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DIY Deck Cleansers for Your Log Home

After a summer of wear-and-tear, it's in your deck's best interest to give it a good cleaning before colder months arrive. Here are a few ways to quickly and inexpensively get your deck in tip-top shape!

Photo: Courtesy Modern Rustic Homes / See more of this home here.
After a summer hosting outdoor barbecues and withstanding pouring rain, relentless sun and blowing debris, your log home’s deck could benefit from a good cleaning before autumn sets in. And if you’re anything like us, you’re looking to save time on this kind of chore and save money on expensive cleaning products. Is it possible to do both? Blogger and self-professed “cleaning nerd” Joan Clark says it is. Here are her four favorite recipes for homemade deck cleansers.

1. Mildew & Algae Cleaner

This deck cleaner is easy to make and gets the job done. It kills mold, dirt, algae and mildew all at once, allowing you to skip a step in the cleaning process.
  • 1 cup Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
  • 1 cup household bleach
  • 2 gallons warm water
To use this cleaner, hose the deck down with water to soak the wood, then apply the Mildew and Algae Cleaner. Scrub with a long-handled brush or broom and give it 10 to 15 minutes to soak in. Rinse it away with clean water. (This solution is also a good homemade composite deck cleaner.)

2. Soapy Deck Scrub

Dish soap makes an effective deck cleaner and the extra bleach helps get rid of mildew and algae.
  • 1/4 cup liquid dish soap (ammonia free)
  • 2 quarts household bleach
  • 2 gallons warm water
This is the best homemade wood deck cleaner to use if your deck suffers from oily stains, dirt and grime. Protect your nearby plants when using this solution and rinse it off when done.

3. Murphy’s Oil Soap Mildew Cleaner

  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 1 quart household bleach
  • 2 cups rubbing alcohol
  • 2 tablespoons Murphy’s Oil Soap
The bleach kills algae and mildew. The rubbing alcohol and soap help lift it away for good. Scrub this cleaner in, let it soak and rinse it away.

4. Powdered Bleach Scrub

In addition to killing algae and mildew, this recipe prevents the building of wasp nests and keeps yellow jackets away. Use this solution for decks that are in good condition without major stains and for light cleaning between yearly scrubbings.
  • 2 gallons hot water
  • 2 cups powdered oxygen laundry cleaner (like Oxi-Clean)
  • 1/4 cup liquid dish soap
Mix the powdered bleach and water until it is completely dissolved, then add the dish soap and stir gently. (It’s Joan’s preferred homemade deck cleaner for a pressure washer.)
Check out more home-improvement recipes and tips from Joan at tipsbulletin.com.

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