Cleaning a Wood Fence

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A wood fence is a common outdoor fixture in many homes. These fences are amongst the most affordable on the market. Installation can be done easily, which appeals to homeowners. With time, exposure to the elements can affect the appearance of your fence. You can paint your fence to improve its appearance. A coat of paint also serves as a protective coat which extends life of the fence. You also need to clean your fence regularly. This will help maintain its fine appearance. Below is a guide on how to clean.

Materials Needed

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Power washer
  • Deck brightener
  • Sprayer
  • Wood oil stain
  • Paint roller
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles

Step 1 - Lay out Plastic Sheeting

The grass and surrounding plants must be protected from the effects of cleaners. Some cleaning agents can ruin the health of plant life. Tie back nearby plants and cover the grass underneath the fence with plastic sheeting.

Step 2 - Prepare the Brightener

Mix brightener with water as per the instructions on the brightener label. You can obtain brightener from a home improvement store. Place mixture in a sprayer.

Step 3 - Spray the Fence

The brightener helps to remove dirt and discolorations. It also helps to kill fungus and mold in the wood. Spray the solution over the entire fence. It is best to begin at the top and work across as you move downwards. For best results, spray generously.

Step 4 - Allow Time to Brighten

The instructions on the brightener label specify how long you should wait for the agent to work. After several minutes you should be able to see discolorations on the fence disappear. You can then proceed to power wash.

Step 5 - Power Wash

A power washer allows you to clean quickly and with ease. Many home improvement stores allow you to rent one. Get one that operates at 1,500 to 2,000 PSI. Those that are very powerful will damage the wood. Be sure to adjust the nozzle to the widest degree. This will prevent damage to the wood by high water pressure. Do not place the nozzle too close to the fence when you wash, otherwise it will pulverize the fence. It is best to maintain a distance of 12 to 18 inches away from the fence. This allows an effective wash yet keeps the wood safe. Wash away the brightener solution. Work from the top and proceed sideways, then downwards. The power washer should clear all dirt and grime. Be sure to rinse away all traces of the cleaning agent.

Step 6 - Remove Plastic Sheeting

Pick up the plastic sheeting and discard. If left too long on the grass it will block air supply and cause the grass to die. Let the fence dry.

Step 7 - Stain the Fence

Use a paint roller to apply oil stain over the entire fence. This will protect the wood and also prevent discolorations. Work from the top and proceed towards the bottom. Be sure to stain over the entire fence.


  • Be sure to put on gloves and safety goggles. These will protect your hands and eyes from the cleaning agent.
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