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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    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?
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          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.
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      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
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      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.
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    Kami · 03/23/2020
    I did the cleaner and brightener and it seems like my deck was brighter after cleaning and darkened after the brightener. I know I used them in the right order according to the package. I checked many times. Is it at all possible that the cleaner/brightener could have been packaged into the wrong bag? Is the cleaner the one that is grittier and doesn't dissolve as easily? Thanks.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/23/2020
      The cleaner does not always dissolve 100%. It is not possible that both were packed incorrectly.
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        Kami · 03/23/2020
        Thanks for the clarification.
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    Rollo · 03/10/2020
    Can I still get good results with a garden hose? I don't have a pressure washer.
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/10/2020
      You would have to use a scrub brush and then rinse method. It will take longer but turn out well.
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    Aundra · 03/09/2020
    Will you have to scrub the deck cleaner if you just doing handrails What will be the best way to do the handrails in the stairs
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 03/09/2020
      Spray on the deck cleaner and then lightly pressure wash off is the best way.
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    John · 02/25/2020
    Can I clean and brighten in one day and then stain the next day? What happens if it rains inbetween?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 02/25/2020
      With RAD Stain you can do the same day or next day. Rain will not harm it, just do not apply to a soaking wet deck. Damp or dry will work.
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    Mel · 01/31/2020
    If I reconstitute all of both the cleaner and the brightener, how long are the solutions viable?
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      RAD Products · 01/31/2020
      Months if not longer.
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        Janice · 05/21/2020
        I am not sure this went through earlier or if it will show with the original post:-) This is in reply to an answer on 1/31/20 about how long the cleaner and brightener are viable after mixing and the answer was months if not longer....I was told that the cleaner had to be used right away after mixing and would not work later if stored. Am I misunderstanding something????
        • We will reply to your comment shortly
          RAD Products · 05/22/2020
          In powder it lasts many months. If mixed with water the cleaner has to be used within hours.
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    Mel · 01/30/2020
    Do i need to use the Wood Brightener immediately or can I wait a day or two after I use the cleaner? am crunched for time and wondered if there is a best window for Brightener application
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 01/31/2020
      Right away for the best results. Very easy to do and takes about 30 minutes.
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    Kristin Beard · 11/05/2019
    Hi! I have a 500 sq ft deck that was previously painted and several coats on it. I have stripped, scrapped, and sanded down to bare wood in order to stain with RAD semi-transparent stain. I also purchased your prep kit (cleaner/brightened). My question is; since I have sanded extensively should I use both the cleaner and brightener before staining? Or will just the brightener be sufficient?
    • We will reply to your comment shortly
      RAD Products · 11/05/2019
      Use both for better results of the RAD penetrating into the wood grain.
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    Kathy M · 11/04/2019
    I have a new deck which was done about 9 months ago. We were planning on starting Friday with cleaner and brightener, but just saw the weather. Rain is supposed to end Friday morning but I was wondering if I could start it Friday afternoon. The temperature is going to be 55 Friday and 45 that night. Saturday and Sunday will be sunny with highs about 65 but lows about 38. Should I wait for another weekend or possibly next Spring. Thanks Kathy
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    Jim · 11/03/2019
    For clarification, my deck is cedar.
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    Jim · 11/03/2019
    I have a Generac 2800 PSI / 2.5 gallons per minute pressure washer. To avoid exceeding 500 to 600 psi so as not to damage the wood, do I use the green or white tip and how far from the decking should the tip be held?
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      RAD Products · 11/04/2019
      Use the green tip and wash at about 6-10" away from the wood.