How to Brighten and Clean a Deck with Oxygen Cleaner


Wood decks need maintenance like all other parts of your house. This tutorial will show you how to clean and refinish wood decks.

This cleaning is not necessary for all deck refinishing jobs. You may only need to power wash your deck if it has been painted or stained with an opaque stain.

What you’ll need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Goggles for Eye Protection
  • 1 Rubber gloves
  • 1 Paint scraper
  • 1 Sandpaper
  • 1 Plastic bristles with a stiff bristled brush
  • 1 Protect your plants with plastic drop cloths
  • 1 Push broom (hard bristles).


  • 1 Deck cleaner


Check the Deck Every Year

An annual inspection of your deck is a good idea. You should inspect your deck for loose boards and other structural components. Also, look out for rotting wood. You can tell rotting wood by discoloration, mold and softness when you press down with a sharp object like a screwdriver. Replace any pieces that have dry rot or soft wood.

After you have checked everything and made sure the wood is sound, prepare the surface for staining.

Stain Wood Deck Surfaces

Preparing the wood surface for stain is the first step. This involves removing any surface finishes or paint. This step can be skipped if your deck doesn’t have any loose paint or opaque stain. You can skip this step if your deck has been painted and you wish to repaint. This is not necessary if your deck has an opaque or painted stain.

Get rid of old paint

Use a sharp paint scraper to remove any paint, stain or finish that is not completely removed.


Scrape away anything that is not sandable.


You must remove any sealant film finishes, such as paint or varnish, with a chemical stripper. When using a chemical stripper, make sure to wear rubber gloves and protect your eyes.

Chemical stripper

Follow the directions to apply the chemical stripper. You will usually apply the chemical stripper in small sections. After it has worked, scrape off any loose finish. You may need to repeat the process if you have stubborn areas. You can also use a putty knife to get into tight corners. Rinse the stripper as directed.

There are many types of wood deck cleaners

There are several types of deck cleaners and deck restorers available on the market. They generally fall under three major cleaning bases:

  • Avoid chlorine bleach cleaners They can cause damage to the wood and give it a unnatural whitewash look. They can also cause wood fiber fuzzing.
  • These cleaners are oxygen bleach cleaners. When they are mixed with water, these cleaners produce hydrogen peroxide as well as a soda-ash cleaning base. This can be used to remove mildew stains from wood and the graying that is caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. It is also very effective at removing dirt and deposits from the wood. After cleaning with this cleaner, the wood will return to its original color.
  • The cleaners are oxalic-acid-based and effective at removing tannin stains. Tannins, which are water-soluble, naturally occurring resins with a reddish brown color, can be found in woods such as oak, cedar, or cedar. This type of cleaner can be used to supplement oxygen bleach cleaners, if tannin staining occurs.

Apply Wood Deck Cleaner

After the wood has been stripped and scraped (if necessary), and you have purchased a cleaner, it’s time to start.

Prepare Your Area

Prepare the area and cover your plants and shrubs with a plastic dropcloth. To immediately dissolve any deck cleaner residue, it’s a good idea for the surrounding area to be hosed down with water.


Before you mix the cleaner, make sure to wear eye protection and rubber gloves.

Use Cleaner

Use the instructions provided by the manufacturer to spray the deck cleaner. Do not try to cover all of the deck at once. Instead, work in sections to get better results.

Do not try to cover all of the deck at once. Instead, work in sections to achieve better results.

Set it up

Allow the cleaner to sit for as long as the manufacturer recommends, typically between 10 and 20 min.


After the timer has worked for the required amount of time, clean the deck with a hard-bristled push brush. Do not work against the grain of wood.

Rinse and Repeat

Rinse the deck with water, and then go to the next section.

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