Using Deck Wood Restoring Chemicals Safely


Brighteners and wood restoring chemicals can breathe new life into an old deck. At the same time, these are chemicals need to be handled carefully. Here are some tips for using deck wood restoring chemicals safely.

  • Wear eye protection and gloves from the start because many chemicals can cause irritation.
  • Pre-moisten the deck using a pressure washer and water. Your goal is only to remove the worst of the surface grime. This will help the cleaner soak into the wood.
  • Mix the wood cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a clean 5 gallon bucket and mix half a bucket at a time.
  • Apply the solution to the deck with a stiff brush. A worn down corn broom or specially designed deck cleaning brush should do the trick.
  • Scrub in the direction of the wood grain. Allow the solution to remain on the deck for 5-10 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not leave the solution on too long as this can lead to wood damage.
  • Use a 25 degree spray nozzle and 1500-1800 psi to rinse the deck clean using plain water. Hold the nozzle 12 inches from the deck surface (About calf level on most adults). Remember to use a sweeping motion and keep the nozzle in motion at all times to avoid creating grooves.
  • Use the lowest pressure setting to rinse surrounding landscaping and plants. Most pressure washing formulas are designed to be safe for vegetation if they are rinsed off. If the solution dries on the foliage undiluted, it can harm the plants.


The most important consideration when it comes to safety is this. Always wear protective eye wear and gloves. Use as little of the cleaning product as possible. It is better to come back a second time in specific areas, than to apply too much product.

Another strategy that you may use is to spot treat those areas that are especially grimy. You may find that you only need the stronger chemicals in some areas and can use natural products to clean your deck for the balance of the deck.

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