The Best Pressure Washers & Cleaners For Decking

By Thomas O'Rourke - 4th January, 2019

Whether it’s made from wood or composite, decking is subject to a high amount of wear and tear. It’s constantly exposed to outdoor elements – and the surface can grow mould, moss or lichens.

The best pressure washers can easily handle all of these, provided you use one that’s appropriate.

We’ve tested and selected the most promising pressure washers and steam cleaners for decking in the UK. Check out our top picks below.

In this guide - the best pressure washers for garden decking, including...

#1 Best Pressure Washer

karcher K5 in action

1. Karcher K5 Premium

This ultimate pressure washer for decking incorporates the latest technologies and delivers unrivalled performance.

Cheapest Unit

Karcher K2 spraying bike

2. Karcher K2

Convenient and reliable power washer lives up to expectations and won’t break the bank. One of the UK’s most popular units.

Worth Considering...

black + decker pressure washer spraying wall

3. B&D High Pressure

A versatile alternative – this pressure washer comes packed with an outstanding variety of accessories.

karcher K5 in action
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Our favourite choice – a dependable pressure washer for tech-savvy homeowners.

The K5 pressure washer is one of the best products in its class. Packing unparalleled features, it can easily satisfy all your home renovation needs and is ideal for cleaning your decking, driveway or patio.

This dependable tool incorporates the latest technologies and is easy to use. Just turn it on and use the convenient digital controls to set your desired pressure. Everything is displayed on the built-in LCD screen for easier monitoring of your selections.

Besides pressure, you’ll also be able to control the detergent settings and dispense cleanser when needed and in the right quantity.

An array of accessories allows use of the washer for much more than decking. Perhaps the most praised component in the pack is the T350 patio cleaner, a versatile attachment designed for spray-free cleaning of most horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Other nozzles and wands make the unit perfect for cleaning your tyres, motorcycle, or bike. Backed by a 5-year limited warranty and suitable to use for a wide range of tasks, this pressure washer is undoubtedly one of the best in the industry.

Pros

  • Full control trigger gun allows for complete control of the pressure and detergent flow from convenient digital controls.
  • Three-in-one wand and lance ensure suitability for aggressive, powerful cleaning – with a dirt blaster and detergent settings in one.
  • Integrated hose reel allows for comfortable storage of the 8-metre hose after use.
  • Telescopic handle and wheels ensure a smooth and easy transition from one area to another.
  • One litre of stone and facade cleaner provides even more value for money.

Cons

  • The unit has no on-board storage for accessories.
  • Some users were unhappy with the way detergent is dispensed by the multi-jet lance.
Karcher K2 spraying bike
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A dependable and affordable power washer designed to clean decking easily.

The K5’s little brother appeals to the budget-savvy homeowner and packs many of its newest version features. Designed for convenient cleaning of all outdoor areas, this dependable machine comes with various attachments and plenty of customisable controls.

An intuitive iconography guide will show which pressure setting you need for which application. The options are simple and easy to understand, even for a first-time user.

Like the K5 above, the K2 comes with a number of different nozzles and wands, including the T150 patio cleaner which is smaller but equally versatile as the T350 model. This attachment provides reliable, spray-free cleaning of larger surfaces.

The high-pressure lances are ideal for washing off lichens and moss from your decking or dirt from your car, while the detergent dispenser allows for intensive cleaning of any particularly soiled surfaces.

Complete with everything needed to finish your job fast and easy, powerful, and affordable, this is a great alternative to consider if you don’t want to break the bank.

Pros

  • Telescopic handle and wheels ensure easy transport around your property.
  • On-board storage for all accessories, including a high-pressure gun and hose.
  • Automatic water inlet and detergent suction tube provide flexibility and versatility for multiple applications.

Cons

  • Some of the plastic components feel cheap.
  • Outputs an almost impressive level of noise.
black + decker pressure washer spraying wall
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On-board storage, multiple accessories and settings provide high-end versatility.

BLACK+DECKER is known for its reliable home-use line of power tools and accessories. They come at affordable prices and pack long-lasting components that will serve you well for years. Their high-pressure washer is no different.

Slightly more expensive than we might have expected, this power washer brings versatility. It comes with eight accessories including a dual high-pressure rotary wash nozzle ideal for all stubborn messes, a foam lance bottle kit, and an adjustable jet nozzle.

But the accessory that will serve you the most for cleaning your decking is undoubtedly the deluxe patio cleaner. This component is designed for cleaning all dust and debris from stone, concrete, and wood, and features a comfortable handle which allows for the cleaning of vertical surfaces too.

The cleaner also has a built-in detergent tank for effortless operation. Furthermore, we also like the click fast water inlet connection and the convenient filter, which is designed to trap dirt and guarantee powerful operation.

Pros

  • High flow rate and pressure ensure suitability for a wide range of applications, from cleaning decking to washing your car.
  • Soft bristled fixed brush allows for the cleaning of a wide range of surfaces including garden furniture.
  • Comfortable gun connects instantly to the high-pressure hose, is ergonomic and comfortable to use.

Cons

  • A tad more expensive than expected.

How To Use A Pressure Washer On Your Decking

Wooden decking requires constant care and maintenance, including by staining the surface annually to keep it looking like new for longer.

Perhaps you’re aware that proper staining requires proper cleaning before applying the product, and a pressure washer is the only way you can thoroughly clean your decking if it is aged somewhat.

Follow our expert’s tips and learn how to use a power washer on decking like a pro:

Step 1 – Select the right accessory and pressure
Choosing the right accessory is key to a successful outcome. High power nozzles and wands may be too aggressive on wood, damaging its structure.

A patio cleaner is perhaps your best bet and in the lack of it, a fan nozzle could be a great substitute.

Regarding pressure, it depends on whether your deck is softwood or hardwood. The former will not tolerate a pressure higher than 600 PSI while the latter can usually withstand around 1,200 PSI. Any higher and you risk damage to the boards.

Step 2 – Wash your deck
If you use a patio cleaner, start with a lower setting and increase the pressure on a test area, such as a step, until you find the right pressure that allows you to remove debris easily without damaging the wood.

In case of a wand, you must still set a lower pressure but also keep the wand a few feet from the deck, to avoid any damage caused by the powerful jet stream of water.

Lower the wand and adjust the pressure, then clean from your house outwards.

Step 3 – Let the deck dry
Wash the whole surface and when you’re happy with the results, turn off the pressure washer and let the surface dry. At this stage, you can sand your decking and apply a quality staining product.