Patios & Decks

Deck Cleaning Like a Pro

Patios and decks undergo significant weathering and will deteriorate quickly if not cared for properly. Moss and mildew stains on patios and decks are not only unattractive, but can be slippery and dangerous. To maintain your deck and keep it looking beautiful, you should clean it at least once a year. Wood decks should also have a coat of sealer applied after the annual deck cleaning.

Find the Right Deck and Patio Cleaning Solution

You can find a good deck and patio cleaner at any home improvement store. Deck cleaners help remove dirt, nail stains, moss and mildew when used with a proper scrub brush. Read the label on the back of the product to understand any safety precautions prior to use, including whether you need protective gear.

Prepare the Area

Before cleaning your deck, remove all furniture and potted plants.  Cover surrounding plants and shrubs with a clear plastic sheet to protect them from chemical spray.  Sweep off any loose dirt and debris.  This is a good time to inspect your deck for any boards, stones, or slate that need to be replaced.

Scrub the Surface

Depending on the cleaner, you can apply it to a pre-moistened or dry surface. A stiff-bristled brush can apply the cleaner and scrub tough dirt and stains at the same time. The Unger Professional™ Outdoor Scrub Brush is our best deck cleaning brush. Our Outdoor Scrub Brush has bristles on all four sides, making stairs and corners easy to clean. This brush can be used as a handheld tool or with a pole for extended reach. You can use a water flow pole, which attaches to your garden hose, for extra cleaning power. Use this brush to apply your cleaner to the entire deck or patio.

For a softer brush, the Unger Professional 9” HydroPower Wash Brush will attach to a water flow pole and provide a gentler clean.

As you clean the deck, don’t allow the cleaning solution to puddle. Continue to spread it throughout the area, keeping the deck wet with cleaner. The scrub brush will clean the tough dirt as you go, so that you can move quickly.

Rinse the Deck

Once complete, give the cleaner time to soak into the surface and lift away dirt and grime. Usually, you shouldn’t leave the cleaner on for more than 10 minutes, but check the product instructions for exact timing. Then, you should rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden hose. If you are applying a sealer to your wood deck, wait 2 days to allow the deck to dry.

For more cleaning tips, visit our Resources page.

Expand for More
Ask a Pro

Need help? Fill out the form below to tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

A professional expert will respond back to you promptly. If you need assistance faster, please call our customer service line at 1 (800) 833-6100.