How do I clean a wooden front porch?

by TeacherMama

Our covered front porch has a new deck that was left unstained and was simply sealed. It's gotten pretty dirty, but I'm afraid I'll ruin it if i just take a brush and soap/water to it.

  11 answers
  • Cindy Cindy on Apr 12, 2019

    Hi Teacher. My husband had a deck business several years ago. So I asked for his advice on what you should do to clean your decking. He wanted me to tell you that you should use a pressure washer to clean the entire surface. Let it dry for a couple days and then seal it again. If you don't own a pressure washer, you can rent one from your local home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's. He also wants you to know that you should re-seal your porch every 3 or 4 years. Wishing you well Teacher. Good luck.

  • San21866278 San21866278 on Apr 13, 2019

    Use outdoor 30 second cleaner sold at Home Depot or


    works great

  • Howi Howi on Apr 13, 2019

    Your best bet is to sand the deck completely and refinish with an outdoors

    finish. It's a lot of work however, the product will be awesome !!!!


  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Apr 13, 2019

    Hello. Power wash.

    You cannot immediately seal a pressure-treated deck seal after new installation as a rule. You should be fine. There are multiple effective deck cleaning choices at the hardware store. They all work well. Btw If you don’t have a pressure washer it can be done with a push type brush and a bucket of prepared solution.

    I think I've used them all without a particular preference.

    Sometimes scanning the label can influence my choice. Some indicate they are landscape friendly he would take care of my mold and mildew. It maybe advisable to use the same cleaner of the deck sealing product you intend to apply —it may make for a better bond and better result as well as help support the product guarentee.

    I hope this helps.

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    • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Apr 17, 2019

      Boy do I understand your problem Grumpy !

      We have a gianemorous new deck that was built in 2015. We made the choice of using the top of the line cost wise- a BEHR solid stain which is much like a paint. The can rated it to last 7 years. Figuring with this rating this would be the best alternative for our deck that has a heavy sun exposure -offering lots of protection.

      This finish has been failing every year 2017+2018 also requiring spotty REapplication-after experiencing adhesion troubles, cracking and mildew over the past two years.

      But last year -we called the customer support line with our failure frustration and we were provided with individualized detailed cleaning surface prep advice with application instruction support and complete product replacement of deck cleaner and stain. Thats right deck cleaner and a few 5 gallon buckets were delivered direct to our home.

      It might be worthwhile to give Behr company a call and see if they can offer any assistance or compensation. Our finish is now holding a year later, Im happy to report. Perhaps the same proprietary cleaner helped-or something else helped idk. We are thankful for this happy resolution.

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  • Robin Wallace Robin Wallace on Apr 13, 2019

    You can clean it cheap with water,vinegar, and a squirt of dawn and a stiff brush/broom. Rinse well.

  • Em Em on Apr 13, 2019

    You will not ruin it by washing it. It is already out in the elements of sun and rain. Use Murphy's Oil Soap. Gentle soap that cleans. Use a bristle broom to save your back and dip into a bucket and scrub. It looks like a beautiful floor. I would consider sealing it with a wood product made to seal outdoor wood. Thompson's is NOT a good product. Most everyone I know has there porches peeling badly with this. Try one of the new ones like Seal Once or Marine Lumber. They are a little pricey but the amount of work you will save yourself sealing every year or two with the others is worth it.

  • Casey Casey on Apr 13, 2019

    I see many suggestions to power wash the deck, but I read recently that doing that opens up the "pores" in the wood and makes it weaker. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

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    • Charly Charly on Apr 17, 2019

      My neighbor power washed his deck and the entire surface of the deck had splinters sticking up. He had to sand it all down before he could seal it. I have a 10 foot by 30 foot deck and I use white vinegar, Dawn dish detergent in water with a stiff push broom. My deck cleans up beautifully!

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 13, 2019

    If you have a brand new deck made of treated lumber (as opposed to cedar or redwood), you should wait at least a month or two before sealing it for the first time. This allows the wood to dry so the stain can be absorbed.

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    • Em Em on Apr 13, 2019

      The post said it was already sealed.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Apr 13, 2019

    Do as Robin suggests.... You can clean it cheap with water,vinegar, and a squirt of dawn and a stiff brush/broom. Rinse well.

  • Crw4444 Crw4444 on Apr 13, 2019

    Based on the condition of the wood, it may be best to powerwash it on a low setting. Works well for my wooden deck. Bleach removes mold quickly. I spray it with bleach, let it set for about ten minutes, power wash, and rinse well.