How to Clean Trex Decking: The Ultimate Guide
One of the biggest benefits of installing Trex decking outside of your home is that it’s very easy to clean and maintain.
For the majority of the year, you won’t have to do much at all to clean Trex decking. The rain alone should be enough to wipe away most of the dirt and debris that will gather on it.
That being said, you will need to know how to clean Trex decking every now and then to make it last longer and to keep it looking its best. You should get into the habit of cleaning your Trex decking on a semiannual basis or as needed.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the things that might bring down the aesthetic appeal of your Trex decking and learn how to clean them off your decking quickly.
Dirt, Dust, and Other Debris
Dirt, dust, and other types of debris like leaves and twigs are going to be the things you find on your Trex or composite decking the most often. People often ask how to remove grease stains from Trex decking as well. It’s going to be almost impossible for most people to eliminate these things from their decking completely.
However, the good thing is that they’re all very easy to clean. You can get them off your decking in a matter of just a few minutes and bring your deck’s surface back to life.
To clean composite decking when it comes to dirt, dust, and surface debris, simply spray down your deck with a hose or pressure washer to get everything off it. Then, take a bucket of warm soapy water and a brush with bristles and wipe your deck clean.
If you do this every so often, the dirt, dust, and debris should wipe right off without a problem, with relatively minimal maintenance! But you may have to work to get it out of your Trex decking if you allow those things to really set in. Remember to never use a metal shovel to remove snow or debris from your decking surface, as this can cause more damage to the composite decking.
This is why it’s so important to make cleaning your Trex decking a priority.
Tannins Left Behind by Certain Debris
In the event that you allow certain debris like tree bark to sit on your Trex decking for too long, tannins can work their way onto your deck.
These tannins can drag down the look of your Trex decking over time if you’re not careful. They can also prove to be a pain to remove from your deck.
Fortunately, it’s not impossible to clean Trex decking of tannins.
You can start by removing all of the debris from your deck with a hose or even a broom. Then, you can apply what’s called a deck brightener to get rid of the tannins.
Deck brighteners have oxalic acid in them that’s designed to do away with tannins on decks. Just make sure you use brighteners properly to avoid doing any damage to your Trex decking.
How to remove oil and grease stains from Trex decking
If you spill oil or grease on your Trex decking, it’s extremely important for you to clean it up immediately. The same goes for spilling any food that could contain either of these things.
If oil and grease sit on your deck for too long, they could potentially leave a stain behind that you won’t be able to remove, no matter how hard you try.
With that in mind, you should spring into action if you ever see oil or grease on your Trex decking. Spray down the surface with water and then use soapy water to rinse away what’s left of the oil and grease. This should help clean the grease off the Trex deck.
As long as you don’t wait too long to do this, you can usually get your deck clean without any issues. But Trex does recommend cleaning oil and grease off a deck within 7 days for best results.
Mold and Mildew
Just about nothing will make your deck look worse than mold and mildew. Once it takes over, it will turn your Trex decking into a major eyesore.
This is why it’s crucial to prevent mold growth on your deck’s surface. Mold and mildew can start to grow on Trex decking when pollen, dirt, or some other debris is allowed to sit on it for an extended period of time. It’s why you should make every effort to remove these things from your deck as soon as possible.
If you ever notice mold or mildew, you should douse it in soapy water and then use a hose to spray it off your deck. You can also use a bristled brush later to wipe away anything that remains behind once you’re done washing your deck.
In general, you want to avoid allowing kids to draw on your Trex decking with chalk at all costs. Most types of chalk will lead to staining taking place.
Trex recommends using Irwin Strait-Line(R) Dust-Off Marking Chalk if you really have to. But your best bet is to limit the chalk used on your Trex deck altogether.
What About Power Washing?
One of the most frequently asked questions with regards to Trex decking is “Can I power wash it?”
The answer is yes–but you do need to be mindful of how you do it.
When power washing a Trex deck, you should use a power washer with a psi under 3100 and more than 12 inches away from the deck’s surface. You should also use a specific technique when power washing. It looks like this:
- Spray your Trex decking down with soap
- Use a soft bristle brush to wipe down each individual deck board
- Spray each deck board with your power washer while using a fan tip and holding your spray wand about 8 inches from the board
- Rinse your Trex decking as thoroughly as you possibly can
- Allow your deck to dry once all the dirty water is off of it
As long as you follow these simple steps, you shouldn’t have any trouble cleaning Trex decking quickly with a power washer. Just make sure you follow the steps listed to avoid damaging your deck.
What’s the best cleaning product to use on Trex Decking?
The best solution for cleaning Trex decking surfaces is made of bleach and dish soap. Although detergents can cut the grease, oxygen bleach releases oxygen in the water and helps to remove dirt and rust from the surface of the Trex decking. If your problem is mildew-free, it can be solved using a combination of vinegar and baking soda. This can also help eliminate mold. For a composite deck that was previously used by a Trex decker using a composite deck cleaner, use a product like Rust-Oleum® – Composite Deck cleaner.
How to Clean Trex Decking Regularly to Improve the Look of It
As you can see, it’s not terribly difficult to clean a Trex or composite decking surface after you have it installed. It’s much easier to clean Trex decking than it is to clean other types of decks.
As long as you do it regularly, your deck will look new for years to come. You’ll love spending time on your deck every time you have it cleaned.
Read our blog for additional advice on installing, cleaning, and maintaining decks and docks.