Top-Rated Deck Cleaners
This bulletin provides suggestions for effective wood cleaning products based on 2022 and 2023 surveys and tests of the top-rated wood cleaners.*
The purpose of wood deck cleaners is to remove dirt, mold, algae, and oxidation (graying). Many different brands and formulations of wood deck cleaners are available in the marketplace, and they can be applied using a variety of methods e.g., spray, scrub, or power wash.Because most deck cleaners raise the pH in wood, it is important after using a cleaner to neutralize the pH. This is most commonly achieved using a deck brightener. This bulletin does not include surveys on deck brighteners but are included with other products surveyed.
We compiled the most highly-rated products listed below based on nine wood cleaner tests and surveys conducted in 2022 and 2023.
30 Seconds Spray and Walk Away – This patio and deck cleaner revives a deck without scrubbing and rinsing. Simply mix with water, apply to the outdoor surface, and let the pH-neutral, phosphate and bleach-free formula work its magic. In two to four weeks, you’ll notice the results. Appearance improves the longer it sits on surfaces.
- Rated "Best Overall Deck Cleaner" by https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/best-patio-and-deck-cleaners/.
Star-brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner with PTEF – A very effective, all-surface cleaner for fiberglass, vinyl, plastic, rubber, metal, and painted surfaces. Special chelating agents lift dirt and spills without the need for heavy scrubbing. Protective polymers provide a barrier against future stains, making clean-up a breeze. Also ideal for cleaning non-textured areas and will not remove wax or polish. Star brite products are proudly made in the United States since 1973.
- Rated "Best Overall" by https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-deck-cleaner/.
- Rated #1 by https://www.bestreviews.guide/deck-cleaners.
- Rated #5 by https://bestconsumerrating.com/best-deck-cleaner/.
- Rated "Best with PTEF" by https://www.homecleaningforyou.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck and Fence Pressure Washer Cleaner – Lifts away tough grime, oils and grease and eliminates stains. Uses the power of peroxide without harsh chemicals. Cleans off tough tree sap, grease and oils from decks and fences. Pressure washer concentrate cleans up to 6,400 sq.ft.
- Rated #1 "Best for Cleaning Wood Decks" from https://www.trees.com/best-deck-cleaners.
- Rated #3 by https://www.bestreviews.guide/deck-cleaners.
- Rated #7 by https://bestconsumerrating.com/best-deck-cleaner/.
Simple Green Oxy Solve Total Outdoor Cleaner, Pressure Washer Concentrate – Cleans a wide variety of surfaces such as wood, composite, vinyl, metal, fabric, plastic, wicker, concrete, stone, brick, and asphalt. Lifts dirt, grime, and stains from mold, mildew, moss, and algae. Uses the power of peroxide to lift grime without harsh chemicals.
- Rated #3 by https://www.bestreviews.guide/deck-cleaners.
- Rated as "Best Eco-friendly" by https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-deck-cleaner/.
- Rated as “Best Eco-friendly Deck Cleaner” by https://ohsospotless.com/deck-cleaners/.
Simple Green 18201 Housing and Siding Cleaner – Cleans house siding including vinyl, aluminum, stucco, wood, and brick. Removes stains and discoloring from algae, moss and mildew. Uses the power of peroxide to lift grime without harsh chemicals. Safer, orally non-toxic formula. Pressure washer concentrate cleans up to 6,400 sq. ft.
- Rated “Best Overall Deck Cleaner” from www.homecleaningforyou.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
- Rated "Best Deck Brightener" by https://bestconsumerrating.com/best-deck-cleaner-consumer-reports/.
- Rated “Best Versatile Deck Cleaner” by https://ohsospotless.com/deck-cleaners/
Restore-A-Deck Wood Cleaner/Brightener Kit – Cleaner and brightener in one kit; active ingredient is sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate.
- Rated "Best Deck Cleaner" from https://www.decks.com/how-to/articles/best-deck-cleaner-options.
- Rated "#1 Deck Cleaner" by https://www.deckstainhelp.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
Defy Wood Deck Cleaner – Cleans and opens pores of wood surfaces before staining. This safe, oxygenated bleach deep cleans wood surfaces and opens the pores for maximum stain absorption. This powerful wood deck cleaner not only cleans the wood, but will remove weathered graying color caused by UV rays.
- Rated #3 from https://www.deckstainhelp.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
- Rated "Best Cleaner for Hard Surfaces" by https://bestconsumerrating.com/best-deck-cleaner/.
- Rated "Best for Hard Surfaces" by https://www.homecleaningforyou.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
Defy Wood Brightener – Brightens and neutralizes wood surfaces for better penetration of wood stains.
- Rated "Best Deck Brightener to Use After a Cleaner" by https://www.trees.com/best-deck-cleaners.
- Rated "Best Pre-Staining" by https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-deck-cleaner/
Woodrich Heavy-duty Wood Stripper – Heavy-duty wood stripper. Formulated to remove existing semi-transparent and solid deck stains and sealers. Effectively removes most exterior wood finishes. Cleans and conditions wood for staining. Removes dirt and grime, along with any existing stain or sealer. Safe for use on all species of wood. Can be used to restore any species of wood and type of wood surface.
- Rated "Best Deck Cleaner Before Staining” by https://bestconsumerrating.com/best-deck-cleaner/.
- Rated "Best Budget" by https://www.homecleaningforyou.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
- Rated #4 by https://www.deckstainhelp.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
Wet & Forget Moss, Mold, Mildew, and Algae Cleaner – Easy spray and leave application. Bio-degradable. No scrubbing, rinsing or pressure washing. Safe for use around landscape and plants, when used as directed. Bleach-free, phosphate-free, and non-acidic. Unlimited shelf life. Safe for virtually any outdoor surface. Eliminates even the toughest cases of moss, algae, lichen, mold, or mildew. Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride 9.9%.
- Rated #2 for Best Deck Cleaner by https://www.bestreviews.guide/deck-cleaners
- Rated "Best Mold and Moss Patio and Deck Cleaner" by https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/best-patio-and-deck-cleaners/ .
- Rated “Best for Mold and Mildew” and "Best for Roofs and Decks" by www.homecleaningforyou.com/best-deck-cleaners/
- Rated "Best for Mold and Mildew” by www.bobvila.com/articles/best-deck-cleaner.com/
- Rated "Best Mold and Algae Stain Remover" by https://bestconsumerrating.com.
- Rated “Best Deck Cleaner for Algae” by https://ohsospotless.com/deck-cleaners/.
SunJoe House and Deck All Purpose Premium Wash – Pressure washer concentrate formula. Biodegradable, non-toxic bleach-free. Can be applied with a mop or brush to clean wood, brick, and more.
- Rated "Best Pressure Washer Patio and Deck Cleaner" by https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/best-patio-and-deck-cleaners/.
- Rated “Best All-Purpose” from www.homecleaningforyou.com/best-deck-cleaners/.
- Rated "Best Deck Cleaning Solution" by https://bestconsumerrating.com/best-deck-cleaner/.
- Rated "Best for Lightly Soiled Wood Decks" by https://www.decks.com/how-to/articles/best-deck-cleaner-options.
Please Note. Cleaners containing chlorine bleach are not recommended for cleaning treated wood.
Excessive use of chlorine bleach containing cleaners (sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite) can damage treated wood leaving it with an unnatural whitewashed appearance. Chlorine bleach also can raise the wood fibers and cause a fuzzy-looking surface.Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) breaks down the lignin in wood causing excessive damage to wood cells. The natural pH of wood is slightly acidic, and bleach is a basic solution. As a result, use of bleach on wood shifts the pH from near neutral pH to a basic pH that will damage the cellular structure.
- Bleach corrodes metal fasteners, screws and nails.
- Bleach can cause damage to surrounding plants.
- Bleach, after several months, lightens wood's natural color.
- Bleach does not eliminate the spores from which mold and mildew grow.
Top-rated Products Compiled from the Below 2022 Tests/Surveys
* Disclaimer: The information contained in this bulletin is provided in good faith and should be used for general information only. Viance, LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied about the completeness, accuracy, suitability and fitness for purpose of the deck cleaning products mentioned in this report. Viance, LLC expressly disclaims, and does not undertake or assume any duty, obligation, or responsibility for any decisions, reactions, responses, actions, failure to act, by you or any other person or party as a result of or in reliance on, in whole or in part, the information contained in this bulletin, or for any consequences or outcomes arising from or caused by any such decisions, reactions, responses, actions, or failures to act. This bulletin does not cover other products or surveys that may have been conducted this year and does not imply other products are not as effective.