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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    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!
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      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!
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                      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??
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      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
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      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
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      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?
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      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?
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    Diane Sikorsky · 06/01/2020
    I just purchased your deck cleaner and semi-transparent stain but not the brightener. My deck is old and made of pressure treated wood and never stained or coated. The stain I ordered is your darkest brown. Why would I need the brightener?
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      RAD Products · 06/01/2020
      To neutralize the cleaner after done with the cleaning.
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    Jeff · 05/31/2020
    Using your products on a new screened in porch. Waited for the kdat and pt to dry since last fall so it should be ready. Will the cleaner and brightener damage the screen? How best to apply the products to the vertical framing and ceiling?
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      RAD Products · 05/31/2020
      No, it should not harm the screens. Apply with a pump sprayer.
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        Jeff · 05/31/2020
        Since it’s a new structure do I need to do the cleaner and brightener or can I skip a step? Also I’ve had your stain in the box since November. Is it still good to use? Some spilled in the shipping and the instructions were destroyed. Can I find everything I need online?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/31/2020
          Clean and brighten is needed. Instructions are on each product page in the images.
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    R W · 05/23/2020
    Can I use the soap nozzle and tank on my pressure washer to spray on the cleaner and brightener instead of the hand pump?
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    David Kenney · 05/19/2020
    Hi I am getting ready to clean Brighten and stain. (Products are coming today) but I needed to sand a couple of areas to get rid of some splinters. My deck is #1 YSP installed a year ago. No previous stain. Do I need to wait to stain now that I have sanded a few areas? Also what do you recommend to get rid of sap bleeding through? I have two boards that gave this sap issue.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/19/2020
      You cannot stop sap or even clean it off. Wait a month and the clean and brighten for prep.
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        David Kenney · 05/19/2020
        Thanks so much for the quick reply.
        I will send pics before and after for your contest. In June.
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    Pat · 05/13/2020
    If I need to do a second application of cleaner should I do cleaner-brighter and cleaner-brighter again or cleaner-cleaner, brightener-brightener?
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    Maribeth · 05/05/2020
    Are your RAD products the same as the ones sold on TWP stain?
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      RAD Products · 05/05/2020
      The private label their Gemini kit with our products.
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    Michelle · 05/02/2020
    What should I use to remove spattered stain from alum, painted swimming pool skin? Thanks
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/02/2020
      Try a water-based graffiti remover from your local paint store.
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    John · 05/01/2020
    I don't have a pump sprayer, what can I use to apply the cleaner and brightener?
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    Matthew R · 05/01/2020
    Can I apply the cleaner to a wet deck (as in it recently rained) or should it be dry?
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    Paul Jones · 04/26/2020
    What happens if I use your stain on a older pergola without cleaning and brightening? It would be a huge job to go over all of the different surfaces three different times. I would be satisfied if your solid color stain covered evenly and lasted for a few years before having to re-coat. Thanks. Paul
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/26/2020
      You have to prep and if you did not, it would fail.
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        Paul Jones · 04/26/2020
        If I do the prep work how long can I expect the finish to last? When/if the finish begins to fail do I have to then strip and brighten at that point before re-coating?
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          RAD Products · 04/26/2020
          About two years. Clean and brightener prior to recoat.
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    Isaac · 04/21/2020
    Hi our deck has not been cleaned or stained in 10+ years, it is not in the worst condition but it is about time we do it. I just wanted to assure myself I have the steps in the right order. Step 1: Remove all furniture. Step 2: Hammer in any nails sticking out. Step 3: Sand splintering areas with 80 grit. Step 4: Apply stain stripper on railings and verticals (and horizontals if needed). Step 5: Apply deck cleaner on horizontals and verticals. Step 6: Apply wood brightener. Step 7: Apply wood putty in 1/8 inch cracks. Step 8: Apply Stain. Here attached are pictures of the deck maybe you have any other tips or suggestions on products needed. Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/21/2020
      Strip all wood first, use the additives as well: https://www.restore-a-deck.com/rad-stain-stripper-additives.html

      No need for the cleaner, just use the stripper. Sand after the stripping to remove any stain that does not come off and to remove any splinters. Brightener last.

      Never use wood filler or putty on a deck. It does not work. Leave cracks as is.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Isaac · 04/21/2020
        Okay got it. So the stripper works as a cleaner as well? And it's fine to use everywhere? Because I have some areas that still have stain and some that are grey and weathered. Can you suggest products?
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    Scott Tucker · 04/16/2020
    Will the RAD cleaner and brightener damage appearance black powder coated Aluminum spindles in my hand railing? Also, same question for the black molded plastic fittings at each end of the spindles where the spindles attach. Masking each one will be a pain as there are around 200 total. Pic is of Cumaru with failed Penofin oil :(
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      RAD Products · 04/16/2020
      Hard to say as they are not all made the same. Typically no but always test first.
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    Debbie Pulver · 04/15/2020
    We just installed a tongue&groove pine board ceiling to our gazabo area. It is not pressure treated. Can this be stained immediately? Do we need to use the cleaner and brightener on it before staining? If so what's the best way for application so we don't get a shower with the chemicals. Thanks for your help.
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    Tal · 04/13/2020
    I have an old deck that hasn't been stained in years. It has some what looks like semi-transparent stain left on railing and other vertical surfaces. Also some mildew and rust stains on the deck. Should I use cleaner and then stripper or stripper should do the job? thank you!
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    Aumfwd · 04/07/2020
    how long should i wait after applying brightener to apply twc semi transparent stain to ipe wood?
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    gale · 04/04/2020
    will restore a deck cleaner remove the existing stain on the deck?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/04/2020
      That would depend on the current condition of the stain and the type of stain.