How to Clean an Ipe Deck

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Ipe wood is a popular choice for decks and porches thanks its beauty and resilience. The wood starts as a striped reddish-brown color; when faded from sun and weather exposure, it takes on a gray-silver hue. The wood resists cutting and impact damage, fungal infection and insect damage, making it ideal for many outdoor applications. Cleaning this deck can help to keep your lawn or yard looking great; it is also the first step in a refinishing project to bring the wood back to its original color.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Wood cleaner
  • Hose
  • Power washer
  • Remove any furniture from the surface of the ipe deck or porch. Sweep away all surface dust, dirt and debris with a broom.

  • Wash the ipe wood with a high-quality wood cleaner. Follow all product instructions regarding dilution or application amount, as products will vary in their strength.

  • Rinse the deck thoroughly with clean water from a hose or sprayer to remove residual suds from the soap. Allow the wood to dry (this can take up to 48 hours, depending on weather conditions) and inspect your work.

  • Remove stubborn stains to prepare the ipe surface for refinishing, using a power washer. The machine should be capable of up to 3,000 lbs. of pressure per square inch (PSI).

  • Spray the washer evenly over the surface of the deck to remove all stains and avoid overlapping marks. Start the power washer on a low setting; only use the higher settings if necessary to remove the stains. Allow the deck to dry and inspect your work; repeat any cleaning methods if necessary. Return all furniture to the deck or porch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find wood cleaner and buy or rent a power washer at wood specialty stores, hardware or home improvement stores.
  • Do not use a pressure washer if you are unfamiliar with the tool. The strong stream of water from this tool can cause damage to house siding, sensitive woods and other surfaces.

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