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Restore-A-Deck Cleaner System Review 4.4/5 (11)

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Review

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Kit

Restore-A-Deck Cleaner Kit

Restore-A-Deck is the only product on the market that offers both a Step 1 Deck Cleaner and a Step 2 Deck Brightener in the same kit. Restore-A-Deck comes in a powdered concentrated formula. Each 2 lb container makes 5 liquid gallons. Simply pour each into a five-gallon container and add water to dissolve the powder concentrate.

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

Removal of Graying, Dirt, Grime: 9

– The Restore-A-Deck Step 1 Deck Cleaner did very well at removing general dirt and grime. The deep cleaning formula made it easy to break down the gray wood cells. All mold was removed as well. The Step 1 Deck Cleaner did not remove some rust stains from the furniture but the Step 2 Brightener did.

Cost Per Square Foot: 10

– The best on the market today. The cost to clean and brighten an average 600 square foot deck is less than $.07 a foot. Since Restore-A-Deck comes in a powder we liked that you only needed to mix as much as you needed. Very little waste.

Removal of Old Stain: N/A

– RAD products are designed to clean, not remove old deck stains. We would presume that they would remove a deck stain if the stain has deteriorated drastically.

Ease of Application: 8

– RAD does not come in a liquid. You need to measure 6 oz per gallon of water of mix the entire 2 lb. container into 5 gallons of water. This product does apply easily with a garden pump sprayer. We needed to make sure to mix at the correct dosage otherwise, the powder did not completely dissolve. Testing was done with both scrubbing and pressure washing. Both worked well. Step 2 brightener does not need to be scrubbed, just rinsed with water after 10 minutes.

Final Appearance of Cleaning: 9

– The IPE wood deck looked brand new after cleaning and drying for 2 days. We would have given this a score of 10 if it was not for a couple of minor water spots that did not come out. These spots looked to be from planter boxes.

Overall Score for Restore-A-Deck Cleaner: 9

– Restore-A-Deck makes a great and economical product for reviving your deck to like new condition. We really like that kits contained both the cleaner and brightener. This was easier than buying the products separately.

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: 100-200 sq. ft
Application Tools: Scrub Brush, Pump Sprayer

Test Deck Stats:

Deck Wood Type: IPE Exotic Hardwood
Deck Square Footage: 500
Condition of Deck: Heavily grayed with mold/mildew. No previous stain
How Much Product Used: 
RAD 300 Kit. Retails for $39.99

*All products tested and results are from our experience. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take inconsideration that results may differ due to different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, and natural weathering.

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

Average Ratings Score From Consumers Who Have Used Product 

4.4/5 (11)

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274 responses to “Restore-A-Deck Cleaner System Review”

  1. Suzie says:

    I have a cedar deck I built last summer. It is now very faded. I just put some new steps on and can see the difference. Due to the rain that started and never really stopped between finishing the deck and now, I was never able to clean and seal the deck. I had originally thought to use a clear sealer. Will the Restore a Deck system return the wood to its original color where you can see the beautiful grains? If it doesn't, is there anything that does.

    • It will help to restore the color. Since it has been sitting a year it has also oxidized significantly. This oxidation needs to be removed. The RAD kit will help with this, but you may need to buff the wood as well after the prepping.

  2. Terry P says:

    Just used cleaner / brightener kit. 1st time user. Used on cedar deck prox 7 yrs old.
    I've used a lot of different cleaners over the years on treated and on cedar decks. This by far is the best I've ever used.
    My only regret is that I did not use the stripper. I didn't think I needed to since the deck I worked on has only had clear wood finishes used on it. That was a mistake. It took a lot more scrubbing and power washing to get clean. Next time I will get and use the stripper, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money for the stripper.

  3. Kevin King says:

    Quick question:

    I've stripped my fence with RAD Cleaner. However, I didn't apply the Brightener. Do I still need to do so? Just wet the fence and let it sit for 15-20 min and rinse off?


  4. Eddie says:

    Previously stained deck, stain is in good shape but needs another coat,,stained with seem transparent stain, can I use the rad kits to prep deck for staining

    • If you are staying with the same brand of stain, then you can use the kits for the prep. If you are switching brands, you should use the RAD Stain Stripper followed by the brightener for the prep.

  5. Sue says:

    Who carries this product, where can I buy it in Ontario?

  6. Carol says:

    i applied Pittsburgh semi transparent stain one half year after cedar deck was bulit peeling off, what do i do to fix it ( HELP )

  7. Kory says:

    I stained my deck with TWP 1500 Dark Oak 1.5 years ago (that was the first stain on a deck that was a few years old). It is starting to look faded and dull, particularly on the horizontal surfaces. Should I just use a cleaner like RAD to try to brighten it up or should I reapply stain on the horizontal surfaces? The deck is treated pine in central MD and gets morning to early afternoon sun.

  8. Brian says:

    Quick product review. I bought the combo-pack to clean my one year old unstained pine deck that was very dirty. Step 1, the cleaner, is an average product. I used all the product and had more to clean so I went to a box store and purchased a deck cleaner there. The box store cleaner worked just as well as the Restore-A-Deck cleaner. The product that really impressed me was Step 2, the brightener. I was amazed how it made my deck look. I ran out of the cleaner but I had enough brightener to treat my entire deck. I’m not sure if I would buy the cleaner again but I would definitely buy the brightener. It’s an excellent product. After the deck dries for a few days I'll apply some stain.

  9. Randy says:

    My deck is a mix of old stain and large patches of black mildew stain. I don't know if the old stain is oil or water based (does it matter?). I assume I need both a stripper and cleaner. What stripper do you recommend? Which should I do first, the stripping or the cleaning?

  10. Vikki Gripka says:

    I have above deck, will hit hurt plants and stain concrete below?

  11. Nicole says:

    Our cedar deck is 9 years old and I sanded it down to remove years stain. Should I apply the wood brightener? Then what do you recommend for stain? Deck is exposed to sun the entire day. I would like something just to seal it leaving the natural wood color.

  12. Dee says:

    We just moved into this with a very large wood deck that is 15 years old. It has SW brand Deckscapes advanced waterborne formula on it. The deck is in good shape but chipping. Questions:
    Should we use the Restore a Deck Cleaner Kit and power wash it or just use the kit? We will do some scraping where the paint is chipping but we're not going to strip it.
    Do we need to stay with the same product (Deckscapes) when we redo the deck? We don't like the color so not sure what can of worms we may open by switching colors. The can indicates this is a stain but it looks like paint on the deck?

    Thanks for your help!

    • If you do not remove the SW, then you will need to apply the same or cover with a solid color stain. Prep by cleaning and pressure washing to remove all the peeling SW that will come off.

  13. Steve says:

    Would love some advice from you! We built a new deck using cedar last July (2016) in the Milwaukee, WI area, and after cleaning it with this Restore-A-Deck Cleaning System (both steps 1 and 2) we sanded it, and then applied one coat of Woodrich Timber Oil (Brown Sugar color) approximately 4 weeks later. We thought it would be a good idea to apply a second coat of the same stain later this summer (2016). Do you recommend using this same Restore-A-Deck Cleaning System again before applying this 2nd coat later this summer? Or is there a different cleaner to use in this case, or do we really even need to use a cleaner before applying this 2nd coat? Thanks for your advice!

  14. Teresa Fusco says:

    Hi,I received my restore a deck kit and TWP 1500 stain. I plan on doing the cleaning today. However,I am unsure if I should hose down the deck first then use my garden sprayer to apply the cleaner then wait 10-15 minutes to finish up with the power washer (1000psi).

  15. mario bergeron says:

    HI….I stained my fence last year with (TWP 1500 Pecan) and i would like to do a second coat this summer. Do i need the wood brightener with the wood cleaner (restore-a-deck package 600 ) or just the wood cleaner? thanks….
    Mario Bergeron

  16. Jimmy says:

    Do you have to use a pressure washer?

    What is an alternative method?

    • You do not have to, but easier and more effective if you do. Heavy scrubbing and rinsing is other option.

      • Jimmy says:

        I am sanding down to "new wood" so it would seem pressure washing isn't necessary for the cleaner/brightener — correct me if I'm wrong.

        Also, on another note, I'm now deciding between the TWP 1500 and Armstrong Clark. Coverage per gallon seems quite different: Armstrong 100-200 sq. ft (not counting railings); TWP 1500 coverage of the same seems to include railings in their online calculator. The inference is that you get more coverage with the TWP.

  17. Carl Gillmeister says:

    Hi, where can you purchase restore a deck 300 kit? Tried lowes. Local hardware store and aPPG store. Not available.

  18. Gloria says:

    I used one time wood protector on my deck 4 years ago in natural. I need to do something as it is graying.i plan on cleaning , but wonder if I should use 1time again, as the sealer. Any recommendations?

  19. Joan says:

    I used the Gemini Restore a Deck Cleaner Step 1 and then the Brightener Step 2. Absolutely amazing results. I am very pleased. The 15yo cedar deck looks more even in color and is ready for the stain. It sprinkled lightly here in the Pacific NW after I used the brightener and am wondering if the rain would have changed the pH of the wood which is what the Brightener does to restore the wood. SHOULD I reapply Step 2? Or can I go ahead and stain deck?

  20. Mitch says:

    If you're using the RAD kit as a prep for a maintenance coat of stain should you mix the cleaner at a rate of 2lbs per 5 gallons of water or at a weaker rate to cause less removal of the existing stain. Should the brightener be mixed at a weaker rate also.

    • Deck Stain Help says:

      Depends on how many years between coats. If just say 1 year, then mix at about half concentration. If going on 2 or more years, mix at regular concentration. Does not matter for the brightener, just the cleaner.

  21. Rob says:

    My deck is near cars. I understand RAD to be mainly a PH thing and not a solvent. Will it be safe to use RAD so close to the paint jobs of the cars?

  22. Todd LeClair says:

    Can you tell me how long these products have been on the market, and what is the cleaner and brightener produced with?

  23. Matt says:

    I have a new pressure treated pine fence that has been up for about 4 months now. I'm ready to stain it. What do you recommend for Greensboro, NC to prep and stain? I think at least the pickets are smooth wood. Also, about how much stain? I have about 230 ft and it's between 3'6" and 4' high (curved arch).

  24. Bill says:

    I have a large western red cedar pergola with large rough cut timber members. It's 6 yrs old and was twice heavily stained with SuperDeck Semi-Transparent Stain Oil-Based (2100-2300) cedar color, last time 3 years ago. It is getting gray in areas and most troubling is there is allot of black mildew streaks. I would also like to try a different stain product that is better at mildew resistance (oil or water based if possable to switch at this point). We are in Boise very hot dry full sun summers and wet winters. What combination of products do you recommend? thanks

    • Start by removing the SuperDeck. Use the Restore A Deck Stripper and pressure washing to remove the SD. After you are done, use the Restore A Deck Brightener to neutralize. As for the stain, the Defy Extreme (water based) and the TWP 100 Series (oil based) seem to do the best with mildew resistance.

      • Bill says:

        Thank you for great response.
        Follow-up question, I just need to make sure I get this right:
        Because this is "ROUGH-SAWN cedar timbers", how much risk do I have of getting a visually unsightly result as a result of switching to a water based (like Defy Extreme) from the existing oil based semi-transparent SuperDeck which has somewhat of a film coating. Can restore-a-deck stripper via "hand spray/brush and pressure wash" method adequately strip all of it enough to comfortable switch?

        I really would like to switch to water based and use this strip method, if it has a high chance of success.

        • Super Deck in our experince is one of the easier stains to strip. You should get it off. Make sure to neutrlaize with the brightener when done. If you have time, post a before and after picture in our forum of the stripping.

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*This is first and foremost a help site from our experience as wood restoration contractors. All stain and prepping manufacturer directions were followed with our reviews and ratings. We offer no guarantee of similar results. Take in consideration that wood and deck stain results may differ due to prepping procedures, different wood types, exposure to UV radiation, natural weathering, etc.