The Best Inexpensive Non Toxic Homemade Deck Cleaner

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Looking for an easy and inexpensive way to wash your deck? This oxygen bleach homemade deck cleaner works great well and is non-toxic…it won’t harm your plants, pets or kids.

The Best Non-Toxic Inexpensive DIY Deck Cleaner
The Best Non-Toxic Inexpensive DIY Deck Cleaner

It’s the beginning of summer…time to start inviting some friends over to hang out on the deck!  The only problem?  The deck is covered in dirt and algae (and this winter was particularly cool and damp around here…perfect algae growing conditions!)

The Deck "Before" using the best (inexpensive and non-toxic) homemade deck cleaner ever!
The Deck “Before”

It definitely needs to be cleaned!

Deck with plants after using the best (Inexpensive and Non-Toxic) DIY deck cleaner ever!
Deck with plants

Over the years, I have tried lots of different store-bought cleaning products.  Some work better than others, but almost all of them are really hard on the plants around my deck (and as you can see, I have a lot of plants around my deck!)…not to mention toxic for my pets and the stream flowing behind my house.

I’m also not a big fan of using pressure washers on the deck…if you don’t get the spray strength adjusted to the right level, it will take the surface off the deck boards…which makes the deck rough (and seems to make the grime come back even faster).

The Deck after using the best (inexpensive and eco-friendly) homemade deck cleaner ever!
The Deck “After”

I finally stumbled across a homemade deck cleaner that is safe for plants, animals, and kids, doesn’t cost very much, and actually works really well!  Oxi-Clean (otherwise known as oxygen bleach)!

Oxygen bleach uses oxygen ions to break apart the dirt which means no harmful chemicals are involved at all…and it’s inexpensive.  I have a fairly large deck, and it takes about 2 cups of Oxi-Clean to do the whole thing.

Read on to see how to make your own inexpensive and non-toxic homemade deck cleaner (and how to apply it).

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35 Responses

  • Absolutely brilliant! I was on the right track with peroxide but this is SO much better. Thanks so much for all the tips!!

  • How fantastic! I don’t have a wood deck but I have had algae on the side of the house and on the gutters. I wonder if this would work on the mildew on the driveway, too. I’ll have to try it. It’s amazing to me how so many people don’t seem to be concerned about the toxicity of the products they use. So thank you for this information!

    • Thanks, Cyndi! I haven’t tried it on mildew (you’ll have to let me know if it works!) but I have used it to get the algae (and other grime) off the siding & gutters…it is definitely good for that.

  • Dear Wanda, I want to try this, but please help me…. What is a Gallon Water? 4 Liters? More/less?
    Greetings from Austria!

    • Hi Ann…I haven’t tried it on Trex but it should be fine. I use it on my house siding with no problems. You might want to try it on a hidden spot first just to make sure.

  • I’m happy to find this post! I have 3 dogs and some rabbits that have nested under my deck and I’m happy to find I can have a clean deck without harming the animals!! Now to get to work!!

    • Thanks, Jacqueline! I also have a dog and lots of wildlife around so I was happy when I found this solution, too 🙂

  • The generic chemical Soda Ash (sodium percarbonate) is the active ingredient in Oxiclean and similar ‘Oxygen’ bleach products.

    Oxiclean contains some inactive ingredients, so you use 1/2 or less as much sodium percarbonate.

    Always dissolve in warm/hot water, and it won’t dissolve well in water under 65F.

    Dissolved (8oz to 32oz water) it is equal to 27% hydrogen peroxide (9 times stronger than pharmacy grade 3%.)

  • I did my patio 2 weeks ago… I just used water with an electric pressure washer !!!! Did a great job without any cleaning products, except Eater! Difficult tout be more non-toxic than that!! ☺

    • I have always been afraid to use the pressure washer on my deck because it can damage the wood, but it’s great to know that it will work on the patio. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sorry, I am a french speaking person… For me, there is no difference between a deck and a patio. My “patio” or “deck” is made of wood, so I guess you would call it a “deck”… It is very important to control the distance and the “spraying” time, but it does an amazing job! Wish I could post a before and after picture!

  • Does the liquid oxyclean work just as good as the powder? I’ve had my 2 giant rabbits living on my deck while we make their house outside. Good to know that it won’t harm my animals I also have 3 dogs that like to go under the deck.

  • Will using these ingredients harm my landscaping? My deck is raised above the ground level below which We have flowering plants.

    • Hi Marqueta…I have flowering plants all around my deck and I have never had anything bad happen to them. That’s the benefit of using oxygen bleach rather than regular bleach 🙂

  • I have a deck, with a paint product called Deck over from Home Depot. Is this solution safe to use on my deck?

    • Hi Janet…I’m not sure about that since I haven’t tried it. I haven’t found too many things that it isn’t safe for, but I would probably try it in a little corner somewhere first just to make sure.

    • Hi Tonya…I use Thompson’s Water Sealer every 2 – 3 years and put it on with a roller. Using a garden sprayer is faster but too much of it gets on my plants, and it’s not good for them. You can get it at any of the big box hardware stores.

  • Is this safe for fish?
    This sounds promising. Since we have had our deck I’ve just power washed it but it but am worried that it is harming the wood, we have Oak and Hickory trees that coat it with black gunk that takes a lot of force to get it off. I’ve stayed away from cleaners because we have a fish pond right beside it and I’m afraid of harming my fish.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Mary Lou…I’m not really sure if it’s safe for fish. I would think it would be okay (especially if it’s just a couple of splashes), but it’s probably best to check with someone who knows more about fish than I do.

    • Hi Elizabeth…I used 1/2 cup Oxiclean in 2 gallons of water, and then used a deck brush to put it on the deck (there’s a link in the post to the one I used).

  • I have a deck that wraps around 2 sides of my house (53 x 32), mostly so I can clean windows without scaffolding. I am in the woods on a bluff overlooking a river so lots of Oak, hickory around to shed leaves, oak tassels on the deck and in the gutters. hope to get gutters cleaned and covered soon and will tell the company to use Oxyclean so plants and animals not harmed. have coons, squirrels, birds, possum visit me every day not to mention my 3 cats and vegetables, houseplants. also have an ocassional visit by Clyde our mountion lion. Finding a safe alternative for cleaning the deck and siding is fantastic! ?? think this would be okay to use on the roof shingles as they tend to get moss and algae too.?

    • Hi Dorlis…Your house and decks sound beautiful! I haven’t tried this on shingles but I think it should be fine. I would try it on a small corner of the roof first to see what happens. Good luck with it!

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