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.

After the wood deck has been cleaned following the Restore A Deck Cleaner instructions allow the wood to dry for 1-2 days before applying a wood deck stain or sealer. 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
    Ellen · 06/21/2018
    My 2-year old deck looks wonderful and like new after applying the cleaner and brightener. Thank you for a great product! The one board I've replaced does not seem to absorb water even after scrubbing with cleaner and brightener. Should it be left unstained and for how long while I stain the rest of the deck tomorrow? Kindly advise and thank you in advance!!

    Ellen
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    Keith · 06/20/2018
    What happens if it starts to rain during the cleaning/brightening process? Will you have to start over or can you continue? Is it best to wait for a completely dry day?
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    Dayne · 06/11/2018
    Hello: cedar porch built/stained 6 years ago, no maintenance since in central MN. I want to clean up to remove graying and restain. Do I need to completely strip all the weathered stain off, then apply cleaner and brightener, or could I just clean and/or brighten before staining?
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      RAD Products · 06/11/2018
      Strip and brighten for the prep is correct way.
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    Dpraz · 06/10/2018
    I’ve cleaned and brightened. What would happen to my project if I don’t stain. I know it’s recommended, but what will happen if I don’t? Will my wood turn grey again this year? Next?
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    Chris Stehle · 06/08/2018
    pressure treated deck in good shape but algae is still visible, at least the color, after using Restor #1. Can I just go forward with the #2 then stain in two days or do I need to do more with the green tint?
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      RAD Products · 06/08/2018
      Go ahead and brighten the wood. Leave the brightener on and do not rinse. The "green" you are seeing is internal and the brightener should help as it dries into the wood.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Chris Stehle · 06/08/2018
        Great, thank you. Just to be clear, I spray on the brightener, no rinsing,
        then I can stain in 48 hrs. Correct?
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    telisa · 06/06/2018
    I have used Olympic cleaning it has bleach in it its had left my deck blotchy I was instructed not to use pressure washer, I just rinse with with water hose.what do I need to do
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 06/06/2018
      Redo all with the RAD Cleaner/Brightener kits while using the pressure washer to fix this.
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        Jamie · 06/24/2018
        We also used Olympic and it left a white fuzzy residue all over our deck. The website says the only way to get it off is to sand it. We have a 1000 sq ft deck and dont have the time for that. Any suggestions? Such a waist of money. Thanks
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/24/2018
          FYI, a cleaner or prep product is not the fault or cause of this. It is the heavy oxidation of the wood or needed stripping of the wood that creates the fuzzies. Best to lightly buff off this to fix with a sanding pad and buffer.
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    nancy · 06/05/2018
    new deck...pressure treated pine-untouched for 2 years...I have tried all kinds of cleaners, power washer, etc...Will this product really work? Taking off the black-and evening out the wood? I am so frustrated now-found your product and it seems wonderful...have put in a lot of labor so far-with very little effect.....
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      RAD Products · 06/05/2018
      It will definitely help to prep the top side but you did create an issue with the bleach-based cleaner on the floors that shows the splatter marks. It should even it out. For mildew on the bottom, it will clean it but it will be a messy job since you are washing below. You will need a pressure washer with the RAD prep products.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        nancy · 06/05/2018
        thanks for such a prompt reply...I do have a pressure washer-and I really hope your product can help me...the product I used is sold by sherwin williams as '30 second painter's prep." I have wasted a lot of time and money so far...Hope your product works as I have seen in the reviews!
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    Dan · 06/05/2018
    What's the consequence of leaving the cleaner on for longer than 15 minutes? I might hire someone to do my pressure washing and I'm not sure we'll be coordinated enough for me to get cleaner down and do any necessary scrubbing and then someone else to pressure wash a given section within 15 minutes.
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      RAD Products · 06/05/2018
      It will dry if you wait too long. It only takes a few minutes to apply it with a pump sprayer.
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        Dan · 06/05/2018
        Thanks for the reply. Is there any reason I couldn't apply the cleaner, scrub, and rinse with a regular hose myself then have it pressure washed a few days later? Or is it imperative to have it pressure washed at the time I use the cleaner?
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 06/05/2018
          You always use the cleaner with the pressure washing so the pressure washing does not damage the wood by just washing with water only.
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    Rory · 06/03/2018
    Hello, I am looking to stain my new cedar siding. The wood is about 5 months old, in southern California. I am planning to use your cleaner and brightener before applying the stain. Since this is vertical siding rather than a horizontal deck, do you still recommend the same application method of using a pump sprayer and power washer? Thanks.
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    Victoria · 06/01/2018
    My deck was stained one year ago, (not sure what product), and still looks good but would like to clean it. Can I just use your cleaner and not use the brighter?

    Thanks, Victoria
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      RAD Products · 06/02/2018
      Hello, our products are designed to prep for reapplication of the stain.
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    D Clark · 05/25/2018
    Just finished stripping cedar deck with RestoreaDeck stripper. Left a white residue. What is it, and what can I do about? Thought I followed directions.

    Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/25/2018
      Did you brighten as well? Please post a picture.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        D Clark · 05/27/2018
        Thanks for the quick reply.
        Yes, I used brightener.
        Don’t think it’s chemical residue but the fuzzies (wood threads) mentioned in another post below. I sent the post day-of stripping when the deck was only partly dry. I used a pressure washer (trying to be gentle) and it took off almost all the old stain.

        So what to do now?
        Sand off the remaining few spots of stain?
        Spot sand down the fuzzies? or the entire deck?
        (Brighten after sanding? I don’t quite understand why that’s recommended.)
        Not worry about the—the stain will take care of it?
        (I’ll try to post a pic or two, but for some reason haven’t had much luck.)

        Thanks in advance.
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/28/2018
          Wood fuzzies can easily be removed if using a floor buffer. You can rent them at HD or local rental yard. They also carry 3M sanding pads. About 15" in diameter and 1" thick. You lightly "buff" the floor with this. There will be no need to brighten after. Just stain.
          • We will reply to your comment shortly
            D Clark · 05/28/2018
            Thanks. To lightly buff cedar, what grit do you recommend?
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              RAD Products · 05/28/2018
              They are pads, not sandpaper. Red or white in color.
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                D Clark · 05/29/2018
                Ok. Tried the buffer idea. Didn ‘t work for me. Pad grabbed the wood too much and walked buffer across the deck. Uncontrollable, and I’ve used buffers a little before. Or maybe you know some trick?
                HD didn’t have 3M. Used white pad from local rental place.
                Hand sanding makes fibers come off like duck fluff, but it’d take awhile. (Could be I ran the p.washer too hard.)
                So do I now need to rent a square sander, or hand sand? 80 grit? Or...?

                Need to get it done in the good weather window we have right now.
                • We will reply to your comment shortly
                  RAD Products · 05/29/2018
                  When you use a buffer you have to balance it. If you tip it forward it will go to the right. Tips it backward it will go to the right. If it does not work, just hand sand lightly. 80 grit.
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    Al · 05/23/2018
    I have used Rad cleaner and brightener on my cedar deck that is 1 year old and will be staining for the first time. The two products have worked really well but now I have sections of the wood that have the "furries" or "fuzzies" as they are called. What is the best way to deal with this, or can I just leave it and stain? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/23/2018
      Fuzzies are not a result of the cleaner but a result of the oxidation (graying) that occurred since the deck was installed last year. Does it show when wet with water? If so, it typically will not show once stained.
      • We will reply to your comment shortly
        Al · 05/23/2018
        They only appear when dried for the most part. When the deck is newly wet you really don't see them. It seems staining then will make them disappear. I appreciate the advice.
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    Tara · 05/21/2018
    Here is its current state.
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    Tara · 05/21/2018
    We are trying to bring back a very old and neglected deck. We pressure washed, then used a drum sander. We have small children and are trying to prevent splinters. We want to go over it with a palm sander with a finer grit. What grit would you use? Should we sand then clean and brighten (or vise versa)?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/22/2018
      60-80 at most with the grit. Clean and brighten after the sanding. This will help to stain to soak in better.
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    Peter Jacobson · 05/21/2018
    Hi, I cleaned and brightened a sanded, 20 year old pressure treated pine deck with RAD and finished it with one coat of Armstrong Clark oil based semi-transparent dark brown stain in 2017. It workred and looked great. After the winter snow pack, it now has significant green surface mildew/mold(?) on the shady end of the deck. I would like to be able to clean it without pulling the stain to give me one more year of this finish. I know that a through pressure washed RAD cleaning will pull the stain.

    1) Can you recommend a lighter dose of cleaner that should clean the green and leave the stain intact? And would I also use brightener (or is that just for pre-staining)? or,

    2) Do I have to bite the bullet and refinish the deck using RAD Stripper and Brightener, and restain with RAD Stain. If So, what color would you recomend, given the present appearance as a guide?

    Thank you for your help,
    Peter
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 05/21/2018
      Try 2-3 oz of RAD Cleaner to one gallon of water. Apply and lightly rinse (not heavy wash) with a pressure washer after 10 minutes.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Steve · 04/18/2018
    We plan on stripping our deck and then waiting several weeks before staining. Can we wait to apply the brightener just before we stain, or does it need to be applied right after stripping.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 04/18/2018
      Hello, the brightener would need to go right on after the stripping. Wating several weeks is not the best idea. Always try to stain within 1-2 weeks after the prep.
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    bernie · 03/17/2018
    Because of weather delays, how long can I wait after using your product before I really should apply a sealer? Great product by the way.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/17/2018
      Wait 48 hours after prep for it to dry and stain within 2 weeks.
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    bernie · 03/17/2018
    After using your product I waited 24 hours before sealing. In hindsight I recalled that I forgot to rinse off the brightener after application. Will this have a deleterious effect on the sealer that was subsequently applied?
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    Greg · 02/18/2018
    I just used the restore-a-deck on my Teak Ski Platform for my boat. I kept the surface wet with new product, not just water, and even scrubbed it midway with a deck brush then reapplied fresh product. It continued to bubble. I then used the brightener. However, the platform still has a significant amount of gray areas on it. What did I do wrong? I know Teak is a hard wood. Do I need to use a power washer? I was hoping to avoid that if at all possible but maybe I need to do it.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/19/2018
      Hello,

      Most likely the use of a pressure washer while using the Step 1 will remove the gray. Teak wood is extremely dense/hard so it will require more pressure.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Mikey · 10/27/2017
    Hi... two questions... I used RAD cleaner and brightener on my cedar porch, then it was sunny for two days, then rained the next three... I'm going to stain with TWP 1500 but I'm trying to gauge my application window... the stain-can says to wait 48 hours after it rains before applying, but how long does the TWP 1500 have to sit BEFORE it can be exposed to more rain?

    Also, the can says to use a rag to absorb excess stain after the second coat, should I use a rag to absorb excess stain after the first coat also? Many thanks!
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/27/2017
      1. About 12-24 hours after applying, before a rain.

      2. No. Only if needed after the first coat.
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    Dorothy Partin · 10/19/2017
    I used the Restore a Deck cleaner and then Brightener on cedar posts and wrap around boards. (I can't remember if the wrap around is cedar or pine.) Some of the cedar looks beautiful. Some of it turned a little white. The wrap around boards turned a lot white. What should I do?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 10/19/2017
      Did you apply and pressure wash off?

      You should be fine after you stain all the wood. It will look the same.
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    Shan · 09/30/2017
    Do I need to protect painted surfaces when using the brightener?
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    RAD Products · 09/25/2017
    Davefc9:
    Will RAD work on IPE ?

    Yes it will.
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    Davefc9 · 09/25/2017
    Will RAD work on IPE ?
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    RAD Products · 09/11/2017
    dford:
    Hi, this is a deck cleaning and brightening product but will it work just as well on house cedar siding shakes? If yes, any tips? I want to clean off the grey, then brighten it, then pick an outstanding clear stain. Thx, Dan

    Yes, it works on cedar siding as well. Apply the Step 1 and pressure wash off. Rinse and apply the Step 2 Brightener.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    dford · 09/11/2017
    Hi, this is a deck cleaning and brightening product but will it work just as well on house cedar siding shakes? If yes, any tips? I want to clean off the grey, then brighten it, then pick an outstanding clear stain. Thx, Dan
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    RAD Products · 09/11/2017
    chaneyhd:
    Should hardware on gates, etc be covered when using RAD?

    Best to test first to see if there is a reaction. Most likely it will be fine.
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    David · 09/10/2017
    Should hardware on gates, etc be covered when using RAD?
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    RAD Products · 09/07/2017
    Alec Doede:
    I have a Cabot clear product on my deck currently. Very dissatisfied. Deck is cedar. My deck gets a lot of direct sun exposure, snow/ice, dog nails... a lot of abuse. The cabot is toast after 12 months. I'm going to take it off and put on Armstrong. A couple questions... 1. what is the difference between your stripper and cleaner? It appears I use only stripper then brightener... but I'm curious why there is a cleaner product too... why wouldn't someone always just use the stripper? Also... curious your input on Armstrong product if you can make any recommendations. I'm thinking I'll go as dense/dark as possible for longevity. Any input is appreciated. Thank you!

    Cleaner is for decks that are unstained, dirty, graying, and when recoating with the same brand of stain as before.
    2. Darker or more pigmented colors will offer longer UV protection.
  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Alec Doede · 09/06/2017
    I have a Cabot clear product on my deck currently. Very dissatisfied. Deck is cedar. My deck gets a lot of direct sun exposure, snow/ice, dog nails... a lot of abuse. The cabot is toast after 12 months. I'm going to take it off and put on Armstrong. A couple questions... 1. what is the difference between your stripper and cleaner? It appears I use only stripper then brightener... but I'm curious why there is a cleaner product too... why wouldn't someone always just use the stripper? Also... curious your input on Armstrong product if you can make any recommendations. I'm thinking I'll go as dense/dark as possible for longevity. Any input is appreciated. Thank you!