The Best Inexpensive and Non-Toxic DIY Deck Cleaner

3 Materials
2 Hours

It’s the beginning of summer…time to start inviting some friends over to hang out on the deck! The only problem? The deck is covered in dirt and algae.

the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
This winter was particularly cool and damp around here…perfect algae growing conditions! As you can see, the deck was definitely in need of some cleaning.

Over the years, I have tried lots of different store-bought cleaning products.  Some work better than others, but almost all of them are really hard on the plants around my deck...not to mention toxic for my pets.
the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
I finally stumbled across a homemade deck cleaner that is safe for plants, animals, and kids, doesn't cost very much, and actually works really well!

Oxygen bleach uses oxygen ions to break apart the dirt which means no harmful chemicals are involved at all...and it's inexpensive.  I have a fairly large deck, and it takes about 2 cups of Oxi-Clean to do the whole thing.

To make the solution, mix about 1/2 cup of oxygen bleach with 2 gallons of warm water (if you have a large deck like I do, you may need more than one batch)
the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
Before starting to clean, soak the deck with the hose. I usually do about 20 square feet at a time so that the water doesn't completely dry before I get to cleaning it.
the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
Then use a deck brush to scrub the solution onto the wood. You can see the grime coming off already!
the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse the deck off with the hose. It's really that easy!

If your deck is really dirty (like mine was), there may be a few spots with really tough stains that need a repeat treatment.
the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
This is what my deck looks like now that it's done...a big improvement over where I started.
the best inexpensive and non toxic diy deck cleaner
After all that work, it's time to relax and enjoy the end result.
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Wanda @ From House To Home

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 68 questions
  • Kathaleen
    on Jun 29, 2018

    do you think this would work on siding? I have a lot of green algae that needs work, and dogs and chickens to worry about toxic drain off. Thanks

    • Debra
      7 days ago

      Yes, did nearly all my siding & outdoor door faces with stains w/ similar product, soft brush set & hose this fall. Some spots needed more elbow grease, but ex. results!!

  • Bos15125275
    on Jul 16, 2018

    Would this work on a small flag stone patio ??

  • A.h24206130
    on Jul 18, 2018

    Will this solution work on cement?

Join the conversation

3 of 93 comments
  • Dorothea Morrison
    on Jul 28, 2018

    Thank you, this is inspiring. I will try this idea. I have irises and lilies, don't want to kill my plants.

  • Dena McClinton
    on Dec 22, 2018

    the bleach is toxic. I use a mix of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. I have the same results.

    • Hi Dena...You're right that regular bleach is toxic...but I use oxygen bleach which isn't toxic at all. If hydrogen peroxide and baking soda work for you, that's great, too :)

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