How to Pressure Wash a Deck: 3 Tips to the Perfect Power Washing

Most people are apprehensive about pressure washing their decks, but the process is actually simple. If you follow these three tips to a perfect power washing, your deck will have that new look in no time.

If you have a stained deck, it can be difficult to remove the stain without damaging the wood. Here are 3 tips that will help you pressure wash your deck and keep any stains at bay. Read more in detail here: pressure wash deck without removing stain.

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You’ve made a significant investment in your deck, and there are a few things you’ll want to do to maintain it in excellent condition. Power washing your deck is one of the finest things you can do.

We’ll teach you how to power wash your deck to eliminate dirt, debris, mold, and mildew in this post. I’ll offer you some pointers on how to make your power cleaning run as smoothly as possible and get your deck sparkling clean.

Contents Table of Contents


  • When Should Your Deck Be Pressure-Washed?
  • Is it Necessary to Use a Pressure Washer?
  • How much does pressure washing a deck cost?
  • What is the best tip to use?
  • How to Make a Wand
  • What Will Happen Next?
  • Conclusion

When Should Your Deck Be Pressure-Washed?

When do you know When Should Your Deck Be Pressure-Washed?? My deck was less than a year old, but had mildew on parts of it that didn’t receive any sun.

To avoid filth and mildew growth, clean your deck on a regular basis. When wet, a deck with a lot of mildew becomes exceedingly slippery and a fall danger. Dirt accumulation on or between the deck boards may hasten the deterioration or decay of the deck boards.

Depending on where you live, you may need to pressure wash your deck on a regular basis. In Florida, I pressure wash at least once every six months. If you reside in a dry region, you may only need to clean it once a year, if that, since a simple sweep off may enough.

To maintain your deck in excellent shape, you should stain and/or seal it on a regular basis, much as you would with regular pressure washing.


However, you must first clean your deck in order for the stain or sealer to adhere to the deck planks.


I constructed my deck using pressure treated deck planks in the fall and winter of 2017. When pressure treated pine (popular in Florida) is installed, it is extremely wet, and you must wait for it to dry before staining or sealing it.


Is it Necessary to Use a Pressure Washer?

You may be able to get away with just cleaning your deck to eliminate unsightly stains.

I assumed that a scrub brush and oxiclean combination would enough to clean my deck. Mold had grown on the decking planks close to the home, which were mostly in the shadow.

I conducted some research and read that using oxiclean with dish detergent to remove mold off decking planks worked well. I sprayed the deck with water and scrubbed the mixture all over it.

I let the moldy parts soak in some of the mixture for longer than the rest of the boards. It did get rid of some mold, but it didn’t get rid of all of it. On the rest of the deck, it performed well.

After that, it was time to clean using a power washer.

How much does pressure washing a deck cost?

It’s a terrific weekend project that will set you back between $200 and $300 if you’re purchasing a pressure washer for the first time. After that, the scrubber, bucket, and deck cleaning solution will cost about $40-60.

Whether you purchase or rent your power washer will determine the pricing difference. Many people choose for a power washer from Home Depot or Lowes since they offer a variety of items to pressure wash throughout the year.


We just acquired a power washer that is powered by electricity. Our review of the Ryobi 2300 PSI power washer can be found here.

A pressure washer may cost anywhere from $129 for a low-end electric pressure washer to over $1,000 for a premium, heavy-duty pressure washer. It may cost $75-150 if you hire it for the day from an equipment rental company. Many people will opt to purchase one and retain it since the price range is so close.

If you decide to purchase, a medium-duty pressure washer will suffice for the majority of your needs around the home.

What is the best tip to use?

Power washing a deck provides immediate pleasure, but if done incorrectly, it may harm your deck and create more headaches in the long term, which is why I attempted to clean my deck without power washing first.

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Depending on the weather, this might take many months. Florida had a really rainy year in 2018, and I didn’t have a chance to stain it until late in the year. I knew I’d have to clean the deck completely since it had been a year.

When cleaning a deck with a power washer, be cautious which tip you use. All of the tips are color-coded to indicate the amount of spray they will produce.

I never use the red or yellow tips since they might harm the deck board’s wood fibers. I typically use the green tip, which can be used to clean just about everything.

These are the kind of jet style advice that you should avoid. Instead, use the fan or spinning tips.

How to Make a Wand

The trick to power washing is to maintain the wand at a consistent distance from the deck planks while sweeping. Never let your wand alone for a prolonged period of time. This will ensure that none of the wood fibers are damaged.

When the wood begins to seem fuzzy, you’ve gotten too near. This is due to the fact that you’re peeling through the wood and pulling the wood fibers back. The only thing we want to do is clean the filth off the wood.

Ideally, the pressure should be less than 1200. Because most decking timbers are softer, the sweet spot will be 500-700 psi. Decking materials such as pine and cedar cannot withstand greater pressure.

Instead of using the pressure washer to clean a part of the deck that won’t come up, scrape it with a brush and the deck cleaning solution.

What Will Happen Next?

Even though I had previously cleaned much of the deck before power washing, the power washer was still able to remove even more filth. It was ideal for cleaning between the boards and removing minor particles.

Power washing is a rapid process. It took me longer to remove everything off the deck than it did to power wash it.

You may wait for the deck to dry to check if there are any locations you missed, since a wet surface may not reveal the spots. Since there’s no more dirt to mask any flaws, this is an excellent opportunity to see whether any decking boards need to be replaced.

If your deck is older and pressure cleaning hasn’t helped, you may want to consider replacing it. To help you decide, check out our articles on the best composite decking and the best decking for full sun decks.

You may wish to sand down any locations where you went too near to the deck and saw elevated wood fibers from this point on. If possible, sand it down to a smooth finish. The deck will then be ready for staining or painting.

Before staining or painting your deck, make sure it’s absolutely dry. This might take a few days to a few weeks, depending on humidity and where you reside.


Living in Florida allows you to have a modest deck that you may use all year. We hope that this post has provided you with useful tips for pressure cleaning your deck without causing damage. Following your deck cleaning, you may be interested in our articles on how to clean outdoor furniture cushions and how to stain your deck.

If you want to take on a bigger job, we’ll teach you how to embellish your deck with deck lights and railings to make it the centerpiece of your garden.


We only had to power wash our deck one more a year later. This is what it looked like after we stained it. You can see a video of how it went here.



The “deck damage from power washing” is a common problem that many homeowners face. However, there are ways to fix the issue. Here are 3 tips to the perfect power washing of your deck.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you properly power wash a deck?


What tip to use to pressure wash a deck?

A: Most pressure washers have a high-pressure setting, which can be adjusted on the machine.

How do you pressure wash a deck without leaving marks?

A: Use a high-pressure garden hose.

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