How to Pressure Wash a Deck

A clean deck is the pride and joy of every homeowner. Many people wonder how to pressure wash a deck when they want to clean the deck. With time, most outdoor decks lose their luster, and original shine as the natural factors impact the wood.

Rain, snow, dust, grime, and regular usage can deteriorate the wood of the deck to the point that it starts looking messy. This is the time when you should get a pressure washer and clean all the grime off the wood to make it ready for staining.

In this article, we are going to look at how to pressure wash a deck, the things you will need, what you need to be careful of while pressure washing a deck, and some frequently asked questions.

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Everything you Need to Pressure Wash a Deck

Keep in mind, using a pressure washer without the proper accessories might not result in a good cleaning job, and it might even damage your deck. When you use a pressure washer, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for a satisfactory result. Here are the things you will need to pressure wash your deck.

Pressure Washing a Deck is the Best Way to Clean it

1) A Pressure Washer – You can use either a gas-powered or an electric pressure washer, but choose a PSI rating that is suitable for the wood of the deck. It is a good idea to start from PSI of 500-600 and then go higher if you feel that much pressure is not cleaning properly. In any case, you should not go higher than 1500 PSI as that much pressure can damage the wood or leave marks on the surface of the wood.

2) The Right Nozzle – Choose a nozzle with a fan spray of 40-60 degrees depending on the level of dirt on the deck. If you choose a nozzle with high-pressure rating, you might end up damaging the wood of the deck. It is always a good idea to check on a small area to see if the pressure is adequate for cleaning the wood.

3) Safety Gear – The splinters from the wood or the jet stream of the pressure washer can be dangerous if you do not wear protective clothing. Thick boots, safety glasses, gloves, and thick pants are some of the things you should wear before starting to pressure wash the deck.

4) Deck Cleaner – A deck cleaner is a solution that loosens up the dirt and embedded materials in the wood of the deck. You can purchase a deck cleaner from your local hardware store. Make sure you buy a deck cleaner that is recommended by the pressure washer manufacturer for compatibility.

How to Pressure Wash a Deck

1) Prepare the Deck – Remove all the chairs or tables from the deck. Make sure there are no loose tools or implements on the deck.

2) Apply Deck Cleaner – You can use the soaping attachment or the black nozzle of the pressure washer to apply deck cleaner to the wood. Once the deck cleaner is applied evenly, use a scrubbing brush to rub the deck cleaner into the wood. A deck cleaner loosens up any dirt or particles that are embedded in the wood.

3) Use the Pressure Washer – For pressure washing, the PSI of 500-600 is enough for most wood types. Switch on the wand in a direction away from the wood so that it doesn’t damage the wood. The fan angle from a 40-degree to 60-degree tip is ideal for pressure washing the deck. Move the pressure washer wand in a sweeping motion to remove all the dirt and grime from the wood. Also, keep the tip of the wand at least two feet from the surface as getting close can leave marks on the wood.

4) Let the Wood Dry – Let the wood dry naturally for 48 hours before you start sanding or staining the surface.

Before and After of a Pressure Cleaned Deck

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FAQ about Pressure Washing a Deck

If you are thinking of pressure washing your deck, you might have some questions in your mind. Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about pressure washing decks.

Q1) How much pressure do I need to clean my deck?

Ans. For most wood types, you can use a pressure of 500-600 PSI as using anything higher than this can damage the wood or leave marks in it.

Q2) How do you clean a deck with a pressure washer?

Ans. First, scrub the deck clean of all the dirt and grime in it and then use a pressure washer to wash away the grime. It is essential to use low PSI and make wide sweeping motions to clean the dirt off the deck.

Q3) Should you power wash your deck?

Ans. If the deck is too dirty and it has not been cleaned for many years, you can power wash your deck. If you have recently cleaned your deck, you can use a scrubber with a deck cleaning solution for satisfactory results.

Q4) How often should you pressure wash your deck?

Ans. It will help if you pressure wash your deck when it starts to look dirty. This depends on the traffic the deck gets, weather in the area, the type of wood, and treatment on it.

Q5) How do I know it’s time to pressure wash my deck?

Ans. There is a simple test to know if it’s time to pressure wash the deck. Take some water in your hand and drop it on the deck. If the water forms into droplets, you don’t need to wash the deck. If the wood soaks up the water, it’s time to get started with a pressure washer.

Q6) How much does it cost to pressure wash a deck?

Ans. It could cost $0.35 to $0.95 per sq.ft. on average.


Washing a deck with a pressure washer is the right choice when there is years of grime and dirt on the deck. A pressure washer can make quick work of a well-scrubbed deck as it can wash away all the dirt once the wood is treated with a deck cleaning solution.

If you are washing your deck with a pressure washer, keep in mind to use a low PSI setting and swipe the wand in wide arcs to sweep the deck. Once the deck is dry, it will look much cleaner, and then you can prepare it for staining and painting.

If you have any questions about pressure washing decks, please feel free to leave a comment below this article, and our team will get back to you at the earliest.

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Hi, I'm James. The Chief Editor at I worked in Pressure Washer industry for a few years, and I thought to share my knowledge about pressure washer on our blog with my team.

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