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DIY Eco-Friendly Composite Deck Cleaner

Easily clean your composite deck with our homemade cleaner

I love our gray composite deck, however, it does tend to show a lot of dirt and mildew. After this past year, our deck needed a total cleaning. Here is the eco-friendly deck cleaner we used to make our outdoor space sparkle.

I was hesitant to do this DIY cleaning project, but I am so happy that I did it. It was super easy and the results will show for themselves without using harmful chemicals.

before gray mildew covered deck with arrow pointed to clean after gray composite deck.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

Ways to clean composite decking

  • Use a pressure washer
  • Specific deck and house cleaners
  • Bought Eco-friendly cleaners
  • Soapy water with a brush
  • Create your own DIY deck cleaner using ingredients you probably already have

We have seen DIY deck cleaner recipes that will add oxi clean to the above mixture to help clean wood decks. But is it the best deck cleaner? Why buy a harmful deck cleaner when a more natural solution can be one of the best composite deck cleaners.

bucket filled with mildew after DIY cleaning used.

Why use a homemade deck cleaner?

When power washing, the stream can cause damage to the deck surface if it is too strong. Other cleaners are not always as eco-friendly. Making your own composite cleaner is cheaper than buying it and we were shocked at how easily it took care of stubborn stains. We think it is your best option and it involves very basic steps.

Best deck cleaning brush

red deck cleaning brush on gray composite decking.

One of the most important parts of cleaning your composite decking is having the right brush. Look for a brush that has soft enough bristles. The one that we ended up finding that works the best is meant for cleaning cars and had a hose attachment. 

I did not want to scrape my deck and thought of trying a soft brush first. The deck brush we used was the Libman 6.5 ft. Flow-Thru Wash Brush.

Similar deck brushes

Camco Adjustable Handle On Amazon

Ettore Poly Fiber Soft General Wash Brush

What should you do before you begin?

Any time you are cleaning with something new, we recommend that you test it in a small area to make sure that the colors aren’t changing or the Trex deck does not get damaged.

red brush showing clean path done with homemade deck cleaner.

How do you clean a deck naturally?

When cleaning composite decking, use natural cleaning products like white vinegar, baking soda and water with a scrub brush. We added 1 cup of white vinegar to about a gallon of warm water. Then added 1/4 cup of baking soda to make the all-purpose cleaner.

Take the DIY cleaning solution and use a soft brush to begin cleaning the deck boards.

PLEASE don’t put this mixture in your power washer when pressure washing. It will ruin your machine and is not a good idea.

Why do people use vinegar and baking soda to clean?

According to Live Science, the vinegar acid “ breaks down the baking soda, releasing carbon dioxide that can help lift dirt from the surface” and is effective because it is on opposite ends of the PH scale. Just make sure that you don’t use these in a 1:1 ratio. You need to make your mixture either more acidic or basic based on your cleaning needs. 

Can you use this homemade cleaner on wooden decks?

Yes, I would think it is worth trying. As we stated before we have seen people also add chlorine bleach or oxi clean to their wood deck cleaners for their natural decks. However, please do your own research on the best way to clean wood decks.

Supplies

supplies used for composite deck cleaner, vinegar, baking soda, bucket and brush.

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Deck cleaning brush
  • Hose with sprayer
  • A bucket filled with 1 Gallon of water

Steps for cleaning your deck

Step 1: The first step is to sweep or brush off loose dirt, leaves, etc.

the before dirty composite gray decking with mildew on it.

Step 2: Make DIY composite deck cleaner by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Dump in 1/4 cup of baking soda. Make sure you are using a large enough bucket because your vinegar and baking soda will fizz.

hand scooping 1/4 cup baking soda to add to blue bucket.

Step 3: Spray the surface of the deck with a garden hose first.

hand holding spray on hose to wet deck down.

Step 4: Dip soft bristle brush in homemade deck cleaner and sweep on. We were shocked how it naturally broke down the mildew.

deck brush being put in DIY cleaning solution in blue bucket.

Step 5: Work in small sections and spray off each area as you finish.

red deck brush with clean path on gray composite decking.

Step 6: Enjoy your beautiful and clean deck.

close up of gray composite clean deck boards.

Deck cleaning tips

  • Do not try to clean the entire deck at once. Work in small sections spraying composite material as you go.
  • Do not let any mixture sit for too long on a sunny day (whether wood decking or composite).
  • Rinse your deck’s surface completely with clean water for a thorough cleaning
  • Tough stains may require a little more elbow grease and a small deck brush

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Want to clean your vinyl siding next? Here is another homemade siding cleaner you can use on your house siding to easily get rid of mold, mildew and algae.

Yield: Homemade Deck Cleaner

How To Make Eco Friendly Composite Deck Cleaner

red brush showing clean path done with homemade deck cleaner.

Learn how to easily clean your composite decking with this DIY homemade composite deck solution.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost under $5

Materials

  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1 Gal Warm Water

Tools

Instructions

  1. The first step is to sweep or brush off loose dirt, leaves, etc.
  2. Make DIY composite deck cleaner by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Dump in 1/4 cup of baking soda. Make sure you are using a large enough bucket because your vinegar and baking soda will fizz.
  3. Spray the surface of the deck with a garden hose first.
  4. Dip soft bristle brush in homemade deck cleaner and sweep on. We were shocked how it naturally broke down the mildew.
  5. Work in small sections and spray off each area as you finish.
  6. Enjoy your beautiful and clean deck.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Need another DIY cleaning idea? Check out how to easily clean brass hardware.

Now you can say goodbye to mildew on your deck with this easy eco-friendly deck cleaning solution!

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