Does ‘Hit the Deck’ work?

‘Just spray it on, brush it off and rinse.’

I was so discouraged by the state of swimming pool decking that I succumbed to advertising and bought some “Hit the Deck”. I can’t remember how much I paid for it but it wasn’t cheap. But the deck, the deck. We laid it maybe 18 years ago and in the time since, it has been water blasted (jet washed) once. That didn’t do the grooved non-slip surface any good. It is low grade, plantation grown, quick turnover Pinus radiata that we use in this country, tanalised to extend its life span but still a soft wood which will rough up badly with water blasting. Hence the “Hit the Deck” to deal to the blackened and slippery surface before we start swimming this summer.

My test area

Did it work? Yes, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked in the advertisements. If you look closely at the TV advert, they are using it on flat timber, not the grooved product that is widely sold for non-slip decking. It would not just brush off with the stiff broom they sell for this purpose. I did a small test area and found that to get it off, I had to get on my hands and knees with a stiff scrubbing brush. It is not possible to get a powerful enough scrubbing motion at the end of a long handled broom. It is a reasonably large deck and I didn’t fancy doing the whole area on my hands and knees so I handed the job over to Our Lloyd and suggested he try a very light cleaning with the water blaster, so as not to rough up the surface more but to get enough pressure to spray off the mix and the accumulated mosses, moulds and lichens. That worked and it was both faster and not as back-breaking but it still isn’t an easy job that you can knock out in an hour.

The deck looks hugely improved. Not perfect but the decking is getting on in years. So yes, the product does work.

Somewhat belatedly, I looked at what the Hit the Deck contains. I had turned a blind eye to this when I was more worried by the slippery decking. I can report that it is sodium percarbonate. And that, Reader, is a mixture of washing soda and hydrogen peroxide. You can check its chemical properties on Wikipedia which notes: “The product is used in some eco-friendly bleaches and other cleaning products…”. So it is relatively harmless and I guess you could mix your own if you wished and I am sure that it is likely to cheaper because there are no advertising and branding costs to be factored in.

I have written about the moss-killing properties of washing soda or soda ash before. It does work, I can vouch for that.

16 thoughts on “Does ‘Hit the Deck’ work?

  1. Robyn Kilty

    Heartens me to think that while I am on hands and knees picking weeds from brick paving you may also be on hands and knees scrubbing your deck! Yours much more exhausting I have to admit.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      BOILING WATER, Robyn! We don’t have brick paving but we do have elderly concrete complete with cracks and joins. By far the easiest way to deal with them is repeated boiling of the electric jug, in my experience.

  2. tonytomeo

    Wow! I am more impressed with the Pinus radiata than what ‘Hit the Deck’ did for it. That is such an odd choice for lumber. Monterey is not far from here, and the northern colony of Monterey pine on the San Mateo and Santa Cruz County Line is even closer. We do nothing with Monterey pine. When it gets cut down, it does not even get used much for firewood.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Oh goodness! We have made the Monterey pine our own in this country (a bit like kiwi fruit which started life as Chinese gooseberry – actinidia – before we rebranded it to make our own). It would be easily the most widely grown tree in this country because it is the main timber tree grown. The majority of our houses are constructed from it these days, all our fenceposts, grape frames, most of our decking – many of our commercial uses of timber. It only took about 40 years for the early settlers to fell most of the viable native trees to meet their insatiable demand and the go-to timber ever since has been commercially grown P. radiata. Selected forms, of course, but we still have some of the early seed progeny growing in our garden. It is grown very fast – usually around 25 years before harvest – so it has to be tanalised for ground use.

      1. tonytomeo

        Perhaps the redwood or Douglas fir does not do as well there. They would be much better for lumber. Many of the old homes in San Francisco were built with redwood because it was very available and very close by. By The time San Jose grew into a big city, fir was being imported from Oregon because redwood was not so abundant. I do happen to like the Monterey pine because I grew up with it, and lived within the native range for a while. However, I do not think of it as a tree that provides lumber.

      2. tonytomeo

        Oh, I would not argue with them. They know what works in their climate. There are undoubtedly reasons for not using what I consider to be lumber trees.

  3. HMK

    We just use Wet & Forget on our Pine (grooved) deck each year, and it does the job really well. Initially we did the water blasting of it as well to try and get all the muck out of it, and then it took a couple of years with Wet & Forget to get it under control. When we do the roof each year, the deck gets done as well and we have no problems with slipping, muck etc. Brilliant stuff!

      1. HMK

        You have to be quick with the rinsing of water like they say, but then you rinse of some of the Wet and Forget at the edge as well trying to get the fine line between path and garden.
        It does come up great though and each year seems to get better. It is also good on fences, concrete tubs, seats, planters etc. We even use it on our hardiplank (yuk) boarding on our house which gets a bit green grimy on the shady side and it comes up great. But yes, you just need to watch the plants and hose of straight away with the water part of the nozzle.

Comments are closed.