How to Care for PVC Deck Boards

Composite and PVC decking provides homeowners a comfortable sense of relaxation as the durable material is highly resistant to the standard issues of lumber such as rot, insects, splitting, and warping over time.

Even with an impenetrable decking core and a tough capstock coating, PVC deck boards still need to be cleaned at least once a year to keep looking its best and prevent eyesores from happening down the road. Learning how to maintain PVC deck boards can enhance the atmosphere and appearance of your entire outdoor living space for decades to come.

How to Care for PVC Decking

Read through these helpful tips below on how to care for and clean PVC deck boards for a backyard area that looks its best from day one!

Learn how to clean and maintain PVC deck boards for a long-lasting outdoor deck space

Steps to Caring for PVC Deck Boards

Removing Dirt and Grime

  1. Remove any patio furniture or appliances such as deck tables, BBQ grills, rugs, and other items from the deck.

  2. Use a broom or leaf blowers to sweep the deck surface and remove loose debris such as leaves, pollen, or dirt.

  3. Clean any fallen debris from the spaces between PVC deck boards to ensure that everyday water and moisture drains properly. Natural debris, such as leaves, seeds, or pollen, can settle between deck boards and clog gaps. Water can then pool, essentially steeping the organic debris. This liquid can develop a color, or tannin, which could stain your decking.

  4. If cleaning the PVC deck boards in bright sunlight, work in small sections keeping the deck boards wet during the entire process to allow for all dirt and soap residue to be rinsed off completely.

  5. Standard household detergents or dishwashing liquids can be used to clean deck boards. Products include Joy®, Dawn®, or Simple Green.

  6. Before applying any cleaner, review instructions for the particular product you are using.

  7. Rinse the section of the deck completely with regular water.

  8. Repeat these steps until the entire surface has been cleaned.

Read a quick article on how to clean and maintain PVC deck boards for a great outdoor deck space

Eliminating Oil and Grease

  • Cleaning up an oil or grease mess out on the deck quickly is the best method for a thorough removal. Bring out warm tap water and soap immediately and scrub lightly.
  • For grease and oil stains that soap and water can't lift, an all-purpose cleaner such as Fantastik™ or Lysol™ will do wonders at lifting the mess. Or, use a commercial deck cleaner designed specifically for your PVC decking.
  • De-Solv-It® Citrus Solution is effective in removing tar, asphalt, oil, grease, and chewing gum. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and test in an inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the entire deck.

Clearing Mold and Mildew

Mold can grow on the outer surface of PVC deck boards if left over time. To minimize mold on your deck, clean it as often as needed and at least once per year. Climate conditions vary in different regions of the country and may necessitate more frequent cleaning.

If mold is present on your deck, there are many natural and commercial cleaning products available for removal. Collier Manufacturing 30-Seconds® Outdoor Cleaner, Scrubbing Bubbles™, or a diluted bleach solution.

For best results, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use cleaners within their stated shelf life.

Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in the Deck Framing Guide and learn the specific deck part names in the Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide. The quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a strong, composite railing line.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new start or a summertime deck renovation; give our deck designers a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at Our deck experts will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for a gorgeous deck that you created and designed!