Update for 2018: Bleach vs. Oxygenated Deck Cleaners
Welcome to Deckstainhelp.com, where deck staining experts come to share their knowledge and insights. Water-based stains have come a long way as far as quality and longevity go in the last 10+ years. In this article, we highlight the difference between bleach wood cleaners and oxygenated wood cleaners. As always, comments are encouraged.
Wood deck cleaners are used to clean and prepare exterior wood prior to staining or sealing. Wood cleaners can contain different ingredients and come in different concentrations. The goal of a deck cleaner is to remove natural pollutants like dirt, grime, graying, fungal growth, and sometimes an old failing stain. Most deck cleaners contain caustic detergents that help break up contaminants making it easier to clean by scrubbing or pressure washing. This caustic nature will cause the wood to be alkaline, which is not ideal for accepting stain. Using a deck brightener after cleaning will neutralize the high pH and prepare the deck for stain.
Oxygenated Deck Cleaners
Oxygenated deck cleaners have become increasingly popular in the past decade. These types of deck cleaners contain Sodium Percarbonate an active ingredient that is EPA registered for removing mold and mildew. Oxygenated deck cleaners also include additional surfactants that help boost the total cleaning effectiveness. These powdered concentrated cleaners are mixed with water and applied to the wood with a pump sprayer then scrubbed or pressure washed off. Oxygenated deck cleaners are eco-friendly, easy to use, and extremely effective.