EFC-38 Wood Deck Cleaner Review  3.7/5 (4)

This post was updated on May 1, 2024

EFC38 Review

EFC38 Review

EFC-38 Wood Cleaner Review.

EFC-38’s unique formulation provides the strength necessary to clean gray wood, mold, mildew and heavy accumulations of grime. EFC-38 contains sodium percarbonate and additional surfactants that boost the overall effectiveness. EFC-38 was designed to clean and prep all exterior wood.  EFC-38 is safe to use and makes an excellent tool for wood preparation prior to applying a wood coating.

EFC-38 Wood Deck Cleaner Scores (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 7

– EFC-38 is very effective at removing graying wood cells and algae. The wood surface looked 90% or better when done with the cleaning. All algae and mold were removed from the fence.

Cost Per Square Foot: 8

– The cost to clean the 1000 square foot fence was less than $.20 a foot. The powdered formula makes 5 gallons of liquid wood cleaner for 2 pounds of EFC-38

Removal of Old Stain: N/A

– EFC-38 is designed to clean wood and will strip older oil-based decking stains. We did not rate it as a stripper since it is not labeled or designed to remove all wood deck stain coatings.

Ease of Application: 8

– EFC-38 mixes with water at the rate of 6-8 oz per gallon. We mixed the entire 2-pound container in 5 gallons of warm water. The EFC-38 dissolved fairly easily into the water. The product was applied with a pump-up sprayer and applied to a fence. The coverage was close to 200 feet per gallon. A pressure washer was used to rinse off the gray wood and dirt.

Final Appearance of Cleaning: 7

– The fence was restored to like-new condition. EFC-38 does need to be neutralized with the Citralic Wood Brightener. It is normal to neutralize wood deck cleaners and the final appearance was excellent for an application of a stain.

Overall Score for EFC-38 Wood Deck Cleaner: 7.5

– EFC-38 is a decent cleaner for prepping your exterior wood, deck, or fencing. Performs as described and is cost-effective.

Product Information:

Where To Buy: Only Online
Product Type: Powdered Deck Cleaner Concentrate
Available Sizes: 2 lb. Container Makes 5 Liquid Gallons, 10 lb. Container Makes 20 Liquid Gallons
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coverage Per Gallon: 100-200 sq. ft
Application Tools: Scrub Brush, Pump Sprayer
Manufacturer: Extreme Solutions

Test Deck Stats:

Location of Deck: Texas
Fence Wood Type: Cedar
Fence Square Footage: 1000
The condition of Deck: Heavily grayed.
How Much Product Used: 
One 2 pound container. Retails for $39.99

*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.

Please Rate This. You may also post comments or ask questions below.

author avatar
Scott Paul ~ Restoring Wood & Decks Since 1993 Owner
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.

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Philip Hughes
Philip Hughes
1 year ago

The Woodrich site states:

“EFC-38 works on removing oil-based finishes such as TWP, READY SEAL, WOLMAN, OLYMPIC, CUPRINOL and other semi-transparent finishes.”

They further state:

“Woodrich-Brand also manufactures EFC-38 which is a mild stripper that will effectively remove most oil-based semi-transparent deck stains and sealers.”

They do not recommend EFC-38 for solid stains which they recommend using HD-80.

Allan Jones
Allan Jones
2 years ago

I am planning to clean and refinish a cedar fence and pressure treated deck in about 6 months when it warms up.I never stained the deck when I built it about 15 years ago.and it is starting to show.I am considering cleaning it with EFC 38 wood cleaner and then covering it with OSMO decking oil. The fence is about 10 year old cedar that also need a facelift. I am considering a fresh coat of OSMO therealso.

Any comments would be appreciated.

5 years ago

Where can I find a good deck cleaner and brightener that I don’t have to get online!!! My husband has already started sanding the deck and will need cleaner and brightener in 2 days!!

Rolf Marsh
Rolf Marsh
6 years ago

We just painted our house; the deck is Doug Fir 2 x 6 which is attached to the house. Will this product affect the paint? If so, how long do we have to wait for the paint to cure so it won’t affect the paint?

Alicia Smith
Alicia Smith
6 years ago

Where can I find this cleaner?

Tom D'Muhala
Tom D'Muhala
8 years ago

Please send an MSDS for EFC-38

Thank You,

Tom D'Muhala

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