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How to Clean a Wood Fence Without Powerwashing

Wood fences add beauty and privacy to any home. They are constantly exposed to the weather, leaving them susceptible to dirt, mould, mildew and other unsightly substances. Many people use a pressure washer for cleaning a wood fence. Although pressure washers can be effective at cleaning a wood fence, they can also cause damage to the wood if used on too high a setting. Wood fences can be cleaned without the use of a pressure washer. Clean your wood fence every three to five years for optimal results.

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  1. Cover surrounding landscaping, shrubbery, grass and any other items that you wish to not be exposed to the cleaning solution. Bleach and other cleaning products can be toxic to plants. Drape plastic sheeting over them. Place duct tape over any nearby electrical sockets that might be exposed to water during cleaning.

  2. Fill a bucket with chlorine bleach and water solution. Use one part bleach to two parts warm water.

  3. Wear rubber gloves because bleach is caustic. Dip a medium-bristled scrub brush into the bucket of cleaning solution. Scrub the fence with a liberal amount of the cleaning solution.

  4. Allow the bleach mixture to sit on the fence for about 10 minutes, or until you notice that the dirt, mildew and grime is beginning to disappear. Scrub the fence with additional cleaning solution, if necessary. Depending on the size of the fence, it might be necessary to work in sections so that the bleach solution does not dry onto the fence before it is rinsed off.

  5. Rinse the fence. Use a garden hose with a spray nozzle set on a high-pressure setting. Wash the cleaning solution off of the fence from the top down to avoid streaking the clean part of the fence with the dirty cleaning solution. Allow the fence to air dry.

  6. Clean wood fences with oxygen bleach for a less toxic alternative. Oxygen bleach is effective at removing mould, mildew, dirt and most other grime. Fill a bucket with one gallon of hot water. Add 236ml. of oxygen bleach to the water, and allow it to dissolve. Apply the oxygen bleach mixture to the fence using a scrub brush. Allow it to sit on the fence for at least 10 minutes. Rinse the solution from the fence with water from the garden hose. Allow the fence to air dry.

  7. Warning

    Wear protective eye wear and old clothing that covers your arms and legs to protect yourself from the cleaning solution.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Bucket
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Medium-bristled scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • 227gr. oxygen bleach

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.

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