Before I started the project of cleaning my deck this weekend, a question popped into my head. After doing some landscaping in my backyard I was concerned the deck cleaning product could kill my grass and freshly planted flowers. I did a quick Google search but it was hard to find an answer so I decided to write this blog post so others with the same question can get a clear answer. I also wanted to add some amazing and easy-to-make all-natural cleaning products that I ran across during my research.

Can Deck Cleaner Kill Grass?
Can Deck Cleaner Kill Grass?

Does Deck Cleaner Kill Grass and Plants?

When deck cleaner gets in direct contact with grass or plants it definitely can kill them and cause long lasting damage. To avoid killing your grass and landscape, start by heavily watering your plants and grass before and after using your preferred deck cleaner. You can also cover your plants and grass with a tarp or a plastic layer for some added protection. If your deck cleaner comes into contact with your grass or plants you should immediately rinse it down with water. Deck cleaner only kills grass and plants if the product is not diluted enough. If you have a sprinkler system, it is smart to have it running while you are cleaning your deck.

Deck Cleaner Alternatives
Deck Cleaner Alternatives

Homemade Non-Toxic Deck Cleaning Alternatives

If you want to go a much safer route then it might be smart to make a homemade cleaner at home with natural ingredients to avoid any unwanted damage to your backyard. The deck cleaning alternatives are simple DIY natural recipes that use easy to get ingredients. All these solutions work on wood decks, composite decks, fences, siding, and outdoor furniture.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda not only make a great science project but also an amazing cleaning solution. Vinegar is a degreaser and mold killer while baking soda acts as a wood brightener on real wood decks. These both mixed together make a great natural deck cleaning solution. To create this cleaning solution you will need to add 1 cup of vinegar to 1 a gallon of water. Next spread the baking soda on the wood of your deck and then scrub it in with the vinegar solution. Your deck should be looking brand and ready for summer lounging.

Pressure Washing

Simply bringing out the pressure washer can do wonders when washing your deck. Just the immense amount of force the hose creates can be enough to clean your deck with no extra cleaning products. Fire the pressure washer up and start watching the built-up dirt, mold, and other nasty substances fly off the deck boards. Make sure to wear some closed toed shoes as well, if the pressure washer is cleaning the deck on its own, imagine what the force of the water would do to your bare feet… ouch!

Oxygen Bleach and Soap

Oxygen bleach like OxiClean does a great job of deep cleaning decks and patio furniture. Oxygen bleach is much less harmful to humans and the environment unlike its counterpart which is obviously liquid bleach. Oxygen bleach works well in removing and cleaning mold and dirt build-up on composite and real wood decks. To make this cleaning product all you need to do is purchase some oxygen bleach, mix it in 2 gallons of water with about a quart cup of dish soap. Grab a brush and start scrubbing this concoction into your deck boards. You should have a clean deck that lasts for the rest of the season.


Deck cleaner can kill your grass and plants if it comes in contact, an easy way to prevent this is keep the grass and plants in your background wet during the deck cleaning process. If you are very worried about killing your landscape then it might be smart to pick of the natural deck cleaning alternatives mentioned above. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to one of our deck experts that work here at The Deck Store.