate that problem.

Clean concrete without pressure washer using baking soda

It’s not a complicated recipe:

  • Combine 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water;
  • Add a pinch of dishwashing liquid;
  • You should spray your concrete patio and let it set for half an hour.
  • Scrub it down and then spray it down with the hose.
  • To prevent further stains on your deck, apply a concrete sealant.

Mix vinegar and water for small areas

You can give this homemade remedy for clean decking without a power washer a try as soon as tomorrow.

  • In a spray bottle, combine salt, water, and vinegar. You need to use the same amount of vinegar as water.
  • Toss in a little bit of salt.
  • Apply it only to the pinpoint stain you can see.
  • Leave it alone for twenty minutes, then scrub it well.

In this case, the spray bottle’s high degree of accuracy is ideal. You can spray only the affected area, protecting your grass and plants from the potentially harmful chemicals.

Apply enzymatic cleaners to get pet stains out (domestic or wild)

In order to remove protein stains caused by animals, this solution is ideal.

Nonetheless, the enzymatic cleanser should not be watered down. All you have to do is dab it on the stain and walk away while it does its magic. They work, but it could take several days for the stain to be completely removed. If you need more information, look at the package instructions.

Try oil cleaners for crayon stains that won’t wash off

If your concrete deck is discolored from non-washable crayons, this is a brilliant solution.

Crayon stains can be cleaned with oil-based solutions. Give them some time to work, and then scrub with a plastic scrub brush.

Clean grease stains with laundry detergent

It’s easy to make a paste out of any powdered laundry detergent you have on hand and some water.

  • Use it on the concrete deck spots you can see.
  • Put some plastic wrap over them.
  • Put the past on tape for After some time, the plastic wrap may dry out and blow off.
  • Just leave it alone for a day.
  • You should scrub it off and then spray it down with the hose.

Scatter kitty litter for oil stains

This approach has the added bonus of being entertaining to use.

  • Cat litter made of clay can be used to absorb oil spills.
  • Put some pressure on it with your foot and grind it.
  • Take care of it after a day and sweep it all up.

Find out the simple and quick method for removing oil stains from your garage floor.

Use degreasing agents for grease, oil or hydrocarbon stains

Degreasers, or alkaline cleaners, serve the same purpose. They are effective at removing oil stains.

  • Leave the agent on for as long as it says on the box, usually four hours.
  • Use a rag to gently rub the area in order to lift the stain.
  • Use water to clean off your hands, clothes, and everything else.

If the stains persist, apply it again, or dilute it to reduce its potency if necessary. You may find these items in hardware stores and, of course, on the web.

Mix laundry detergent and bleach for mildew

Plants adjacent to your deck are a common source of mildew.

Here are some options you might consider.

  • Combine 1/3 cup of laundry detergent with 3 gallons of water and 1 gallon of bleach.
  • Spread it on and let it dry until it turns white.
  • Avoid letting it dry out.
  • You should clean it off with water.
  • If the discoloration does not fade after a few days, you may choose to reposition your plants on the deck so that they can be dried naturally by the sun.

Can I clean my garden furniture without a power washer?

Let’s classify the many kinds of outdoor furniture according to the materials they’re constructed of to help you decide.

Outdoor furniture made of cane

Aluminum cast outdoor seating

Antique wrought-iron and cast-iron pieces

Resin-based home furnishings

Contemporary furniture made from tubing

Amish-made solid wood furnishings

Read our advice on how to clean sofa cushions for help with your upholstered furniture.

Wood preservative and varnish are both necessary for furniture constructed from softer woods including beech, ash, elm, and pine.

If your yard is a disaster, hire Go Cleaners London’s garden clearance service to help you clean up the area.

Deck cleaning without pressure washer

Before You Buy Deck Cleaner

If your deck has mold or mildew growth, treating it with the right cleaner can actually extend its useful life, in addition to improving its appearance. Decks can be shielded from the elements and harmful UV rays with the help of a deck cleanser before a stain or sealer is applied. In a nutshell, it’s a must-have item for any deck owner.

Types of Deck Cleaner

Choose a deck cleanser that is both appropriate for the decking material and effective against the specific type of grime or debris you wish to remove, such as dirt, grease, stains, mold, or mildew. Some deck cleaners are designed to be used in pressure washers, while others are sprayed or brushed over the deck. The components in the no-rinse choices keep working to clean or preserve the deck for weeks after it has been cleaned.

All-Purpose Wood Deck Cleaner

Detergents in multipurpose wood deck cleansers loosen and remove soil, spills, and grime from deck surfaces. You can buy them ready-to-use, meaning you only have to pour them on, or you can buy them in concentrated crystal or liquid form and dilute them with water.

These products can be used on pressure-treated wood decks, as well as external woods including cedar, teak, and redwood that have been treated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or copper azole (CA).

A deck cleanser is applied with a sprayer or deck brush, distributed with a mop, and then rinsed with a garden hose. Certain stains may demand more effort when cleaning, such as the use of a deck brush.

Gentle All-Purpose Deck Cleaner

There are unique challenges to cleaning painted wood decks, which are typically color-coordinated with the rest of the house’s trim. Cleaning with harsh chemicals can damage painted surfaces, reducing shine and sometimes causing cracking and peeling. It is recommended that a painted wood deck be cleaned with a mild, ammonia-free deck cleaner. It’s possible that the product includes stain-fighting surfactants.

The cleaner’s label must declare clearly that it is safe to use on painted surfaces. Cleaning a painted deck is as simple as spraying or squirting a pre-mixed cleaner over the surface, mopping softly to remove dirt and grime, and then drying the deck with clean, soft cloths.

Restorative Wood Deck Cleaner

Even after being sealed, cedar and redwood decks always lose their luster and take on a drab, weathered appearance. The wood grain or the areas around screws can develop rusty streaks.

If your deck looks like this, look for a cleaner that promises to “lighten” or “brighten” the surface. These cleaners, which are also known as “restorative cleansers,” typically contain oxygenated components like sodium percarbonate or bleach to lighten the wood and erase the stains.

This type of cleaning is often sprayed onto the deck, scrubbed into the grain with a deck brush, and then washed off with a garden hose.

Composite Wood Deck Cleaner

Composite decking is made from recycled plastic and scrap wood and has a waterproof, rot-proof surface. Cleaning products designed for wooden decks may be too abrasive for composite ones, particularly if they contain brightening agents that might remove the deck’s gloss and leave it looking drab and unappealing.

Deck cleaners for composite timber, whether pre-mixed or liquid concentrate, typically include surfactants. These components leave behind a light barrier that prevents stains from penetrating. The standard procedure for cleaning a composite deck involves spraying a cleaning solution on the surface, brushing it with a soft deck brush, and then rinsing it with a garden hose.

Vinyl Deck Cleaner

Vinyl decks, also known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking, are long-lasting and resistant to weather damage, with nonporous surfaces that survive most external all-purpose cleaners. Cleansers with bleaching agents and no-rinse deck cleaners that leave behind a film should be avoided since they might dull the surface. Cleaners that are safe for plastic and composite decks can also be used on today’s durable vinyl decks.

Mildewcide Deck Cleaner

Mold and mildew can form on a wood deck if you live in a wet climate. If the wood isn’t treated, these fungus will grow and eventually destroy the cellular structure, resulting in rot and disintegration.

In the event that you notice any flat black or green mildew patches or grayish-white powdery mildew stains, it’s time to search for a cleaner with mildewcide (either premixed formula or as a liquid concentrate).

Keep in mind that it is crucial that you not rinse off these disinfectants. Leaving the solution on the wood for an extended period of time helps the fungicide to penetrate deep into the wood, killing any spores there.

Deck Cleaner and Sealer

Deck cleaners typically solely contain detergents and don’t leave behind any sort of sealant. Some, however, have substances that embed themselves into the wood’s grain, leaving behind a film that repels dirt and dust for a while.

Some deck cleaners not only clean the deck but also provide some weather protection, much to how an automatic car wash leaves a film on the surface of a vehicle that temporarily sheds water. Although the one-step convenience of these combo treatments is appealing, a deck sealant should still be used. The ability to repel water won’t last forever.

Eco-Friendly Deck Cleaner

There are a number of deck cleaners on the market now that are safe for the environment and won’t kill the grass or plants around your home. Vinegar can be used to cut through grease, and baking soda can be used to restore luster to aged wood, both of which are common, safe household products.

Environmentally friendly deck cleaners often include contain peroxide and oxygen bleach, both of which are common household products. These gentler cleaners, sprayed with a power washer, can successfully remove deck stains and shine wood without creating a hazardous risk.

Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt and fully rinse off any splashes that come on the skin before applying any deck cleaning, as even eco-friendly cleansers can irritate the skin. Put on safety glasses so you don’t get any solution in your eyes.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Deck Cleaner

At the beginning of summer, you may wish to use a deck cleaner to get rid of mildew and leaf decay stains and revive the deck in preparation for the summer’s outdoor entertaining season. Before sealing or staining a deck, it is important to give it a thorough washing.

It’s important to remember that the finest deck cleaning solution isn’t necessarily one specifically marketed for decks, but rather an exterior house or siding cleaner that can be safely used on decks. Read on to find out what criteria you should use to determine which deck cleaner is right for you.

Premixed vs. Concentrated

The most user-friendly deck cleaners are the pre-mixed liquid varieties: Just pour it into a bucket or pump sprayer and apply it with a spray gun or a deck brush.

Both powdered granule and liquid forms of concentrated deck cleaners exist, and both require dilution with water before use. Another option is to use a hose-end sprayer or the attached dispenser of a pressure washer to dilute a concentrated liquid deck cleanser before applying it to the surface.


A ready-to-use gallon of liquid deck cleaning may typically treat between 250 and 500 square feet of decking, though this can vary depending on the amount of dirt, mold, and stains present. Compared to a hose-end dispenser, the water pressure in a pressure washer is much stronger, making it ideal for applying deck cleaner.

A deck cleaning solution can treat more surface area if the deck is pre-wet with a garden hose to loosen stubborn dirt and debris.


Certain deck cleaners have chemicals that could kill or severely damage any vegetation in their immediate vicinity. After washing the deck, rinsing off any nearby grass or plants is the best approach to minimize any potential harm. Some deck cleaning products call for watering the lawn and plants before proceeding with the deck cleaning.

Using a pressure washer presents some additional safety concerns because the water coming out of the nozzle exerts such a high amount of force that it can easily cut the skin on bare feet and legs and even tear off chunks of delicate deck wood. If you want to get the best results from your pressure washer, it’s best to start with the lowest setting and work your way up to the highest one.


Deck cleanser can be applied with a pressure washer, a pump sprayer, or the hose end of a garden hose, and then the decking can be scrubbed with a stiff deck brush to remove stubborn particles. Another option is to use a scrub brush and a pail of water to apply a solution of concentrated deck cleanser on the deck.

Not all deck cleaners need to be rinsed off after application; some are made to stay on the decking to completely saturate the wood with mold- and algae-fighting chemicals. Certain products should not be rinsed off the deck since they include polymers that establish a protective coating on the surface.

Our Top Picks

To be an excellent choice, a deck cleaner must be able to effectively eradicate the common stains seen on outdoor decks. Deck brighteners and mold removers are two examples of specialty solutions that can help restore the deck’s original beauty. Although the most effective deck cleansers will differ from user to user, the following items will help revitalize a tired deck.

Wet & Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew & Algae Stain Remover

Wood Deck Cleaner: How To Clean Decking with Osmo? - Osmo UKSpecially formulated mold and mildew remover from Wet & Forget is a liquid concentration that may be diluted with water and applied with a pump sprayer, a deck brush, or a hose-end sprayer. No washing, mopping, or even rinsing of the wood decking is necessary; simply soak it thoroughly and let it dry. Mold may be killed and removed with the help of the mildewcide in the solution, and the wood can be conditioned to prevent the growth of mold, moss, and mildew in the future. Safe for use on pathways and most types of siding, one gallon treatments up to 2,250 square feet.

FAQs About the Best Deck Cleaners

A dirty deck in the backyard is an eyesore and a waste of space that could be used for entertaining and relaxing. Decks may be restored to their best appearance with the help of a detergent that can eradicate mold and mildew growth. Deck cleaning novices are anticipated to have some inquiries.

Q. What should I use to clean my wood deck?

The best option is to hire a professional deck cleaning service. Pick one that is made specifically for removing the specific kind of stain that has accumulated on your deck.

Q. Should you pressure wash a deck before staining?

When preparing a deck for staining, pressure washing is the most effective method for removing stubborn dirt and grime.

Q. Is it better to sand or power wash a deck?

Neither approach is without merit. Before applying any stain or sealant, sand down the deck to get rid of any splinters or rough spots. You can get rid of mold, mildew, and filth by giving your deck a good power washing.

Q. How do I clean my deck without a pressure washer?

If you don’t have access to a pressure washer, you can physically scrub the wood with a deck brush and a deck cleaner. You might need a hose to remove the cleaner after you apply it.

It’s A Wrap!

You may now clean a concrete or wooden deck without the need for a power washer, thanks to the information you have just gained. Make the effort to master each one; doing so will pay dividends. It’s a lengthy process, but the end product is well worth the effort. To top it all off, you only need to use kitchen staples to make it, and it won’t break the bank. You should learn how to clean a wood fence with a pressure washer and how to clean a concrete patio without a pressure washer, so you should read further articles.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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