How to Treat Deck Stains.

Posted by Terry Jennings on

How to Treat Deck Stains.

In many homes, decks are one of people’s favorite places to gather. Decks are where you gather with family and friends, which is always shared with lots of food and of course mess. Eating barbecue while enjoying a glass of wine with your family and pets around can sometimes leave unpleasant stains on your deck. Moreover, decks are exposed to wind, rain, falling leaves, moss, and other forces of nature. That’s why keeping your deck clean and looking good can be a difficult task for most homeowners. 

Here is our guide on how to treat and remove deck stains.

1. Prepare your deck for cleaning.

Remove all of the furniture and objects from your deck so that you have full access to hard-to-reach places.In order to protect and make your deck last, you should clean your entire deck 1 - 2 times a year. The amount that you need to clean your deck will depend on location and how much you use your deck.

2. Remove dirt from cracks and crevasses.

Decks splinter and dirt will get inside theses small cracks. Typically these cracks will have exposed wood; by letting dirt or moss set you are allowing the exposed wood to rot in these locations. We call these splinters chinks. Start by using a putty knife or scrubber to remove dirt, leaves, and moss from the chinks. Learn more about tools that can help you keep your chinks clean in this article. Chinking Tool List.

3. Rinse your deck with a hose

Use the hose to rinse the deck. Only use a pressure washer if you plan on refinishing the deck. Pressure washers will typically take off some of your finish. Make sure the flow of water is strong enough so that it can remove small pieces of dirt from the chinks between the wood.

4. Use oxygen bleach to wash the deck

Unlike chlorinated bleach, oxygen bleach is an eco-friendly cleaner. It will not harm plants, animals or your family and works great on decks. Add bleach to the water, according to the ratio stated in the instructions on the bottle. Then use a brush to scrub the deck surface and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. Then rinse the deck with water to remove what's left.

Useful tips!

How to remove wine and food stains from your deck.

Wine is a common and difficult stain to remove, especially if it has had time to set. One of the best ways to remove difficult wine and food stains, is it use oil soap. Mix the oil soap with some water and scrub; you may have to let it set for some time. If the stain is stubborn, then baking soda will be your next best option. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste-like wash. Use an old toothbrush or gentle brush to scrub it out. Do not use a wire brush or be to rough as you may damage the stain finish.

How to remove bad smells from your deck.

Pet stains on your deck can cause your deck to have a bad odor. When you are sitting outside trying to enjoy the smells of nature this can be a real buzzkill. Vinegar helps to get rid of unpleasant smells. Combine 2 gallons of water with ½ a gallon of white vinegar and scrub the stain. Let it soak for about 30 minutes; then rinse and repeat. Afterwards, use a wood floor cleaner with a strong scent to help ensure your deck is free of that bad odor.

5. Seal your deck

It is important to reseal your deck every 2-3 years. Resealing your deck will help keep your deck clean and protect your deck from moss, bugs, and other weather wear. Once your deck surface is dry, choose your sealer. You can choose either a clear coat or wood color sealer. If you want to see the knots in the wood, then you will want to keep with a lighter or clear coat. Darker colors tend to hide the characteristics of the wood. Here are a few of our favorite deck stains.


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