Summer takes its toll on outdoor decks: the elements, foot traffic, pets, runoff from the roof and plant debris — it all adds up. It’s unavoidable. Regular outdoor deck maintenance ensures that your deck not only looks better but stays structurally sound longer. So what’s a eco-conscious deck-loving home owner to do?
Green your outdoor deck maintenance
There are plenty of outdoor deck maintenance products on the market. These products promise to rid your deck of dirt, stains and mildew yet can contain harsh chemicals. Why not make your own outdoor deck maintenance cleaner with natural, eco-friendly household ingredients instead? With some elbow grease, a power washer and a utility broom, your deck will look brand new in no time at all. Best of all, you and your guests won’t be standing on a pile of toxic timber.
Here’s how to get started.
Eco-friendly deck cleaner recipe
- Using a utility broom, clean all the loose debris from your deck.
- Use a power washer to loosen the embedded dirt and rinse off your deck.
- Sprinkle the deck with baking soda.
- Make your own deck cleaner using 1 gallon of hot water, 1 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of your favorite eco-friendly dish soap. The acid from the vinegar helps clean away any mildew or algae. If you find you have a lot of build-up, consider adding 2 cups of vinegar.
- Using a scrub brush or broom, wash your deck with your homemade cleaner. The natural reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda helps to give your deck a good scrub. The baking soda also acts as a mild abrasive to scrub away any tough stains.
- Rinse your deck again using the power washer.
- Let your deck dry overnight.
Note: If you haven’t washed your deck in a few years, consider repeating this process the next day for a good, thorough clean.
Run away from the toxic runoff routine
The best part of this method is using a natural cleaner saves toxic chemicals from leaking into your lawn and water supply. Enjoy your clean deck knowing it was washed in an environmentally responsible way.
To see other materials to upkeep your deck, visit your local Home Depot.
Feature image credit: Artazum / Shutterstock