This post was updated on January 19, 2022
Cabot Deck Cleaner Review
Cabot® Ready-to-Use Problem Solver® Wood Cleaner is specially formulated to remove mildew stains, mold, algae, dirt and other foreign matter from all painted, stained, unfinished or weathered wood surfaces. Use for routine cleaning and for properly preparing all surfaces prior to staining or painting.
Cabot Problem Solver® Wood Cleaner Rating (1-10)
Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 6
– Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner is a sodium hypochlorite “bleach” based cleaner. It removed the mold but did a poor job of removing the graying and dirt.
Cost Per Square Foot: 7
– In general, we are not fans of liquid-based wood cleaners. You are mostly paying for water in a bottle with a small number of chemicals added. It is much more cost-effective to purchase a powdered cleaner. Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner is a fair price for a liquid deck cleaner.
Removal of Old Stain: N/A
– Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner will not remove a deck stain or paint.
Ease of Application: 9
– Cabot Problem Solver Wood Cleaner is very easy to apply. Just scrub on or apply with a plastic sprayer. Even application and coverage is better than average.
Final Appearance of Cleaning: 6
– The wood on the test deck turned an unnatural white color. The use of bleach in a deck cleaner will do this. Good job on the mold but poor on dirt removal.
Overall Score Cabot Problem Solver® Wood Cleaner: 7
– Any deck cleaner that uses sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is actually damaging the wood cells. This causes a breakdown of the lignin in the wood, destroying the wood cellular structure. We are not fans of these types of deck cleaners.
Where To Buy: Lowes
Product Type: Liquid Wood Deck Cleaner
Available Sizes: 1 Gallon
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-200 sq. ft
Application Tools: Scrub Brush, Pump Sprayer
Test Deck Stats:
Deck Wood Type: Pine
Deck Square Footage: 350
The condition of Deck: Lots of dirt, mold, mildew
How Much Product Used:2 Gallons. Retails for $29.99 a gallon
*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take into consideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.
Deck Stain Help & Questions
Stain Reviews & Comparisons
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior wood and deck restoration. Scott and his Deck Cleaning Michigan company have restored over 10,000 decks in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the deck restoration industry and has contributed to numerous wood restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
How do I get rid of film that is left on deck after cleaning with Cabot wood cleaner. Have rinsed 3-4 times already. Have a cedar deck & not happy with the outcome do far.
No idea what you mean about the film so please post some pics. Thanks
I used this to clean my granddaughter's playset which was very dirty. I chose this because I am using Cabot stain and I wanted to use a cleaner from the same company as the stain. I wish I would have read the cleaner reviews in addition to the stain reviews. I would NOT recommend this cleaner. The playset is mostly clean but I scrubbed the whole playset with a stiff brush. This is the 2nd playset I've cleaned and the cleaner I used before was much better. Ugh. Now going to have to sand. Another step in an already work intensive project. Don't use this cleaner
We used this on an older smaller deck part of our deck which abutts the new deck and it worked fine. Then we used it on the newer and much larger portion of our deck and it turned the wood a slightly white colour. My advice to anyone considering buying this product is STAY AWAY! Unless you like doing alot of sanding which is what we have to do now. So frustrating!
Cabot Problem-solver wood cleaner etched my glass ruining several windows. I rinsed thoroughly with pressure washer but not soon enough according to the company. Instructions were to keep glass wet to avoid streaking. There was no mention of potential damage to the windows. No more than five minutes passed at any time before rinsing. The company says that even one minute is too long. This information is not provided on the label. This product should not be used for washing siding.
Final Appearance of Cleaning: 6 – What is "The use a bleach in a deck cleaner will do this." Proof rad before hitting send.
Can you still get the concentrated Cabot Problem Solver deck and fence cleaner? I have used this in the past and it wrked great. The ready to use formula is not as good.
Bob, sorry but I am not sure.