How to Clean Plastic Decking

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Plastic composite decking requires periodic cleaning to remove dirt and residue and to prevent staining from mold growth. Cleaning your decking regularly will increase its life and prevent damage. Choose a sunny day so the deck will dry faster, and for best results, consult the manufacturer recommendations for cleaning products.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Spot cleaner
  • Deck detergent
  • Long-handled bristle brush
  • Garden hose or pressure washer

Cleaning the deck

  • Remove all furniture and items from the deck surface and railings. Sweep and remove loose debris from the deck surface before cleaning.

  • Spot clean rust stains on the deck with an oxalic acid cleaner. Wash and rinse the spot remover quickly to prevent damage to the deck surface.

  • Spot clean oil or grease stains on the deck surface with a degreaser that contains sodium hydroxide and propylene glycol. Wash and rinse quickly to prevent changes the grain pattern on the deck.

  • Spot clean berry or wine stains on the deck surface by mixing a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water. Wash and rinse quickly to prevent damage to the deck surface.

  • Wash the deck surface and railings with a deck detergent that contains sodium percarbonate. Apply the cleaner and scrub in a circular motion with a long-handled bristle brush to thoroughly clean the surface. Rinse all cleaner and dirt from the deck immediately with a hose or low level pressure washer.

  • Dry the deck in sunlight completely before putting furniture, grills or plants back onto it. Place a grease-catch pan under grills to prevent grease stains.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stains and grease marks should be addressed immediately after their occurrence for best results. Wear gloves and protective eye equipment while using chemicals. Wear a breathing mask if the chemicals are harsh.
  • Do not use the pressure washer to spot clean an excessively dirty area as the pressure will push dirt deeper into the decking material. Do not apply a deck sealer to plastic decking material. Spot cleaners that contain organic solvents such as petroleum distillates, methanol, xylene or acetone are damaging to plastic decking. Use sparingly and rinse immediately. Do not sand the plastic decking as it will alter the appearance of the surface.

References

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