Welcome to the latest installment of my “All decked out” series of posts. The topic? A part of the home where the great outdoors and the green indoors meet: your patio, porch, lanai, deck, terrace, or whatever you might call it. So far, I’ve recommended outfitting your outdoor space with eco-friendly plantersnon-gruesome bug trapsalfresco eatin’ and drinkin’ waresdecor itemslow-impact lamps and lanternseye-catching watering cansoutdoor chairs for dining and relaxin', and eco-swings and hammocks as well as outdoor sofas ideal for optimum lounging.


I'm switching gears today to hawk eco-friendly cleaners meant to rid wood decks of built-up grit and grime, mold and mildew, and unsightly stains resulting from BBQ mishaps. The key here, whether you buy a commercially available formula or make your own with oxygen bleach, is to avoid chlorine beach and instead opt for a biodegradable wood cleaner that won't contaminate groundwater and/or harm vegetation when it's rinsed off of the deck.


These cleaners may not have the same potent sanitizing powers — and may require using a bit more elbow grease on your part — as a chlorine bleach-based product but they won't overly fade your deck and compromise the health of your family, pets, and the planet. And according to Tom Silva from This Old House, you should take it easy when it comes to using a popular deck cleaning tool, a pressure washer, since they can ultimately damage the wood.  


Below I've listed a few biodegradable, non-chlorine bleach wood deck cleaners. Do you have any pointers for a successful, eco-friendly deck cleaning session or a preferred eco-friendly product? Tell me about 'em in the comments section. 


Wolman DeckBrite Wood Cleaner & Coating Prep @ ePaintStore.com ($10.79, 1 lb)














Biowash Simple Wash @ ecohaus ($14.99, 1/2 gal; $27.49, 1 gal) 















Corte-Clean Composite Deck, Dock & Fence Cleaner @ Corte-Clean ($41.96, large)














Simple Green Deck and Fence Cleaner @ Ace Hardware ($13.29, 1 gal)















Moldex Deck Cleaner @ Green Depot ($12.95)













Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

All decked out: Deck cleaners
Has your wood deck seen better days? Give it a thorough cleaning without compromising the health of the planet by opting for a chlorine bleach-free, biodegradab