Vinyl deck cleaners are only one part of the equation when it comes to cleaning that pivotal outdoor space. From natural elements to the composition of the vinyl itself, getting a vinyl deck cleaned is simple once you have all of the information you need.
The Importance of Vinyl Deck Cleaners
Since your vinyl deck is almost certainly located outdoors, it needs to endure the typical wear and tear of simply being outside. Since it's a flat surface, it will easily gather everything from dirt to mold quite quickly, making it difficult to keep up with spot cleaning. Before you move new furniture out onto your deck, or really even spend any time on it, you need to get it in tip top, sanitary shape for the season.
Vinyl deck cleaners play an essential role in the cleaning process, because they are specially formulated to tackle the bacteria and grime that is collected on the panels. Using a wood deck cleaner could cause damage to your deck at worst, and at the very least will simply be ineffective. Take your time to find a cleaner that is designed specifically for your deck type, while also being cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Before You Use a Cleaner
To preserve the plant life around your deck and the health of your body while cleaning with aggressive chemicals, you should take a few steps before you apply a cleaner. First, sweep off any leaves, large particles, or anything else that you can manually move. Next, place plastic on any plants, tables, chairs or play equipment that may get cleanser on them.You will need a power washer that you can blast across the panels at nothing stronger than 1200 psi. This will loosen up much of the dirt and debris, doing a "pre clean." This will help you to use less chemicals and to not have to do a second round if you are unable to loosen all dirt the first time around. Go for "high pressure, low volume" when you use a power washer, so your panels are preserved. However, since vinyl decks are much more durable than wood or composite, you can use smaller hose heads and give it a bit more pressure to get the job done.
Whatever you choose to use, always be sure to rinse your deck before you apply cleanser, and to hose it down again after cleaning to remove any lingering chemicals.
- Duradek cleaners are specially designed for Duradek decks, but can also work fine on other types of vinyl or waterproof decks. Try this out when you have stains or soiled spots caused by chewing gum, mildew, mustard, oil-based paint, lotion, regular dirt/household soil, or rust. For a complete list of what their product will clean, visit their website.
- Fantastik spray cleaner also works well on decks that are constructed out of vinyl. Try this for motor oil spills, latex paint, shoe polish, spray paint, or even eyeshadow and lipstick stains. Simply spray it on and rinse with water.
- Another favorite for vinyl decks is Cascade Powdered Dishwasher Detergent.
Since many decks only need to be cleaned 2-4 times per year, you may opt to hire a professional to come in and clean the deck. These services use a pressure washer and high-calibar cleaners that are not readily available in retail stores. This can get your deck looking great while also eliminating the fear of damaging your deck as you learn in process how to clean it.