Enjoying the sun or playing outdoor games with your family on your Ipe hardwood deck can make any day special. It’s important to keep your deck clean and looking good so you can continue to enjoy the space all year round.

It is remarkably simple to maintain your ipe deck. Regular sweeping removes fallen leaves or twigs, preventing moisture buildup and potential damage. Additionally, it’s advisable to inspect your deck approximately once a month to ensure proper water drainage and adequate airflow.

Cleaning an ipe deck using oxalic acid can be very effective, especially for removing stains, graying, and before applying finisher restoring the wood’s natural color.  There are also new deck cleaners at the big box stores.  Oxalic acid has been used for decades.

  • Start by moving any outdoor chairs or tables off the deck.
  • Check for any small bits like leaves or pine needles stuck between the boards. If you spot buildup, gently scrape it away. Then, instead of sweeping, use a vacuum to suck up the leftovers.
  • Finish by spraying down the deck with a hose.
  • Wear protective clothing, gloves, goggles, and a mask. Oxalic acid is safe for the wood but can be harmful to skin and eyes.
  • Dilute the oxalic acid cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, this will involve mixing the powdered acid with warm water. Make sure the powder is completely dissolved. Some concentrate is liquid.
  • Apply the solution to the deck using a garden sprayer. Make sure to cover all areas evenly. Avoid letting the solution puddle on the wood.
  • Allow the cleaner to sit on the deck for the time recommended by the manufacturer, usually around 10-30 minutes. Do not let the cleaner dry on the deck. Keep a hose handy with a misting or spritzing head so you keep the cleaner wet.
  • Rinse the deck thoroughly with a garden hose. It’s important to remove all traces of the oxalic acid.
  • Allow the deck to dry completely, which can take 24-48 hours depending on weather conditions.
  • Once the deck is dry, apply a UV blocking finisher to enhance its appearance. This is optional but is a common practice.

Regularly oiling your Ipe wood deck keeps the beautiful ipe brown color. If you prefer the natural silver color of aged Ipe wood, you only need to seal it once after installation. Allowing the wood to age naturally does not affect its strength or durability.


If you are currently building or considering adding ipe decking to your outdoor space, remember these tips for cleaning ipe wood deck. And, for all your Brazilian ipe wood and accessories needs, contact ABS Wood at 352-508-4990 or 404-549-4840. A stunning, low-maintenance deck is just a call away!

About the Author:

Bruce Master serves as the general manager at Advanced Building Supplies, a company specializing in a comprehensive range of Brazilian Hardwood products, which include Ipe, Garapa, Cumaru, and Tigerwood. Exotic Woods is a natural outgrowth for Bruce as he comes from a long line of woodworkers. Both his grandfather and father were highly regarded craftsmen and cabinet makers. In addition to his managerial role at ABS, Bruce is actively involved in designing, planning, and installing decks. Prior to his tenure at ABS, Bruce gained valuable experience as a generalist at a prominent Ace Hardware store in Miami, Florida, where he catered to an exclusive clientele of contractors primarily working on Miami Beach.

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