How To Clean Decking And Patio With A Pressure Washer

How To Clean Decking And Patio With A Pressure Washer


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Steps To Cleaning Decking And Patio With A Pressure Washer

When you step out onto the deck or patio at the beginning of spring every year, one thought instantly hits you; this needs a good clean. While it might only require doing it once a year, the thought of cleaning your decking or patio can be deflating. This is a big job and menial tools simply won’t cut it. Since I started using a pressure washer to clean the decking and patio areas, life has become a lot simpler.

The good news is that you don’t need any previous experience to bring your decked area or patio back to its former glory. However, if you’ve never used a pressure washer for this job, I have a few handy hints and tips to ensure you get the best results.

Choosing The Right Tools For The Job

Before you get started, you will need to ensure that you have the right tools for the job. I have created a guide to buying a pressure washer for decking and patio which you can view here. Once you have chosen the best jet washer for the job, you will also need the following items:

  • Safety goggles
  • Broom
  • Detergent
  • Hosepipe
  • Hosepipe adapters
  • Pair of wellies or boots
  • Ear defenders and gloves are optional

Cleaning Your Patio Or Decking With A Pressure Washer

Cleaning Your Patio Or Decking With A Pressure WasherNow you have got all of your equipment together, it is time to start cleaning. Start by putting on your safety goggles. This might seem a little over the top for a cleaning task, but it is super important to prevent flying debris from causing a nasty injury. Since jet washers can sometimes be quite loud, some people may also wish to use ear defenders.

Step One – Clear The Area

You don’t want to have to be cleaning around obstructions, so before you pick up that pressure washer, be sure to remove all furniture and other items from your decking or patio.

Step Two – Sweep The Area

Over the winter, it is not uncommon for a lot of debris to build up on the patio. Leaves, stones, twigs, animal mess and even bits of rubbish that are blown into the garden will all be an issue, not to mention dust and fine particles.

Before you can start wet cleaning the area, you will need to give the patio or decking a good sweep, removing as much of the loose debris as possible.

Step Three – Set Up The Pressure Washer

Set Up The Pressure WasherTo get your pressure washer up and running, you will first need to connect it to your hosepipe. It is important to make sure that there are no kinks in the hose as the water will need to be running freely for the pressure washer to deliver a consistent jet. If you have a reel, then you will need to fully unwind it to achieve this.

Before you start cleaning, you should allow the water to flow for a few moments, so that any air locks are removed. When you are satisfied with this, you can connect the power cable to the mains and turn the machine on. If you have a larger distance between you and the power socket and need to use an extension cable, it is recommended that this does not exceed 10m and has a 13 amp rating. Alternatively a cordless pressure washer could be used, however this type of pressure washer typically has a lower pressure / flow rate and therefore may not be adequate for very ground-in dirt on the surface.

Step Four – Cleaning The Decking And Patio

If the area is not heavily soiled, then you may be able to use the jet washer alone without any detergent. To do this, you will use the pressure of the water to remove dirt and restore the original colour of the decking or patio.

It is important to make sure that you use the correct pressure. If your decking is made from soft wood, then you won’t want to use anything higher than 700 PSI (50 bar), whereas hardwood and patios can handle double this. Spray the jet of water from around eight inches to achieve the best results. For very stubborn marks, you can try using a rotary pencil jet nozzle, which will deliver up to 80% more pressure, effectively removing these stains. However, you should keep in mind that for delicate surfaces, this could cause damage.

ConclusionIn the case that the decking or patio has a lot of stubborn marks, you can apply a detergent before blasting it with water. What’s more, many of these products will help to prevent a build up of grime, mould and dirt in the future, so cleaning the area next time should be easier. Moreover, they will also protect the surface from the elements and prolong its life.

If you have plant life near your decking or patio, the pressure from the jet washer could easily damage these. So, do be careful when cleaning around these delicate areas.


Pressure washers were not invented until 1926 and it wasn’t until some years after this, that they became readily available to the masses. Now they are commonly used for a multitude of cleaning task, from cleaning your car, to cleaning walls, patios and decking. Cleaning large areas with stubborn dirt would have been time consuming and required a lot of elbow grease. But now, pressure washers are widely available for very affordable prices and can drastically reduce the time and effort that goes into annual tasks like cleaning the patio or decking.

Pressure Washer Pressure Guide

Below is a guide to help you choose the best pressure (bar) for the various tasks including cleaning your car.

Task Light Duty
50-110 Bar
Medium Duty
110-130 Bar
Heavy Duty
130+ Bar
Block Paving
Fences & Garden Furniture
Commercial Vehicles

Are you looking for the Best Pressure Washers for Cleaning Decking and Patios? If so, then read my article below. This article not only lists my top picks, but also shares my experience on what I believe you should look out for when purchasing a suitable pressure washer for cleaning your Decking or Patio.

Best Pressure Washers for Cleaning Decking and Patios

Related Articles

Looking for a pressure washer to clean your car? Click the link below to see my Best Pressure Washers for Cleaning a Car.

Best Pressure Washers for Cleaning a Car

Click below to see my full list of Best Pressure Washers for General Cleaning.

10 Best Pressure Washers UK


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