Care & Cleaning Guide
Guidelines and troubleshooting tips to keep your TimberTech products looking beautiful year after year.
We’ve kept your maintenance to a minimum
Apart from regular inspections of your deck substructure to ensure its ongoing integrity, just follow our simple steps to keep your deck clean and looking it’s best for years to come. If you have questions or need additional support, please call 877-275-2935.
Want a downloadable version of our cleaning guides? Find them here:
Decking, Railing & More
Invite Furniture Collection
Decking: Cleaning do’s and don’ts
To prepare for cleaning current TimberTech Composite or Advanced PVC Decking collections, you’ll need water for rinsing (hose or power washer), the recommended brush for your decking with an extension handle, and TimberTech DeckCleaner™. For specialty decking products, including ReliaBoard, TwinFinish, Earthwood, Floorizon, and DockSider, see the Specialty Decking section below.
DO clean in small, manageable areas, rinsing thoroughly before moving on to the next section.
DO avoid getting TimberTech DeckCleaner on other surfaces, including glass, stainless steel, painted surfaces, plants, and vegetation. Thoroughly rinse surfaces immediately upon contact.
DO use the recommended brush for your TimberTech decking.
DO rinse decking thoroughly. A garden hosed is all that’s required, but, if you like, you can use a power washer for rinsing only. Use a fan tip nozzle and a maximum pressure of 1,500 psi and be sure to take proper safety precautions.
DON’T let the cleaner dry on the surface—it will cause a white surface film that can be difficult to clean off.
DON’T clean your deck in direct sunlight as the heat may cause the surface to dry before you’ve rinsed the cleaner away.
DON’T use a stiff, natural fiber deck brush on TimberTech Composite Decking collections, as it can dull the surface.
TimberTech DeckCleaner™ is specially formulated for cleaning TimberTech Advanced PVC Decking or Porch, TimberTech Composite™ Decking, TimberTech Invite Furniture, and TimberTech Composite Rail.* Safe, nontoxic, bleach-free, and biodegradable, it’s the best solution for seasonal cleanup, everyday spills, or stubborn spots. On average, one gallon of cleaning solution (one part cleaner, three parts water) will clean approximately 1,000 square feet of surface area.
Because the capping material on current TimberTech products is not composed of a wood/plastic composite, it’s important to not use composite deck cleaners such as Corte Clean®, Thompson’s® Water Seal®-Oxy Action, Olympic® Deck Cleaner, or other cleaners specified as composite deck cleaners, in powder or liquid form.
It’s important to use the right brush for your decking products, and they’re easy to find at most large retail home centers and online retailers. Here are a few of our favorites:
Composite and Specialty Decking—use a medium to stiff nylon brush like Quickie BULLDOZER 9-in Poly Fiber Stiff Deck Brush.
Specialty TimberTech Decking: Cleaning guidelines
Because our discontinued collections—ReliaBoard, TwinFinish, Earthwood, Floorizon, and DockSider—are un-capped composite, their cleaning instructions are NOT the same as TimberTech’s current Composite and Advanced PVC Decking collections. These recommended products have been tested to be compatible with our specialty and historic collections to make care and cleaning easier.
Using the correct brush is very important. Using the incorrect brush can make cleaning more difficult or even damage the deck board. We recommend using the Quickie® Bulldozer Deck Scrub Brush or a medium stiffness nylon bristle deck brush. These can be found at most large retail home centers or online.
The cleaners recommended for periodic cleaning for use with our discontinued and specialty products include:***
- Wash Safe Spray and Clean Composite
- Resist Mist Composite Deck Cleaner
- Corte Clean®
- Super Deck Composite Deck Cleaner
- Thompson’s® Water Seal® – Oxy Action
A power washer can be used for rinsing only with TimberTech products. The recommended maximum pressure is 1,500 psi. A fan tip nozzle should be used. Spray in the direction of the grain pattern, never across the grain or width of the board, to avoid damaging the product. Use caution not to damage the material and always take proper safety precautions when operating a power washer.
Railing: Cleaning do’s and don’ts
The instructions and frequency for cleaning your TimberTech Railing can depend on both the type of railing you have and where you live.
Composite and Aluminum Railing
To keep it looking its best, TimberTech Composite and Aluminum Railing should be cleaned at least once per year (within 12 months of installation) if the deck is located more than one mile from the seashore. For decks located less than one mile from the seashore,** cleaning should happen twice a year (beginning six months after installation).
DO use a soft wiping cloth and clean water for rinsing.
DO clean with warm water and a nonabrasive, pH neutral (pH 5 to 8) detergent solution—TimberTech Composite Railing can also be cleaned with properly diluted TimberTech DeckCleaner.
DO sparingly use stronger domestic products—such as alcohol, mineral spirits, or bleach diluted to five percent (5%)—if atmospheric pollution has resulted in stains or heavy soiling of the coating. Wipe the area with a soft cloth, then allow to dry.
DO protect your decking with plastic before using stronger cleaning agents, as they may cause discoloration.
DON’T use abrasive cleaners, polish, or solvents—such as thinners or solutions containing chlorinated hydrocarbons or ketones.
DON’T leave protective tapes (used during installation) in contact with the railing surface for more than one month.
To keep TimberTech PVC railing looking beautiful, it should be cleaned at least twice a year.
DO clean with TimberTech DeckCleaner to prevent dirt buildup and possible staining.
DO clean any exposed stainless steel or powder-coated hardware as well to minimize the effects of corrosion over time.
DO use, in addition to TimberTech DeckCleaner, the following cleaning products for periodic wipe-downs, more stubborn stains, or mold/mildew on unpainted PVC railing:
- Miracle Mist (stains, mold, mildew)
- Fantastik Oxy Power Multi-Purpose Cleaner® (stains, mold, mildew)
- Clorox Clean-Up® (stains, mold, mildew)
- Fantastik All-Purpose®
- Spic & Span Cinch®
- 409 Glass and Surface Cleaner®
DO protect your deck surface under the cleaning area to reduce the risk of discoloring the surface. You can pre-wet the decking and rinse often while cleaning the railing, or cover the area with plastic and remove it when cleaning is done.
DON’T leave cleaning solutions on railing components for an extended period of time—they should be applied and immediately wiped dry.
DON’T use harsh cleaners with glycol ethers or ethanol type solvents and/or isopropyl alcohol. Examples of these harmful cleaners are Goof Off®, Wal-Mart Great Value All Purpose Cleaner® (glycol ether), 409 General Purpose® (2-Butoxyethanol) and Greased Lightning® (glycol ether), citrus cleaners, abrasive cleaners, and solvents such as acetone, paint remover, and lacquer.
Proactive care for decks & docks
To keep your TimberTech Deck or Porch looking its best, here are a few things to watch out for:
- Avoid the use of rubber-backed mats, tarps, pool toys, and other nonporous items on the deck for any extended period of time as these items can contain chemicals and/or plasticizers that may cause discoloration to the decking surface.
- Some products, such as sunblock and insect repellent, contain chemicals that may alter the surface of TimberTech Deck, Rail, or Porch and Rim Joist Covers. Prior to use of these products on or near a TimberTech Deck, Rail, or Porch, check product labels and consult the manufacturer about the product’s effect on plastic materials.
- Do not get any PVC glue or similar product on the surface of any TimberTech Deck, Rail, or Porch product as it may discolor and permanently damage the surface.
- As with any walking surface, TimberTech Deck or Porch products may become slippery in freezing weather. Take caution when walking in these conditions. For ice removal, most products containing calcium chloride can be used without damage to the deck or porch surface. These products may leave a white residue, which can be cleaned, using the cleaning guidelines, as soon as temperature conditions safely permit the removal of ice-melt products. Avoid rock salt and other abrasive ice melt products.
- Metal shovels or plastic shovels with a metal leading edge will damage the surface of a TimberTech Deck or Porch and are not recommended for clearing snow from deck surfaces.
- Do not allow airborne construction dust from materials such as concrete, fiber cement, landscape blocks, stucco, or drywall to accumulate on the surface of a TimberTech Deck or Porch as it may cause damage. Do not cut masonry products on or near deck, and always remove job site dust, clay, dirt, mud, and other construction dirt, debris, and products from TimberTech Deck, Rail, and Porch surfaces quickly.
- Do not cut metal objects, such as railing, on the deck surface—the hot debris from the cut may become embedded in the deck surface, resulting in staining, rusting, and damage.
For TimberTech’s specialty or discontinued composite products (ReliaBoard, TwinFinish, Earthwood, Floorizon, and DockSider), here are some additional watch-outs:
- Like any other wood-based product, TimberTech’s wood-polymer composite products may experience a naturally occurring process called Extractive Bleeding/Tannins. This process may cause temporary discoloration that will weather away with exposure to flushing rainfall and UV. In most cases, the weathering process takes 8-10 weeks but could vary depending on location and specific product application such as a covered porch. Tannins may also be cleaned by utilizing the cleaners referenced in the cleaning guidelines.
- To help maintain a clean, dry surface and help prevent mildew, be sure that gaps exist between boards to allow for drainage.
Invite Furniture Collection: Cleaning do’s and don’ts
The Invite Furniture collection was designed to be durable and low maintenance in all seasons and weather conditions. While our furniture is stain resistant, you’ll want to clean it from time to time. Follow these tips for general care and cleaning to keep your furniture looking it’s best.
DO inspect furniture fasteners periodically to ensure the bolts are not loose.
DO remove light dirt with a hose. For heavier dirt, a simple wet rag and natural cleaner, such as TimberTech DeckCleaner, will do the trick. If dirt is embedded in the texture, use mild soap and water with a stiff but gentle-bristled brush—no pressure washer required.
DO secure furniture or move inside during high winds.
DO lift furniture to move it—instead of pushing or pulling—if you have a composite deck. You can also add an extra layer of deck protection with a natural fiber rug or outdoor-grade floor protector.
DO download the PDF above for complete care instructions.
DON’T use petroleum-based products or strong solvents (e.g., acetone, xylene, denatured alcohol, paint-strippers, etc.).
DON’T use biocides, fungicides, or bactericides (i.e., those that are advertised to clean, stop or prevent mold).
DON’T use cleaners with acetic or alkaline pH (e.g., vinegar- or bleach-based cleaners). We do recommend quickly rinsing any acidic-based spills.
DON’T place furniture near a fire or heat source, as the material can melt in close proximity and can be scarred by embers.
*TimberTech DeckCleaner is not recommended for historic/discontinued decking collections, including ReliaBoard, TwinFinish, Earthwood, Floorizon, and DockSider. Reference the historic decking section for cleaning guidelines.
**If composite railing is subject to any hazardous and unusual environmental factors or is located within one (1) mile of the seashore, an estuary or marine environments, please call 877-275-2935 to consult on the best maintenance practices.
***These cleaners should not be used on TimberTech’s current Composite or Advanced PVC Decking.