How To Clean A Wood Fence Without Pressure Washing?

Are you tired of the dirt, grime, and mildew building up on your wood fence? Pressure washing can be an effective way to clean a wood fence, but it can also be time-consuming and potentially damaging to the wood.

Fortunately, there are other ways to clean your wood fence without using a pressure washer. In this guide, we’ll show you some easy and effective methods for cleaning your wood fence without using high pressure.

From simple homemade solutions to specialized products, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you want to restore your fence’s natural beauty or simply get rid of unsightly stains, follow our guide, and you’ll have a clean wood fence in no time.

Cleaning A Wood Fence Without Pressure Washing

Cleaning A Wood Fence Without Pressure Washing

Residential backyard fences are typically made from wood. You have a choice of contractors to do the job since they are relatively cheap compared to other privacy fence options.

They also look good, and you have a variety of companies available to install them. The problem with wood fences is that they look great when they are newly installed, but after a while, the dirt and grime build-up, and they look less than impressive.

Some wood fence owners seek advice about cleaning a wood fence without pressure washing before their fence deteriorates.

Fortunately, it’s possible, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it.

Make Sure It’s Just Dirt!

Make Sure It's Just Dirt

Ensure that what you’re seeing is just dirt before you start thinking about how to clean a wood fence without pressure washing.

It is usually made of cedar or treated wood, which lasts longer and is more resistant to rot and insects, but even these materials eventually deteriorate. The structure of your fence can be compromised by rusting nails and screws as well.

In the case of old fences exhibiting signs of rot and damage, cleaning might not be possible. Despite your efforts, you might further damage it by pressure washing or any other kind of cleaning.

It does not matter how much cleaning you do to your wooden fence if it has reached the end of its useful life. It will likely waste your time, money, and effort, only to have to be replaced eventually.

You shouldn’t waste your time cleaning a fence that appears to be falling apart. To estimate the cost of a new fence for your yard, you should contact a fence contractor.

You can find more information about cleaning a wooden fence without pressure washing here.

Speak to Your Neighbors

Speak to Your Neighbors

Cleaning your wooden fence is a big job, but you must talk to your neighbors about it. The fence on your property is half on theirs, so you will need to arrange access to the fence.

During the job, they must ensure that their dogs and other pets are safely out of the way. Cleaning a wooden fence can sometimes be split with neighbors by agreeing to split the costs.

When you want to do the job, however, don’t assume that they’ll agree to such an arrangement.

Find the Right Cleaning Products

Find the Right Cleaning Products

There might not be any dirt behind some stubborn dirt on any fence. This might be caused by mold and mildew.

Green algae can sometimes grow on fences; however, mold and mildew are often covered with a blackish layer.

In order to clean a wooden fence without a pressure washer, a quick trip to the hardware store is the best place to start.

In the outdoor maintenance section, you can find a fence and deck cleaner to remove ordinary dirt, mold, and mildew.

You should always read the instructions too, and make sure to pick up any other equipment the manufacturer recommends, such as eye protection.

In a correct manner, these products are safe to use, but safety precautions must always be taken.

It is also important to make sure you have enough products. If you aren’t sure how much you will need, consult the hardware store clerks and read the instructions on the product.

A Milder Option for Cleaner Fences

A Milder Option for Cleaner Fences

You can scrub off the dirt on your fence with a scrubbing brush and ordinary dish soap if your fence does not have mold, mildew, or algae.

Similarly to the other methods for cleaning wooden fences without pressure washing, you want to rinse the fence as you clean, and even though your fence should be easier to clean, you can still expect to do some scrubbing!

A Natural Alternative

These days, many people are cautious about the chemicals they use at home and in their surroundings.

The natural products in your kitchen can be used instead of harsh chemicals – but you’ll need to scrub a lot more!

When it comes to cleaning a wooden fence without pressure washing, vinegar and baking soda are natural choices.

Baking soda and vinegar can be used together to get rid of mildew and mold, as vinegar is a mild acid, and baking soda is abrasive.

Make sure you scrub off the dirt panel by panel and rinse after every step to prevent it from settling back in.

Sanding Instead of Scrubbing

Sanding Instead of Scrubbing

The dirt might be quite accumulated on your fence after a long period of not cleaning and maintaining it, but if it’s still in good shape, there might be an alternative to scrubbing.

This is because dust will mostly settle on the wood’s surface. In this case, you may want to consider sanding the fence instead of scrubbing it.

Using an orbital or belt sander will make the job faster, but it will still take some time. When you’re finished, the fence will look as if it had been refinished yesterday. 

There are only a few occasions when you can choose to do this. The fence can’t be sanded away every year because, eventually, it will wear through the boards.

As such, this is only a solution to the question of how to clean a wooden fence several times without pressure washing it.

Save Your Back While Scrubbing

The answer to the question of how to clean a wooden fence without pressure washing always involves scrubbing. There is no way to avoid this. Scrubbing is essential regardless of the method you choose if you want the dirt off.

Consider switching out the scrubbing brush for a coarse bristle outdoor broom instead of feeling like you need a new spine after cleaning.

It is much easier to clean the top and bottom of the fence with the long handle without stooping or stretching too much. If you do not wear strong gloves, you might end up with blisters instead of back pain!

Protect Your Plants

Whenever you spray chemicals on your fence, there’s a good chance you’ll be spraying them right next to your plants. Making sure they’re protected, you to take appropriate steps.

Take the time to read the product information for the cleaning product you will be using. Watering the plants can sometimes be all that is needed before you begin.

In addition to plastic or drop sheets, some products may recommend covering plants with them. Ensure that you follow these directions closely when you clean up your fence so that you don’t do any more damage.

Plan for Future Fences

It’s no secret that wood fences have been the go-to choice for backyard privacy fences for many years, but they’re far from the only option.

There are now many types of fence that can be made from vinyl or composite board, which are much easier to maintain than wood fences and look similar to an old-fashioned wood fence.

An inexpensive, easy-to-maintain chain link fence will keep prying eyes out if appearances do not matter as much to you.

In the long run, vinyl and composite fences are more expensive to install than wood fences, but they are easier to maintain.

Moreover, you won’t have to worry about cleaning a wooden fence without a pressure washer again. In addition to the fact that there are no aches and pains associated with scrubbing, the extra investment might be justified.

Protecting Your Fence In Future

Ideally, when your wooden fence was installed, it would have been stained with a weather-proof outdoor stain.

In this case, you would need to hose the fence off and touch up the stain from time to time instead of wondering how to clean a wooden fence without a pressure washer.

Nevertheless, you can still benefit from staining even if your fence wasn’t stained when it was installed.

Using an exterior deck and fence paint or stain made specifically for decks and fences will protect your fence once it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried.

Depending on how quickly the paint or stain soaks into the wood, you might need to apply more than one coat.

Despite this, next year, you won’t have to scrub again, and you can simply hose the stain down and touch it up.

Replace Damaged Boards

You will likely notice some damaged boards while cleaning your wooden fence. In some cases, fence boards are made from a different type of wood than the posts and stringers in order to cut costs.

It means that fence boards may begin to wear out before pressure-treated wood components do. Replacing damaged boards is a good option if you find that they cannot be repaired.

Boards that are damaged will not get better over time, and bugs can spread to other parts of the fence if there is rot.

Ensure your fence’s hardware and fittings are in good working order. Wooden fences can benefit from well-placed nails and screws to enhance their appearance and longevity.

Make sure the gate hardware is in good working order as well. A fence and gate will sometimes need to be adjusted or replaced, and you should do basic maintenance while you are cleaning your fence anyway.

Final Words

We’ve covered all the options for cleaning a fence without power washing, but let’s discuss one last option: hiring a professional. This could save you all the hassle and suffering of doing it yourself.

Many people do not want to buy a pressure washer just to clean their fence once a year, and that’s understandable.

You don’t have to break a sweat getting your fence cleaned by companies with all the power washing equipment they could possibly need.

Getting your fence cleaned by a professional is the easiest way to get the job done, and if you stain and protect it afterward, you will have an even easier time next year.

Leave a Comment


Go Full DIY has gained recognition on prominent tech and design platforms, praised for its user-friendly interface and innovative approach to delivering DIY content. Join the community that tech-savvy DIY enthusiasts are talking about.

Looking for DIY advice from a professional?

Schedule a call now!