Would you recommend cleaning my cedar deck before staining? Tell me about Lime Clean. Thanks!
Lime Clean does many things.
You can skip it if you want but cedar has high extractive content and this often interferes with deck stains working well.
Tannic acid is a particularly potent extractive. It’s good in the wood but a surface level needs to be addressed for the best results.
This is one of the reasons we invented Lime Clean. Wood likes lime; always has. The lime based cleaner washes the acidic tannins in cedar from the wood fiber cells at the surface level.
Like a dry sponge, this wood cell is now ready to absorb nourishment. We use tree resins and the wood also loves that. So the conditions are set for a good, long lasting deck stain. It isn’t something that can be skipped when we apply The Clear 00 System but for one coat of deck stain, it will be ok if you use something else to clean the deck.
Sometimes, people use Earth Clean to wash decks and you could use Bleach if you wanted, although bleach isn’t something we would use.
No matter what you choose, I would recommend washing the new cedar before staining. New wood has lots of microbial growth on it and sometimes in the wood itself. Some from storage / stacking at the mill, some from transport and some from sitting at the new jobsite. It’s not always visible. So washing is an extra precaution we take to insure the best outcome. Lime Clean is the best of all options but again, it’s not going to ruin your deck if you select another way of washing the wood.
Earthpaint is in no way liable for unintended uses of this information. Sample Pints are recommended. Please, create a completed sample board for approval in advance. Test as deemed appropriate to make sure no allergic sensitivities exist. Be sure to Read TDS (Technical Data Sheets), MSDS (Manufacturer Safety Data Sheets) Labels, How To’s and Product Web Page before using recommended products.