How to Clean a Wooden Picket Fence

A wooden picket fence is one of the most popular fences throughout the Melbourne suburbs. They are classy, stylish and can add the finishing touches to almost any style of home.

But what happens months or even years after the wooden picket fence has been constructed? They get dirty.

In our eyes there are two ways to clean a picket fence. Once requires specialised equipment, but is much, much easier (and more fun). The second way can be done using everyday items you will have at home, it does require a little bit of elbow grease though.

Here are our two ways to clean a wooden picket fence.

How to Clean a Wooden Picket Fence With A Pressure Washer

  1. Snap on the tip of 25 degrees. The 25-degree tip of the pressure washer will fan out the water for a gentler wash. Attach the green tip of 25 degrees to the end of the pressure washer sprayer. Whether you rent or own a pressure washer, you should have a variety of color-coded tips and a 25-degree tip is typically green.
  2. Stand two feet away from the fence. Irrespective of the tip you attach or the strength of your pressure washer, this is a powerful tool. Make sure you stand at least 0.7 meters away from your wooden fence to prevent damage.
  3. Spray the water for a long time, even strokes. Standing 0.5-0.7 meters away, use long, even strokes to spray debris and bring your wood fence back to life. Slowly move the spray tip 0.30 meters closer to the surface and spray the length of the fence with even strokes until the wood looks brighter.
  4. Vary the areas you’re focusing on. Don’t damage your wood fence by spraying too long in one place. Change the area that you spray frequently. After you have brightened a couple of fence posts using long, even strokes, and you can’t see any color change on the wood, move over to the next set of fence posts.
  5. For added cleaning, use an 18-degree tip. If your fence doesn’t come as clean as you would like, change the pressure with an 18-degree tip. Snap the 25-degree tip and snap on the 18-degree tip. The added pressure should be enough to clean the fence spotlessly without damaging it.

Use a lower-powered washer. There is no need to spray your wooden picket fence with the most powerful washer because the pressure can warp and indent the wood.

How to Clean a Wooden Picket Fence By Hand

  1. Use oxygenated whitewash on a wooden picket fence. Mix the oxygen bleach powder, such as Oxiclean, according to the directions of the manufacturer. Apply the mixture to a water-damped fence with a large painter’s brush, leave it for 15 minutes, then scrub the surface with a plastic brush. Rinse the mixture and any remaining residues with a garden hose.
  2. Remove the chlorine bleach from the mold and algae. Remove the green residue from algae or mold by mixing two parts of water into one part of chlorine bleach. Add a teaspoon of dish soap for extra cleaning power and scrub with a brush. Concentrate and apply some elbow grease to stained areas. Rinse the wood fence thoroughly after you scrub all the areas down.
  3. Use a commercial wood cleaner to clean. You can also purchase a pre-mixed cleaning solution to clean your wood fence by hand. Go to your local hardware store or home improvement store and find a cleaner specifically for wood. They will often be directed toward wooden fences and decks. Follow the specific instructions given by the manufacturer of the product.
  4. To remove the mildew, use white vinegar. Mix 1⁄2 cup (120 mL) of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water to remove unsightly mildew or moss. Apply a sponge mixture, let it sit for 15 minutes and brush your fence with a brush. Rinse thoroughly with the water from the garden hose.