Best Deck Scrub Brushes

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

25 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
387 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best deck scrub brushes

Last Updated September 2020

A deck is a major investment that can cost as much as a car, so you want to take care of it. A wooden deck, for instance, has maintenance needs that must be attended to every 6 to 12 months. Cleaning is one of the most important preventative measures that you can take to help keep the wood in good condition. To do that, you need a quality deck scrub brush.

The best deck scrub brush is built to handle the toughest scrubbing without losing bristles in the process. It has an ergonomic handle with a comfortable grip so you can work hard and remain blister-free. And there should be a firm, sturdy connection between the handle and head so you can put some elbow grease into your work without fear of damaging the brush.

If you'd like to learn more about deck scrub brushes, how to properly clean a deck, and what you can expect to pay for a quality model, keep reading. If you've navigated here because you're ready to buy and you'd like some recommendations, consider one of the quality deck scrub brushes that we've spotlighted on this page.

Before using a deck brush, scan the area for any protruding nails or other hardware that may catch and damage the brush.

Key considerations

Bristles

Different deck scrub brushes have different types of bristles. The materials that make up these bristles have slightly different qualities, which can make some brushes more desirable than others, depending on the task. The following are a few of the most popular bristle materials used in these brushes.

Palmyra: This medium-stiff material comes from India palms. Since palmyra can be used either wet or dry, these rugged natural fibers are a good option.

Tampico: Made from the Mexican agave plant, these bristles are softer than palmyra. However, since the material holds water very well, these brushes are excellent for wet applications, such as light-duty deck scrubbing.

Nylon: Durable synthetic nylon fibers resist acids and high temperatures. Brushes that have nylon bristles hold their shape and can be used either wet or dry.

Polystyrene: A scrub brush that has polystyrene bristles is versatile and durable. It can be used for either wet or dry applications, but the softer quality might not be satisfactory for heavy-duty scrubbing tasks.

Polypropylene: This is an economical option that’s geared more for dry brushing than wet scrubbing. These durable bristles are available in medium to coarse textures.

Polyester: Polyester bristles are effective in both wet and dry applications. They are also UV resistant, which makes them a top choice for outdoor cleaning.

EXPERT TIP

Even brushes need cleaning. Soak, clean, and thoroughly dry your deck scrub brush to help keep mold growth from occurring.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Size

Deck scrub brushes are available in a variety of widths, from roughly 8 to 14 inches. Although a 14-inch brush allows you to clean a larger area with one pass, if you’re going to be doing heavy-duty scrubbing, it's better to stick with a 10-inch brush so you can more easily apply even pressure while cleaning.

Handle

Some deck scrub brushes are just replacement heads: they do not include the handle. If this is all you need, this is fine. However, be careful not to accidentally purchase a handheld deck scrub brush, because it won’t attach to a handle. It will require you to get on your hands and knees to clean.

Ergonomics: Economical deck scrub brushes have handles that are simply wooden dowels. A pricier model features a cushioned grip so the labor isn't as damaging to your hand.

Hanger tip: Not all deck scrub brush handles have a convenient hanger feature on the end of the handle. If you’d like to be able to store your brush off the floor, look for one that enables you to do that.

Head

Threaded: Most deck scrub brushes have a standard threaded hole so the handle can easily be replaced if it breaks. If you need to use the brush without the handle, a threaded model can disassemble rapidly.

Two-position: In order for the bristles to wear evenly, many deck scrub brush heads have two threaded openings — one on each side. As the bristles begin to wear, simply remove the handle from one hole and attach it to the other so you’re pushing in the opposite direction when scrubbing.

Multiple: It’s possible to purchase a deck scrub brush set that includes more than one size of head.

CAUTION

Although a deck scrub brush can be used in other situations besides cleaning a deck, you must be extremely careful. The stiff bristles can damage painted and coated surfaces.

Accessories

Deck wash: 30 SECONDS Outdoor Cleaner
For those individuals who don’t have a recipe for a deck-cleaning solution, this potent, concentrated cleaner removes algae, mold, and mildew. Mix up the solution according to the directions, wait 30 seconds, and begin scrubbing. When finished, simply rinse the grime away with a hose.

Boat deck cleaner: Star brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
If you want to use your deck scrub brush to clean a boat deck, you need a different kind of cleaning solution. Star brite's cleaner is effective on fiberglass, vinyl, plastic, rubber, metal, and painted surfaces. Just make sure that the fibers on your brush aren’t too coarse and rigid for these surfaces.

Bucket: Quickie EZ-Glide Multi-Purpose 5-Gallon Bucket
You're going to need a bucket for mixing the cleaning solution for your deck. This heavy-duty, 5-gallon model has molded measuring levels and multidirectional wheels for ease of transport.

Gloves: Gorilla Grip All-Purpose Gloves
Protect your hands while scrubbing your deck with these durable, nonslip Gorilla Grip gloves. They’re thin, lightweight, and flexible.

Protective eyewear: Kaplan Imports LLC Splash-Resistant Goggles
To keep the deck-cleaning solution out of your eyes, consider wearing some protective eyewear. These splash-resistant, antifogging goggles are designed to be worn over prescription glasses.

EXPERT TIP

To keep your deck scrub brush in pristine working order, thoroughly rinse and dry it after every use.


Staff  | BestReviews

Deck scrub brush prices

Inexpensive: For $10 or less, you can get a 10-inch wooden deck brush head or a handheld scrub brush. These durable models are fine, but at this price point the handle isn’t included.

Mid-range: In the $10 to $20 price range, you'll find deck scrub brushes with plastic heads. These models may or may not include a handle, so be careful when purchasing. Most of the handles that you can find in this price bracket are no-frills wooden or stainless steel poles.

Expensive: If you have the budget, it's a good idea to look in the $20 to $30 range. These models typically have a few design enhancements, such as an ergonomic handle with cushioned grip, which can make the brush easier to use. While it’s possible to purchase a brush that costs $60 or more, be certain that what you’re getting has substantially more benefits than what a $30 model offers.

Steps for cleaning a wooden deck

Keeping a wooden deck in pristine condition requires a vigilant eye and a diligent hand. The following is a brief step-by-step guide to help you get the most life out of your wooden deck.

  • Sweep the deck. The first step is to use a broom to clear away all the loose dirt and debris from the surface of your deck.
  • Prepare the cleaning solution. Mix your store-bought or homemade cleaning solution in a bucket.
  • Rinse the deck. Thoroughly wet the entire deck with a hose, or wet a very large deck in sections.
  • Scrub the wood. Using your deck scrub brush, follow the direction of the grain to clean the wood.
  • Rinse the deck again. Thoroughly rinse the deck to wash away all the grime you just loosened.
  • Inspect the deck. While your wood is still wet, look for darker spots that might indicate mold, mildew, or algae. You can also use this time to see if water is beading or being absorbed to determine if the wood needs to be resealed.
  • Treat the wood. If you find any trouble spots, treat the affected area using the appropriate product.
  • Rinse the deck one more time. Give your deck a final rinse and let it air-dry.
When storing your deck scrub brush, keep the weight off the bristles because, over time, this will deform the shape of the brush and drastically diminish its effectiveness.

FAQ

Q. What makes a deck scrub brush different from other brushes?
A.
A deck scrub brush is a wide, durable cleaning tool that has stiff, rugged bristles. Unlike brushes with softer bristles that are used to sweep up dirt and debris, a deck scrub brush is designed for heavy-duty work like loosening ground-in grime from wood and cement. It’s manufactured to be used with liquids, including detergents and some solvents, and won’t easily lose its shape even under extreme cleaning conditions. Additionally, most deck scrub brushes are used with a long, durable handle so you can clean from a standing position.

Q. Should I use a pressure washer or a deck scrub brush on my deck?
A.
We live in a society that tends to place more value on speed than quality. It can be hard to argue against using a pressure washer when it can get the job done in a fraction of the time with minimal effort. But at what cost? Each time you use a pressure washer on your deck, even if you’re holding it at the proper distance and using the best tip for the job, you’re eroding the surface of your wooden deck a little more. Don't worry — your deck won't collapse from being pressure washed, but each homeowner must decide which is of greater value: saving time or doing a quality job.
 

Q. I've heard that vinegar can damage hardwood floors. Is it safe to use on decks?
A.
The reason it isn’t advisable to use vinegar on hardwood floors and furniture is because it is acidic and can destroy a wax finish and leave the wood vulnerable to water damage. A deck is protected with stains and oils, so a diluted vinegar solution is safe to use. It’s important to know that vinegar does kill plants. If you splash vinegar off your deck while cleaning, it could do some damage to your lawn and garden.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Allen Foster
    Allen Foster
    Writer
  • Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Editor
  • Melinda Harris
    Melinda Harris
    Web Producer

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