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How To Clean A Deck With A Pressure Washer
- Mar 18, 2017 -

A pressure washer could become your most valuable tool on chore day, helping you tackle a range of tasks in record time. That includes reviving a tired, old wood deck in less than 30 minutes.

But mishandle a pressure washer, and it can blast your wood deck (or siding or fence or any number of wood surfaces) to smithereens. Packing 30 to 80 times more pressure than a garden hose, a pressure washer could also cause you serious bodily harm.

In this essaywe show you how to clean a deck with a pressure washer deck in five easy steps. You can use the same basic procedure to remove oil stains from driveways, wash the siding on your house, clean outdoor furniture, and a whole lot more.


Play it extra safe. For all their practical value, pressure washers cause thousands of injuries a year, including lacerations that can lead to serious infections if the concentrated spray penetrates deep into the muscle tissue. Long pants, sturdy footwear, and goggles are a must. And avoid loose clothing and jewelry, since it could draw you into the spray.


Prepare the site. Start by removing all items from the deck, especially breakables. Then sweep away leaves and other loose debris. This will help reveal tough stains left by mildew, tree sap, and the like. 


Apply a deck cleaner, which will help loosen embedded dirt (if the deck is only lightly soiled, you can probably skip this step). Start by filling the pressure washer’s soap dispenser with the cleanser, following the manufacturer’s instructions. These might include wetting nearby plants with plain water before and after the cleanser is applied. The pressure washer will combine the cleanser and water, so you don’t have to worry about diluting it. 

Next, install the appropriate soap-dispensing nozzle onto the tip of the pressure-washer wand (some models have all-in-one adjustable nozzles that you change with a simple twist.). Then power up the machine and distribute the cleaner all over the deck using long, overlapping strokes.


Use a stiff scrub brush to work the cleaner into tight corners and between railings; to prevent streaking, don’t let the detergent dry.


Switch to the widest spray nozzle (not counting the one you just used for the soap). Begin pressure washing the deck, moving with the grain of the wood in wide sweeping motions. Keep the nozzle about two feet away from the surface and move closer as needed. Don’t get closer than 6 inches, or you could damage the wood. When you’re finished, turn the machine off and pull the trigger to release leftover pressure and drain the water line.