Vinyl decks are made from a weather-resistant polyvinyl material formulated for outdoor exposure. Most people who install vinyl decking like the maintenance-free nature of the material, as it doesn't need to be stained, weatherized or painted. Cleaning a vinyl deck is usually a simple affair requiring little more than a garden hose or a scrub with mild soapy water and a sponge or rag. In case of staining, though, something more powerful such as a power washer or cleaner may be required.
Read the deck manufacturer's instruction manual before applying any type of cleaner to the deck. Some cleaners may interact with the vinyl and cause the decking to break down.
Absorb and clean off any spills as quickly as possible. The longer the stain remains on a vinyl deck, the more difficult it will be to remove.
Evaluate the stain and see if you can figure out what it is. If you can't, wash it with a mild dish or liquid soap and cold water first.
Use a power washer to spray the stain off the deck. Because most stains cannot penetrate the vinyl composite, it's likely that the stain is merely dried on. Most stains, including mildew and oil, can be removed using a power washer.
Spray white vinegar from a spray bottle onto the stain if it's something oily or sticky. These types of stains can usually be broken up by the acidic nature of the vinegar. The acidity in the vinegar is not strong enough, though, to damage the vinyl.
Let the vinegar remain on the stain for several minutes and then scrub it with a nylon scrub pad, scrub brush or a sponge, depending on the stain. A nylon brush mounted on a rotary tool works well to remove smaller stains.
Go online to the manufacturer of the staining agent's website or read the directions on the packaging. Some items, like sunscreens and bug sprays, contain permanent dyes; cleaning them will need a specific recommendation from the manufacturer.
Things You'll Need:
- Dish soap
- Power washer
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Nylon scrub pad
- Scrub brush
- Rotary tool and nylon brush accessory
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