How to Clean a Deck Without a Power Washer – Tips & Tricks

Posted by on April 23, 2019 in Cleaning Tips

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Fact time! Wood is a porous material and cleaning a patio without a pressure washer can be a pickle. If you want to keep gear away, cleaning stone ain’t ease as well.

Consider this the fact of the day.

But, apart from enriching your general knowledge and wowing your friends next time you’re in a pub, why is this important to you? Because you have a deck and you need to clean it every year!

Therefore, being a porous material, wood will expand and then contract according to the weather.

So, do you want to know how to clean a deck without a power washer?
Of course, you do. That’s why you’re here!

As it does so, grime, dirt, and mould get caught in its very substance and become hard to clean, the same way they stick to stone too.

But in case you change your mind, book the Go Cleaners London patio washing service and enjoy a professionally clean deck.

In most cases, it is only pressurised stream that will truly restore a dirty wooden deck or concrete patio back to its fresh condition.

And now, without any further ado,

How to clean a wood deck without a power washer using a specialied solution?

So you don’t have the gear and you need a pressure washer alternative because they are not friends with your electricity bill or because you want to protect the environment and save water. Whatever your reason might be, you can replace a power washer with safe and quick specialised solutions that will get the job done in no time.

And you know what the best part is?

Wonder no more how to pressure wash without a pressure washer for some of the following tips are DIY! Here are a few DIY cleaning solutions to help clean your deck.

Method #1 – The Detergent and bleach mix

If the dirty deck has mildew stains than what you need is a concoction made up of washing detergent and bleach.

  • Mix the two in warm water;
  • Saturate the stained area of your deck;
  • Allow it to set for a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes;
  • Proceed to rub off the stains using a stiff broom;
  • Use plenty of water to rinse your deck as the bleach will discolour and damage the wood in time.

Important!
Always use rubber gloves because this solution contains bleach that is harmful to your skin. The same applies to most dangerous household products too.

Tip:
This is also a great DIY solution if you have a garden room that is made of wood. Scrub any mildew or mould stains off its veranda and walls using the concoction. If you want to clean a deck without pressure washer then use this method during spring cleaning to get it back in tip-top shape for the warm season.

Method #2 – Potassium salts of fatty acids.

They are also typically referred to as ‘soap salts’ and are used as fungicides, insecticides, algaecides, and herbicides. This makes them perfect to eradicate mould and mildew from any wooden deck.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Clear all the furniture and plants off your deck;
  • Buy the ingredients for the potassium salt of fatty acids and prepare it as per the instructions you can see on the box. Please wear gloves at all times.
  • Use a mop to coat your deck with the solution in squares of 3-by-3 feet or 4-by-6 feet. The reason is that you have work while the wood is still wet;
  • Use a hard brush to scrub the portion of the deck where you applied the solution until you are satisfied with its cleanliness;
  • Repeat the same steps on another area of the deck until you’ve cleaned it all;
  • Use a hose to clean off all the soap and dirt off your deck once ready;
  • Coat it in the protective solution of your choice but only when dry.

How to clean a deck without a power washer by sanding and resealing it?

Here’s something you might not have known: Even people who opt to clean their deck with a power washer still have to sand it.

That’s because wood expands when wet and fibres rise up causing the floorboards to splinter. Without adequate sanding, the deck won’t be the same.

So you still have to do it, no matter what option you choose.

How to clean a concrete patio without a pressure washer?

If you thought we forgot about people with concrete decks and we were only going to focus on those with wooden patios, you couldn’t be more wrong.

First, let’s take a look at a general course of action. Here are the steps to clean concrete without pressure washer:

  • Start by removing furniture, plants, and everything else off your deck.
  • Sweep its surface very well to make sure there is no debris left.
  • You will also have to pull out any weeds that might have peeped out through the cracks in the concrete.

This is a great DIY solution based on bleach, fit for a concrete patio that has been lightly stained.

  • Mix bleach, water, and 1/8 cup of liquid dishwashing detergent;
  • Put the solution in a spraying bottle;
  • Spray the surface of your deck very well;
  • Allow it to sit for just a few minutes;
  • Scrub your deck with a brush that has nylon bristles. Remember that you need to wear gloves at all times as this solution has bleach in it;
  • Avoid using a metallic brush as it is not advised in this case. As you scrub, bits of it might fall off. In time, they will rust and leave ugly marks on the concrete deck;
  • Beware of spraying any flower beds or vegetable gardens;
  • Consider commercial oxygen bleach such as it is much safer;
  • Use a hose to rinse everything off once you’re done scrubbing;
  • Add a small amount of water to the oxygen bleach until it reaches a thick consistency similar to peanut butter. This works great for concrete decks with stains that won’t come out Apply on said stains and allow it to permeate for an hour;
  • Scrub again with your nylon brush.

Eco-friendly cleaners to ease scrubbing your concrete deck

You can also use a whole array of solutions that are far less damaging to the environment. They have the added value of being made of ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard so they are easy on the pocket as well!

How to clean concrete without pressure washer using soda and bleach paste?

This recipe is quite simple.

Mix two parts bleach with three parts baking soda and you have a traditional concrete cleaner fit for set stains on your deck. A good example would be stains left behind by the moulding leaves in the fall.

The consistency of this solution has to be similar to pea soup. Do it thin enough so you can pour it out, but just thick enough so that it won’t spread all over the place.

Use vinegar as a pressure washer alternative for algae

Yes, they are pesky, we know.

But, luckily, there’s a pretty simple solution that’s just been sitting in your cupboard – vinegar!

Undiluted vinegar can be sprayed on algae as can pool chlorine if they just won’t budge. You’ll get rid of them in no time!

Clean concrete without pressure washer using baking soda

The recipe is pretty straightforward:

  • Add half a cup of baking soda to one gallon of water;
  • Mix in 1/8 of dish-washing detergent;
  • Spray on your concrete deck and allow it to sit for half an hour;
  • Scrub thoroughly and rinse with a hose.
  • Apply a coat of concrete sealer to protect your deck from future stains.

Tip:
There’s no need to buy a new applicator. Use the spare paint roller you keep in the garage or storage shed. Start in the middle and slowly roll toward the edges. Allow it to completely dry before you do it again!

Mix vinegar and water for small areas

This is another homemade recipe on how to clean a deck without a power washer that you can try as soon as tomorrow!

  • Mix salt, water, and vinegar in a spray bottle. The vinegar and water should be in equal amounts.
  • Add just a pinch of salt.
  • Use it on the small area where you can see the stain.
  • Allow it to rest for 20 minutes then give it a good scrub.

The spray bottle is great for this occasion because it gives you a lot of precision. It allows you to spay just the stained area and thus prevent this concoction from seeping your flower beds or lawn.

Apply enzymatic cleaners to get pet stains out (domestic or wild)

The reason is that this particular solution will break down the proteins marks left behind from animals.

However, do not dilute the enzymatic cleaner. Simply apply it to the stain and then leave it to work. They are effective but it might take them a few days to actually break down the stain. Please refer to the instructions on the package for more information.

Try oil cleaners for crayon stains that won’t wash off

This is a fantastic idea if your concrete deck has been stained by non-washable crayons.

Oil cleaners will remove the crayon stains. Allow them to soak in for a while and then scrub with a hard, plastic brush.

Clean grease stains with laundry detergent

All you need to do is mix whatever powdered laundry detergent you have at hand with water until you achieve a paste-like consistency.

  • Apply it to the stains you can see on your concrete deck.
  • Cover them with a plastic wrap.
  • Tape past down for In time, it will dry out and the plastic wrap might fly off.
  • Allow it to sit there for 24 hours.
  • Scrub it off and rinse with your hose.

Tip:
This solution works with traditional laundry detergents but might not work with vegan ones which may be a problem for grease stains.

Scatter kitty litter for oil stains

This method is both simple and fun.

  • Sprinkle some clay kitty litter over the oil stains
  • Grind it using your feet.
  • Sweep it all up after 24 hours.

Learn how to clean garage oil stains fast and easy.

Use degreasing agents for grease, oil or hydrocarbon stains

Degreasers are also known as alkaline cleaners. These will break down oil stains rather easily.

  • Follow the instructions on the box and leave the agent to soak in for a few hours.
  • Pat the area with a rag so that it can pull up the stain.
  • Wash everything off with water as usual.

You can reapply it if the stains are still visible or even dilute it if you think it’s too strong for your needs. These products are available for purchase in home improvement stores and, of course, online.

Mix laundry detergent and bleach for mildew

Mildew usually comes from plants growing close to your deck.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Mix 3 quarts of water, 1 quart of bleach, and 1/3 cup of laundry detergent.
  • Apply it and allow it to set until it has become white.
  • Do not let it dry out.
  • Wash it off.
  • If the stains persist, it’s time to move your plants to another spot on your deck where the natural light can dry the mildew in a more organic way.

Can I clean my garden furniture without a power washer?

It depends on the type of garden furniture you have, so let’s break it down into categories based on what material it’s made of.

  • Cane garden furniture
    Actually, the cane should never be left outside during winter because it’s not strong enough. So if you did this, just go ahead and buy a new one. We’re sorry!
  • Cast aluminium garden furniture
    Wipe everything with water and washing liquid. If you want to touch up the paint, rub off whatever has chipped away and then repaint it with an enamel metal paint. A good example is Hammerite.
  • Wrought and cast iron furniture
    Rub it with some wire wool. You can also repaint it if you want but you will need to coat it with an anti-rust primer first.
  • Resin furniture
    This will require detergent and a plastic brush. You can also use a very mild solution made with bleach if your furniture is white and you need to get it back to its original state.
  • Tubular metal furniture
    The plastic coating can be washed with the same solution made of detergent. Coat them with wax polish for extra protection and store them indoors.
  • Wood furniture
    If you have garden furniture made of hardwood such as mahogany, teak, oak or cedar, you won’t need to do much other than wipe them down with teak oil twice every year. This will preserve the wood’s original colour.

For upholstered furnishing, read our tips on cleaning sofa cushions.

However, furniture made of a softer wood such as beech, ash, elm, and pine needs some wood preservative as well as varnish.

If the garden is messy, consider the Go Cleaners London garden clearance service to put rubbish away.

So, to sum up,

There are quite a few ways to get by without a pressure washer if you have a wooden or concrete deck. Learning how to clean a deck without a power washer surely requires a bit more hard work and may take some more time, but it’s satisfying, more budget-friendly, and can be done with ingredients you have around the house.

If you find this article helpful please do share.

Now you know how to treat your wooden deck or concrete patio, it might be too much of a hassle to clean it yourself. If that’s the case, you can always entrust the job to a professional and this way, avoid any mishaps.

Find out more about how can we help on our patio cleaning service page.