I'm planning to refinish my deck soon. Here are some pictures of the current state of it.

deck deck closeup

I bought this Cabot wood cleaner. The instructions say to:

Apply cleaning solution liberally to problem surfaces using a brush or pump-type sprayer. Allow to set 15 to 20 minutes. Stubborn areas may require scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush. (If surface begins to dry quickly, lightly mist with water.) Rinse off using a garden hose with nozzle at maximum pressure or use a high pressure power washer. Repeat procedure if necessary.

Currently the one spigot we have outdoors is shut off due to some plumbing work that is on pause, so using a hose is not an easy thing to do. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. If I apply the deck stripper before it starts raining, can I let the rain do the work of the Rinse off using a garden hose with nozzle at maximum pressure or use a high pressure power washer? Or would that cause damage to the deck since it will probably be raining all day?


No it’s not the same. Getting it “wet” isn’t the same as “rinsing it off”.

Boards are not perfectly flat. They cup, twist, have small crevices, etc. and will “hold” rain water. Rinsing the boards off will “wash” residue, particles, etc. away.


No. If the detergent dries before it gets rinsed away it can keep the sealer from soaking into the wood properly and leave dirty streaks. The detergent, dirt, and residue need to be thoroughly rinsed off. Just wait until the faucet is back in service so you can clean and rinse it properly.


First, the deck dosent look really that bad to me. Next if the instructions say x hours prior to rain wait unless you have lots of $ to toss away then just send me the $,,, There are all kinds of different preperations. Possibly pressure wash, sanding. These can all work but your abilities / skills. And ability to DIY with the internet makes it much easier since I was a laborer. If the instructions say wait well my advice is to wait or you will be wasting $ And Or having to do it over.

  • Well, the question isn't about whether to wait or not. The question is: is it okay to substitute a day of rain for the thorough rinse with a garden hose or pressure washer step.
    – Mike Eng
    May 6 '18 at 1:16

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