Can you imagine your summers out on this decking?:  Terrace by The Market Design & Build

Removing stains from decking

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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That wooden deck out on your terrace or patio, apart from providing a fantastic outdoor space for entertaining and socialising, puts up with a lot, doesn’t it? Think about it: how many times has someone spilled something on it, cut or scratched its surface, or treated it to the wrong kind of chemicals and tools in terms of cleaning? Not to mention the drama it’s been through this past winter…

Finding a stain on your deck is nothing new, but discovering a new way to get rid of it without purchasing a specific deck cleaner might be. And we’re willing to bet that if you were to take a closer look after cleaning it, you’d still notice quite a few marks here and there that deserve a little extra attention. 

So, let’s see how you can rid your beautiful wooden deck of stains by using a combination of items you (should) already have around the house…

1. Plant stains

Your terrace is bound to have some leaves or moss on it at one time or another, especially if you live somewhere with a lot of trees. And when these plants touch wood for long amounts of time, they can leave stains on the deck, even after you’ve scraped or swept the leaves and moss away. 

So, how do you get rid of those marks? By using a combination of bleach and water. Leaf stains can be scrubbed away with a solution of 1 part bleach to 1 part water. 

For moss, which can grow on the wood, try a solution of 4 parts bleach to 1 part water, and repeat when necessary.

2. Oils from food and grease

 Terrace by SPG Architects

Fancy the occasional barbecue, do you? Then your terrace is bound to have undergone a few greasy spills. But here’s the fun part: rather than evaporating like water and lighter liquids, grease from a barbecue will stick to that wooden surface like glue! 

To get rid of those oily stains, a mixture of dish soap and water can work wonders on any grease spill. For more stubborn stains, opt for scrubbing with something that has a more abrasive texture, like powdered dish washing detergent and water. 

When scrubbing, however, be sure to test this mixture on a small area first in order to be sure it doesn’t harm the finish on your deck.

3. Wine stains

We’ve all been there – having a blast being the life of the party just to discover some wine spills here and there the next morning! Unfortunately, wine stains can be some of the most difficult to remove, especially if they have absorbed into a wooden deck surface. 

First, try the bleach and water solution suggested for plant stains, with a scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush. If that doesn’t work, try oil soap combined with hot water to remove the stain. 

If that wine stain still won’t budge, combine baking soda and water to make a paste to scrub it out.

Need that expert interior (or exterior) look? Check out our range of professionals.

4. Tree sap

First things first: scrape away that tree sap with a putty knife or butter knife, so that all that is left is the stain against the flat surface. An oil soap can be very effective in removing tree sap from decks, but works best on sealed ones. 

Pour the oil soap onto the sap stain, let it sit for at least 15 minutes, then scrub or rinse it away. If oil soap doesn’t remove it all, try dabbing at the tree sap with nail polish remover or WD-40

We recommend that you first try a small spot test if you’re afraid the cleaning solution might harm the surface of the deck.

5. Pet messes

Don’t blame Fluffy for marking his territory – let’s rather focus on how to fix it! 

Stains left from pets on the deck can be removed using a vinegar and water mix. Here’s how: combine 2 gallons of water with ½ a gallon of white vinegar, and then pour it onto the stain. Scrub the spot with a brush, let the solution soak for about 30 minutes, then rinse it with the hose. The vinegar should clean the spot and get rid of the smell. 

You can repeat this cleaning method several times until the stain is completely gone. If you have a stubborn stain that won’t budge, you can follow it up with a baking soda paste on the spot after rinsing the vinegar away. The combination of these two solutions should do the trick!

Well, seeing as we’re busy with the deck, we might as well move on to the interiors. See these: 8 gleaming cleaning tips for meticulous homeowners.

What other cleaning secrets can make a deck look new?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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