7 Most Effective DIY Deck Cleaners

7 Most Effective DIY Deck Cleaners

Mar 12, 2024 | Blog, Deck Cleaning, Deck Maintenance, Helpful Tips, News

Maintaining the beauty and longevity of your outdoor deck is crucial for enhancing your home’s aesthetic appeal and preventing structural damage. Over time, decks can accumulate dirt, grime, mould, and mildew, which not only detracts from their appearance but can also lead to deterioration. While there are commercial deck cleaners available, many homeowners prefer homemade solutions for a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach. Here are some of the most effective homemade deck cleaners we found on-line designed to address various types of deck stains and dirt, offering an efficient and eco-friendly way to revitalise your deck’s appearance.

Vinegar and Water

Vinegar mixed with water is a natural and budget-friendly option that effectively tackles deck stains, mildew, mould, algae, and water stains. However, it’s less effective against oil and grease stains. Safe for most decking materials, including wood, composite, and stone.

DIY cleaner - vinegarRecipe:

– Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.

Baking Soda and Water

A gentle yet effective cleaner, baking soda mixed with water is great for removing general grime, water stains, and discolouration. It’s safe for a wide range of materials but not suitable for mould or algae.


– Mix one cup of baking soda with water to a thick paste.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Combining vinegar and baking soda creates a potent solution for dirt, grime, mould, and mildew, except for oil-based stains and rust. Safe for cleaning wood, composite, and stone decks.


– Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and separately, baking soda with water to form a paste.

Bleach Cleaner

Effective for mould and mildew but requires caution due to its harshness. Not suitable for wood decks with certain finishes.


– Mix 3 cups of water with one litre of bleach and add 1/4 cup of mild liquid dish soap

Borax and Dish Soap

A versatile and environmentally conscious cleaner that deters pests and prevents mould, suitable for most decking materials.

DIY cleaner BoraxRecipe:

– Mix one cup of borax with 3 litres of warm water and a small amount of dish soap.

Dish Soap and Water

A simple and accessible solution for a variety of stains, including mildew and algae. Safe for most deck materials.


– Mix 3 litres of warm water with 1/4 cup of mild liquid dish soap.

Tea Tree Oil and Water

An eco-friendly cleaner with a fresh scent, effective against dirt, mould, and mildew. Best for wood decks but may be less effective on other materials.

Tea tree oil


– Mix one litre of water with 10 to 15 drops of tea tree oil.

Cleaning Process

Regardless of the cleaner, the process involves sweeping the deck, protecting landscaping, applying the solution, scrubbing, and rinsing. Use a broom, bucket, stiff brush, mop (optional), and hose with a spray nozzle. Always wear protective gear and test a small area first.

Safety Tips

When using homemade cleaners, wear protective gear, handle chemicals carefully, and dispose of solutions responsibly. Never mix different cleaning solutions unless directed.

Regular Maintenance

To prolong your deck’s lifespan, clean it annually, inspect for damage, apply sealant or stain as needed, and address any repairs promptly. Keep gutters clear and trim nearby vegetation to prevent damage and staining.

By choosing the right homemade cleaner and following a routine maintenance schedule, you can ensure your deck remains a beautiful and safe outdoor living space for years to come.

If you are interested in deck restoration you can give us a call at 1800 332 525, or fill out our online contact form and we will take care of you!

*Disclaimer: The cleaning solutions and methods described in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. We do not guarantee the effectiveness of these DIY cleaning ideas for every type of deck or stain. Individual results may vary, and using these solutions is at your own risk. We strongly recommend conducting a spot check on a small, inconspicuous area of your deck before applying any homemade cleaning solution to the entire surface. For the best results and to ensure the longevity and safety of your deck, professional cleaning by a certified deck restoration service, such as DeckSeal, is always recommended. Trusting experts like DeckSeal with your deck maintenance ensures that your deck receives the highest standard of care with the appropriate techniques and products tailored to your deck’s specific needs.

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