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How to clean and prepare a deck


Over time, your deck can become discoloured by dirt and grime and the effects of sun. Cleaning with a pressure washer will prepare the surface for painting or staining. A medium duty pressure washer and deck cleaning solution is what you'll need to do the job.



Set up your pressure washer according to the manufacturers' instructions.


Pour the cleaning solution into the detergent container.

It's a good idea to wear goggles to protect yourself from splashes. Use a low pressure detergent tip to apply the deck cleaning


Work in identifiable sections, cleaning a few boards at a time.

Clean railings from the bottom up. Let the solution work for 5 or 10 minutes. Switch to a low pressure tip to wash off the solution. Empty the detergent dispenser, and purge the pressure washer.


Test the cleaning power in an inconspicuous place.

Begin rinsing off the solution.


Start at a distance and move closer as necessary.

Clean a couple of boards at a time, working with the direction of the grain. To clean the railings, start at the top, and work down. This will prevent the formation of streaks.


Wait 48 hours before applying stain, paint or water repellant coating.