How to Make a Reliable Homemade Deck Cleaner

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Keep your outdoor fun platform looking fantastic for pennies—while without hurting neighbyouring plants.

An outdoor deck receives a lot of foot traffic. Muddy shoes spilled food, and wet pets may all leave it filthy, discolored, and odorous. Even if the deck isn’t used for entertaining, it’s subject to the elements, which include pollen, leaves, and algae. However, you do not need to use a harsh, costly deck cleaner to restore it. Mix up a batch of eco-friendly homemade deck cleaning, apply it with a deck brush and a little elbow work, and then rinse away all sorts of filth and grime for a rejuvenated deck in under 30 minutes.

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Before You Make Your Own Homemade Deck Cleaner, Here Are Some Safety Recommendations

Make a plant-friendly deck cleaner at home.

The use of harsh materials and harmful chemicals on an outdoor deck can damage adjacent grass and other vegetation, therefore only non-toxic cleaners should be used. OxiClean includes sodium percarbonate, a hydrogen peroxide derivative that is effective at eliminating a wide range of difficult stains and spills. Best of all, it is eco-friendly and biodegradable, which means it will not hurt plants or pollute the environment.

Use a power washer or pressure washer to clean your deck, not a DIY deck cleaner.

Because power washers and pressure washers have tiny nozzles that generate tremendous water pressure, any granular cleaner that does not completely dissolve might block the nozzle and leave the washer unusable. The active components in this DIY deck cleaner formula do all of the cleaning jobs, and no strong water pressure is necessary. A standard garden hose is more than adequate for rinsing away the cleaning.

To protect your skin and hands, Wear gloves when creating your cleaner.

In excessive quantities, cleaners and boosting agents like Borax can cause skin discomfort. Even though this DIY deck cleaning solution is not harmful, needing rubber gloves while preparing and applying the solution is recommended. If you receive droplets on your skin, simply rinse them off.

Never combine ammonia-based substances with bleach.

Some items can be safely mixed, but do not combine an ammonia-containing product with a bleach solution. When these two chemicals are combined, hazardous chloramine gas is produced, which can cause eye, nose, mouth, and respiratory irritation.

Before applying treatments, allow this bleach-based cleaner to thoroughly dry.

Additional deck treatments, including staining, painting, or sealing, should be performed only after the deck is totally dry to avoid the bleach components interacting with other chemicals. It’s also a good idea to wait until the deck has dried before performing deck repairs like replacing rusted screws or strengthening deck boards.

Make sure to keep your homemade deck cleaning solution in a you well-ventilated place.

Although this DIY deck cleaner is not a harmful chemical, it does produce an odor that some people may find unpleasant. Because it is intended for outdoor usage, store it outside until you use it to clean the deck, and then dispose of any leftovers. Each time you clean the deck, make a new batch.

Keep your solution out of children’s reach.

Children are naturally inquisitive, and a bucket of the warm sudsy solution may appear to be an appealing toy. While this homemade deck cleaner is mild in comparison to other deck cleaners, it is still a cleaner and, like all cleaners, should be kept out of children’s reach.

Homemade Deck Cleaner

Clear And Spray

Clear the deck of any furniture, grills, gardening pots, and other outdoor equipment that may be stored elsewhere. Using your garden hose, liberally spray the deck to loosen and soften dirt and debris, making it simpler to remove.

Prepare Solution

pour 2 gallons of warm water into a plastic bucket large enough to hold the head of a deck brush for the finest DIY wood deck cleaning. (While a standard broom would do, a specialist deck scrub brush—a broom-like instrument intended to reach straight into the grooves between boards—works best.)

  1. Add 2 cups of powdered oxygen bleach (e.g., OxiClean, available in the laundry detergent section at the supermarket store), which is gentler than liquid chlorine bleach, to the bucket.
  2. Gently stir until the powdered bleach is entirely dissolved.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup liquid dish soap to distribute it throughout the solution.

While the chemicals listed here are reasonably safe and will not harm garden plants, it’s a good idea to use goggles and rubber gloves to protect sensitive eyes and skin if the homemade deck cleaner spills.

Apply and Scrub

Saturate the deck surface liberally by dipping the brush into the homemade cleaning solution and slashing it over the planks. Cleaning your deck needing the brush to create up a light lather, starting at one end and working your way to the other, resetting the brush’s bristles as needed. Allow the solution to sit for 15 minutes to allow the oxygen bleach to operate.


Using the outdoor hose, remove the DIY deck cleaning. Before repainting your deck, let it dry naturally and fully in the sun’s rays.

Mildew and Algae Eliminator

If you reside in an area with a lot of moisture in the air, you may have mildew and/or algae problems on your deck. This is especially true if the deck is frequently in a shady location, because bacteria growth may be both harmful and unattractive.

You’ll need:

  • Phosphate of trisodium (also known as TSP)
  • Powdered oxygen bleach (located in the laundry section of your local supermarket)
  • Water That Is Warm


  1. For every two gallons of warm water, add 1.5 cup of TSP.
  2. If there is an excessive quantity of mold, add 1 cup of bleach. If you’re worried about a too-strong combination, start with one cup of TSP and always use powdered oxygen bleach instead of liquid chlorine bleach, which might harm the wood.
  3. Wash down your deck with the hose to free up the wood and make cleaning easier. Then, instead of being on your hands and knees, use a scrub brush linked to a long pole or handle to avoid breathing in the TSP and bleach.
  4. Rinse the mixture with water and repeat if required.

How To Maintain A Clean Deck

Borax can be used to get rid of mildew. If you have obvious mildew stains on your deck surface, add 1 cup of powdered Borax to the solution at the same time you add the oxygen bleach. Borax is a naturally occurring mineral component that will not harm surrounding landscaping plants. Follow the steps outlined above to implement the solution.

Use oxygen bleach paste to remove stains. To remove a tough stain, create a paste with warm water and a tiny amount of powdered oxygen bleach. Apply with a stiff-bristled brush straight to the stain and let on for 30 minutes before rinsing.

SIep away dirt as soon as possible. A gentle stepping—ideally, daily—will remove loose dirt, leaves, and other debris from your deck before it can be crushed into the wood surface. If you despise stepping (and who can blame you? ), consider utilizing a cordless blower. This is essentially a lightweight, simple-to-use leaf blower that quickly clears twigs, dirt, and other natural dirt and grime. I propose Black & Decker products, such as the 20V Max Lithium Cordless Sweeper.

Once a year, apply a penetrating sealant. Wood is a natural substance, and even pressure-treated decks can deteriorate over time due to UV radiation, It/dry cycles, and temperature variations. Treat your deck with an excellent penetrating sealer once a year to extend its usable life. The ideal time to apply a sealer is after you’ve thoroughly cleaned your deck!

How to Make a Reliable Homemade Deck Cleaner Bottom Line

Take a glance at you now that your deck is spotless. If your wood handrails, balusters, or outdoor wooden furniture are looking a little worn, make another batch of DIY cleaning to properly restore them and you’ll be ready for any outdoor event, big or little.

More On Cleaning Outside the House

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You can also grab a copy of my cleaning planner, The Get It Clean Cleaning Planner here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks and checklists that can help you get your house clean, and keep it clean once and for all.

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