13 Best Patio and Deck Cleaners
To get your deck or patio ready for summer, give it a good scrub-down. Using the right patio or deck cleaner makes all the difference.
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How To Clean a Deck or Patio
After taking a beating all winter long, your deck and patio could use a little tender loving care. Whether you have a wood, vinyl or composite deck, or a concrete or natural stone patio, here’s how to spiff it up:
- Clear off furniture and planters;
- Sweep up loose debris;
- Repair any rot or cracks;
- Choose a cleanser made specifically for your type of surface;
- Wash the deck and/or patio;
- Reseal or refinish, if needed;
- Let dry;
Best Deck Cleaner for Wood
It’s never too soon to get your wood deck prepped and ready for warm-weather entertaining. The Woodrich Complete Wood Cleaner & Wood Brightener Kit is a two-step restorer that cleans and revitalizes all kinds of wood without the use of damaging bleach.
The process starts by stripping dirt, oil-based stains and dead gray fibers that eventually plague all wooden decking (for stubborn stains, you can vary the concentration of the cleaning solution). The second step brightens the newly exposed planks, restoring them to like-new condition. This kit cleans 750 square feet of decking surface.
Best Deck Cleaner for Composite
Splinter-free and durable, composite decks like the high-performing Trex brand, have gained popularity year after year. If you want to keep your composite deck in tip-top shape, Olympic Deck Cleaner is a ready-to-use detergent that can do just that. Made to combat stains, mold and mildew on a variety of wood polymer and other engineered decking, all you need to do is apply it, let it sit for five to 10 minutes and rinse. Once it’s dry, let the barbecues begin!
One Amazon reviewer writes, “Our composite deck is almost nine years old,” and “This cleaner was very easy to use and made our deck look new again.”
Best Cleaner for Stone
Borax (aka sodium borate) is less toxic than bleach, and when mixed with water, it is an inexpensive and healthier method to rid exterior stone, brick, slate and other natural pavers of slippery algae, moss and mildew.
To clean your stone patio, mix one cup of borax into one gallon of water and scrub the surface vigorously with water and a stiff deck brush until the green stuff and dirt are gone. It works today and will discourage mold from growing back tomorrow.
Best Deck Cleaner for Vinyl
Unlike natural decking material, vinyl never needs painting and it won’t crack, chip, split or rot. It will, however, get dirty and mildewy. Zep House and Siding Pressure Wash Cleaner Concentrate is designed to produce the best results when applied with a power washer. Spray on and wait about five to 10 minutes for the cleaner to penetrate grime — then rinse it off. A one-gallon jug, when diluted with water, becomes 20 gallons of cleaner to wash up to 5,000 square feet of dirty vinyl decking or siding.
Best Deck Cleaner for Teak
If you own a teak deck that’s seen better days, Star Brite Premium Teak Cleaner safely removes old oils and stains without sanding or raising the wood grain. Ideal for the restoration of weathered gray teak decks and furniture, the commercial-grade formula cleans without harsh acids, so it won’t harm painted or other fine wood surfaces. All you need to do is apply, give it a light scrubbing and rinse.
Best All-Purpose Deck Cleaner
Forget about the hassle of scouring and rinsing, with 30 SECONDS’ Spray and Walk Away you simply apply the product to the deck and allow the pH-neutral, phosphate-free and bleach-free formula ample time to work. The results become visible over time. Recommended for a variety of surfaces, including wood and vinyl, it won’t cause dinginess or discoloration, but what it will do is leave behind a protective coating that improves surface traction to prevent slipping.
Best for Concrete
Porous materials like concrete can be a challenge to clean. The EDOU 15-Inch Pressure Washer Surface Cleaner isn’t a detergent but rather a powerful tool that makes cleaning large flat surfaces speedier and less messy. Emitting high-pressure jets from two spinning nozzles, this cleaner dislodges the worst kinds of grunge at the furthest reaches of patios, driveways and walkways, and then washes them away. It comes with a quick connector and plug, along with two 15-in. pressure washer extension wands.
Best Deck Cleaner for Use With a Pressure Washer
Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck is a concentrated solution specifically formulated for use in a pressure washes. The cleaner, when diluted with water, works wonders at eliminating grease, oils, tree sap and many other ground-in stains using the power of peroxide. Besides decks, this product works on pergolas, gazebos, carports, sheds and other backyard structures. Once you start, you won’t want to stop!
Best Deck Cleaner With Sprayer
And speaking of pressure washers. If you don’t happen to own one, Scott’s Outdoor Multi-Purpose Cleaner is equipped with a nifty, ready-to-spray attachment that connects directly to any garden hose. Set the nozzle to “ON” and shoot the fast-foaming cleaner directly where you want it. Let it sit for a few minutes, scour as needed and then move the lever to “WATER” and rinse! The non-bleach formula works on a variety of materials and is even safe on fabrics.
Best Deck Cleaner for Mold and Moss
Cleaning a deck or patio needn’t be destructive. Wet & Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew and Algae Stain Remover is non-caustic, non-acidic and bleach-free. Despite its biodegradable resume, it contains a mildewcide that eliminates outdoor mold, mildew, moss, lichen and algae. It also prevents future mold growth. Apply it and forget it — each time it rains, slimy stains are washed away, doing the wiping or rinsing for you.
Best Non-Toxic Deck Cleaner
OxiClean (hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate) is a versatile stain remover that’s an outstanding non-toxic alternative to chemicals and bleach. Famously known as a pre-treater for laundry, it works just as well on soiled decks and dingy patios — really, any surface in and around your home. Chlorine-free and oxygen-based, it won’t do harm to garden plants and shrubs.
Best Oil Stain Remover for Patios
Remove barbecue stains from your outdoor kitchen (or motor oil from your paver driveway) with Chomp Pull It Out Oil/Stain Remover for Concrete. Simple and safe to use, it dissolves and encapsulates grease by penetrating deep into the pores of the sub-surface without the use of bleach, acids or the need for a power washer. Just pour it on, let it dry and brush away. The stain is lifted, in most cases, after one application.
Best for Re-Staining Prep
A two-part cleaning system, EFC-38 Wood Cleaner is an environmentally-friendly powder concentrate that cleans and conditions wood decks in preparation for sanding and staining. When applied to weathered decks (as well as fencing, siding and log homes), it dissolves filth to expose the fresh wood underneath.
Amazon customer, AML enthusiastically reports, “This stuff is freaking awesome!! I am disabled and haven’t cleaned my wood decks in 12 years. I mixed this in a gallon of hot water and applied it with a stiff brush. No hard scrubbing, just more or less slopping it on. Wait 3-5 minutes and just hose it off. Wood looks so freaking good. I applied some transparent stain and viola. New deck.”