How to Clean Your Pool Deck


Whether it’s made of concrete, wood, tile or natural stone, your swimming pool deck should be cleaned regularly to keep it looking its best (and to prevent the growth of mold and algae). Here’s a quick and (not) dirty guide to keeping your swimming pool deck clean, healthy, and inviting:

Cleaning concrete pool decks

First, use your garden hose to do a quick rinse. This will remove any loose dirt and debris and make cleaning easier. Use a stiff brush and a cleaning solution made of water and bleach (or water and a mild detergent). For extra protection – and to keep your deck looking great longer – consider using a concrete sealant once a year.

For Extra-Tough Deck Cleaning Jobs, Try TSP

For tough cleaning jobs, consider using trisodium phosphate (TSP). You can use TSP on just about any decking material, from concretes surfaces to brick to wood, and the potent formula works wonders on dirt, grease, and hard-to-remove stains. Keep in mind, though, that TSP is much harsher than, say, bleach or detergent. Be sure to use protective gloves and goggles when handling it.

Ceramic and stone tile decks

To keep your ceramic or stone deck tile looking good as new, use warm water and a mop or a brush with soft nylon bristles (steer clear of stiff bristles or wire bristles as they may leave scratches). Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners and be careful with pressure washing. Although power washing can loosen ground-in dirt and debris, high pressure can also damage grout, so proceed with caution and talk to your pool professional first.

Limestone and Acid Don’t Mix

If you’ve got natural limestone decking, avoid acid-based cleaners. Stick to water and mild soap. For tough-to-remove stains, use a specially formulated stone poultice, which will gently draw out stains and discoloration without damaging your natural stone.

Swimming Pool Concrete Deck

Brick pool decking

Use a pressure washer filled with warm water and mild detergent to clean brick decking. To avoid damaging your brick, start with your pressure washer on the weakest setting and move up as needed, and avoid pressure washing any small cracks or broken bricks. For super-tough stains, consider spot cleaning your brick with TSP (just be sure to take safety precautions).

Wood pool decks

For wood swimming pool decks, a simple bleach and water solution will get the job done. Scrub the entire deck with a bleach and water solution, and let your deck dry thoroughly (excess water can lead to damage, like mold, mildew or warping). Pressure washing is okay, but use the gentlest setting to avoid damaging the wood. And since wood can warp or splinter over time, make sure to check your deck for damage and make any necessary repairs.

How to Clean Your Pool Deck Drain

A pool deck drain does the all-important job of collecting water and debris that would otherwise collect in gross, slippery puddles around your swimming pool. To ensure that your pool deck drain can do its job, you have to keep it clean and free of clogs.

The best cleaning method for your pool drain depends on what type of drain you have. In some cases, you can simply remove the drain cover and use a plumber’s snake to remove debris that has collected at the bottom of the drain. For more extensive cleaning, you may need to use a sump pump and a bucket. Check with your pool professional to see which method is right for you.

Swimming Pool Deck Cleaning FAQs

Q: What should I use to clean my swimming pool deck?

A: We recommend using a scrub brush and a mild cleaning solution. You can make your own pool deck cleaner solution by combining bleach or mild soap with warm water. You can also purchase specially formulated deck cleaning solutions – just check with your local pool supply store.

Q: How do I remove algae and mildew from my swimming pool deck?

A: A solution of bleach and water will usually do the trick. For smaller areas, use a good scrub brush. If your algae or mildew problem is more widespread, it may be a good idea to pressure wash your deck instead.

Q: What’s the best way to remove stains from my pool deck?

A: For most decks, a simple bleach or detergent and water solution will do the trick. For tougher stains, consider using trisodium phosphate (TSP), which you can purchase at any home improvement or pool supply store. Just be sure to use safety precautions and follow the directions on the label.