faq

Question: What type of wood is Restore-A-Deck used on?
Answer: Restore-A-Deck is safe for all wood types including pressure-treated pine, cedar, redwood, ipe, and mahogany.

Question: What is in Restore-A-Deck?
Answer: The majority ingredient in the cleaning formula is sodium percarbonate.  This is the one recommended by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. There is also a blend of proprietary detergents that makes the cleaner work faster and more powerfully than just straight sodium percarbonate cleaners. The Restore-A-Deck brightener is a blend of mild acids that is much less harsh on your wood than the straight oxalic acid. These formulas are the exact formulas we use professionally to clean and maintain decks every day. There is nothing comparable on the homeowner market.

Question: Is your product just for wood that has already been sealed? My deck was just built.
Answer: Restore-A-Deck can be used for maintenance cleaning, mild stripping, or to prepare new wood for sealer. For general cleaning, you would not allow the product to sit (dwell) for a long time before rinsing. For a more aggressive action, you would let the product dwell for a longer period.


Question: How does the cost of your product compare to what I can get at my home center?

Answer: Here is the best part, it's not only of much higher quality and more effective but in terms of time invested and harshness it's cheaper. By focusing on product development, we are able to offer a product that works effectively and does not cause the long term damage of bleach and soap cleaners. We are not shy in saying our product is the best out there for the money. Our smallest kit makes 5 gallons of cleaner and another 5 gallons of brightener. Your cost is about 5 cents per square foot.

Question: Is your product safe for the environment? I don't like the idea of chemicals on my deck or in my soil.
Answer: Restore-A-Deck is less abrasive to the wood than most of the products on the consumer market. Its primary ingredient is also found in OxyClean™. There are other proprietary chemicals in the formula, but all of them, once diluted with rinsing, meet all E.P.A standards for disposal and will safely drain into the soil without affecting the soil pH balance. As with the use of any type of detergent, please read the safety precautions page.

Question: Can't I just use bleach and dish liquid on my deck?
Answer: We do not recommend you use bleach (sodium hypochlorite) on your deck. Bleach attacks the lignin in wood. Lignin is the glue that binds wood fibers together. Without enough lignin in place, wood begins to break down more quickly. In addition, bleach imparts an unnatural whitening to the wood. This shows up very prominently when you apply a pigmented sealer as blotchiness. Every lumber association recommends against the using of bleach yet 90% of cleaning products available at your local home center contain bleach.

 

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Question: Why use any chemicals at all? Isn't using a pressure washer by itself good enough to do the job?
Answer: In order for a pressure washer to adequately clean wood, you would need to use extreme pressure at the surface. This causes the wood to split and the grain to raise, both causing the surface to become unpleasant to walk upon. Using a proper detergent like Restore-A-Deck eliminates the need for highly pressurized water hitting the deck. You wouldn't take a shower without using soap or shampoo, nor would you wash your dishes with just water. The detergent does the cleaning, the water acts as the rinse.

Question: Do I need to use a pressure washer if I'm using Retore-A-Deck?
Answer: While initially, we wanted a product that would not need the added scrubbing action of a pressure washer, we feel it is safer to recommend one be used but with proper technique. In many cases, Restore-A-Deck will work it's magic and can be rinsed using some brushing and garden hose pressure. We have included a more detailed explanation page on proper pressure washer usage here.

Question: What is included in the kit. What additional tools do I need?
Answer: Your kit will include a container of the cleaning agent, a container of the brightening agent and detailed instructions. You will also need at least one pump up 3-gallon sprayer (we recommend two), safety goggles, and PVC gloves. Optional equipment may include a pressure washer and moisture meter.

Question: I used Restore-A-Deck and it looks great! Now I want to seal in the beauty and protect it from the elements. What do you recommend?
Answer: Allow the wood to dry for three to four days in direct sunlight (75+degrees F) Pick a quality sealer from a reputable dealer. We suggest the Woodrich Timber Oil, Hardwood Wiping Stain or Amstrong Clark.

Question: I have leftover materials from your kit, should I throw them away?
Answer:
No way. Restore-A-Deck's cleaner is excellent for cleaning vinyl patio furniture, garage floors, house washing, you name it. The only time we recommend caution is around colorfast material. The brightener in your kit is also excellent for removing rust stains from concrete. Restore-A-Deck's materials have a shelf life of one year if kept sealed and dry.

Question: I applied a sealer and I hate the color. Will your product remove this finish?
Answer: That depends on a couple of factors. Will you be applying a sealer that is similar or darker in color? Also, how long has the sealer been exposed to the elements? Restore-A-Deck is an outstanding cleaner and a light duty stripper but it has its limitations. If the finish has been down for less than six months or if you are looking to change to a dramatically lighter colored finish you will need a heavy duty stripper made with sodium hydroxide. We have these available for contractors only as they are dangerous and caustic products.

Restore-A-Deck will not remove paint or solid stain.
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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    John Engdahl · 10/08/2020
    Close-up of droplets
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      RAD Products · 10/08/2020
      Not sure what that is but it is not coming from the stain. There is nothing in the stain that would cause this to happen. Looks like something is leaching out of the wood? Does it wipe or scrub off?
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        John Engdahl · 10/08/2020
        On the upper deck I hosed it off which caused the stain to appear blotchy. I put a second coat on that deck and it looks fine. I started the lower deck (the photo with the blue droplets) yesterday and did not get to finish. This morning the droplets were on the lower deck but I just left them alone and they seem to have evaporated and the boards look fine. New question; can I put a second coat on if the stain has dried overnight?
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          RAD Products · 10/09/2020
          No, once cured and dried you cannot apply a second coat as it will not take.
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    John Engdahl · 10/07/2020
    Again one did not post. This one shows some of the blotchy area.
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    John Engdahl · 10/07/2020
    Some of the photos did not post.
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    John Engdahl · 10/07/2020
    I have a question concerning the finished stained boards. The cedar boards on this top deck were put down in late April and May. They had been purchased two years prior but had been covered and protected. I used the RAD cleaner according to package directions using a sprayer and a stiff broom. Waited the appropriate time, then rinsed well. I applied the brightner according to the package directions, waiting approx. 15+ minutes. Rinsed until I no longer saw any bubbles. It was late in the day by then so I waited until the next day to stain. As you can see by the photos I have a lot of block wall along the deck so I chose to use a 3" brush to stain with. Took about 3 hours but it went well. The next morning there was dew on the decks ( our days in the Portland, OR area have been mid-70's & night mid-50's ). The stained deck also had droplets of a blueish nature on portions of the deck. I rinsed the deck down but as you can see from the photos it has left patchy areas. I am now going to do the lower deck. Yesterday I cleaned, used brightner, and rinsed very well. This morning I rinsed the deck again very well. I am waiting about three hours until I start staining the damp deck. Any suggestions.
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    Anne Ledbetter · 10/05/2020
    It is Anne Again, The deck is so slick that you really cant walk on it without sliding. It is still wet.
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    Robert Armstrong · 10/05/2020
    I stripped and brightened the decking and cleaned and brightened the railings two weeks ago, but didn’t get to start the staining before leaving on a trip. Do I need to clean or brighten again or just rinse off and stain?
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    Anne Ledbetter · 10/05/2020
    After I have scrubbed the cleaner and washed off the deck it still feels soapy. Will the brightener get the soapy feel off?
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      RAD Products · 10/05/2020
      Power wash to rinse better and then apply the brightener.
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    Barbara Lutterbein · 09/02/2020
    When I get my solid deck stain it will be close to 3 weeks since I cleaned/brightened my deck. Do I need to do any additional steps? Would you recommend applying to a dry or wet deck? Thank you!
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      RAD Products · 09/02/2020
      Lightly wash or rinse the wood with a pressure washer to remove any dirt. Damp or dry is fine. Cannot be visibly wet.
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    Rollo · 08/27/2020
    If I didn't use a pressure washer, how would I go about cleaning and rinsing the deck? I am worried about having to possibly sand the wood down after pressure washing as well as the hassle of renting and and using it properly. This would be for a brand new deck with pressure treated pine.
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    Kat · 08/16/2020
    I used RAD cleaner a few weeks ago on my deck. It took off the old stain but still had the grey coating. You recommended that I strip it and then brighten. I ordered the stripper but just recently got it in the mail. I'm planning to use stripper and brightener later this week... before finally staining. It's been 3 weeks cleaned but without any brightener... do you think the wood is ok?? :(
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    Pat. V · 07/23/2020
    I have just finished stripping and sanding an 800 sq ft deck, pressure treated pine, 18 years old. I never want to do this again. Can RAD be maintained/reapplied by simply cleaning and washing? Forever? (I am 70, forever is not that long:))
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    Mike G · 07/20/2020
    how should I prep this deck to be restained the same color?
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    Karen Tusa · 07/17/2020
    Temp for application of solid stain says 70 degrees and i realize thats wood temp and not air temp. When doing wet on wer application does that keep the wood cooler and allow for higher air temp? If so how high or do i need to wait for fall to come in the great northeast?
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      RAD Products · 07/18/2020
      70 is optimal but the range is 50-90 degrees. You do not do wet on wet application for the solid stain. The second coat is applied after the first coat fully dries.
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    Keith · 06/18/2020
    I find that I did not order enough semi-transparent stain and have ordered more. The deck is ready, how long can I wait before staining?
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    James · 06/09/2020
    I have a porch that was stained with oil based before . What do i need to do to prepare for your product?
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      RAD Products · 06/09/2020
      Depends on the brand and type of stain? Pictures would help as well.
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        James · 06/10/2020
        I used cabot semi-solid in a gray color. I'll try and get some pictures of it this afternoon.
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    SWilliams · 06/07/2020
    I used your solid stain costal gray on my deck today. We used the calculator but must have done something wrong because we didn't have enough for a second coat on the horizontal part of deck or to do our stairs. I ordered more today. Will it be a problem to do a second coat when it arrives weather permitting without additional prep? Will I have to clean the stairs again since they didn't get any stain?
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      RAD Products · 06/07/2020
      Just clean off any dirt first and you will be okay.
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    Dennis · 06/01/2020
    I have 19 year old treated deck where I sanded, stripped & brightened as instructed. I applied one coat two days ago 105 cape cod gray. I was very pleased with the results, however day 3, the deck appears slight shades of rusty/yellowing tint. See attached. Could you explain why this transpired and would 2nd coat maybe next year correct this?
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      Looks like tannin bleed from inside the wood. This is something that cannot be prevented. Adding another coat should blend it better.
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        Dennis · 06/02/2020
        Thanks for your reply. I want to express my appreciation for all your support in directing me in the right direction for my Deck project. Your web site and comments was very helpful.
        Keep up the good work!
        Thank you
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    Gary Jannarone · 06/01/2020
    Can I apply a semi-transparent stain with a spray gun and compressor. Does it work well to use this and will the spray orifice become clogged?
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      You can spray it but you will need to back brush to ensure it is evenly applied.
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    Ronald Reaves · 05/30/2020
    I have vinyl irrigation tubing attached to my deck. Will the caustic nature of the Stain Stripper harm my tubing?
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    Melissa · 05/25/2020
    We are going to strip a deck and pergola that has a built in, painted stucco island. The pergola stripping will surely drop down onto the stucco structure. Will it damage the painted stucco??
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      RAD Products · 05/26/2020
      It would help to cover this to be certain you do not have any issues.
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    AVA · 05/18/2020
    Hi! I contacted you guys about removing solid stain and you were awesome in being honest and telling me the only real way to remove solid stain is to flip the boards and sand. SO we just finished flipping and sanding the boards today. The deck itself is 4 years old, the surface of the boards now facing up were never sealed. There is some discoloration but no signs of mold. What would you recommend we do next in terms of prepping and cleaning for the application of a semi transparent stain?
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    Ben · 05/16/2020
    I stripped, brightened and stained my deck in December. It's looking good, but I'd like to try to keep it as clean as possible for walking around barefoot. What's the smartest way to keep it clean between now and the next time I apply stain, most likely in another year or so.
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    Crystal · 05/15/2020
    I am getting ready to use the restore a deck cleaner and then the brightener, and want to make sure that is safe for the pool because I am sure some will make contact with the pool water
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    Elaine F · 05/14/2020
    I washed, striped and brightened my deck. The colors are still very uneven. I think some is bleaching from the sun. There are also lots of fuzzies. I plan to rent a buffer tomorrow. After I buff will there be residue that has to be removed? If so, what is best way to do so
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      RAD Products · 05/15/2020
      Rinse well with water when done.
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        Elaine Fredendall · 05/15/2020
        Rental company doesn’t understand how the pads will “hold” on while being used on a deck. Can you tell me what tips if Pas- stripping or polishing or???
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    Thomas · 05/14/2020
    I stained my deck last year and have plenty of material left over to do it again this year. Is this recommended or should I wait? If so, do I need to do all 3 steps? Also, if I do steps 1 & 2, how long do I have before I stain the deck? Thanks
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    Josh · 05/10/2020
    I am doing a deck for a customer that was last treated before they moved into the home over 5 years ago. The previous stain is was a penetrating stain and they are going over the top with a hybrid solid stain.

    Do you recommend stripping the deck or cleaning the deck for prep? I did not know if it going untreated for five years made any difference.
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    Adrian · 05/05/2020
    I have this 16 year old deck that I haven’t maintained, because we wanted to tear it down and replace with a patio. This year we decided against the patio, so now I have a mish-mash of new and old wood. From perusing your site, I plan to fully redo the deck in the fall. However it is so ugly and dirty, I want to do something to make is presentable for the summer. What do you suggest?
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      RAD Products · 05/05/2020
      Try just cleaning and brightening the wood so it looks better for the summer. Use the RAD Kits.
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        Adrian · 05/05/2020
        Great! Should I reclean, strip, and rebrighten in the fall, before I stain?
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    Jeff S · 05/01/2020
    That 2nd to last sentence should read "I fear that if I sand and then brighten, the fuzzies will show up again and then I'll just have to SAND again".
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      RAD Products · 05/02/2020
      Buff off the fuzzies with a floor buffer and buffing pad. Doot this after cleaning and brightening. It will remove the fuzzies if there but will not sand the surface too smooth.
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        Jeff S · 05/02/2020
        1. I've heard of using a floor buffer and buffing pad many times on this comment board. But there is never any detail. Just any buffing pad? I've obviously never used one before and would appreciate any help you can offer.

        2. Also, there are times where people on this site have been instructed to clean, then sand/buff, then brighten. But you are encouraging me to clean, then brighten, then sand/buff. Just want to make sure I get this right...
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          RAD Products · 05/02/2020
          You rent them and they sell the pads at the rental place. If you sand, then you clean and brighter after. Buffing is not really sanding so it does not close the pores like sanding can.
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            Jeff S · 05/02/2020
            Thanks for the buffer info. I am reapplying the same RAD stain (type and color) to my deck for this job. I read another thread (of a cedar deck like mine that looked identical according to pics) that they should clean, then reapply stain. So that is what I planned to do. I cleaned the deck yesterday, now have the fuzzies. Can I buff and then just reapply stain? Or is it important to brighten first, then buff, then reapply stain?
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    Jeff S · 05/01/2020
    I have a cedar deck (installed in September 2018). I waited a year to clean and brighten using RAD product. The fuzzies were pretty bad, so I sanded them off after they dried using 80 grit sandpaper. Then used RAD natural stain. The stain did not adhere well and I just applied the RAD cleaner once again. As it is drying, the fuzzies are terrible again. Is this going to be my yearly struggle? Should I sand again, then just stain? Or should I sand, then brighten, then stain? I fear that if I sand and then brighten, the fuzzies will show up again and then I'll just have to stain again. Any help is appreciated...
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    Karen · 04/27/2020
    We are going to clean a cedar deck rail that has hog wire in the middle and is on top of an aluminum deck. Do we need to take any precautions for protecting either of those metal surfaces?
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      RAD Products · 04/27/2020
      Possibly with the aluminum if painted. Do a test spot first.