How to Clean a Deck With Chlorine Bleach

Decks make a beautiful addition to the exterior of any home. Over time, decks can become dirty and stained. Whether from their exposure to the elements or growth of mold and mildew, a dirty deck diminishes the overall appearance of the home's exterior. Fortunately, you can clean a deck with chlorine bleach to restore its original beauty. Not only will the bleach kill mold and mildew on a deck, it works wonders on removing tough stains. Ideally, a deck should be cleaned once a year to maintain its appearance.

Conservatory of wood-panelled home with wooden deck
credit: ULTRA F/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Step 1

Remove furniture, grills and all other items from the deck. This will make cleaning much easier so that you don't have to work around objects. Cover any electrical outlets with duct tape to prevent water from getting in. Place plastic sheeting over plants and bushes in close proximity to the deck to prevent them from being harmed by the bleach.

Step 2

Sweep loose dirt and debris off of the deck using a broom. A leaf blower is also very effective at removing loose dirt and debris.

Step 3

Fill a bucket with one part chlorine bleach and three parts water. Add a few squirts of non-ammonia-based dish soap to the mixture.

Step 4

Wet down the deck with a garden hose and plain water. Work in sections so that the cleaning solution and water do not dry onto the deck.

Step 5

Apply a generous amount of the bleach solution onto a workable section of the deck. Fill a garden sprayer with the solution and spray it onto the section of the deck for easy application. If you do not have a garden sprayer, simply pour some cleaning solution directly onto the deck from the bucket. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Clean the bleach solution from the deck using a pressure washer. Spray the deck with the pressure washer wand, working in the direction of the grain of the wood. Go over the section several times to thoroughly remove the dirt and grime. Set the pressure washer on the lowest pressure setting possible to avoid damaging the wood. Typically, anywhere from 300 to 1,500 PSI is best for deck cleaning. If you do not have a pressure washer or do not wish to rent one, you can scrub the deck with a stiff brush or push broom. For optimal cleaning, however, a pressure washer is recommended.

Step 7

Rinse the bleach solution from the deck using plain water from a garden hose or pressure washer. Continue rinsing until no more soap or dirt residue appears.

Step 8

Repeat this process of cleaning with the bleach solution, working in small sections, until the entire deck has been cleaned. If you are applying a sealer to the deck, allow it to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before applying the sealer.