How to Clean Weathered Wood

Weathered Wood

Weathered Log Walls on Southern Exposure

If the siding on you home or the planks on your deck have turned ugly gray, with weathering, you can get it beautiful and new again. People often attack weathered wood with a pressure washer. These beasts destroy wood before they clean it. A pressure washer will blast out the soft wood grains, leaving knife-like splinters sticking up. While they make the deck look good for a little while, they take down the stock and open up more surface area for mold to grow. You will have to keep pressure washing your faded deck or gray siding every year until the weather-worn boards waste away to toothpicks.

Instead, you can clean your log home, cedar shingles, board-and-batten, or clapboard siding with two simple and inexpensive ingredients. If you search online, you will think you have to buy a timber or wood cleaner around $100 for a 5-gallon bucket. These vicious chemicals might work for wood but will not do your hands any favors.

Clean your weathered wood for less than $25.
The first ingredient is an oxygenated bleach. I use OxiClean Stain Remover because my wife uses it on the laundry and it was easy for me to borrow. Mix half a cup to a gallon of hot water.
The next ingredient makes all the difference: Basic H. Shaklee products makes the hydrogen-positive product Basic H which we use for many things around our homestead (as insecticide, car wash, livestock wormer, and many more unauthorized purposes). Basic H seems to make any liquid more effective. If you are fertilizing or killing weeds, a little Basic H seems to double the strength of the product. Mix in about a tablespoonful of Basic H with your gallon of hot water and OxiClean.

Onto the Action
While the water is still hot, pour it into a garden sprayer. Get a garden hose ready and soak down the wall or deck you are attacking. Next, spray your Basic-H-and-OxiClean mixture on the weathered wood. It should foam up slightly. Only spray an area you can cover within a couple of hours. You can always spray more if you need to. Now, take a stiff-bristle, plastic scrub brush and vigorously scour every inch of the gray wood you can see. You should see it start to lighten up as you scrub. Use rubber gloves if you are doing a large area as the OxiClean may hurt your hands.
You could just dip your scrub brush into a bucket of this weathered-wood mixture, but this carries a lot of mold and dirt into the soapy water. The compound goes further if you just spray it on and scrub without carrying any junk into the source.

You will have to go over bad spots twice until the natural wood color shows through. Think of this as an aerobic workout to tone your muscles and burn fat. Do this in spring or fall as you would be miserable doing this on a hot day. Rinse off the scrubbed area when you are all done. Let it get some sunshine if possible to help it get thoroughly dry and even sun-bleach a little before you seal it. Stain and/or seal to the desired look you wish.

Say goodbye to that unsightly gray, faded, and weathered wood, and say hello to a brand new home when you use this low-cost remodeling trick.

Washed Wood

Reconditioned logs after cleaning with mixture.

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3 Responses

  1. Karen Schumacher 

    I wanted to copy this great article, but couldn’t figure out how to do it without copying all 10 pages, which I didn’t want to do.

  2. danieljkoren 

    If you click the title link for this article, you will get a page with only this info, not the other posts. Click here and you can then copy only the one article.

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