Tips On How To Clean A Deck Before Staining

Are you planning to apply a new coat of stain to your deck? Cleaning your deck before staining is crucial to achieve a flawless finish and extend the lifespan of your deck stain. In this section, we will provide you with expert tips on how to properly clean your deck to ensure that it’s free of dirt, debris, and stains, providing a clean surface for a fresh coat of stain. Let’s get started with some essential tips on how to clean a deck before staining.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before starting, let’s collect all the tools and materials required to clean your wooden deck properly. We need:

  • A power washer or pressure washer depending on the intensity of cleaning needed
  • Deck cleaning solution or wood cleaners suitable for your wood deck
  • A garden hose to wet the surface
  • A scrub brush to rub away stubborn dirt
  • Oxalic acid to remove tough stains

It’s important to consider the type of wood deck you have to determine which cleaning products work best. Some wood decks require a specific cleaning solution to avoid damaging the surface.

Additionally, if you’re not using a power washer, you can use a garden hose to wet the deck’s surface and activate water beading.

Remove Loose Debris and Sweep the Deck

The first step in cleaning your deck is to remove any loose debris that may be on the surface. This can be achieved by using a broom or a leaf blower to sweep away leaves, twigs, or dirt. It’s essential to pay extra attention to the deck steps and other areas that may accumulate dirt or debris.

By removing loose debris, you’ll ensure that the deck surface is clean and ready for the next step of the cleaning process. It will also help you to identify any tough areas that may require additional attention during the deck cleaning process.

Power Wash the Deck

Now that the deck is free from loose debris, it’s time to power wash it using a power washer or pressure washer. However, be careful not to apply too much pressure, which can damage the wood. A low setting is ideal for most decks. It is necessary to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to operate the machine optimally and prevent any damages.

When using the power washer, make sure to rinse the deck thoroughly to remove any remaining dirt or cleaning solution. It is worth noting that too much water can cause the wood to swell, leading to other problems. Hence, it is crucial to be mindful of the amount of water you use.

Remove Stains and Prep the Wood

If your deck has any old or stubborn stains, it’s important to remove them before applying a new coat of deck stain. To do this, use a wood cleaner or oxalic acid and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Apply the cleaner to stained areas and use a scrub brush, working gently to avoid damaging the wood. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions on the cleaner to ensure safe and effective use.

After removing the stains, allow the deck to dry completely before proceeding with the staining process. This ensures that the new deck stain adheres properly and provides a long-lasting finish.

It’s also important to prepare new wood properly before staining. Most new wood has a high moisture content that can prevent the deck stain from penetrating. Allow new wood to dry completely before applying a deck stain, following the manufacturer’s directions for drying time.

Properly preparing your deck before staining can take time, but it’s well worth the effort. By removing stains and preparing the wood, you’ll ensure a flawless finish that lasts for years to come.


By following these expert tips, we can ensure that our deck is properly cleaned and prepped for a fresh coat of stain. Remember to give the deck enough time to dry completely, check for any loose nails or boards, and choose a dry weather day to apply the new stain.

For most decks, it is recommended to re-stain every 2-3 years to keep them looking new. By giving our deck a new coat of stain, we can protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan.

Don’t forget to take care of your deck by cleaning it regularly and avoiding harsh chemicals or pressure washing with too much force. By maintaining your deck, you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.

So go ahead and give your deck a fresh coat of stain, and enjoy the beauty and durability it provides!


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