How to Clean a Wood Fence Without Pressure Washing: Tips and Tricks 

In time wooden fences can become discolored and affected by mosses, algae, and lichen, which grow on the surface. Cleaning a wood fence doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You can clean it without using a pressure washer; you’ll just need items you’ll likely already have around the house, such as a brush, hose, soap, and bleach. This article will show you how to clean a wood fence without pressure washing.

How to clean a wood fence without pressure washing

How to Clean a Wood Fence Without Pressure Washing

You don’t need a pressure washer to clean your wood fence. Before starting, you’ll need to protect any plants or shrubs near the fence line and any outdoor furniture or other items that might be in the way. 

Cover plants up to three feet from the fence line and move furniture and garden toys out of the way. You can cover plants with a tarpaulin or plastic sheet to protect them. This is particularly important if you are using a chemical cleaner or bleach. 

Once you have everything out of the way, you can begin cleaning your fence. Here are some tips that will help you freshen up your fence if you don’t own a pressure washer:

Examine the surface of the fence

Before you begin, you should examine your fence’s surface and look for moss or lichen build-up. Fences end up with a build-up of dirt, fungus, and plant matter as they age. Before you start cleaning, Moss can easily be removed with a scraper or knife.

You should also check that your fence is worth cleaning. If it looks like there are rotten panels on your fence, these will need to be replaced. If your fence is in bad condition, it may be best to build a new one. 

If you notice any splinters, you’ll need to give your fence a good sanding in these areas to create a smooth surface. You can also use wood glue to fix any damaged areas. 

Use a hose and brush

Depending on how dirty it is, you can use a hose and brush or just a garden hose to clean your fence. For best results, you’ll need a brush with tough bristles.

The following tips will help you clean your fence.  

  1.  Wet the surface of your fence with a garden hose.
  2. Use a brush to scrub the fence. Pay special attention to areas that are especially dirty.
  3. Rinse the fence off with the garden hose.
  4. Let the fence dry completely before applying any treatments or stains.

Scrub off stains

How to Clean a Wood Fence Without Pressure Washing

You can clean your fence with a simple solution of water and dish soap. This will remove any dirt, grime, or pollen that has built up on the fence’s surface.

For tougher stains, you can use a diluted bleach solution. Start by mixing a solution of 1 part bleach with 10 parts water. Next, use a brush to apply the solution to the fence, working in small sections. Allow the solution to sit on the fence for several minutes before rinsing it off with a garden hose.

Be sure to rinse the fence off afterward with clean water to prevent any damage to the wood.

Apply a finish

Once your fence is clean, you can apply a stain, sealer, or paint to protect the wood and keep it looking fresh. This is an important step as it will help to keep your fence in good condition. If you don’t paint or treat the wood, you’ll need to scrub your fence regularly to maintain it and stop algae build up.

Choose a paint or varnish that’s suitable for exterior use and wait until the fence is totally dry before application. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.


Cleaning your wood fence doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little elbow grease and the right supplies, you can get it looking like new in no time. 

However, if your fence has tough stains, you may like to consider buying, renting or borrowing a pressure washer. Pressure washers are a very effective method of cleaning fences, walls, and pavements. Alternatively, you could employ a professional to do the job for you. 

You may also be interested in how to clean a gunite pool and remove stains.