How to Clean an Old Wood Deck

Distinguished for their versatile designs, longevity and natural beauty, solid wood decks add character and curb appeal to landscapes.

Wood decks are convenient for entertaining.Wood decks are convenient for entertaining.
Although naturally durable, new wood decks eventually appear dingy after months and years of outdoor weather exposure. Dust, dirt, algae and grease accumulate on deck surfaces, including between individual planks, which is visually unattractive. Simply washing old wood decks restores their original hues, which significantly improves their aesthetic appeal. Clean and revitalize an old wood deck using basic supplies.

Move any objects off the deck. Sweep existing debris, such as tree leaves and twigs, off the wood deck with a push broom.

Rinse the deck surfaces with water from a garden hose. Wetting the deck also prepares the parched wood for the cleaning solution.

Mix one part biodegradable wood cleaner and one part cool water in a bucket, or according to package directions. Pour the wood cleaning solution into a pump sprayer.

Disperse the wood cleaning solution evenly over the deck surfaces. Let the old wood absorb the cleaner for 10 minutes.

Scrub the whole deck with a long stiff-bristle brush. Detach stubborn grease, dirt stains and algae from the wooden surfaces. Dislodge grime from between individual deck planks with a putty knife.

Rinse the detached grime off the entire deck with fresh water. Let the wood deck surfaces air dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Push broom
  • Garden hose
  • Stir stick
  • Biodegradable wood cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Pump sprayer
  • Long stiff-bristle brush
  • Putty knife


  • Substitute a concentrated chemical-based deck cleaner for the biodegradable wood cleaner. Wear protective gear and cover nearby vegetation.


  • Wire brushes and other abrasive scrubbing supplies can damage wood decks.

About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.