September 9, 2021

The One-stop Guide to Clean the Composite/Wooden Deck

Harmony Van Kuyl

Harmony Van Kuyl


You want to build a deck, where you can relax and enjoy yourself with your friends and family. We know how you feel, excited! But you have a lot of questions in mind when it comes to care and maintenance, and it is…

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You want to build a deck, where you can relax and enjoy yourself with your friends and family. We know how you feel, excited! But you have a lot of questions in mind when it comes to care and maintenance, and it is important! You need to know both the pros and cons of both the composite/wooden decks before you start cleaning them. Apart from the regular cleaning routines, you must stay aware of the maintenance required from time to time.

If your decks are made from natural wood, then cleaning the wooden deck requires a lot of care. Just buy a deck cleaning solution from your local hardware store or you can make a homemade cleaning solution for cleaning mildew, algae, oil and debris.

Apart from this, you also need to create a staining/sealing routine for your deck to make it look new & protect it from elements like heat and moisture. There might be some challenges, such as the wood might splinter, and you might need to do some sanding and replace the loose boards.

If you have composite decks, then you would have to do a much lower level of maintenance because it will not splinter, and you do not need to worry about periodic staining, painting or sealing.

If you have read this far, it means that you are interested in keeping your deck in the best shape. Read the following section, and you would know more about maintaining your deck like a pro!

The Materials required for Cleaning the Deck

Take a deck cleaning solution, and scrub it across the deck. Additionally, you would require a bucket, cleaner, garden hose, water nozzle and a power washer, and one extension pole.

You can use the regular homemade cleaning solutions on your deck, it will work whether you have a composite or wooden deck. Keep in mind that you need to add the right proportions and combination to develop the best solution: 

  • Warm water is suitable for washing both the wooden & composite decks.
  • Use Liquid ammonia-free dish soap mixed with warm water for cleaning the deck. Take 1 gallon of water, 2 spoons of ammonia-free dish soap, 1 pint of rubbing alcohol and 1 quart of oxygen bleach. Once the mixture is ready, then you use it to clean the deck.

Note: Make sure that you buy an ammonia free soap because if the ammonia gets mixed with bleach. Then, it will create toxic fumes that can cause breathing problems.

  • The normal oxygen bleach/ or any other powder-based oxygen laundry is safe to use on wooden decks to remove mould/spores. While cleaning the deck, you use oxygen bleach, not chlorine bleach that can damage the structural integrity of the wooden deck. 
  • You can use vinegar on both the composite and wooden deck, just mix ½ cup of white vinegar/apple cider vinegar to 1/4th cup of baking soda along with 1 gallon of water.

Steps to clean your wooden deck

Wooden decks need the right maintenance to keep them looking like new, but over time the wear & tear might adversely affect the quality of the deck. But if you do proper maintenance & care, then your wooden deck will keep on shining!

Here are the steps to clean your wooden deck:

  • Step 1: Prepare your deck

The first step here is to rinse your wooden deck, as it will loosen up the dried cellulose fibres. Once you do this, then you would notice that the cleaning solution would be easily dispersed throughout the deck.

  • Step 2: Prepare your solution

The second step that you need to do is to mix the cleaning solution into a 5-gallon bucket. Make sure that you follow all the instructions mentioned on the container of the cleaning solution.

  • Step 3: Scrub through the grains

Take a soft bristle brush and gently scrub to remove all the dirt, mildew, mould and stains. One more thing that you can do is to divide your cleaning solution into small patches throughout the deck area for consistent cleaning.

  • Step 4: Rinse the deck thoroughly

Take a garden hose, and a pressure washer to rinse the surface of the deck. Make sure that the weather is clear and nice. Once this process is complete, then give your deck a time of 24-48 hours before any cleaning/staining.

Steps to Clean a Composite Deck

Cleaning a composite deck might look different than cleaning wooden decks, and there are different methods involved. To keep your deck looking new & functional, you need to have the right care and cleaning. 

Stay away from all the household chemicals while cleaning your composite deck, as some of them might harm the surface of your deck. The process to clean the composite deck is simple to keep it looking fresh & clean with a homemade composite deck cleaning solution.

If you want to make your own eco-friendly composite deck cleaner, take soap(ammonia-free), water, vinegar, and a gentle pressure washer (about the power of 3100 psi). You can also add baking soda to remove the mould (if any). Once this is done, then take one soft bristle brush to remove all the dirt, debris, and grime.

Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1: Prepare your deck

The first step is to prepare your deck for cleaning, for this start spraying the deck area with water & hose to remove all the dirt from the surface.

Step 2: Scrub with Soapy Water

Once you have cleaned all the dirt and debris, then you can start scrubbing the deck board gently with a soft bristle brush.

Step 3: Rise the Deck thoroughly

Once you have scrubbed the deck completely, then you should rinse the deck thoroughly. Make sure to do this carefully because if the dirty water stays on the surface, then it might leave behind the marks on the composite surface.

We would recommend that you repeat this process 2 times a year to enhance the longevity of your composite deck.

Steps to Remove Mould from Composite Decking

If you have mould formation on your composite deck, then you should give vinegar a try.

Here are the detailed steps to remove the mould from composite decks:

  • Step 1: Prepare your Deck for cleaning:

Take one garden hose and power washer to remove as much mould as possible.

Note: Do not use too much pressure, as it might damage the surface of your composite deck.

  • Step 2: Mix your vinegar solution

Mix water and vinegar with a 2:1 ratio in the bucket. After this, pour the solution directly on the mould.

  • Step 3: Sprinkle the baking soda

Once you pour the vinegar solution, then sprinkle the baking soda on the same area. After letting the complete solution sit and soak for 20 minutes, then use a soft bristle brush to scrub the entire area of mould and mildew.

  • Step 4: Give it a proper rinse

Once you have sprinkled the baking soda, then rinse the area with water to clean the entire area with water.

Note: Make sure that you do not leave any layer of the solution on the deck, it can leave some stains.

This is all it takes! Cleaning the composite/wooden deck is no rocket science, all you need is some soapy water with gentle pressure. You can follow all these cleaning tips for wooden and composite decking respectively. It will help you to keep your deck in the best of condition so that you can enjoy outdoor parties, activities without any worries!

For more details: You can refer to our blog on how to properly maintain and clean your custom deck.

Looking to build your dream Deck? Contact JVK & Sons Today!

We at JVK and Sons Construction look forward to helping our clients. We care and value your time and investment. We serve across the suburbs of Brisbane, chapel hill, Fairfield, Wavell heights, Carindale, and the neighbourhoods of Donnybrook, Moggill.

Our decking experts are ready to work, and we provide services for:

●       Timber Decking

●       Composite Decking

●       Merbau Decking

In case if you have any inquiries then you can get in touch with us and get a free assessment today.

Start building your dream deck today!

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With incomparable precision and perfection their primary aim, JVK & Sons believe their work should be done efficiently and purposefully, the first time. Their friendly, respectful team of tradespeople are a reflection of their own empirical values and each tradesperson operates as an extension of Jason and Harmony’s values and in turn, their reputation. Within an industry high on waste, Jason and Harmony are continually monitoring and forecasting their working practices to move toward minimal waste, more circular building economies and the use of the most sustainable materials.


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