Simple way to clean up old lumber

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Forum topic by JCamp posted 06-05-2018 02:34 PM 733 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1035 posts in 1152 days

06-05-2018 02:34 PM

I’ve been building with some old treated lumber and found a real time saver in cleaning it up. In the past I’ve always used a pressure washer but was lazy this time around. On a quest to lighten some of the dark aged lumber I put some bleach in a 2gal sprayer and sprayed it off. To my surprise it cleaned it up very well.
Also just last night I decided to clean up a old red oak swing that was never stained or sealed and had turned nearly black. I sprayed it last night several times and it cleaned nearly all the dark spots off. I washed it and let it set over night and it looked great this morning.
Only thing I don’t know as of yet is how it’ll do once it’s stained

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

6 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2126 posts in 764 days

#1 posted 06-05-2018 03:09 PM

yep !!

a good bleach cleaning on P/T: then rinse, sun dry, then stain
will provide better foundation for the stain than not washing and bleaching at all.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View LesB's profile


2297 posts in 4044 days

#2 posted 06-05-2018 04:55 PM

When you say bleach I assume you are using household bleach? For future reference there is a commercial bleach used to clean up wood decks, usually referred to as “brightner”, which is sodium hypochlorite and it does a better job. Don’t confuse it with another deck cleaning product that is a stripper which is used before the brightner to remove old finishes. A thorough fresh water rinsing is all you need as the bleach will dissipate on it’s own as the wood drys. In the long run this process is usually better than pressure washing because it does not damage to soft grain of the wood as much.
After bleaching the wood and letting it dry I would sand as needed and proceed with your stain or possibly a stain and sealer combined.

-- Les B, Oregon

View JCamp's profile


1035 posts in 1152 days

#3 posted 06-05-2018 05:22 PM

Wells it’s good to know that it’ll stain up good
Never knew they made a professional grade bleach. All I used was the household stuff that’s a couple bucks a gallon cause I’m cheap. Lol
Also straight white vinegar and a little soap make a pretty good weed killer and is safe for kids and animals

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View verdesardog's profile


171 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 06-07-2018 01:32 PM

house hold bleach is sodium hypochlorite, so how does anyone thing the same thing with a different name will work better?

-- .. heyoka ..

View wood2woodknot's profile


103 posts in 2574 days

#5 posted 06-07-2018 01:59 PM

Concentration levels ?

-- ajh

View tomsteve's profile


986 posts in 1820 days

#6 posted 06-09-2018 05:45 PM

an even higher concentrate of sodium hypochlorite is found in pool chlorine

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