RAD CLEANERdefaultRestore A Deck Cleaner Instructions and How To Tips

Keeping your wooden deck in good condition is without a doubt crucial to both its appearance and lifespan. Nothing looks worse and deteriorates more quickly than a neglected deck. Many deck owners have opted to do their own deck maintenance.

Restore A Deck cleaner is a specifically designed two-part system that is best used to clean and prep a wood deck prior to resealing it. The Restore A Deck cleaner system consists of a wood cleaner that will remove dirt, grime, mold, mildew, and grayed wood fibers. Step 2 of RAD Cleaner is a wood brightener that corrects the pH of the wood and brightens it up prior to applying a wood stain or sealer.

To clean a deck using the Restore A Deck system follow these easy step-by-step instructions.

1. Be sure air temperatures or between 45-90 degrees. Remove all furnishings from the deck and the surrounding area.

2. Though Restore A Deck is Eco-Friendly it is still a good idea to cover sensitive plants and shrubbery or pre-wet them with fresh water. Use plastic to cover doors and windows in the surrounding area.

3. Follow the Restore A Deck instructions to mix the Step 1 Cleaner in a clean bucket until all crystals are dissolved and transfer to sprayer to avoid clogging of sprayer inlet tube.

4. Lightly spray the wood deck with water. Use a pump sprayer or scrub brush to apply RAD Cleaner to the wood. Allow the cleaner to dwell for 5-15 minutes. Keep the deck wet by misting with water during the dwell time. If using a pump sprayer please make sure that no undissolved powder is poured into the sprayer. It will get clogged!

5. Hand scrub or use a pressure wash to remove dirt, grime, and graying from the wood surface. Do not use excessive pressure. Pressure washing at 1500 PSI is much more effective and easier.

6. Once cleaned, rinse the wood deck and the surrounding plants, windows, house siding, etc.

7. While the deck is still wet from rinsing, apply the Restore A Deck Wood Brightener (Step 2).

8. Blend the RAD Wood Brightener by following the product’s instructions and apply with a pump sprayer. Allow the brightener to dwell for 10 minutes then rinse off. No need to having scrub or pressure wash the RAD Brightener. Make sure to rinse the RAD Brightener thoroughly for 20 minutes until all soap suds are removed after the 10 minutes dwell time.

Note that the RAD cleaner is not intended for removing old deck stains or sealers. Please see Restore A Deck Stain Stripper when dealing with existing stains.

If you have any specific questions about your project or just need some help, please ask below!

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Gina Mittag · 09/23/2020
    We are wanting to stain our 300 sq ft deck. We power washed with just water before your product arrived. It has never been treated and is about 4 years old. Some of the deck is covered and some is not. Several of the areas that are not have green mildew/mold that your cleaner and brighter were not able to remove. Do you have any suggestions on how to remove this from those areas? We finally had a dry spell and are hoping to get it done before winter!
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      RAD Products · 09/23/2020
      Did you pressure wash after the cleaner was applied?
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    Tim · 09/21/2020
    We'll be using the RAD cleaner and brightener on a cedar greenhouse that's next to a patio. What will those products do to the concrete slab the greenhouse is on and the pavers on the patio? Will they alter their finish?
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    Marki · 09/21/2020
    One more question...a few areas on the railing look powdery white after they were cleaned and brightened. Will that go away when I stain over it? Thanks again.
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    Marki · 09/20/2020
    I just used your cleaner and brightener on my year-old cedar railing which was never treated, and there are green stains that didn't come out. Is there a way to get them out before I put your stain on? Thanks,
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/21/2020
      If the green is deep in the wood grain then it will not come out. The prep products work to remove what it is on or near the surface.
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    Marki M · 09/20/2020
    Will the cleaner or brightener hurt composite decking, like Trex, if it drips on it? (I do wish there was a way to search the questions sections for specific things.) Thanks,
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    Cami · 09/06/2020
    Maybe you know the answer to this:
    Your instructions step 5. States a 1500 psi washer will be fine. Is a 2700 psi too much even with the nozzle that lowers the pressure?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/07/2020
      You can use a stronger pressure wash, just back off and wash 6-10 inches from the wood, it will drop the pressure in 1/2.
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        Cami · 09/07/2020
        Awesome! You're the best!
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    Chad · 09/06/2020
    I have a cedar fence that has weathered for nearly a year - I used the cleaner and no matter how much I spray it down, I can't get all to rinse off. Any suggestions?
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      RAD Products · 09/07/2020
      Rinse well and then brighten to neutralize. I will go away.
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    Miriam · 09/01/2020
    Do you need to clean & brighten a new deck that has been weathered for 1 year & power washed before staining?
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    Noah · 09/01/2020
    Hello, I just installed two new boards on a deck I already replaced all of the boards on. These two are discolored, possibly by mildew. Since I want to ensure these stains are removable before waiting months to prep and apply a semi transparent, only to find out its not coming off, I wondered if it spot treatable? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      We replied to you earlier. After weathering and prep, it should come off.
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        Noah · 09/01/2020
        Thank you. Wasn’t sure if I could do something to it now with an RAD product, and then let all boards continue to weather before prepping.
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          RAD Products · 09/01/2020
          Put a small amount of bleach on it now to see if that kills the mildew. 1 part bleach to 4 parts water. Then let the wood weather.
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            Noah · 09/01/2020
            Thank you, will try that first.
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              Noah · 09/02/2020
              Hi, I only had Oxy Clean, thinking it would be ok as a less abrasive solution, and was left with this. Some mildew still there, and despite my rinsing of the area these discoloration spots. Is this what it will all look like when I clean and brighten, or did the OxyClean stain it like a direct bleach solution would have? Thank you.
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                RAD Products · 09/03/2020
                It will be fine once you weather and prep it later.
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                  Noah · 09/03/2020
                  Thanks.For future reference, I should still avoid bleach vs. a cleaner like non-diluted OxyClean, because if these spots were bleach theywould not disappear after weathering and prep?
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    Jane & Doug · 09/01/2020
    For a previously stained deck, do I need stripper, as opposed to cleaner? I bought the cleaner...
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      RAD Products · 09/01/2020
      What type and brand of stain is the previous coating? Pictures would help.
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        RAD Products · 09/01/2020
        Also, what are you recoating with? Same brand and color?
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          Jane & Doug · 09/04/2020
          We used RAD cleaner and in a few places there is still a slight oil sheen on the wash water. Do we need to do it again? We used Armstrong Clark Redwood Tone and are trying to bring it to a state where we can re-stain.
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    Louis Tseng · 08/30/2020
    I have a deck over an oak tree
    What’s the impact of RAC on the root of tree after the wash runoff deposits on soil around the tree?
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      RAD Products · 08/31/2020
      It will not harm the root system.
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        Louis Tseng · 08/31/2020
        Is RAD cleaner biodegradable when there is no exposure to sun (under deck and oak tree)?
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          RAD Products · 09/01/2020
          Yes.
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            Jane & Doug · 09/01/2020
            Thanks for quick reply. I posted in June about applying Armstrong Clark Redwood Tone that was very dirty and stuff was tracking into the house. We put on two coats and wiped the excess after each one. We learned we needed the kit, which I bought (cleaner, not brightener). We haven't been able to face the task (1,200 SF) but have 5 days to have at it starting Thursday.
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              RAD Products · 09/01/2020
              If you are using the same color and brand then you need the cleaner, not the stripper.
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    Colleen · 08/23/2020
    Stripped the deck then applied the brightened. Needed to sand when dry. Do I reapply the brightened before staining?
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    Brad · 08/14/2020
    I would like to clean and brighten this weekend to stain early next week. Small chance of rain. Any issues if rain between cleaning, brightening, and staining?
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    Bill Jeske · 08/10/2020
    will this work on a vertical wall like on a gazebo?
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    Reed · 07/27/2020
    We have a new cedar deck with cedar posts and railings and black powder coated aluminum balusters. We are planning on waiting a few months and then clean/brighten/semi-transparent stain the cedar components. The balusters will not be stained, of course, but what about the cleaner and brightener overspray? Should special care be taken to not let the cleaner or brightener get on the powder coated aluminum? That would be difficult since the posts and railings are cedar.
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      RAD Products · 07/28/2020
      The prep should not harm the spindles but always test spot first.
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    Jim Harburger · 07/18/2020
    The current Behr semi-transparent stain on my eight year old deck began to peel after about a year. I used a hand sander to remove the flaking stain. I want to use your product to remove the rest of the Behr stain so the solid stain replacement lasts as long as possible and does not peel. I have received Restorer and Whitener along with the Restore a Deck solid stain. I just read the last two sentences of your web site write-up that say: "Note that the RAD cleaner is not intended for removing old deck stains or sealers. Please see Restore A Deck Stain Stripper when dealing with existing stains."

    Should I get the Restore a Deck Stain Stripper and use it instead of the Restorer?
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    John k · 06/29/2020
    Can the cleaner be used for siding and gutters? Thanks in advance.
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      RAD Products · 06/29/2020
      We would not suggest it for aluminum siding. Vinyl is okay.
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    Bryant Mann · 06/27/2020
    I have a food grease stain on a small section of my untreated deck. Ready to clean, brighten and stain. Will the cleaner get the grease stain out or do I need to do other prep for that spot? Thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/27/2020
      No, it will not remove grease that is deep in the wood. Nothing will that we know of. If at the surface, it should help get it off.
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        Bryant Mann · 06/27/2020
        Okay, so cleaner as normal and however much it improves that is the best It will get and I’ll always have a stain?
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          RAD Products · 06/27/2020
          Correct.
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            Bryant Mann · 06/27/2020
            Another question, i think I should clean and stain stain the sides and the support beams? What about the rafters under the deck?
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              RAD Products · 06/27/2020
              No need unless you want to for appearance.
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                Bryant Mann · 06/27/2020
                After the cleaner I still have some sections that look dirty/green mold maybe that doesn’t come out? Used a pressure washer and still light green. Will brightener did this, was the cleaner not strong enough? Should I do the cleaner again?
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                  RAD Products · 06/27/2020
                  That is deep in the wood grain and part of the wood. It will probably not come out. Just stain over it.
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                    Bryant · 06/27/2020
                    Did the front porch only today and it came out great! Only issue is some fuzzies on some of the boards (2 boards on the bottom step, stain seems splotchy from the fuzzies) that I sprayed lots of extra cleaner on and maybe it was a little too strong. I'd like to avoid fuzzies on the back deck that we're doing tomorrow as much as possible. Can I make the cleaner more dilute or don't spray/keep wet as much or less time? It is 3 yr old deck, never been treated and we will be pressure washing the cleaner off. Thanks for all the help with my questions, you guys have been great!
                    • We will reply to your comment shortly
                      RAD Products · 06/28/2020
                      The fuzzies happen when you remove the graying/oxidized wood cells. It cannot be avoided as these have to come off. It is not a result of the cleaner.
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    Brenda · 06/16/2020
    Ok....deck looks great after brightner. We will be ready to stain in 48 hours. Ny next concern is the furring or fuzzies on it.... what is a solution ? I heard maybe buffing it with an orbital sander??
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/16/2020
      You can but not always needed. Rent a floor buffer with a sanding pad is the fastest way.
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    Brenda · 06/16/2020
    shall we increase the strength of the cleaner? If so, by how much? Brush? Soft or stiff? Actually used both. Do I keep reapplying cleaner until we are satisfied with results? Repeat process?
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      RAD Products · 06/16/2020
      You cannot increase the strength any more than the 6-8 oz per gallon of water. You do not need a scrub brush, apply, and then pressure wash off. Brightener will aid as well to lighten the wood. Maybe test a small spot and see if that gets the gray out and you are satisfied. Leave one for 10 minutes and then rinse. Just do a few sq feet where the gray is. If all good, then brighten all and you will be done.
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    Brenda · 06/16/2020
    Yes, we power wash according to instructions. We got some of it out. Fibers raise to the top.....is it necessary to get all out b4 brightner? This is taking longer than sanding. I didn’t expect this to be this challenging . Help! We have a large deck
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/16/2020
      You do not have to get it all out but you should get more out. The gray is oxidation and you should remove as much as possible.
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    Brenda · 06/16/2020
    We are having a difficult time getting the grey fibers out. We cleaned/scrubbedlast night. But there is s many more spots we had to stop....resume this am) so does all the grey Need to come off b4 brightening and staining (twp)
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      RAD Products · 06/16/2020
      Are you pressure washing? Much easier if you do. Feel free to post pictures.
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    Rebecca · 06/15/2020
    Sorry, forgot 2 additional questions to the post below:
    - Several areas of vertical wood/railings were sanded about 1.5 months ago. Does this affect how much time needed to wait before staining?
    - How long after staining before porch can be used?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/15/2020
      1. 3 Months or more total for sanded areas.
      2. 24 Hours.
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    Rebecca · 06/15/2020
    Additional photo
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    Rebecca · 06/15/2020
    I have cleaner, brightener, and semi-transparent stain ready to go. My screened porch was built with PT wood in March so floor/posts have been aging about 3.5 months, and rails/spindles about 2.5 months. 2 walls of porch are vinyl siding and ceiling is painted wood. Questions:
    1) Can I stain within the next month or need to wait longer? (Or wait until Fall when temps drop, I live in southern US: frequently 90+ in summer)
    2) Okay if cleaner and brightener get on surrounding vinyl and painted wood as long as it is rinsed off? What about stain? Will it rinse clean from those types of surfaces? If all needs to be applied with pump sprayer I don't see any realistic way to keep it from getting in adjacent surfaces.
    3) What about the screen? Can I spray with plain water after applying the stain to make sure it doesn't dry? Or will this affect the curing of the stain on the adjacent wood?
    Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/15/2020
      1. July or August.
      2. Yes on prep. No stain on house or paint.
      3. No stain on screens and it cannot be rinsed with water after applying.
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    Michelle · 06/14/2020
    Hello. Today I cleaned and brightened my PT deck we installed last November. Followed all instructions. When wet deck looks great, when dry it looks like it has a chalk film on it in some spots. Do I need to rinse again? I saw another comment where you responded that as long as when wet it looked good, the chalkiness wouldn’t show when stained.
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    Bea Whitfill · 06/09/2020
    I have about 1000 square feet of decking including benches and rails. Should I do the benches first? (clean, brighten and then stain?)

    I have a way to do this in three sections if necessary. Bench are in two of the three sections. thank you for your reply. Bea
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/09/2020
      Just do it all at once.
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        Bea Whitfill · 06/12/2020
        How soon can we walk on the stained area? can we put cardboard down on it?
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          RAD Products · 06/12/2020
          After done with staining, wait 4-8 hours to walk on it. No cardboard.
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    Suzanne · 06/06/2020
    Can I use the cleaner just to clean a previously stained deck? Does it Damage stain?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/06/2020
      The cleaner should only be used as a prep for when reapplying.
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    MS · 06/05/2020
    Can you apply the brightener with a brush?