Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit Review 2022 4.8/5 (5)

This post was updated on January 19, 2022

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Review

Important Note: This is our 2nd Review of the Restore A Deck Kits. See Here for First Review: Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit

Restore A Deck Cleaner Brightener Kit Review

Restore A Deck Cleaner Brightener Kit Review

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit Review

We would love to hear from you if you have used the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kit on your wood or deck. Please post a rating in the Consumer Star Ratings below. Consumer reviews below in the comment section have shown excellent results when using the Restore-A-Deck Cleaner and Brightener Kits.

If you have any pictures of your experience with Restore-A-Deck, you can add them in the comment area with a detailed description.

Restore A Deck cleaner is a specifically designed two-part system that is best used to clean and prep a wood deck prior to staining it. The Restore A Deck cleaner system consists of a wood cleaner that will remove dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and grayed wood fibers. Step 2 is a wood brightener that corrects the pH of the wood and brightens/lightens it up prior to applying a wood stain or sealer.

Restore-A-Deck comes in a powdered concentrated formula. Each 2 lb container makes 5 liquid gallons and can clean and brighten up to 1000 sq. feet. Simply pour each into a five-gallon container and add water to dissolve the powder concentrate.

The Restore a Deck Step 1 Cleaner contains an EPA registered ingredient that helps in the removal of mold, mildew, and algae.

Restore A Deck Cleaner and Brightener Rating (1-10)

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

The Restore-A-Deck Step 1 Deck Cleaner works wonders at removing dirt and graying. The active ingredient creates slight foaming on the wood once applied. Once the graying and dirt has softened, we find it best to use a pressure washer at a low setting of 1500 PSI to “lightly wash” off the dirty slime.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

Powdered deck prepping products are the way to go. Cheaper and more effective than bleach-based solutions. We have found that the Restore A Deck Kits are the best on the market today when it comes to price. The cost to clean and brighten an average 800 square foot deck is less than $.07 a foot.

Removal of Old Stain: N/A

Restore A Deck Kits are used for prepping, cleaning and maintaining decks for application of a stain. It is not designed to remove old coatings. We have used the Restore A Deck Kits though on very deteriorated deck coatings and it has removed them.

Ease of Application: 9

When we use the Restore A Deck powders we mix 6-8 oz of powder per gallon of water. Make sure that you mix in a different bucket if you will be applying with a sprayer as you may get some undissolved crystals at the bottom. This only happens with the Step 1 Cleaner. Transfer the cleaning solution into the pump sprayer. Take care to not transfer undissolved powder as it could clog the sprayer tip. Apply the cleaner with the pump sprayer and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Lightly pressure wash off or hand scrub.

Testing was done with both scrubbing and pressure washing. Both worked well at prepping the wood but we find a pressure washer more effective and quicker as well.

Final Appearance of Using Step 1 Cleaner: 9

All the graying and grime had been removed and the natural color tones of the wood had been restored.

Final Appearance after Using Step 2 Brightener 10

The Restore A Deck Brightener is used to cancel the raising of pH balance from the Step 1 Cleaner. This is a very easy thing to do and will help aid in the longevity of your stain if the wood is left in a neutral state. The RAD Brightener does an excellent job of lightening the wood. Results are noticeable within a few minutes of application.

Step 2 brightener does not need to be scrubbed, just rinsed with water after 10 minutes.

Overall Score for Restore-A-Deck Cleaner: 9.4

Powders are the way to go for deck prepping products. The Restore-A-Deck Kits are economical and work extremely well. Using a quality product like the RAD Kits will make your wood restoration project easier and the overall results improved as well.

We rate this as a Contractor Choice for favorite prepping products for decking.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: Restore A Deck
Product Type: Powdered Concentrate. Kit contains Step 1 Deck Cleaner and Step 2 Deck Brightener
Available Sizes: 2 Pound Container Makes 5 Liquid Gallons
Application Temperature: 45-95 F
Coverage Per Gallon: 150-200 sq. ft per gallon. Each Kit preps 750-1000 sq. feet.
Application Tools: Scrub Brush, Pump Sprayer

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: Cedar wood that has grayed for 1 year
Deck Square Footage: 900
The condition of Deck: Heavily grayed with no previous coating.
How Much Product Used: 
One Restore A Deck Kit. Retails for $49.99

*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.

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Brian Foster
Brian Foster
2 years ago

How long can I wait to stain with Armstrong Clark after cleaning and brightening the deck? Just looking at the weather and it seems there’s rain every 3-4 days…

7 years ago

We have just recently replaced all the horizontal surfaces of our deck with composite decking. However, I need to restain most of the vertical surfaces. I have sanded and now plan to use Resore -a – Deck Brightener. Will the brightener damage the composite boards.? Do I need to take special precautions? How long do I need to wait after applying the brightener before staining?

7 years ago

Hi. One more thing about my deck in Baltimore area: some of the floor boards are splitting now, but they're not warping and not breaking apart. I'm reluctant to replace any boards because I think the new boards would stick out like a sore thumb. And I'm certainly not ready to build a new deck.

7 years ago

Hi GREAT INFO here! I have a pressure treated (pine, I think) deck 20 years old in Baltimore Maryland area that has one portion covered and largest portion open to either full sun or partial sun from 10am to 4pm. Had it sanded and pressured washed 5 years ago to remove old oil based stain. Then applied Defy Epoxy Fortified water based semitransparent Natural Pine stain. It looked AWESOME for at least a year, then SEMI-AWESOME for 2 more years. I should have cleaned and restained the 3rd or 4th year but some areas continued to bead with water so thought it wouldn't take more stain yet. Now after 5 years looks faded overall and dark in some areas where snow and rain set for weeks/months at a time in some cold winters down to -2 degrees. One area stays shaded most of the day and all year round now has green mold across it. Should I use RAD cleaner/brightener kit first, then reapply Defy water based stain again – since it looked so awesome the first time around. Or would the TWP stain be a better choice for some reason? Thanks in advance!

Huli in Seattle
Huli in Seattle
7 years ago

We just cleaned our 12 month old cedar deck and railings to prepare for staining with TWP100. Our pressure washer went on the fritz just as we were ready to rinse off RAD #1 so we used a scrub brush to remove the slimy stuff (very hard work!) We applied the RAD #2 step and today (one day later) the deck is beautiful but it has furry spots. Also we can see some of the gray areas we missed. My question: Should we reapply the cleaner and brightener to the gray spots? Should we wait until the wood dries or is it okay to do when it is moist (I don't want to exacerbate the furry wood thing). Also there are whitish spots on the deck that I hope will dry and vanish when we stain. Is that a reasonable expectation?

8 years ago

I'm confused. Directions for the Messmer's deck cleaner 'Part A' state that one 16 oz. powder container makes 5 gallons, but your review says it takes two containers to get that much. Are the manufacturer's instructions too skimpy an amount?

8 years ago

Any local retailers in Attleboro Ma area for Restore a Deck or EFC-38?

Questions or leave a review, please comment!x