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How to Clean a Wood Fence with a Pressure Washer: 5 Simple Steps

Wood fences can become very dirty over time and need to be cleaned regularly to maintain their appearance

A pressure washer is the best way to clean a wood fence because it removes all the dirt, dust, and grime quickly and easily

The process is quick and easy, and your fence will look like new once you’re finished

Cleaning your fence with a pressure washer will also help to protect it from rot and decay

Wooden fences are often neglected because they require little maintenance. However, these attractive structures can quickly accumulate dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris if not cleaned regularly. 

If you have a wood fence, it’s important to keep it clean and in good condition. A pressure washer can make the job much easier, but be careful not to damage the wood with too much force. Here are five simple steps on How To Clean A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer.

The heat is the main distinction between power washing and pressure washing. The jet wash in a power washer utilizes heated water, whereas a pressure washer’s water isn’t warmed.

The heated water in a power washer is particularly useful for cleaning tough-to-remove messes, such as mildew, salt, and grease. It’s ideal for cleaning filthy places as it can clean more thoroughly. Because it can clean items more readily, it’s the preferred choice for tasks where surfaces are extremely soiled that can withstand the higher spray. It is especially recommended on non-porous surfaces, such as concrete or cement because power washing will not harm them.

On the other hand, pressure washing is perfect for areas that can’t withstand high temperatures, like wood. It’s also a good option if you want to avoid damaging surfaces with heat but still need a deep clean.

You can use pressure washing on porous and non-porous surfaces. However, you may need to be more careful with porous surfaces as they can be damaged more easily.

In general, power washing is a harsher cleaning method than a pressure washing, which is why it’s important to know which one to use depending on the surface you’re cleaning and the level of dirtiness.

Power and pressure washing are effective ways to clean a wood fence. However, pressure washing is the more gentle method and is less likely to damage the finish of your fence.

Preparations Before Cleaning A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer

  1. Before cleaning your fence, make sure it is entirely prepared. 
  2. To do so, begin by wire brushing filthy regions of your fence. It will remove any heavy or embedded debris. 
  3. Next, if plants or grass surround it, cover them with a plastic sheet to keep them safe.

How To Clean A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer 

How To Clean A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer: 5 Simple Steps

Cleaning a wood fence with a pressure washer only requires the following steps:

Step 1: Prepare the setup

First, prepare your outdoor hose and attach it to the water faucet. Ensure that the end of your hose is attached to a nearby fixture or another source of running water. Then cover plants surrounding the area in which you’re working.

Step 2: Mix your detergent

Next, mix your detergent according to the instructions and fill a bucket with half of that amount. You can then pour it into one compartment of the pressure washer’s soap dispenser if one is available or directly onto your fence.

Step 3: Start Cleaning

Apply pressure to your hose so that water exits the sprayer at a consistent rate. Then, run it over your fence while spraying detergent all along its length. 

Ensure that you clean both sides of each slat and that any leaves or other debris are dislodged by either brushing them away with a broom or scrubbing them off with a wire brush.

Step 4: Pressure Washing

Next, run your pressure washer over the fence again to rinse away any detergent that might still be present. If you have a soap dispenser with multiple compartments, fill one with clean water and empty another onto your fence. It can help flush any dirt or debris stuck between the slats.

Step 5: Let the fence dry and Inspect

Finally, allow your fence to dry completely and inspect it for any spots you might have missed, repeating the process as necessary.

Once your fence has dried off, apply a fresh coat of paint if needed, or leave it alone!

Following these steps would be easy to clean a wood fence with a pressure washer once you get started.

What nozzle and PSI should I use?

Use a 25-degree nozzle

A 25-degree nozzle works well for fence washing. The pressure of the nozzles is determined by degrees. Therefore a 0-degree nozzle delivers the most pressure. Each degree on each nozzle has its color code, with black most.

Ideal PSI 

Generally, You’ll need at least 1800 PSI to properly clean a wood fence. But it always depends on the fence type, whether hardwood or softwood. You can use portable pressure washers like Karcher K1800 to do this job. 

Best Pressure Washer to Use to Clean the Wood Fence

Here we recommend a few pressure washers for cleaning your wood fence. You may wonder which one is the best. Based on their different features, we’ll recommend four different pressure washers for you to consider.

for softer woods

Last update on 2024-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For Harder Wood

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For Heavy-Duty Washing

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Overall

Best Detergent To Clean Wood Fence

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Mold, Algae, Moss, and Mildew

After pressure washing or handwashing your wooden fence, you may still have mold, mildew, or algae on it. If this is the case, here’s how to get rid of them:

Mold And Algae Removal

Mold and algae can harm your wood fence; even if you clear them away, they may leave green stains. To eliminate these formations, 

  • Combine one part chlorine bleach with two parts water in a bowl. 
  • Use a plastic bristle brush and this solution to remove mold or algae from your fence. 
  • Rinse off areas where you removed the mold or algae with your garden hose after you’ve gotten them up.

Moss And Mildew Removal

Like mold and algae, moss and mildew can damage and mar your fence. The technique to eliminate these formations is somewhat unique, however. 

  • You may use a solution of half cup vinegar and 1-gallon water to remove moss and mildew from your wood fence. 
  • Apply the solution to the wooden fence with a sponge and let it sit for 15 minutes. 
  • After that, you’ll scrub away the moss or mildew using a plastic bristle brush. 
  • At the end of the process, rinse off any areas you cleaned with your garden hose.

Safety Guidelines when Cleaning A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer

You may be injured while pressure washing your fence if you are not careful. Injuries from a pressure washer can range from minor to serious. That is why, when pressure washing, you must follow these safety measures:

  1. When pressure washing, wear the proper clothing. That includes long pants, closed-toe shoes, safety glasses, and ear protection.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not pressure wash near power lines or in areas with a lot of foot traffic.
  3. Never set your pressure washer on a slope or uneven ground.
  4. Read the instruction booklet that came with your pressure washer. That will ensure that you are using the machine correctly and safely.
  5. Do not point the pressure washer nozzle at anyone. The high-pressure water can cause serious injury.
  6. Do not use a pressure washer on a wood fence that has been treated with a sealant or stain. The high pressure of the water can damage the finish.
  7. Always start with the pressure washer on its lowest setting. If the dirt and grime are not off, you can gradually increase the pressure.
  8. When you finish pressure washing, please turn off the machine and release the pressure from the hose before disconnecting it.

Pressure washing your wood fence can be a quick and easy way to clean it. However, it would be best to take safety precautions to avoid injuries. Following these safety guidelines can pressure wash your fence without incident.

How Often You Should Clean A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer​

It would be best if you cleaned your wooden fence with a pressure washer annually to get rid of any dirt, mildew, or other stains that might have built up over time.

You can also do so if it needs fresh paint since this will help preserve its appearance and prevent the wood from rotting at the joints where they meet.

For How Long You Should Clean A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer​

If you’re using the correct nozzle and setting, it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to wash your wooden fencing thoroughly. It will vary depending on how large of an area you are cleaning. So be sure to factor this into your estimations.

Final Words on How To Clean A Wood Fence With A Pressure Washer

Your wood fence will be gleaming and ready to show off when you’re finished. Now that you know how easy cleaning a wooden fence with a pressure washer is, why not try it yourself and impress your neighbor!

Happy cleaning!


Is it possible to clean the fence with bleach?

Cleaning your fence with household bleach will brighten the wood, remove mold or mildew stains, and restore its appealing look.

Is it possible to pressure wash a wooden fence?

Yes, wooden fences may be pressure washed using a lower PSI to avoid damaging the wood.

What is the most delicate detergent for a clean fence?

The Simple Green Oxy Solve Deck and Fence Cleaner are ideal for both hands and pressure washing to loosen and remove dirt and grime from fences. 

The concentrated foam solution removes stubborn stains from mold and mildew, tree sap, pollen, scuff marks, oxidation, and weather on metal surfaces. It uses peroxide to create high-performance cleaning without abrasive chemicals.

Last update on 2024-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Picture of Z Hashan

Z Hashan

I’m Z Hashan, an entrepreneur, but more importantly (well, to me at least), a tool head. I’m passionate about all sorts of machines and how they work – it’s in my blood.

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