Made from a combination of wood and recycled plastic, Trex composite decking has many advantages over wood decking. Trex is insectproof, doesn't rot, and never needs to be stained or painted. It also comes with a 25-year warranty against stains and fading. In order to keep that warranty valid, however, you need to clean up food, oil, and grease spills within seven days using the proper techniques.
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Mistakes to Avoid
When cleaning Trex decking, avoid using bleach or cleaners that contain sodium hypochlorite, which is just a fancier way to say "bleach." Bleach is corrosive and can damage your Trex decking. It can also kill any plants around your deck and as such is best avoided when you are cleaning any outdoor decking material. You should also always avoid sanding Trex. Doing so is not recommended and will void certain portions if not all of your warranty.
It's also very important to be careful when using a power washer on Trex decking, Avoid using a power washer at all on older Trex product lines, including Accents, Origins, Brasilia, Profiles, or Contours. Using a power washer on these products may void the warranty.
You can use a power washer on newer Trex high-performance products, like Transcend, Enhance, and Select. If you do opt to use a power washer on these products, make sure the unit produces no more than 3100 psi. Always use a fan tip and hold the washer wand at least 8 inches away from the decking.
How to Remove Oil Stains From Trex With Soap
Greasy, oily stains can come from a wide variety of sources, but food is a common cause of them on decks. It's important to remove food and oil stains from Trex as soon as you can. When you do, you want to soak up as much of the grease as possible and then scrub what's left of the stain. Liquid dish soap is perfect for cutting through grease and oil and does a nice job of lifting these stains out of Trex.
- Pick up any food debris and soak up as much grease and oil as you can with a paper towel.
- Hose down the deck to wet the stain.
- Mix together liquid dish soap and warm water at a ratio of 1 tablespoon of soap for every gallon of water.
- Wet the stain with the soapy water using a sponge and allow the water to sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Scrub the stain with a nylon brush to lift any remaining oil out of the embossed pattern on the decking.
- Rinse the area thoroughly. If you rinse the deck with hard water, spots may appear when the deck dries. If so, you can remove them with white vinegar.
- Repeat the cleaning process if any part of the stain remains.
How to Remove Oil Stains From Trex With Baking Soda
There is nothing wrong with soap and water for greasy stains, but sometimes, making a homemade poultice can save you a little scrubbing. Baking soda works well for this and can actually draw oily stains out of the decking and absorb them. You can make a paste out of it with water or simply sprinkle it onto the deck. When combined with vinegar, baking soda produces a foaming action that also helps lift stains. A poultice takes a little time to work but can pull stains out of nooks and crannies very effectively.
- Soak up as much of the stain with a paper towel as you can.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and rub it in a bit. Allow it to sit on the stain for several minutes to soak up some of the oil.
- Pour some white vinegar onto the baking soda. While the vinegar and baking soda are foaming, use a nylon-bristle brush to scrub the stain and work the bubbling cleaning solution onto the grooves on the deck.
- Rinse the area with warm water. If you have hard water, any water spots remaining on the deck when it dries can easily be removed with a vinegar-soaked rag.