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How to Clean a Wood Fence WITHOUT Pressure Washing

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If you don’t have a pressure washer then you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to clean the dirt, mold and mildew from your fence. Keeping your fence free of mildew will greatly affect how long your fence lasts.

That answer probably depends on how adverse you are to chemicals and how much you want to physically scrub it. Without a pressure washer, you will need to loosen the grime and or mildew beforehand as a way to get it off the fence without high pressure.

We’ll show you a couple different methods on how to clean your fence without a pressure washer.

There are several products marketed just for cleaning mold and mildew off outdoor surfaces. I’ve tried several different products but the most effective is Home Armor which also produces Mold armor.

mold armor

I’m not sure if they have gone through a new marketing labeling from Home Armor to Mold Armor but it’s definitely the same product.

Depending on the amount you need, there are different sizes but this one is best for large fences. The fence and decking mold armor is safe for plants as long as you wet the plants first before and after using the spray.

I would recommend a good soaking of the plants so that any chemical that may get on the plant is diluted from the water on the plant.

I came across the video showcasing a TV news person testing out 6 different products to use to clean a deck and stepping stone without a pressure washer. A fence would have similar results as the deck.

Using the directions on the Mold Armor spray the fence with the product with a spray bottle, let it sit for a few minutes depending one the severity of the mold or mildew.

Even though it says you don’t have to scrub, if you want to remove the dirt, you’re going to have to scrub it off.

Mold Armor also has a product that attaches to your water hose and you can spray it on your fence or your deck. It does dilute the product with water but is much easier to spray on your fence.

If you have light mold or mildew, then you may want that product instead of the full strength version listed above.

Home Remedies to Clean Your Fence

If you want to use less caustic chemicals, then vinegar and baking soda is also a good choice, but you will be scrubbing more.

The vinegar removes the mildew while the baking soda is abrasive and helps getting dirt and grime off as well. If the mildew stain is light, then you can dilute the vinegar with water to spray on the fence.

If the mildew stain is pretty bad you can spray full strength vinegar to break up the mildew stain. Either diluted or full strength, let the vinegar soak on the fence board a few minutes then test it by using a stiff bristle brush.

If the mildew isn’t coming off, spray some more vinegar and then put some bake soda on and again scrub both with your brush. You may have to do this several times to remove the mildew stain.

If you’re just trying to get dirt or grime you can also just use a little bit of liquid soap mixed with water and scrubbed on the fence. A deck brush with a long pole will make scrubbing your fence easier.

You won’t have to bend over as much and can put more force on the brush with the longer handle. This is the brush I recommend as the bristles are very stiff for good scrubbing and you can add it to a pole for using it on a deck or to put more pressure on the fence while scrubbing.

cleaning brush

If you use a threaded pole to extend your reach for scrubbing, or even painting, always look for metal threaded tip. The poles that have plastic threads will break off if you put any force on them.

This is the pole I recommend and use frequently for many different jobs. I bought one like this three years ago after purchasing a plastic one that broke.

wood pole


We hope this article helped you learn how to easily clean a wood fence without pressure washing. You may also want to take a look at other fence articles, such as how to paint a fence, what can grow against your fence, and how you can fix a leaning fence!

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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