Garden Advice

How to Clean a Deck Without a Power Washer

Your wooden deck is without a doubt a wonderful addition to every backyard, patio or terrace but will a stream of a pressure washer hurt the surface?

It can be the entrance to your home, your private outdoor area or where your mini garden grows, however, if you want to enjoy your decking for the years to come, you will have to learn how to properly maintain it. You’ve probably seen people hiring professional jet washing services but never hired one yourself. There is nothing that will upkeep your deck over the decades as regular maintenance but when the friable at sight, restraining from washing a wooden deck with a pressure washer might be the right choice.

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Thankfully, you don’t have to make that! There are many DIY methods and solutions that you can do to clean your deck without the help of a pressure washer. 

Keep in mind, though, that even if this sounds like an easy-to-achieve task, cleaning your wooden decking on your own will take both time and effort.

However, keep your chin up, as hard doesn’t mean impossible. 

So, without further ado, the pressure washing expert at Fantastic Services have the following tips to help you figure out how to clean a deck without a power washer.

Why you should clean your deck

First of all, a neglected deck can look pretty gruesome. With time, permanent stains can start to develop, the wood becomes cracked, and in some cases even mould and mildew will show up. All of this happens due to the fact that garden decking is exposed to all kinds of weather conditions. The surface also gets affected by the sun, drowned by the spring rains, suffers from wet autumn leaves, and let’s not forget about the wrath of winter.

That said, a neglected deck can turn into a dangerous one. If you don’t take care of this area of your garden, it will start to dry rot. Many homeowners don’t know about this factor and end up with a destroyed decking, while also putting their physical health at risk.

How to clean decking the DIY way

Now that we’ve covered why it’s so important to take care of your deck, it’s time for the fun part: the actual cleaning process. But before we start with the tips… 

The supplies you will need

  • A broom
  • Garden hose
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Vinegar
  • A general cleaning detergent
  • A wood deck cleaning product
  • Trisodium Phosphate

How to prepare the surface

We are almost there. Every good cleaning job requires a bit of preparation. The same rule applies for your deck.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Move any outdoor furniture, pots, toys, etc. You need to have a clear working space.
  2. Protect any flowers planted near the deck with a plastic cover. This step is necessary because the chemicals you are going to use can potentially kill your plant-friends.
  3. Get the broom we talked about earlier and sweep the dirt from the deck. Make sure to remove as much of it as possible.
  4. Rinse the surface with the garden hose. You need to get rid of as much dirt and debris as possible so doesn’t rot and damage the deck. 
  5. Repeat the last two steps until the decking is completely clean.

DIY cleaning methods & solutions 

Prepare a mixture of oxygen bleach and detergent

Remembered the mould and mildew problem we discussed earlier? A splash of oxygen bleach mixed with a bit of cleaning detergent can destroy the nasty spots. Just get yourself a bucket, fill it up with warm water and add a 1:1 ratio of both oxygen bleach and cleaning agent. Pour the solution on top of the mouldy stains and wait for about 15 minutes, but no longer than that. Then, get your broom and start scrubbing the treated area. After that just rinse the wood with cold water and you are done.

Use a general wood deck cleaner

If the area is not that dirty, a general cleaning solution will do the job. To efficiently clean your decking, again, get a bucket, pour 4 litres of water and stir up 1 cup of laundry detergent in it. Apply the mixture on top of the deck and work it into its surface with your broom. Let the solution sit there for about 10 minutes and rub it in with the broom once more. Get your garden hose out and rinse the deck from the solution. 

Stir up a general maintenance vinegar spray

If you are looking for a fast, easy and cheap way to keep your deck looking good, this DIY vinegar spray is the way to go. However, note that this method is not suitable for heavy-duty cleaning endeavours, just for general upkeep. So, measure out 2 cups of white vinegar and pour them in a container filled with warm water. Treat your deck with the solution and let it do its magic for around 10 minutes. Grab a stiff brush and work the mixture into the wood. After you are done, again, wash the area with cold water to get rid off any vinegar residue. 

Try Trisodium Phosphate 

If you are on the lookout for a cleaning method that will really transform your deck, TSP is your best bet. The product is typically used to clean up exteriors areas from paint. Note that you need to be extra careful when tampering with this solution because it can damage painted surfaces and metal area. It can also stain the wood on your deck if it’s left to sit for too long.

Mix ½ cup of TSP with 7 litres of warm water and stir well. Add a splash of oxygen bleach to address any mould or mildew spots. Spread the solution on the deck and work it in with your broom. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes and wash the area with cold water. Repeat the rinsing process until all of the TSP residue is gone. 

Finishing touches

We are not quite done yet. After you’ve cleaned the deck to the point at which it looks perfectly clean, you have still a bit more work to do.  

If you wish to spare yourself the task of repeating the whole cleaning process, we’ve just described, you’ll have to apply a protective product on top of the deck. By doing this, you not only avoid future heavy-duty cleaning, but you expand the deck’s life as well. So, before you start applying a sealant on the decking, check if the wood has already been treated. If it looks OK, meaning there aren’t any cracks or missing chunks of product, you can skip this step. If not – we advise on re-applying the sealing agent. 

Once you’ve let the protective agent completely dry out, you can continue with rearranging your furniture and other garden items. Take this chance to declutter. Do you really need that old broken flower pot? How about the sun-bleached chair pillow? Throw everything that makes your garden space look unkempt. 

Ta-da! At last, you get to enjoy your freshly renovated deck and garden! Make yourself a tall glass of lemonade, grab a good book and run outside to soak up a bit of vitamin D!

Why not just hire a professional?

As you can see, cleaning your deck without a pressure washer involves a lot of chemicals, waiting, and scrubbing. With that being said, why not just hire a professional who has a pressure washer? We, at Fantastic Services, offer easy-to-book cleaning solutions for your deck. Our pressure washing services are eco-friendly, detergent-free and include the use of only high-end equipment.

So, what are you waiting for? Spare yourself the back pain of cleaning your wood deck the old fashioned way and contact Fantastic Services today!

Click more to learn how our pressure washing can make your deck look like new again!


  • If you use oxygen bleach to clean your deck, make sure not to leave it for more than 10 minutes on top of the wood, otherwise, you risk discolouration.
  • Take your time to remove as much dirt as possible beforehand, especially grime and debris located in between the wood panels of the deck.
  • For best results, get a professional to pressure wash the decking for you.


We hope you found our article on how to clean a wooden deck without a pressure washer helpful and informative. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

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