Building a deck is not exactly cheap. Because of this, you’ll want to preserve and maintain it as long as you can. But the problem is, cleaning your decking can be a little tricky. That’s the reason why many people avoid notoriously high-maintenance wood decks. Homeowners, instead, choose low-maintenance alternatives, such as composite decking. Despite what many may think, composite decking still needs maintenance so it can last long as it should. To do this, you will need to find the best cleaner for composite decking. But the question is, what should you use on your composite decking when cleaning?
Commercial Cleaning Products
One of the first few things you’ll consider when cleaning a composite deck is using commercial cleaning products. To find the best one, you can consult your manufacturers for their recommendations. They will work effectively and keep your deck clean.
However, there are a few things you should remember when using commercial cleaning products, especially if there are no recommendations or instructions from your decking boards’ manufacturers. Unlike wood, there are a few things that you can’t use on a composite deck. Using them can cause damage and fading.
When buying cleaners for composite decking, never use ones that have chlorine bleach in it. Look at the active ingredients of your chosen product and see whether it has Sodium Hypochlorite. If it does, avoid it at all cost.
Not only can it stain your deck, but chlorine bleach can dissolve the capping present in most decks. If that happens, you will lose all protection from problems such as moulds, moisture, and fading. In general, you will want to avoid harsh chemicals on your deck as it can make a reaction and ruin the decking.
As long as you get the right cleaner, it will work well on composite decking. Because composite decks are easy to maintain, most products will work, no problem.
Because you can potentially get the wrong type of cleaning product and ruin your deck, many homeowners instead use homemade solutions for deck cleaning. What are some solutions that you can use on your composite decking?
For the most part, a simple dishwashing liquid diluted in water will work effectively in cleaning your deck. Many manufacturers even advise using this as long as there are no persistent stains or dirt on your decking. You can use a brush and this solution to scrub the dirt away, and your deck will become good as new.
But what about stains? How can you remove stains by using homemade products? One of the best things you got is in your kitchen. Vinegar is one of the most effective cleaners, and it’s safe for composite decks. Vinegar, or its active ingredient, acetic acid, is mild enough but still can dissolve dirt, grime, and stains. It can also kill bacteria on most surfaces.
When paired with baking soda, vinegar can effectively remove most stains. The baking soda is non-acidic and acts as a mild abrasive that uproots persistent stain and dirt. When used together with vinegar, the acid-base chemical reaction that helps get rid of them.
So how can you use vinegar on a deck? First, rinse your deck with water. Then dilute the two to one vinegar in water. Then, pour the solution directly on the stain. Next, sprinkle the baking soda in the stain spots, and watch for the chemical reaction. Let it do its work and leave it for a few minutes. Scrub the stain and repeat the process if necessary. Lastly, rinse it with water.
Which is Better?
Composite decking is a low-maintenance decking option. When it comes to cleaning it, most deck cleaners will work wonders. You’ll only have to choose which you prefer. However, make sure not to use harsh chemicals such as bleach, as it can ruin your deck. Alternatively, you can also use homemade cleaning products such as vinegar and baking soda. Both commercial products and homemade solutions will clean your deck effectively.
The best cleaner for composite decking is one that will not fade or bleach the surface of your decking. Depending on the cleaning task you want to carry out, you can use soap to wash the surface of your decking.