How to clean decking

Cleaning decking is easy with these tips on the best methods and deck cleaners to use!

Updated 7 June 2022


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time2 minutes

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Key Steps:

  • Remember to remove any weeds or large clumps of moss from your decking before applying a cleaning solution. Use a hoe or stiff brush to do so. It will be a lot easier to remove the weeds when they’re dry instead of wet and soggy.

Outside decking can be a glorious place to sit and enjoy the sunshine. But it’s important to regularly clean and maintain your decking to ensure it remains an attractive and safe feature of your garden. Often, cleaning decking can be done in the same way as cleaning a patio or any other outdoor surface, but it is especially important to clean decking regularly, as wood can become discoloured and damaged much more quickly than paving slabs or other stone surfaces.

Using a stiff brush to sweep your decking on a regular basis will discourage the growth of weeds – keeping them from growing into substantial rather than small irritations!

Decking Cleaning Equipment

What You'll need:

  • Oxygen bleach, or a specially designed deck cleaner. Oxygen bleach is preferable to chlorine bleach, which could be harmful to plants and animals outdoors. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and wear protective clothing or old clothes if necessary.

  • A sprayer or watering can with a hose nozzle to apply cleaner to the decking

  • A broom or stiff-bristled brush

  • A scraper

  • A butter knife or similar

  • A hose or pressure cleaner to rinse clean

How to Clean Decking: a step-by-step guide

  1. 1

    The first step in deck cleaning is to clear the surface, moving furniture and any other objects away from the area.

  2. 2

    Remove any large clumps of moss or algae growth with a stiff brush, hoe, or scraper. Use a butter knife or similar to remove any large items of rubbish or persistent weed growth between the planks – be careful not to scratch your decking in the process.

  3. 3

    Realign any dislodged planks, and replace any that are warped.

  4. 4

    Dilute or otherwise prepare your chosen cleaning product according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and use the watering can or sprayer to sprinkle it over your decking.

  5. 5

    Scrub or brush the surface firmly to get rid of stains. Read the directions on the deck cleaner and test the product on a small area first. Then, allow the deck cleaner to sit on the decking for the recommended time.

  6. 6

    Rinse clean with your hose or pressure cleaner.

You may also like to protect your decking with a stain or colourless decking protector. You can test to see whether this is necessary by (once it has dried!) sprinkling some water onto the decking. If it is absorbed rapidly, a water-resistant coating may help prolong the life of your clean decking – and keep it looking tidy to boot. However, you should leave at least two days for the decking to dry thoroughly before applying any protective product – just follow the directions on the label.

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