How to remove deck stain with a power wash

Written by kimberleo
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How to remove deck stain with a power wash
To remove the stain, you need to penetrate the pores. (deck image by Albert Lozano from

Restoring a deck is cost effective compared to rebuilding a deck. In part of the restoration process, you may want to re-stain the deck to give it a completely new look. Wood stains work differently than a paint; stains penetrate into the pores of the wood where paint sits on the top. As a result, removing a stain off of your deck is more difficult than stripping paint from it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Two-part wood bleach
  • Scrub brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sander
  • Respirator/Mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Bucket

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  1. 1

    Place safety goggles and rubber gloves on.

  2. 2

    Mix two-part bleach with water in a one-to-three ratio in a bucket. This bleach is stronger than household chlorine bleach and is found at local hardware or home improvement stores. For safety reasons, pour the bleach into the water, not the water into the bleach.

  3. 3

    Dip the scrub brush in the solution, getting it wet. Scrub the wood surface with the bleach. The solution will penetrate the pores of the wood and bleach the colour. (You can not remove stain, only lighten it with bleach.)

  4. 4

    Power wash the surface with fresh water. Use long continuous strokes with the power washer. Set the nozzle at a 40 degree width and turn the pressure on to 1000-1200 psi. Allow the wood to dry.

  5. 5

    Sand the surface to remove any excess stains on the surface. (Use a respirator when doing this to prevent breathing in any bleached particles of wood.)

  6. 6

    Power wash the surface one more time and allow it to dry before applying a new stain.

Tips and warnings

  • If you get bleach on your skin or eyes, flush out with water immediately and seek medical attention.

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