Do I Need to Use Deck Cleaner Before Staining?

Once the weather starts warming up, it's important to remember that spring cleaning applies to more than just the inside of your home. Cleaning and staining your deck is a crucial task to keep wood decks looking as fresh and strong as day one! While homeowners are planning out their deck cleaning methods and begin to prep their decks for the annual coat of new deck stain, they often ask us here at DecksDirect, "Do I have to use a deck cleaner before staining my deck?"

Throughout the year, dirt, mildew, sap, and algae growth can build up on the surface of your deck boards. If you're moving into a new home with an existing deck, it may have been a few years since the existing outdoor space has been thoroughly cleaned. As the rain, snow or extreme temperatures of the past year have worn down wood deck boards; UV rays from the bright sunshine have also been harming and distressing the decking materials.

Annually cleaning your deck and treating your deck surface will extend the overall life of your home's outdoor space. Not to mention keeping the long lasting beauty of your deck unforgotten.

Is Deck Cleaner Necessary Before Staining My Deck?

In short, yes. It is highly recommended to use a deck cleaner when prepping your deck for a new coat of deck stain. Also, recommended but not required is the use of a deck brightener before staining your deck.

Deck cleaners, such as the Wood Deck Cleaner and Brightener by DeckWise or the TimberTech Deck Cleaner, will lift and remove any stuck-on grime from your wood deck boards. These deck cleaning solutions will soak down into the dry wood. Then oxygen ions will deep clean the wood deck surface by breaking apart dirt, algae and mildew molecules. You can then rinse off the deck with your hose.

If working with a previously stained or painted deck, be sure to strip or sand the existing wood deck prior to applying the deck cleaner. Stripping, sanding, and then cleaning your old wood deck will truly get your deck primed and ready for a long-lasting and beautiful coat of deck stain, paint, or Penofin penetrating oil!

Learn how do I clean my deck before staining it and gain a gorgeous, exotic-looking deck like this beautiful Teak wood deck

You can also clean mold from decking, remove moss from your deck, and clean algae from wood with our deck cleaners and brighteners: Messner’s Cleaner and Brightener or the DeckWise Wood Deck Cleaner and Brightener. In stock and ready to use, these cleaners prevent mold, block algae growth and bring new life back to your outdoor space.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! To learn more about how to build your family's dream outdoor space or keep your home's deck in safe, tip-top shape for decades to come; give one of 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!