How to Clean Your Composite Deck- Easy Care and Cleaning

Cleaning, composite decks

Composite Decking can be a beautiful alternative to a traditional wood deck. Whether you choose Trex®, Timbertech®, Choice Deck®, Veranda®, or one of the many other composite decking manufacturers there are some practical steps you can take to maintain your decks beauty.

Keep in mind that not all composite decks are alike and it is a good practice to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in caring for your deck.

Below are some common questions that we are asked about composites?

mold on deck boards

How Do I Clean Dirt and Debris From My Composite Decking?

Sweep, sweep, sweep! It is always a good idea to sweep your deck regularly to discourage mold growth and staining. For an occasional cleaning, spray the surface with a water hose to remove the dirt and debris but do avoid allowing areas of the deck to pool water. For tougher areas, use warm soapy water made with a mild dishwashing detergent and a soft brush to remove any buildup. Thoroughly rinse off with a garden hose when complete.

We Grill And Eat On Our Deck. What Do I Do About Food And Grease Stains?

It's no surprise that any kind of oil or grease spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. The longer it sits the more likely it will become a permanent stain. Use hot soapy water made with a mild dishwashing detergent and a soft sponge or rag to remove any oil or grease. For forgotten spills or tough stains, use and oxygen bleach solution (not chlorine bleach) and let it sit and work. Thoroughly rinse off with a garden hose when satisfied with the results. 

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I Think I See Mold And Mildew Spots. How Do I Clean Them?

Mold and mildew is a common occurrence for outdoor surfaces and your decking is no exception. Periodic cleaning will help prevent pollen and debris buildup but mold and mildew can still grow on the natural "bio film" on the surface of your deck. If mold or mildew is present on your deck, use a composite deck cleaner such as Rhino Hide's, oxygen bleach powder, UltraMean2.  An oxygen bleach works to remove the mold growing inside the deck, not just cleaning the surface. Follow the instructions on the label and be sure to rinse thoroughly with a garden hose when finished. NOTE: Never use Chlorine Bleach or Sodium Hypochlorite based cleaner on your deck! For more information check out these article, “Why you should never use bleach to clean mold” & Why you should never use bleach on composite decking.”

Cleaning Is Hard Work. How Can I Prevent Mold From Coming Back?

decking cleaner and mold barrier

Let's be honest, no one like's to scrub their deck year after year. If you are tired of performing those deep summer and fall cleanings, Rhino Hide’s UltraBan Mold Barrier is just what you've been looking for. UltraBan is a water-based moisture barrier that is easily applied after you have cleaned your deck to keep the mold/mildew growth down to a minimum. Once dried, it becomes an “invisible film" which will not change the look of your deck but will keep the mold at bay all year long. UltraBan is commonly applied after the deck is completely dry from cleaning or even better, apply UltraBan before you see mold and cut out the extra work. Although it may last longer, we recommended applying UltraBan once a year around the same time just to make sure your deck is protected. Most of our customers have remarked that they keep a spring or fall application routine to avoid many of the issues associated with harsh winter weather or spring time showers.  

Should I Use a Pressure Washer To Clean My Composite Deck?

We do not recommend using a pressure washer to clean composite material. It is softer than natural wood and can easily be damaged or etched if the PSI is to high. This will ultimately lead to new areas for dirt and mildew to hide and stain the deck. Of course, it's always a good idea to check with the manufacturer to see their recommendations for your specific deck but  common sense when cleaning softer materials like composite decking.

How Can I Get Rid Of Water Spots, Tannins, or Leaf Stains?

An oxalic acid based deck brightener such as UltraMean can be used to remove these spots/stains. Some of these stains may be removed by natural weathering, but UltraMean will help speed up the process.

There are many advantages to composite decking, but regular maintenance is a must to extend the life of your deck. By investing just a small amount of time now, you can be sure of the best look and performance for years to come.

Need a step-by-step walkthrough of how to clean your deck? Visit our decking page!