Wood background Many homes have decks that are wonderful for enjoying the great outdoors, whether you are entertaining a crowd or just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine with a good book. Unfortunately, decks require maintenance to keep them looking fresh, clean and splinter free. If you are thinking about embarking upon a useful spring cleaning project, cleaning your deck is a great place to start. Proper maintenance is essential to extending the life of your deck. First, look over your deck carefully for any sections that may need repair. Next, thoroughly sweep it off. After that, you must arm yourself with a power-washer. These can be rented if you do not own one. There are a variety of deck cleaners available, but the best choice is an oxalic acid-based one. These clean your wood nicely, prevent rust, kill mildew and are even plant-friendly. If you have tough mildew stains, you will need to use oxygen bleach to remove the stains. Next you must coat it to keep it looking beautiful.