Deck stripping/ cleaning/ prepping for stain

Hey guys. Im trying to expand my deck stripping/ prepping for stain capabilities for my co. Got a few questions- First, what chemical should I be applying first? I like the chemicals talked about on, but in which sequence would F-10, F-18, & F-8 be applied & how? I’ve got a 4gpm machine, & would like to just downstream these chems without actually blasting with high pressure (unless I have to). Also, what dilution should I use? Any elemonator in combination? I’ve seen guys use a foam cannon also- is this necessary? What about the 10% SH I use? I’d rather scrub with a brush than risk leaving blast lines throughout the deck. What ya’ll think, guys???

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Pretty much, but none of the topics elaborate specifically on pressuretek’s chems and the sequence of using them on decks.

It is just percarbonate and oxsilic acid. Their are lots of vids and topics about it.

Sodium Percarbonate and potassium hydroxide, 20 yr old PT wood. No furring. PH worked magic getting BBQ grease out of the wood.


Nice job


For those playing along like me:

F-10 = Sodium percarbonate, TSP, soda ash
F-18 = Caustic Soda, soda ash, surfactant
F-8 = Oxalic Acid

Okay, now that we have that straight. The F-18 is used as the stripper. Sometimes wood gets very angry after you use a caustic stripper and it becomes darker, these are tannins. In order to caml the tannins back down you use oxalic acid, the F-8. This turns the wood back to it’s normal color and brightens it a bit, but I would recommend using some surfactant with the oxalic acid to give it better cleaning. Oxalic is also very good on rust removal.

The F-10 looks like a decent cleaner but won’t help you if the tannins jump out or if there are rust stains.

The dilutions is based on the substrate. So, if you have a light stain then you can use less than if you have a solid stain. Some solid stains won’t come off with just caustic soda, in which case you should look for a solvent based stripper like Flood.

The elemonator can be added to the oxalic to give you the surfactant I talked about earlier. Do NOT add elemonator to the stripper, it will be a cluster pluck.

The advantage of the foam is that the chemical stays on the surface longer. Depending on what you are dealing with that could be advantageous to you. A typical stripper stays on for 15 minutes at least.

There is a time and a place for oxalic, per carb, and SH…it’s a trial and error thing really. You will have to figure that out for yourself.


PH, or KOH (potassium hydroxide) is wonderful at getting out animal fats. I like the strippers that contain about 3/4 caustic soda and 1/4 potassium hydroxide, they seem to be the most effective.


I bookmark 75% of your posts. You swoop in set everyone straight and then educate everyone :joy::joy: love it!


You couldn’t see it when I started cleaning but they have perched a BBQ grill on a least a half dozen spots over the years and had heavy grease build up at each location. I did use a surfactant but I added it to the KOH, it seemed to work fine and calmed down the foaming. I was concerned I had neutralized the KOH or the Percarb but again it worked just fine. There is little more than a shadow now and water penetrates which means the stain will too. Now if it would quit freaking raining for a few days I could get this job finished.

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As always your posts are very beneficial. Thanks!


Wow! Lots of great information here!!! So I would use F-10, rinse, then F-8 & rinse again? Do you think I need to use high pressure at all? Do I only need to use F-18 if it has heavy mildew? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I really don’t want to screw this up…Thank you for all of the help, by the way😉

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Man… between @MDA1775 and @CaCO3Girl, we could have a masterclass on wood restoration. Makes me almost want to clean wood. Lol


I’m not sure why you would need both of those on one job…anyone else chiming in?

No idea on if you need high pressure, I’ve never operated a Pressure Washer.

F-18 is the caustic soda stripper…no idea what that has to do with mildew. That is to strip paint and or stain from the wood. Don’t leave it on too long or you will make the wood fuzzy like a sweater.

Sounds like a cozy deck in the making to me.


You should totally use that in your advertising! Let me know how that goes for you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


If we cleaned wood that’d be the new marketing campaign

Yes she does. She doesn’t seem to post that often, but when she does I’m always amazed at the knowledge.

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I’ve been leaning to your approach.

Some decks come out awesome and wash up easy with SH, or Potash and Acid.

Some become a pain the butt, and not satisfied and spend to much time.

Do you get a lot of customers that ask for deck cleaning?

He meant to say potash OR acid…please do NOT combine your potash and acids people!!!