11 Best Deck Cleaners of 2023

11 Best Deck Cleaners of 2023 for Your Home

Outdoor decks are a wonderful place to chill, host meals al fresco, and soak up nature. Constantly exposed to the elements, however, decks can also get grimy and dirty pretty quickly. Keeping your deck clean is essential in both extending the deck’s longevity and enjoying your time outdoors. Luckily, there are plenty of deck cleaners out there to suit your needs.

“Attentive maintenance can keep decks looking their best and make it less likely you’ll have to replace the whole thing prematurely,” says Gina Perry, senior merchant of cleaning at Home Depot. Perry advises, “One of the keys to good deck maintenance is giving it regular inspections for rot and seeing whether it’s structurally sound. Consider inspecting your deck in summer, as the air is warm and dry.” To maintain a clean deck, you’ll want to use a deck cleaner.


Best Overall

30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate

Why You Should Get It

  • It works on fabric, concrete, wood, plastic, and vinyl, so you won’t have to invest in multiple different cleaners.

Keep in Mind

  • You’ll need to mix the concentrate with water and spray it on your deck, so a spray bottle or tank sprayer is necessary.

If you’re hoping to use your cleaning time wisely and clean a whole host of outdoor items at once, this multifaceted cleaner is all you need. This fast-acting formula can remove mold, algae, or mildew from virtually any outdoor surface including metal, cloth, plastic, fiberglass, wood, composite, cement, asphalt, and more.

The smallest size bottle that this cleaner comes in is one gallon, but larger options are available. To use it, you’ll need to mix up a combination of half water and half cleaner. One gallon of the concentrate can clean 200-600 square feet, depending on the material and what you’re cleaning.

Because the concentration gets mixed with water and sprayed on a deck (or other items), you’ll need to purchase either a large-size spray bottle (best for small items) or the recommended tank sprayer, which is more efficient and easier for cleaning a deck. Both are sold separately, making for an additional cost.

Starting with a dry surface, spray the cleaner onto your deck, fully saturate it, and wait the appropriate time for your decking material. While the product gets to work ASAP, there’s a range of times for how long you need to let it soak on a surface. For example, plastic only needs about three minutes while cement may require 15 minutes.

Since you always want to keep the surface wet while waiting, a second coating may be necessary for some decks. Once the recommended time frame has passed, simply rinse the surface clean with a garden hose and you’re all set.

The product is safe around lawns, plants, and landscaping, so don’t worry if the runoff goes into your yard. Plus, you can also use it on fences, roofs, and patios, so you won’t need to purchase any additional cleaners for those areas.

Product Details: Coverage Area: 200-600 square feet | Application Method: Mix with water and spray

Best Mold Cleaner

30 SECONDS Outdoor Mold & Mildew Stain Remover Spray | Ready To Use | 32 fl. oz. | 2 Pack

Item FormSpary
Specific Uses for Productdeck,patio,furniture,brick
Material FeatureOrganic

This item

  • Removes organic growth from your outdoor surfaces in 30 seconds: Outdoor cleaner quickly removes stains caused by algae, mildew and dirt.
  • Easy DIY Home Improvement: No mixing or pressure washing required! Follow the included instructions for using the motorized sprayer to beautify your home.
  • IMMEDIATE RESULT ON A VARIETY OUTDOOR SURFACES. Works on decks, composite surfaces and stained surfaces. Concrete, bricks, and masonry. Gutters, sidings, canvas, stucco, and plastic. Fences, arbors, and painted surfaces. Results are visible immediately!
  • Use 30 SECONDS Outdoor Cleaner as directed to keep your plants and lawn safe. Once rinsing into the soil, the formula will break down.
  • All 30 SECONDS Products are proudly Made in America

Best for Pressure Washer

ZEP All-in-1 Premium Pressure Wash

Why You Should Get It

  • This cleaner works on a wide range of materials including vinyl, brick, wood, concrete, cement, stone, and asphalt.

Keep in Mind

  • For tough stains, you may have to scrub the area with a bristle brush.

If you have a pressure washer at home, the best deck cleaner is this ZEP option. To use ZEP All-in-1, simply dilute the concentrate according to the packaging. Then, put your pressure washer to work blasting built-up grime.

This handy cleaner is effective at removing stains from algae, mold, and mildew from a wide range of decking materials including vinyl, brick, wood, concrete, cement, stone, asphalt, and more. The brand does caution against using this cleaner on deteriorated surfaces like old wood or painted surfaces unless you plan to refinish them since it may cause too much stripping.

If you’ve got a really small area with a stubborn stain that the pressure washer isn’t removing, the brand recommends using the concentrated formula and a small scrub brush, which should tackle the pesky spots.

Product Details: Coverage Area: 6,750 square feet | Application Method: Dilute and use in a pressure washer, concentrated formula can be used with a scrub brush on small, stubborn stain

Best Eco-Friendly

Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner Pressure Washer Concentrate

  • This cleaner is a U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Safer Choice cleaning product.

Keep in Mind

  • The 1-gallon container is more expensive than other cleaners and requires some preparation before use.

The Simple Green Oxy Solve Total is certified as a safer choice by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), making it the best deck cleaner that’s also eco-friendly. The cleaner is safe to use around people, pets, plants, wildlife, and waterways, as opposed to some other options.

To use the concentrated formula, you’ll need to mix it with one part solution and 20 parts water. Once the mixture is created, you can either use the cleaning solution you’ve created in a pressure washer or a bucket if you plan to scrub by hand.

Whether you clean by hand or a pressure washer, the steps are the same. First, wet the surface with water, then use the cleaning solution. If you’re using a pressure washer let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing with water. For hand scrubbing, once the item is wet, scrub the dirty item with the solution and a sponge or bristle brush. Rinse the area clean with fresh water and you’re done.

Not only is this safe for the environment, but the versatile cleaner is appropriate for wood, composite, vinyl, metal, concrete, stone, brick, and asphalt decks. While it’s more expensive than some other options, it is gentle enough to use on any fabric, metal, plastic, or wicker outdoor furniture or decorative items, so you won’t need to invest in additional cleaners for those items.

Product Details: Coverage Area: 6,300 square feet | Application Method: Diluted in a pressure washer or bucket

Best for Mold and Mildew

Harris 30% Vinegar Concentrate

Why You Should Get It

  • The cleaner can also be used on windows as well as in kitchens and bathrooms.

Keep in Mind

  • The solution can cause eye and skin burns, so you need to use hand and eye protection.

For anyone who knows the power of white vinegar as a household cleaner, you’ll be blown away by the strength of the Harris Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate. This vinegar cleaner will effectively clean your deck clear of mold or mildew, but can also be used on windows as well as in kitchens and bathrooms.

“You’ll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or your deck, as soon as possible,” says Perry. “External mold can do significant damage to exterior surfaces over time, eating away at wood, stucco, and other materials. In addition, exterior mold can easily work its way into the house if left unchecked.”

To use, you’ll want to dilute the vinegar concentration. Tougher jobs can handle full strength but if you want to tone it down, you can use up to 60 parts water. Once you’ve made your solution, use a handheld sprayer, sponge or mop, bucket, or pump-up sprayer.

By replacing harsh chemicals with vinegar, you can safely use this cleaner inside the house, in kitchens, bathrooms, or anywhere else. It can also be used outdoors to kill weeds. However you use it, you’ll always want to fully rinse the cleaned area with fresh water once your cleaning is complete. Since this concentrate is so strong, wear hand protection and goggles (especially if used indoors) any time you use it, and keep the cleaner out of reach of children.

Product Details: Coverage Area: Not listed | Application Method: Dilute up to one part vinegar/seven parts water. Can be used to kill weeds and clean, indoors and out.

Best for Oil and Grease

Pour-N-Restore Oil Stain Remover

Why You Should Get It

  • This product doesn’t require any scrubbing or rinsing.

Keep in Mind

  • You need to let the product dry over the stain, which can take hours.

Oil or grease stains on a deck or patio can bug you. If standard cleaning methods are not removing these stubborn stains, the best deck cleaner is the Pour-N-Restore Oil Stain Remover.

The cleaner has a specific use and a specific way of being used. First, only use this cleaner when the weather will remain dry for at least 24 hours. To use, put the product on the stain. Using the thick, viscous substance to cover the stain. Next, let the product dry on the stain. Keep in mind that depending on the size of the stain, this could take hours.

Once it’s fully dry, the cleaner will turn to dust and can be swept away, ideally taking the stain with it. While no scrubbing or rinsing is required for the cleaner specifically, you may need to rinse the area to remove any remaining residue.

Not only does this product work on decks, but is also a helpful solution for any oil or grease stains in a newly paved driveway. As with most products, it’s best to do a small test in an out-of-sight spot before you use the stain.

Product Details: Coverage Area: Not listed | Application Method: Apply to the stain, let dry and then sweep up.

Best for Vinyl

ZEP House and Siding Pressure Wash

Zep House and Siding Pressure Wash Cleaner – 1 Gallon (Case of 4) ZUVWS128 – Construction Grade Concentrate

Why You Should Get It

  • This cleaner is specifically made to clean dirt and mildew stains from vinyl.

Keep in Mind

  • A pressure washer is required to use this cleaning product.

If your vinyl deck is dirty, aged, or stained, and you’re missing how it looked when it was brand new, this ZEP cleaner is a perfect choice. Made for houses and siding, this product will work well on vinyl decks. You’ll need to use a pressure washer to use this product, so keep that in mind if you don’t have one already.

To start using, you’ll need to dilute the cleaner with water. One gallon of cleaner can make up to 20 gallons of your cleaning solution, so you’re sure to get tons of use. Wet all the surrounding landscaping and plants with water so they don’t absorb the cleaning solution.

Using your pressure washer, spray the diluted ZEP cleaner all over your vinyl decking. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes to let the cleaning solution penetrate, but don’t let the product dry on your decking. Rinse with water and your vinyl should be as clean as it was on the day it was installed.

Product Details: Coverage Area: 5,000 square feet | Application Method: Pressure washer

Best for Wood

SaverSystems #1 Wood Deck Cleaner

SaverSystems #1 Deck Wood Cleaner – 2 lbs – Makes 5 Gallons of Wood Deck Cleaning Solution

Why You Should Get It

  • This product cleans grime, dirt, and mildew from decks and can prepare a deck to be restained.

Keep in Mind

  • A pump spray is the easiest way to apply this cleaner, so you’ll need to have one on hand.

Wood decks can get dirty, mildewy, and worn down, so using a wood-specific cleaner is key to successfully cleaning. Overall, the best deck cleaner for wood surfaces is the Saver Systems Wood Deck Cleaner.

A little goes a long way with this powdered concentrated formula. To use it, simply follow the ratio instructions and mix the powder with water to create the cleaning agent. If you’re cleaning a whole deck, you’ll want to use a pump spray so you can easily and thoroughly spread the product across your deck. For small areas, a brush will work, but you’ll quickly tire if you plan to brush the whole deck. Once you spray it, the liquid will turn to foam and will become foamier in the dirtiest spots. Follow the timing directions from the brand, and then rinse off the surface with clean water from the hose.

This product will help bring back wood to a clean and bright look and is especially useful on any UV stains that can occur if your deck is positioned directly in the sun’s rays. If you are planning on restaining an older deck with a new coat of wood stain, this is an appropriate and essential first step to clear dirt, debris, and any unsightly stains off the deck’s wood planks before you set about to stain them.

Price at time of publish: $

Product Details: Coverage Area: 500-1,000 square feet | Application Method: Powdered concentrate gets mixed with water and applied via a pump sprayer

Best for Composite

Wash Safe Industries Spray and Clean Deck Cleaner

Wash Safe™ Spray and Clean Composite Deck Cleaner, 1 Gal. | Remove Black Stains | Cleans Up to 1,500 sq. ft. | Professional Grade for Deep Set Cleaning

  • You can adjust the dilution based on how visible the stains are.

Keep in Mind

  • It shouldn’t be used in direct sunlight, so you’ll have to be mindful of the weather.

Safe, effective, and easy to use, this Wash Safe Industries option cleaner is made specifically for the stains, mold, mildew, grease, dirt, and debris that can accumulate on composite decks. If you’ve got a deck made from composite decking, this is the best cleaner worth considering.

Safe to use around pets and plants, this formulation does still have less than 5% bleach, so as a precaution, it’s best to always wear protective clothing and eye gear.

When it comes to this deck cleaner, you can adjust how you dilute it based on how visible the stains are. The stain levels range from “extremely visible” to “just became visible” and there’s also a dilution recommendation for “routine cleaning”. The coverage area is listed as approximately 250 square feet, but that will change depending on the levels of dilution you use.

Once diluted to your needs, put the liquid in a spray pump and pump the stained area. Stains should disappear upon contact and after the product has worked, simply rinse it off with fresh water. If you’ve got a stubborn stain, reapply and let the solution sit anywhere from a few hours to overnight.

Keep in mind that the product should not be used in direct sunlight, so be sure to check the weather forecast before cleaning, especially if you think you’ll need the overnight option.

Product Details: Coverage Area: 250 square feet | Application Method: Dilute and spray in a pump sprayer

Best for Concrete

Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Pressure Washer Concentrate

Simple Green 18202 Concrete and Driveway Cleaner, 1 Gallon Bottle

  • The peroxide-based cleaner is a safe choice for use outdoors.

Keep in Mind

  • Do not use this cleaner on wood.

This peroxide-based cleaner by Simple Green will effectively and quickly remove grease, grime, and stains from pavers, patios, sidewalks, and driveways. The powerful formula works best in a power washer, but you can also manually clean a small concrete patio with this with a scrub brush or heavy-duty sponge.

To use, you’ll need to dilute the product. Then, simply spray it on your dirty concrete to . Allow it to sit and soak in for three to five minutes and then rinse with fresh water at high pressure. While this product is effective on multiple surfaces, be sure to avoid using it on wood.

Although this cleaner does not contain any bleach and is a safer choice certified, it’s always recommended that you wear safety goggles and hand protection while cleaning.

Price at time of publish: $24

Product Details: Coverage Area: 6,300 square feet | Application Method: Power washer or soft bristle brush or sponge

Best Multi-Purpose

Star-Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

Deck Cleaner & Protectant -Ultimate Boat Deck Wash – Protects Against Future Stains & UV – Ideal for Fiberglass, Vinyl, Plastic, Painted & Metal Surfaces – 128 OZ Gallon (085900)

  • Not only does this clean, but it leaves a protective layer to prevent future stains.

Keep in Mind

  • Using this cleaner requires a deck brush and some elbow grease.

Not only does this deck cleaner by Star Brite work well at cleaning nearly any decking surface, but it leaves behind a protective layer to prevent future stains as well. Overall, it’s the best deck cleaner if you need a multi-purpose option.

Safe on wood, composite, painted decks, vinyl, and more, this hard-working cleaner does require some equipment and elbow grease but the effects are worth the effort. To use, simply wet your deck with water and then squirt the cleaning product all over the deck. Use a deck brush to spread the cleaner evenly over your deck. Let the product sit for two to three minutes. Next, scrub the area with the deck brush to work it into the deck-you may need to spend a little more time scrubbing especially stubborn stains.

Once the entire deck has been scrubbed, rinse the whole thing with fresh water to remove the product and let it air dry. The bleach-free formula not only cleans but prevents future stains. This cleaner leaves behind a protective coating (though it’s not a replacement for sealing your deck) that will help repel dirt and stains, so you’ll have less to clean in the future.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the best deck cleaner is the 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner Concentrate because it’s long-lasting and easy to use, though does require diluting and having a spray pump or spray bottle on hand.

What to Know About Deck Cleaners Before Shopping

Deck Material

An outdoor deck can be built in a variety of materials, like wood, concrete, or composite wood. To find the best deck cleaner for your home, consider the material and what each cleaner is suitable for. Otherwise, using the wrong cleaning agent on certain materials can cause long-term damage or discoloration.

Cleaner Formula

The best deck cleaners are offered in a variety of formulations, like powder, liquid, or gel. Though one is not necessarily better than the other, some may have to be used with a pressure washer while others may need to be scrubbed or swept. When choosing the best deck cleaner formula, it’s worth considering if you have the proper equipment, as well as how much effort you want to put in.

No matter the formula, it’s also best to be cautious and wear protective clothing and eyewear as the cleaners may be heavily concentrated and can cause damage.

Coverage Area

When it comes to choosing the best deck cleaner for your home, you’ll want to consider the size of your space. Some deck cleaners can cover a surface area that’s a few hundred square feet while others can cover thousands. Most cleaners list the approximate size that their product will cover, but this can vary based on dilution ratios and the number of applications.

Application Method

Some deck cleaners may require a pressure washer while others can just be sprayed onto your deck. When choosing the best deck cleaner, consider what equipment you have at home, as well as what suits your lifestyle best. For example, with some spray and liquid options, you may be able to set it and forget it. However, options that require equipment will take more of your time.

Your Questions, Answered

How do I clean my deck without ruining it?

The best way to clean a deck without ruining it is to find the right cleaner for your specific needs. Each formulation is different and may require specific dilutions. Perry recommends homeowners, “read the instructions as some deck cleaners require a longer time to sit or may not require you to scrub the cleaner off.”

Is it better to power wash a deck or use a deck cleaner?

This depends on the type of deck you have, the size, the preferred cleaning solution, and if you have a power washer. If you use a power washer, always follow the instructions for your type of material and start on the lowest setting. You can always increase the power.

If you don’t own a power washer, consider a “tool rental service to get your project done. Use once, then bring it back-no maintenance required, and you won’t need to store it either,” advises Perry.

How do I apply deck cleaner?

As an important first step, “Be sure to wear protective equipment to avoid contact with skin and eyes,” says Perry. Then follow the instructions based on your deck’s cleaner. For most formulations, the deck needs to remain wet for the solution to soak in, so be prepared to lightly mist your deck while the product is working. You can usually scrub any stubborn spots after the allotted time and rinse the whole deck with fresh water to complete the cleaning process.

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