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How to clean your deck, the eco-friendly way

April 30, 2014

man in gray hoodie and blue denim jeans standing on brown wooden parquet flooring

How to Clean your Deck: Sustainable Deck-Cleaning Solutions for Sydney’s Decks


At first glance a deck may come across as a fairly basic structure, but your outdoor entertainment areas require regular maintenance in order for them to last the test of time. After months of weather damage, impact from foot traffic, unsightly grease stains from the barbecue and general wear and tear from daily use, your deck may not be looking as perfect as the day it was built.

Renewing and rejuvenating your deck regularly is the best way to keep it looking nicer for longer (make sure you check out our post on staining your deck). Being environmentally conscious while doing so is not only good for your garden, your conscience and the environment overall, but – if you choose to make your own cleaner – easy on the wallet, too. If you end up choosing to buy an eco-friendly cleaner, ensure that you avoid chlorine bleach, instead opting for a biodegradable wood cleaner that won’t contaminate the groundwater or harm vegetation when it’s rinsed off the deck.

However, making your own deck cleaner with vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a base will see your deck spring back into life, while also removing resistant rust stains, keeping pests at bay and making the soil acidic for your plants – azaleas in particular thrive off the vinegar runoff.

For a basic job, simply pour or spray the deck with vinegar and let it sit, uninterrupted, for an hour or so, then rinse. If the deck is not looking like new, repeat the process. You can also use a scrub brush to fight off any stubborn looking moss or mildew.

If you find that you may require something stronger, adding ammonia and baking soda will make a stronger solution that is still harmless to the environment – however, you should always be very careful when handling ammonia, as it is corrosive to the skin.

Do you have your own environmentally-friendly way of cleaning timber decking? Let us know in the comments section below! 

Need more advice about your outdoor deck or entertainment areas? We might just have what you’re searching for! Our handy deck checklist will start you off in the right direction. Want to speak to a real person about building a deck? Head to our contact page.