Cleaning Redwood

As with any other outdoor building material, cleaning redwood is sometimes necessary. Fortunately, cleaning redwood is not difficult. Cleaning redwood can be easily accomplished by homeowners or do-it-yourselfers.

Day-to-day, cleaning redwood is as easy as rinsing off your deck, fence, porch, or other outdoor structure with a garden hose. Clean water goes a long way towards keeping dirt and debris from building up on redwood.

“Cleaning redwood can be easily accomplished by homeowners or do-it-yourselfers.”

Over time, dirt and grime may build up to the point where merely rinsing with a garden hose will not remove them. More thoroughly cleaning redwood may be accomplished by scrubbing the wood surface with a stiff bristle brush, a mild detergent and warm water. This method will generally remove built-up dirt and grime.

Sometimes, cleaning redwood is necessary when there is an occurrence of mildew on the surface of the wood. Mildew appears as dark or fan shaped spots on the wood surface. Particularly severe cases of mildew may result in an area appearing uniformly gray or black. Mild cases of mildew may be removed by scrubbing the surface of the wood with a mild detergent and water. The next step is to rinse the wood surface with regular household bleach. The final step is to rinse with clean water.

Cleaning redwood that has a severe occurrence of mildew requires scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush using a solution of one cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP), one cup of liquid household bleach and one gallon of warm water. Rinse thoroughly. If necessary, follow with an application of four ounces of oxalic acid crystals dissolved in one gallon of warm water in a non-metallic container. Apply evenly with a soft brush. When wood dries, rinse with water.

When you are ready to finish your redwood deck, fence or porch, check out our finishing tips page for instructions and advice.


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Mendocino Forest Products Company, LLC 3700 Old Redwood Highway
Suite 200
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

(800) 777-0749 – Main Number
(707) 620-2963 – Fax

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