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Easy Eco friendly Tips for Deck Cleaning

Updated on April 1, 2011
Moss wooden deck.
Moss wooden deck. | Source
Deck after an hour or so.
Deck after an hour or so. | Source

Cleaning the deck

Its spring the season of renewal and rejuvenation! I love spring but i can't say the same about a lot of the chores that come with the season. But i love seeing things at their best, bright, new and shiny.

That is what spring is all about, the rain, the new plants and living creatures make their presence known and everyone seems to get an added pep in their step.

With spring also comes the outdoor living that we are anxiously awaiting, having been cooped up in our homes for the winter. It is now time to pull out the bar-be-que, the furniture and plan the parties or just the quiet moments that the good weather is sure to provide.

If you are like me you are getting excited, but what does the wooden deck look like or the patio stones. Is there green moss covering your once beautiful wood or weeds trying to show their pesky heads.

Well it is time to clean and if you are on the Eco friendly green cleaning kick like me, you'll be looking for the easiest way to do the job with the least amount of energy - cutting out the huff and puff of laborious work.

I am an advocate of working smart over working hard and have found that it can also save the planet. With a little planning and elbow grease you can clean the deck yourself. While you're at it you can remove resistant rust stains, keep ants away and fertilize the azaleas if you have any or are planning to make the soil acidic for other plants.

All of this can be accomplished by white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Whichever one you chose you will see your wood deck come to life and mildew be conquered with very little effort.

It is as simple as pouring or spraying your deck with vinegar and letting it sit for an hour or so, then going back and rinsing it away. Now if your deck's wood does not look like new after the first try, repeat the process.

If you will need something stronger, you can always add a few other ingredients like ammonia, and baking soda, for a more powerful solution. What is so great about it is that all of these are a natural way to clean with out damaging the environment and accomplishing multiple tasks without any chemicals that can harm your skin.

Although as always you should be careful when handling ammonia.

If you are worried about bacteria, sanitizing can be accomplished by using the vinegar and then pouring or spraying with hydrogen peroxide.

Vinegar comes from two French words vin meaning "wine" and aigre meaning " to sour". It has apparently been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years in a variety of flavors. It is made from ethyl alcohol, there is a bacteria that feed on the alcohol converting it into vinegar.

When it comes to cleaning i think vinegar is unbeatable! It is handy and extremely versatile around the house, out side the house and even in the garden. It is a great cleaner for most household grime by itself or with other natural Eco friendly cleaning agents like baking soda and ammonia.

Vinegar is acidic which means it is a good cleaner for water stains and lime deposits. It is also a great rinsing agent because it dissolves soap scum. Spraying it in the shower, tub or even adding some to the laundry rinse cycle does wonders when it comes to getting rid of soap residue.

Warning though do not combine vinegar and chlorine bleach. Together they produce toxic fumes and can make you sick, the powerful odor alone would make you gag!

So, if spring has sprung at your house and you are gearing up to clean the deck and want it to come alive again, just pour vinegar on, let it sit in the sunlight for an hour then rinse it off with water. If necessary use a scrub brush if the mossy looking mildew proves stubborn, but otherwise rinsing with water should give you the desired result!

Vinegar recipes

1. Apple Cider vinegar or distilled White vinegar alone.

2. Equal parts vinegar and water.

3. If you need something a little stronger than, half and half, add twice as much vinegar.

4. 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 gallon of warm water.


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