The 10 Best Deck Cleaners & Sealers
- 1. DEFY Composite Deck Cleaner
- 2. BEHR Premium All-In-One Wood Cleaner
- 3. Wolman DeckBrite Wood Cleaner
- 4. Simple Green Deck & Fence Cleaner
- 5. Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner
- 6. Cabot Australian Timber Oil
- 7. Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
- 8. TWP Stain and Sealer
- 9. Armstrong-Clark Oil-Based Stain
- 10. Deckwise Wisecoat Deck and Siding Waterproof Sealer
- In Conclusion
Proper deck maintenance involves more than an occasional dusting. Thorough cleaning and sealing are essential when it comes to preserving your deck’s appearance and durability for years to come.
With a plethora of products on the market, choosing the right deck cleaner and sealer can feel overwhelming. Not all deck products are created equal, so you’ll need to research and purchase cleaning and sealing products with a proven track record.
Regardless of which products you choose, you should always have a professional apply them. This is the safest way to clean your deck, resulting in a brighter, more cleaner appearance.
To put you on the right path, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best deck cleaners and sealers on the market. Let’s take a look at the top contenders.
Before you start any deck maintenance project, you’ll need to get the wood nice and clean. Here are the best deck cleaners to help remove stains and prep for sealants.
1. DEFY Composite Deck Cleaner
The DEFY Composite Deck Cleaner is a straightforward, powerful cleaning solution for composite and vinyl decking. It also works well for cleaning aluminum siding. This cleaner uses oxygen bleach to fully remove black and gray stains without damaging the wood itself.
The DEFY product is one of the best deck cleaners on the market because of its environmentally friendly formula. Many similar cleaners use chlorine bleach rather than oxygen bleach. Chlorine bleach can damage any nearby plants in your yard, but oxygen bleach is safe to use around both plants and animals. It’s also fully biodegradable.
Mix ¾ of a cup into a gallon of lukewarm water to use this cleaner. Each gallon treats approximately 100 to 200 square feet of your deck. The cleaner can be applied with a variety of devices, including garden sprayers, deck brushes, and mops. Be sure to consult a deck cleaning professional to determine the safest approach.
Once the cleaner has been applied to the deck, let it sit for approximately 15 minutes. You’ll start to see the cleaner foam up and remove stains. Afterward, scrub the cleaner off with a stiff bristle brush or use a pressure washer on the lowest setting. Conduct a thorough rinse to finish things off.
2. BEHR Premium All-In-One Wood Cleaner
The BEHR Premium All-In-One Wood Cleaner is a simple and affordable cleaner that works well on a variety of different surfaces. This cleaner is adept at removing gray mold and mildew stains. It also tackles food and drink stains that build up after months of outdoor meals.
Applying this solution gives your deck a clean, bright finish. It also works on surfaces other than wood, such as siding, fences, and masonry.
In most cases, you’ll need to dilute this product with a ratio of one part tap water to one part cleaner. Full-strength cleaner should be reserved for rust stains or other harsh stains. Then, apply the solution to your deck with a sprayer, brush, or roller, and keep it wet for at least 15 minutes.
Afterward, scrub using a stiff bristle brush—you’ll start to see the solution foam up and remove stains. Once the stains have been removed, rinse away the cleaner with low to normal water pressure.
3. Wolman DeckBrite Wood Cleaner
The Wolman DeckBrite Wood Cleaner is a powder concentrate cleaner that removes stains from wood composite surfaces. Its ultra-oxidizing formula removes tough, dark stains very effectively.
This wood cleaner works quickly once mixed with water and requires minimal scrubbing. If you have an upcoming re-staining project, this is an effective and efficient way to prep your surfaces.
This product is also safe and environmentally friendly. The formula does not contain chlorine, and it’s also free of other acidic or toxic chemicals that could harm your yard. On top of that, it’s completely biodegradable.
To apply this cleaner, mix ¾ cup of the powder with a gallon of water. This will create a blue foaming solution. Wait for the blue pigment to dissolve, and wet your deck with water.
Then, apply the dissolved powder to your deck, working in small sections. Let it sit for 10 minutes, scrub it with a brush or pressure washer, and then rinse the solution away.
4. Simple Green Deck & Fence Cleaner
If you prefer to wash your deck with a pressure washer, the Simple Green Deck & Fence Cleaner is an option worth considering. It works on decks, fences, and other outdoor wood structures. The formula is designed to remove the dirt and grease that builds up on decks over time and restore your deck to a bright finish.
This cleaner is also highly concentrated—one bottle can clean over 3,000 square feet of deck space. Since it works well with pressure washers, you can quickly clean a large surface area. As the name implies, this cleaner is eco-friendly, with a formula that won’t harm animals or plants in your yard.
This product can be used directly with a pressure washer without any dilution. Apply with the washer on a low-pressure setting, not letting the cleaner dry. Then, rinse the product away with water in a high-pressure setting. Keep in mind that not all wood surfaces can handle a pressure washer, so be sure to do a test ahead of time.
5. Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner
The Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner is a cleaning solution that’s both powerful and easy to use. Unlike many other cleaners, it doesn’t require any mixing or scrubbing. This makes it one of the best deck cleaners for homeowners who want a quick, low-stress cleaning solution. It removes dirt and mildew stains to give your deck a more even, natural tone.
This product has a very straightforward cleaning process. All you need to do is apply it directly to the section of the deck you’d like to clean. Let the formula sit for about 10 minutes, and then rinse it away with water.
Once you’ve selected one of the best deck cleaners available, you’ll want to choose a sealer. Sealers protect your deck from future weather damage and deterioration, and they give the wood a nice, bright finish.
6. Cabot Australian Timber Oil
Cabot Australian Timber Oil is a bold, durable sealant that works well on a variety of different types of woods. The formula is a blend of linseed oil, long-oil alkyds, and South American tung oil, which create a reliable balance of durability and rich color. This oil also contains iron oxide pigments, which protect your deck from UV rays.
This sealer is available in five colors. The pigment goes on evenly and soaks into the wood, so you won’t have to worry about uneven streaks or brush marks. Once dry, it also helps resist mold and mildew buildup to keep your deck in good condition.
Before applying this product or any new sealer, make sure you’ve completely stripped your deck of any previous sealants or paints. Mix the product thoroughly by shaking and stirring, then apply directly to the deck with a brush, covering small sections at a time. Only one coat is necessary to achieve your desired finish.
7. Ready Seal Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
The Ready Seal Wood Stain and Sealer is a versatile wood treatment available in a wide variety of colors, ranging from a natural light oak all the way to a dark burnt hickory. It combines the features of a wood stain and sealant and results in a semi-transparent finish.
This sealer is designed to be applied directly to your deck without a primer. It can be applied with a sprayer with no dilution or with a brush or roller. The smooth formula does not result in any streaks or drips.
The formula is made with a blend of paraffin oil, resin, and trans-oxide pigments. It also contains an algaecide and built-in UV protection to keep your deck looking great for months after application.
To apply this sealer, ensure your deck is clean and free of any previous sealants or paints. Rinse the wood thoroughly with water and let it dry for two days. Then, apply directly with a pressure washer, covering any nearby surfaces or vegetation with a tarp to prevent damage.
8. TWP Stain and Sealer
The TWP Stain and Sealer is a durable wood preservative available in eight different colors. It works well on decks as well as siding and a variety of other outdoor surfaces. This sealer stands out for being durable, protecting decks from staining, fading, water damage, and more.
This oil-based stain seeps deeply into the wood and results in a deep, even color. TWP offers this sealer in two different series: the 100 series and the 1500 series. Although both versions are sun-resistant, the 1500 series offers a higher level of UV protection. The pigment goes on evenly and remains bright for months after application. Additionally, this sealant doesn’t chip or peel.
This sealer needs to be mixed thoroughly prior to application. It can be applied with a sprayer, roller, or brush. It takes one to three days to dry thoroughly, so it should be applied during clear weather conditions when possible.
9. Armstrong-Clark Oil-Based Stain
The Armstrong-Clark Oil-Based Stain is a high-quality deck sealer designed for a wide range of climates. Not only is this sealer available in a variety of colors, but it also comes in several different opacity levels. The colors can also be mixed together to create custom shades.
This formula is made with a mix of drying and non-drying oils. The drying oils help the stain set quickly, so it can safely handle rain just hours after the initial application. For extra protection, you can apply a second coat without worrying about streaks or patching.
This sealer is also an ideal option for decks that experience heavy wear and tear. The formula contains ingredients to prevent sun damage, water damage, and mildew growth. It’s also built to stay on evenly and won’t peel or crack.
To apply this sealer, make sure your deck is fully prepared and perform a small patch test. If you’re happy with the results, apply the stain directly to the deck with a brush, roller, or sprayer. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours.
10. Deckwise Wisecoat Deck and Siding Waterproof Sealer
Deckwise’s Wisecoat Waterproof Sealer is a top choice for decks made from exotic hardwoods like teak or mahogany. It has an environmentally friendly water-based formula with a semi-transparent finish, which allows the wood’s natural texture to shine through. Unlike many other deck sealers, it’s safe for both interior and exterior use.
This product is made with a nanotechnology formula that’s water-resistant and UV-resistant. This prevents warping, cracking, and other sun damage, as well as mold and mildew buildup.
To use this sealer, start by cleaning and sweeping your deck. Then, use water to dampen the wood and apply two coats directly to the deck with a brush or roller. Make sure to brush back through any puddles for an even finish.
Properly caring for your deck will keep it in great condition for years to come. Choosing the best deck cleaners and sealers makes maintenance easy and prepares your deck for any future weather fluctuations.
At Teak & Deck, we’re here to help Southern California homeowners find and use the best deck cleaners and sealants. Don’t attempt to DIY your next big deck project—reach out to the pros instead.
Reach out to us today for your next deck maintenance, sealing, or restoration project.