Is your deck looking dingy and dirty, but you've put off cleaning it because you don't have specialized cleaners on hand? Well, put off this task no longer. There are lots of common household cleaners that will quickly and easily get your deck looking fresh without requiring a special trip to the store.
Deck Cleaning Household Products
When choosing household cleaning products for cleaning your deck, you want to make sure you're protecting your family, your pets and the deck's wood. By choosing environmentally friendly products and tools, you won't have to worry about any potential damage.
Regardless of the type of deck cleaner you choose to use, you'll want a long-handled brush to scrub down your deck. In many cases, an outdoor broom will work just fine, but the important thing is to make sure it has hard bristles that will really work the dirt and grime out of your wood deck.
Oxygen Bleach Products
There are a number of powdered oxygen bleach products on the market, and chances are you already have one in your home. Oxygen bleach, unlike Clorox bleach, combines natural soda ash or natural borax and hydrogen peroxide to form a powdered substance. When this substance dissolves in water, oxygen is released to work on tough stains and ground-in dirt. Oxygen bleaches are completely environmentally friendly and they won't compromise the color of your wood deck's stain.
Common oxygen bleach products include Oxiclean, Oxy-Boost, Ajax, Wolman Deck and Siding Brightener and Clorox Oxy Magic. To use the cleaner on your deck, simply mix the powder with the recommended amount of warm water, and work in sections across your deck, wetting the deck, allowing the product to sink in, then scrubbing the section with a long-handled brush before rinsing the area clean.
If you don't have an oxygen bleach product readily on hand, check your laundry detergent to see if it's made with sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate. These are the active ingredients in oxygen bleach products, and you can simply mix your laundry detergent with warm water to clean your deck in a similar fashion.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
For another inexpensive alternative to expensive deck cleaning products, you can try mixing equal parts warm water with white vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar will kill off bacteria and funguses that have developed while baking soda deodorizes and refreshes. You will need to scrub the deck thoroughly with a long-handled brush after applying the mixture and letting it sit for several minutes.
If you have a power washer, the pressurized water can quickly spray away dirt and grime on a wood deck. The only think you'll need to be aware of when using this tool is that the sheer force of the spraying water can potentially damage your wood or the deck's finish. Be sure to use this cleaner with caution.
When the weather starts warming up in early spring, plan on giving your deck at least one thorough clean with the household products you have on hand. After you've given it a deep cleaning, go over it every few weeks with a simple scrub down with warm water and baking soda. You'll feel good about how your deck looks and you'll love knowing the products you're using are inexpensive and safe for your family.