Pressure Wash Deck

The Best Way To Clean A Wood Deck With A Pressure Washer

If you have made the decision to clean a wood deck with a pressure washer, there are some things that you will definitely want to keep in mind in order to do the most effective job possible. After all, there is no sense renting or buying a pressure washer to do the job unless you can use the machine to best effect, is there?

Here are the steps you can take to make sure that you wash your deck most effectively with a pressure washer.

clean a wood deck with a pressure washer

1- Assess the situation and figure out how much work it will probably take to pressure wash the wooden deck. Particularly if you are renting a pressure washer, you will want to have an estimate of the amount of time the job is probably going to take.

2 – When formulating your plan (and beginning your work) make sure that you work from top to bottom. This is only logical, because water flows down. This means that you should work your way from upper levels to lower levels, and from the high end of a slope to the lower end.

3 – Clear everything from the deck (and under the deck) that could potentially be damaged by water pressure, water, or by debris.

4 – Choose the most appropriate grade of pressure washer for the job. If you are not sure whether the job can best be served by a consumer grade machine or a professional grade machine, you might want to consider some of the top-end consumer models that have a bit more power than normal. These are referred to as “prosumer” machines due to their hybrid nature.

5 – Make sure that you are properly attired. Although this may not seem like an important part of the process, remember that many models of pressure washers can put out 3 gallons per minute or more, with water pressure of over 2,500 PSI. You need to wear clothes that will protect you from injury. That much water pressure coming into contact with your bare skin would be disastrous.

6 – Hook up a clean water source to the machine.

7 – Start in the far corner of the deck and work your way back. Much like, when painting a room, you would not want to paint yourself into a corner – you don’t want to create a scenario where you have to step on clean wood to exit the deck.

8 – If the deck has build-up or stains, you may need to apply chemical cleaners or solvents prior to starting – but if that is not the case, the pressure of the water should be more than enough to do the job.

9 – Move the hose and nozzle of the pressure washer around the deck in a methodical way, making sure that you do not miss one single square inch of the deck.

10 – Finally, if you have any additional areas which are not level to be pressure washed, then you can attach one of the angled tips that comes with the machine so that you can pressure wash those surfaces as if they were level ground. There is no reason to be less effective with a surface just because it is not horizontal!

That is it! You are done power washing your deck!

Of course, once you have finished the job, there is one final task: cleanup! Make sure that you let the pressure out before detaching the hose to prevent injury and damage to the machine, and – if the machine is yours to keep – make sure you store it in a safe, dry location so that it is ready and waiting to be used the next time you need to power wash something in your home.

Power washing is one of the quickest and easiest ways to wash large areas of your property. If done correctly, it can save you an immeasurable amount of time.

Even though there is a bit of time that must be devoted to the proper handling and use of the machine, it dwarfs the amount of time it would take to do the job by hand, that is for sure!


I've worked in the landscaping industry ever since college. I love being outdoors and working on DIY projects around the farm.