HOW TO CLEAN TREX DECKING: Detailed Cleaning Guide


Spring cleaning is here, and while many homeowners focus on scuffed baseboards, dust bunnies, and smudged windows around the house, it’s important to remember the deck. Your deck’s surface has been through a lot in the past year, like hot dogs falling off the grill in the summer, leaves turning into tiny bits of dirt in the cracks between deck boards in the fall, and winter weather causing damage to your wood or composite decking. Now is the time for a refresher. Just in time for warmer weather, we’ve got your guide on how to properly use a pressure washer to clean Trex decking boards that have mold.

What is the Best Homemade Deck Cleaner?

If you want to make your own, choose an eco-friendly solution that is appropriate for your deck material.

  • For a timber deck: Use 1.1 liters of oxygen bleach, 3.8 liters of water, 473 mL of rubbing alcohol, and 29 mL of ammonia-free liquid dish soap to clean a wooden deck. The oxygen bleach is safe for wood decks and aids in removing mold. Avoid using chlorine bleach.
  • For a composite deck: combine 12 ml of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with .06 ml of baking soda with 3.8 liters of water.  Apply this mixture to the entire deck and thoroughly rinse with clean water.

Do not use homemade deck cleaners or brighteners with a pressure washer or power washer. Because of the sprayer’s tiny nozzles, any granular cleaner will clog them.

Deck Cleaning Solutions And Materials Needed

To prepare for your deck cleaning, gather a broom, scrub brush, bucket, garden hose, and cleaning solution. Be sure to use cleaning products and materials that won’t harm your deck—or you. Never mix ammonia-based ingredients with bleach, because this can cause harmful chloramine gas to be released, which can irritate your lungs.

Instead, buy a cleaning solution designed specifically for your wood or composite deck. Examine the product options at your neighborhood hardware store.

How to Clean Trex Decking

Cleaning a deck does not have to be difficult or time-consuming, but it is necessary for it to last. While the steps are straightforward—remove anything from the Trex decking boards, sweep, and clean—you’ll want to make sure you’re doing them correctly.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Trex Decking Boards

Depending on whether you have composite or wood boards, the best way to clean Trex decking varies. There are, however, six basic steps for cleaning all decks.

  • Remove all deck furniture, plants, and decorations. Removing everything gives you a great opportunity to visually inspect all of your deckings for warping, discoloration, and spongy boards.
  • The boards should be swept clean. Debris will accumulate on top of your deck over time, which you must remove because it can stain and retain moisture. To remove stubborn bits from between the boards, use a putty knife or a screwdriver.
  • Pre-rinse. This step makes it easier to disperse the cleaner.
  • Clean with a solution appropriate for the type of deck you have (timber or composite).
  • Rinse the deck thoroughly to avoid leaving a film or build-up. Hold the hose 6-12 inches above the deck’s surface and spray a few feet in front of you. The water stream should be strong enough to wash away dirt and debris. Never use excessive pressure, as this can damage your decking and splinter your wood.
  • To prevent further damage, seal timber decking with a stain sealant or a clear sealant. It’s easiest to use a long-handled paint roller or sponge applicator. Sanding before sealing may help the product penetrate the wood more deeply.

How to Clean Trex Decking from Mold

Mold thrives where moisture and darkness combine. Mildew is a regrettable byproduct of mold. Aside from being aesthetically unappealing, this fungus adheres to surfaces. It can also be harmful to your health. Trex decks are ideal because they do not splinter or rot, but when it comes to mold, nothing is sacred. If you need to clean mold and mildew from your Trex decking boards, it’s a relatively simple process.

  • Use a pressure washer to remove as much mold as possible.
  •  combine 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water In a bucket in a bucket,
  • Sprinkle baking soda all over the area and pour the solution into the mold.
  • Allow the vinegar and baking soda to sit for at least 20 minutes on the affected area.
  • Scrub the area with a medium- to coarse-bristled brush to remove any stains and residual mold and mildew.
  • Rinse the area with water.

Can You Pressure Wash a Trex Decking?

Your Trex decking boards can be cleaned with a pressure washer if you prefer. But the pressure washer can’t have more than 3100 psi of force, or it will damage the decking and make the Trex warranty useless. Spray your Trex decking with commercial pressure washer soap before cleaning it with a pressure washer. Next, use a soft-bristle brush to scrub each board. Use a pressure washer with a fan tip no closer than eight inches from the surface to thoroughly rinse each board.

Decks made with earlier-generation Trex products should not be pressure washed because the decking materials may be damaged. Instead, as previously stated, clean with warm, soapy water. If you spill food, grease, or oil on your deck, clean it up immediately with hot water. A commercial cleaner should be used to remove any remaining stains.

How to Clean Trex Decking With Pressure Washer

Ideally, you would pressure wash your deck at least once a year to remove algae and mildew and prevent other conditions that can harm it. Here is everything you need to know about using a pressure washer on your deck.

How Many PSI Do I Need to Pressure Wash a Deck?

The amount of pressure required to clean the surface of your deck can vary. When it comes to pressure washing wood or composite decks, less is more. It is recommended that you pressure wash your composite deck with up to 3100 psi. You only need to apply enough pressure to get rid of embedded dirt and other contaminants. Excessive force on the wood will remove much more than you want and may leave permanent marks or impressions. Determine the ideal pressure level for your deck’s surface using your eyes and your judgment.

What Deck Cleaner Should I Use in My Power Washer?

Cleaners are available in a variety of formulations with varying performance claims. Some are detergents, some are bleaches, and some are chemical solutions designed to react with specific woods. There is no simple answer to the question of which cleaner to use.

Your best deck cleaner options are largely determined by the type of material used in the deck’s construction. Whatever cleaner you choose, make sure to carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Then let the pressure washer do its work. A pressure washer uses less water than a standard hose and nozzle. Because a pressure washer forces the cleaner out of the wood rather than simply diluting it, removing the residue of the cleaner is much easier with a pressure washer than with a garden hose.

How to Use a Pressure Washer to Clean a Trex Decking

#1. Scrub the Deck with a Bristle Brush

Your deck cleaning arsenal should include a stiff bristle brush. Because many cleaners will deteriorate natural fibers, the brush should have synthetic bristles. A good synthetic bristle will last for a long time. The brush’s handle should be long enough to reach all of the places you need it to. One brush will rarely meet all of your needs, so if you require multiple brushes, get them. The right tool for the job can make or break your project.

Scrub the deck. Many solutions should not be allowed to dry on the wood, so periodic spraying/misting may be necessary. Depending on how dirty the deck is, you might see results right away. More often than not, the cleaner must remain on the deck for a short period to break down the embedded contaminants.

After you’ve scrubbed the entire deck, it’s time to rinse. Again, a standard hose and nozzle may suffice. However, if you intend to use a pressure washer, the following section will teach you the proper techniques. Even when you’re being careful, applying pressurized water can occasionally cause wood fibers to rise to the surface. These raised fibers can be easily removed.

#2. Power Wash the Deck

Before pulling the trigger on the wash wand, make sure it’s pointing away from the deck surface and anything else it could damage, such as windows and people. The water that emerges from the tip is called a “fan,” and you can change the fan size by changing tips, which are rated in degrees denoting the angle. A straight stream is typically produced by a zero-degree (0o) tip, but you should never apply a straight stream to wood. Cleaning a deck requires a 40o to 60o tip. Bring the fan to the area where you want to clean the deck.

#3. Allow the deck to dry before applying sealer or stain if desired.

Once you’ve finished the entire deck, store the equipment and let it dry. The decks look very different after drying. Small flaws that may have gone unnoticed when the deck was wet can become visible. Raised fibers will also be nearly impossible to remove from a wet surface.

If the topcoat (sealer or stain) you’ve chosen is a one-day product that should be applied after washing but before the deck dries, it’s best to let it dry for at least 24 hours. Examine your work after the deck has dried. There should be no lap marks, minimally raised fibers, and clean wood on the surface. The surface should be consistent, with no areas left unwashed and no areas overwashed. If your deck looks like this, you did a good job. The following step is to prepare the surface for finishing with a sealer or stain.

How Do I Clean My Trex Decking Without A Pressure Washer?

You don’t need a pressure washer if you use the right cleaning solution and a little elbow grease. It may be faster for rinsing, but it also increases the risk of causing damage to your boards.

Cleaning may not be at the top of your list of spring activities, but it will extend the life of your deck significantly. It’s a simple do-it-yourself project with big payoffs. A few hours of fresh air in the spring will be beneficial to both you and your boards!

What is the best cleaner for Trex decking?

Scrubbing your Trex deck thoroughly with warm soapy water, white vinegar, or a gentle power wash should do the trick.

How do you clean a dirty Trex deck?

Spray the deck with soap, then scrub each deck board gently with a soft bristle brush. Spray or rinse each deck board with a fan tip that is no closer than 8 in (203 mm) from the decking surface. THOROUGHLY RINSE. If dirty cleaning water is allowed to dry, a film will form on the decking surface.

How do I make my Trex deck look new again?

This is the cleaning solution recommended by Trex for its decking boards: half a cup of apple cider or white wine vinegar, a gallon of water, and a cup of baking soda.

Is there a cleaner for Trex decking?

Yes. If your deck is made of one of Trex’s high-performance product lines, a simple soap-and-water cleaning or gentle pressure washing will suffice.

Is it OK to power wash Trex decking?

The use of a pressure washer is not recommended by Trex. The use of a pressure washer on the surface of the Trex decking boards may cause damage to the deck surface and void the warranty for any condition caused by the pressure washing.

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