Deck Cleaning Options

I pressure washed a sample area of my 3-year old "grayed" cedar deck. It looks like it'll be too easy to damage the wood. After my previous post about pressure washing, I heard some excellent ideas. Now after more research, I've narrowed my choices to:
1. Rent a good power sander, sand off the gray film, and re-stain.
2. Use DEFY wood care products to clean, brighten, and re-stain (Cedar Tone). Lots of labor.
Any thoughts on which would be the most effective?
Note: A year and a half ago, I had the deck cleaned by a pro, and then I stained with Sikkens Cetol SRD (Cedar color). After one year, the deck floor and top rails grayed badly. The verticals look good as new.
I love my deck and the natural cedar color.
Thanks! Scott
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Make any necessary repairs, remove any debris. Clean and apply more stain. You may only need to stain the flat surfaces and let the vertical surface alone (that's what I did). A good quality stain should last 2-4 years. All wood eventually grays.
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Oxicilic Acid is the main ingrediant in several cleaners and will remove grey. Sherwin williams sells a good cleaner or Oxcilic acid. Restain it before it goes grey and double coat it.
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What is the toxicity of cleaners made with Oxicilic Acid?
I have a raised deck with a dirt floored - open storage area underneath - ladders, gardening equipment, etc. Obviously I would remove everything before cleaning the deck, but what about the runoff and absorbtion into the soil. Would I be creating a toxic storage area that should be avaoied for some length of time after the cleaning?
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Not sure but oxalic acid is what is in the leaves of beet plants and one is advised not to eat too many (or any?) of the leaves; the roots yes. Which I cook and pickle. Doesn't sound very toxic to me? But why bother with all this 'chemicals' business anyway. All chemicals eventually get into ground water and thus possibly into our drinking water supplies. There seems to be a predilection by some about having an artificial 'wood' colour? If that is a concern stain or paint the whole deck from the word go? Our deck is around 20+ years old and starting to need the odd bit of attention; e.g. a couple of boards were starting to deteriorate where water and melting snow drip off edge of roof onto them, but nothing major and as temporary fix turned over a couple of boards. A couple of years ago a neighbour persuaded me to pressure wash our PT wood deck (he and his wife are clean/neat freaks!). That it seems to me merely disturbed the surface grain of the boards. I will not do it again. What's wrong with a natural greying of the wood? Cedar especailly greys beautifully; otherwise why use cedar? Use something cheaper? We do get tree sap and leaves and insects from semi overhanging trees on ours but that's part of being just one or two steps conveniently out of doors! Maybe if we want something shiny/colourful we could use plastic? Or painted concrete ............ ??????????????? An opinion.
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-- An opinion.
And a fine opinion it is.
On the other hand, when I (far from a neat freak) look at my 20 YO PT deck, I don't see something that is aesthetically pleasing anymore. It looks old and I'd like to make look somewhat new again. Now, my cedar fence, which has also turned grey over the years, does look nice and I wouldn't consider trying to clean that. As you said "otherwise why use cedar?" But my deck is PT, looks crappy to me (the only one who really matters when it comes to how my deck looks) and I'd like to clean it up a bit.
An opinion.
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I use a push broom type brush with heavy bristles about a foot wide. Mix a half cup of dish washer powder into a bucket of water and add a cup of bleach. Brush and scrub on and let set for a few minutes then wash off with a spray nozzle on your hose. Bad areas may need a second wash. Be sure to wear old footwear and don't track into your house. Especially with cedar I would be afraid of a power washer as the wood is fairly soft.

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