My deck is covered in wooden floorboards, which look great – but tend to pick up dirt easily. Can I just wash them with water, or will this damage the wood?

Don’t decks look amazing when you first inspect a house? Before you’ve bought it. Before you’ve even thought about where you’ll put your lounge. Before you’ve talked to your mortgage broker and seen some very, very scary sums being written on important-looking papers. Before all that, you’re just a girl, standing on a deck, thinking, I could have a bloody lot of gin and tonics out here.

And you could. You really could.

But. Decks get dirty. We live in a sunburnt country, after all, and it’s honestly a wonder how all our outdoor spaces aren’t perennially covered in a layer of grit. The good thing is that decks are pretty easy to clean, so let’s get scrubbing.

First – and I’m sure you’re already doing this, but let’s just go over it one more time – make sure you’re sweeping the deck with a wide-handled plastic bristled broom (one made for outdoor use) regularly. Once a week is good, twice is ideal. I also like to use the broom to remove any cobwebs or other debris before I sweep – I figure I may as well kill two birds with the one stone (or broom, as the case may be).

To deep clean, remove all furniture from your deck (I know, I know. But you want to do it properly, don’t you?) You’ll need a plastic-bristled scrubbing brush, a bucket and some Napisan. Yes, really. You could buy expensive deck cleaner, but the active ingredient in most of these is sodium percarbonate – aka Napisan, a far cheaper alternative. Pour half a cup of Napisan into a bucket of warm water, and scrub all over your deck. Hose everything off, making sure there’s no soapy residue left, as this can stain your deck. Don’t put your furniture back until the entire deck is completely dry, but do pour yourself a G&T as you wait.

 

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