Is your deck in need of thorough cleaning? Pressure washing it is a great idea! However, be careful when using a pressure washer on your deck. You need to know proper techniques and preparation before cleaning to avoid costly damage. Follow these detailed steps. This will ensure that your deck gets a thorough clean.

The Things You Need

  • Specific cleaning product for wood;
  • Pressure Washer (Maximum 150 bar);
  • Spray Nozzles;
  • Rotary Surface Attachment (Optional);
  • Stiff Broom;
  • Stainer, Sealer, or Paint;
  • Water Outlet.

Note: Always follow manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using pressure washers. This way you will avoid surface damage and harming yourself.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Boots or Wellies: Protect your feet from water and cleaning solutions. This is very important when using chemical cleaners;
  • Goggles: Shield your eyes from flying debris and splashing water;
  • Rubber Gloves: Prevent skin contact with cleaning solutions and cold water. Gloves reduce the risk of irritation or allergic reactions;
  • Ear Defenders: Guard against the loud noise generated by the pressure washer.

Do you want to further boost the appearance of your outdoor space. Check our thorough guide on how to maintain your lawn!

Prepare Your Deck For Cleaning

Take these steps to prepare your deck properly:

  1. Use the broom to sweep away any loose debris, leaves, or dirt. This initial step ensures a more thorough clean;
  2. Apply a specialised cleaner for stubborn dirt and grime. Let the detergent set in for 10-15 minutes. Cleaning will be way easier afterwards;
  3. Rine the area after pre-treating the stains. Set your pressure washer on a low pressure setting. This will ensure an even clean throughout the surface.

Setting Up Your Pressure Washer

Choose a fan nozzle attachment or rotary surface attachment. They create a wide spray pattern or rotating pattern. This will help minimise and pressure applied to the wood.

Use a wood-specific cleaning solution suitable for pressure washers. Mix it with water. However, read the instructions on the back of the product first. Using the right cleaning solution helps to break down dirt and grime. You will also ensure that the wooden surface won’t be damaged.

Set your pressure washer to a medium to high power setting. For lightly soiled decking or regular maintenance, a medium power setting is usually sufficient. Avoid using excessively high pressure. This can damage the wood fibres.

Maintain a consistent distance of approximately 6 inches (15cm) while cleaning. This distance helps prevent the wood from becoming over-saturated. Keep the nozzle moving in the same direction as the grain of the wood.

Pressure Washing Your Deck

Follow these steps to ensure effective cleaning. Furthermore, you will also prevent damaging your decking. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Test by washing a small area first. This allows you to adjust the pressure and technique as needed;
  2. Keep the nozzle around 6 inches (15cm) or more away from the deck at all times. Move the nozzle in the same direction as the wood grain;
  3. Maintain a steady and consistent speed as you move the pressure washer. Avoid pausing or lingering in one spot for too long;
  4. Overlap each pass slightly with the previous one. This helps to achieve a more uniform clean. It also prevents streaks or missing any stains;
  5. Rinse away the remaining detergent and debris. Do this by switching to the soft spray setting of the pressure washer. Alternatively, you can use the garden hose. By doing so, you will see how effective was the cleaning.

Decking Post-Wash Aftercare (Optional)

Consider these optional steps. They will enhance the appearance of the deck and prolong its lifespan:

Improve Deck Appearance with Chemical Brighteners & Strippers

Your deck’s appearance will significantly improve after pressure washing. We recommend using chemical brighteners or strippers if the wood is significantly stained or discoloured. These treatments remove filth, grime, and old finishes off the wood. The wood will be left looking fresh and revitalised.

Sand Down Your Deck

Sand your deck after pressure washing. This will smooth out any rough patches or raised grain caused by the cleaning process. Use a coarse sandpaper to remove any remaining debris or stubborn stains. Then use a finer grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish. Sanding also provides an ideal surface for applying protective finishes.

Stain Your Deck

Staining your deck is an excellent way to improve its lifespan. Choose a staining product that complements the natural beauty of your deck. It also provides long-lasting protection against various elements. However, be sure to check the weather forecast before staining. It’s best to avoid applying stain in wet conditions.

Renovate your home for the summer with these helpful tips.


Cleaning your decking is a process that requires time and effort. However, it will become clean and inviting. Follow our advice and use the correct accessories. This way you ensure a safe and effective clean for  your decking. A cleaner and fresher looking deck makes your garden even more inviting in the hot summer months!