How to Clean an Outdoor Wooden Deck

Outdoor wood decks provide extra space for relaxing, entertaining, sunbathing and miscellaneous activities. They are commonly composed of durable woods, such as cedar, redwood or pine, for longevity. However, exposure to dirt, grease and organic matter causes wood decks to become dull and discoloured. Periodically washing decks restores their natural wood hues and increases their lifespan. Properly maintained wood decks complement landscapes and add aesthetic appeal to properties. Fortunately, basic supplies can clean an outdoor wooden deck.

Clear all furniture and movable objects, such as grills, off the deck.

Spray the entire deck with a garden hose to rinse away loose debris particles. Using a powerful spray nozzle, blast accumulated grime out from the cracks between the wood planks.

Combine equal parts of water and biodegradable wood cleaner in a garden pump sprayer tank. Use the specific quantities of water and cleaner listed on the product's label.

Spray the wood cleaner solution onto the deck railings. Allow the solution to permeate the wood for 10 minutes.

Scrub the wood railings with a fibre bristle scrub brush to dislodge all dirt, grime and gunk. Frequently spray the brush with fresh water to wash accumulated debris out of the bristles and prevent reapplying gunk to the wood.

Rinse the railing with the garden hose once it is completely clean.

Apply the wood cleaner solution to the deck floor and steps using the same cleaning techniques. Scrub the wood with a telescoping pole brush to prevent straining your back.

Rinse the entire deck with the garden hose to wash away remaining grime and wood cleaner. Let the deck air dry.


You can substitute 1/2 cup of liquid washing powder for the biodegradable wood cleaner.


Power washers can damage the wood fibres in decks. Wire brushes can scratch and mar wood decks.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Spray nozzle
  • Biodegradable wood cleaner
  • Garden pump sprayer
  • Fibre bristle scrub brush
  • Telescoping pole brush
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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.