How to Clean and Maintain a Cedar Fence

Cedar fences are great for many reasons. They can add a touch of charm or offer great privacy and security.  Yet, with time, exposure to the elements can cause damage and weathering. But you can easily extend the life of your cedar fence with regular cleaning and maintenance. Let’s learn how to clean and maintain a cedar fence below.

What is the Best Chemical to Clean a Cedar Fence?

The best chemical to clean a cedar fence is oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach, not chloride bleach is a common laundry item that will be tough enough to clean your fence, but not harsh enough to where it will cause the fence’s fibers to raise or create a “fur” effect. Distilled vinegar and commercially available products are also good alternatives for homeowners who have different needs.

How to Clean and Maintain a Cedar Fence

Cedar fences have a longer lifespan then spruce or pine. A well-maintained cedar fence can endure for 15-40 years, especially if cared for properly. Let’s break down the steps of how to clean and maintain a cedar fence.

How To Maintain Your Cedar Fence

Keep your fence in top shape with these simple tips for maximizing its lifespan.

  1. Replace any boards showing rot or breakage to avoid compromising your fence’s structural integrity. If you want more information on repairing other types of fences, check out our ultimate guide.
  2. Prevent excess water near your fence; even though you can’t control the weather, make sure things like sprinklers aren’t adding extra water. Too much water can lead to rot.
  3. Add to the longevity of your fence by using a waterproofing sealer or stain.
  4. Keep your fence in good shape by cleaning on a regular basis.  Use soap and water to keep moss, mold, and mildew from growing on your fence.

How To Clean Your Cedar Fence

It’s a good idea to clean your wooden fence yearly to make it look nice and prevent mold. If you spot fungi or algae, be sure to clean it off right away.

Here’s a general way of cleaning your cedar fence.

You will need:

  • Protective gear – goggles, gloves, and preferably long sleeves
  • Spray bottle
  • Oxygen bleach or commercial products safe for cedar wood
  • Garden hose or a pressure washer on a low setting

Here are the steps below to clean a cedar fence:

  1. Start by clearing out weeds, safeguarding nearby plants, and moving any objects in the vicinity.
  2. Use a gentle brush or broom to get rid of debris and loose dirt from the fence.
  3. Mix 1 quart of oxygen bleach, 3 quarts of warm water, and ¼ cup of non-ammonia soap.
  4. Use a low-pressure sprayer to cover the fence in the solution.
  5. For stubborn dirt, scrub heavily soiled spots with baking soda.
  6. Allow the bleach solution to soak for 10 minutes.
  7. Rinse the fence thoroughly with a garden hose.
  8. If a deeper clean is needed, think about using more pressure , but be careful not to apply too much pressure to avoid damage and “furring.”
  9. Allow the fence to air dry for at least 24 hours before applying any stain.


In summary, the key to maximizing the lifespan of your cedar fence lies in consistent care and attention. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance, as outlined in this blog article, can significantly extend its lifespan. By following the steps and tips we provide, you can ensure that your cedar fence stands the test of time while enhancing the privacy and security of your property.

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