How to Clean Between Deck Boards

A deck is a beautiful addition to any home. Not only does it provide a space to enjoy the great outdoors, but it also increases the overall value of your property. 

However, over time, dirt, debris, and organic matter accumulate in between the deck boards, causing unattractive stains and potentially leading to rot. 

How to Clean Between Deck Boards

That’s why knowing how to clean between deck boards is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with the ultimate guide on how to maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your deck by cleaning between the boards.

Can You Clean Between Deck Boards?

Picture this: you’re enjoying a warm summer day on your deck, soaking up the sunshine and sipping a refreshing beverage. But then you notice dirt and debris trapped between your deck boards, a constant reminder of the neglect that creeps up on even the most well-maintained decks. 

The answer is yes, you can clean between deck boards! Whether using a pressure washer, a deck cleaning solution, or some good old-fashioned elbow grease and a putty knife, removing the dirt and grime from between your deck boards will not only improve the appearance of your deck but also extend its lifespan. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to tackle this easy DIY project!

Why Should You Clean Between Deck Boards?

Outdoor decks are a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the sunshine, but they can also become a haven for dirt, debris, and even mold. While cleaning the surface of your deck can go a long way in keeping it looking its best, it’s important not to overlook the spaces between the boards. 

Cleaning between deck boards can prevent water from accumulating and becoming stagnant and save you from potential issues like rotting or warping. By taking the extra time to clear out any buildup in the gaps between your deck boards, you can ensure that your outdoor space stays safe, functional, and beautiful for years to come.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Between Deck Boards

Step 1. Choose the Right Tools

Before you start, you’ll need to gather the appropriate tools. You’ll want to a long-handled brush, a putty knife, a pressure washer (optional), and a deck cleaner or homemade solution (equal parts baking soda and water). Additionally, it’s essential to use tools that won’t damage the surface of your deck, such as a plastic scraper instead of a metal one.

Step 2. Preparation Is Key

Preparation is crucial when it comes to cleaning between deck boards. The first step is to remove any furniture, plants, and other objects from your deck. Sweep any loose debris, leaves, or dirt off the surface. If you’re using a deck cleaner, read the instructions beforehand and protect your plants and exterior walls from overspray.

Step 3. Begin Removing Debris

Now, it’s time to remove any debris that settled between the deck boards. Use a putty knife or plastic scraper to loosen the material gently, then go over the spaces with a brush or blower to remove any remaining dirt and debris. Repeat until all the material is out and the gaps are clean.

 Time to Remove Any Debris

Step 4. Clean the Gaps

Once the debris is out, it’s time to clean the area between the boards deep. Mix the deck cleaner or your homemade solution, and generously apply the mixture to the gaps. Use a brush to work the solution into the grooves, and leave it to sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse it out with water or a pressure washer set to low pressure.

Step 5. Follow Up Care

Now that you’ve cleaned between your deck boards, it’s time to follow up with some maintenance to keep your deck looking great. Some things you can do include sealing the deck and retightening any loose boards or screws. Additionally, make sure to clean your deck at least every six months to prevent debris from building up.

Step 6: Sand and Stain

If you want to protect your deck further, you can sand it down and apply a new stain or seal. This will help protect the boards from moisture and prevent mold from building up. Before you begin this process, research how to sand and stain the wood properly.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance

Finally, it’s important to keep your deck clean and well-maintained on a regular basis. Sweep the surface regularly, and make sure to remove any dirt or debris that gets between the boards. Additionally, if you have furniture or plants on your deck, move them around periodically so they don’t leave marks on the wood.

Furniture or Plants on Your Deck

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to clean between deck boards. With the right tools and a bit of effort, you can keep your deck looking good for years to come.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Clean Between Deck Boards

1. Determine the Best Time of Year to Clean Between Your Deck Boards.

You will want to avoid cleaning between your deck boards when it is too cold or too hot outside. Extreme temperatures can damage your deck boards and make them more susceptible to cracking or breaking. The ideal time to clean between your deck boards is in the spring or fall when the weather is milder.

2. Choose the Right Cleaners and Tools for The Job.

There are a variety of cleaners and tools that you can use to clean your deck boards. You will want to choose cleaners and tools that are designed for use on outdoor surfaces. You will also want to make sure that the cleaners and tools you choose are safe for use on your particular type of decking material.

3. Sweep Away Any Debris Before You Start Cleaning.

Before you start cleaning between your deck boards, you will want to sweep away any debris that has accumulated on the surface. This will help ensure that you can get a thorough clean between your deck boards.

4. Clean in Small Sections to Avoid Damaging Your Decking Material.

When you are cleaning between your deck boards, you will want to work in small sections. This will help to prevent you from damaging your decking material by scrubbing too hard in one area.

Damaging Your Decking Material

5. Rinse Away All of The Cleaner After You Have Finished Cleaning.

After cleaning between your deck boards, you will want to rinse away all the cleaners with a garden hose. You will also want to make sure that you dry off your decking material with a towel to prevent any water damage.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your decking material is properly cleaned and maintained so that it lasts many years.

Benefits of Clean Between Deck Boards

Cleaning the spaces between your deck boards is essential in maintaining your outdoor space, as it provides many benefits. First and foremost, it prevents rotting and decay by allowing air to circulate, which is crucial for preserving the life of your deck. 

Additionally, removing debris, leaves, and other small items that get trapped between boards prevents mold and mildew from forming, which can spread and damage your decking and the surrounding areas. 

Lastly, it creates an overall polished and cohesive look to your deck, ensuring that it remains a beautiful outdoor space for you to enjoy with friends and family. Don’t neglect the spaces between your deck boards, it’s an easy and effective way to ensure the longevity and beauty of your outdoor space.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Clean Between Deck Boards

Cleaning between deck boards can be a tough and time-consuming task, especially when done wrong. Unfortunately, many people make common mistakes when attempting this cleaning job. One of the biggest mistakes is using a pressure washer with too high pressure, which can damage the deck or even cause injury. 

Another mistake is using harsh chemicals or solutions that can cause discoloration or damage to the wood. Additionally, some people use too sharp or abrasive tools, which can also damage the deck boards. It’s important to take the time to research and use the proper tools and techniques to effectively clean between deck boards without causing any damage.

Mistake is Using Harsh Chemicals

Can I Use Bleach when Cleaning in Between My Deck Boards?

When it comes to cleaning your deck, the options can seem endless. But what about those difficult-to-reach areas between the boards? Bleach might seem quick and easy, but is it safe for your deck? The answer is not so simple. While bleach can effectively kill mold and mildew, it can also damage wood fibers and even strip away the natural color of your decking material. 

Before reaching for the bleach bottle, make sure to research the type of wood your deck is made of and consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. Other eco-friendly and safer alternatives may leave your deck looking refreshed and vibrant without damaging it in the process.


Cleaning between your deck boards is crucial to maintain the longevity and cleanliness of your deck, but it can be a tedious process. However, it can be easily done with the right tools and preparation. 

Just remember to protect your plants and exterior walls, use the right tools, loosen debris, clean the gaps with a solution, and follow up with maintenance. By taking these steps, your deck will maintain its beauty, and you can continue to enjoy the outdoors. 

Thanks for reading our post about how to clean between deck boards.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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