Trex deck/steps - how clean and stain?

I am having side steps installed via a city grant. The Bid and Scope of work called for a composite; we ordered Trex because contractor buys at HD.
Naive me thought composite was BETTER than wood. Turns out it is just much cheaper!!!
Not to look "gift" steps in the mouth; they did replace dangerous old concrete steps, but problems have arisen re: painting/staining.
Trex Website says need one kind of stain - semi-transparent -- for the pressure-treated green wood that forms the supports on both sides and the risers.
OK, fine.
Need another kind -- solid -- for the actual decking, or treads,and I guess contractor is using it for handrails too (!) because of cost. (How the hell much more could two short pieces of redwood cost??!!)
OK, fine.
But Trex Website says that their material has to "fade" for 12 to 16 weeks before it can be painted/stained with good results.
OK, fine.
Meantime, the treads are getting blotchy with water spots and who knows what else.
Trex Website says to clean with "soap and water and a stiff brush".
I did, but it didn't clean up.
What to do? Just ignore the treads and any soiling until the "fading" has taken place, THEN try to clean up before staining?
Or?
Your experience with composite decking/stair treads appreciated.
Aspasia
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aspasia wrote:

I certainly wouldn't do anything until then. Outdoors, "stuff" is going to happen, whatever the material. Give it time, it will gradually get a weathered look and blend in. I'm not sure I'd start the staining cycle, but that's your call, I guess...
--
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I'd recommend TWP for the pressure treated parts of it (after it ages a bit of course). Great stuff easy to work with..I think I learned of it on this board..
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You're quite right.
I'm not going to stain the treads unti the "fading" has happened. The Trex Web site warns against precipitous action.
I will have the contractor stain the pressure-treated green wood supports and risers -with a semi-transparent product, and leave me a supply of matching solid stain for when it's time to do the treads.
Tx
Aspasia
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aspasia writes:

That doesn't sound right. Here's what I found at the Trex site under "painting":
Although Trex decking never needs to be painted or stained for protection, be aware that you can paint or stain Trex products to achieve a custom color.
Personally, I think putting paint or stain on composite is nuts.
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On Sun, 17 Jun 2007 22:38:34 -0400, Dan Espen

What you found IS correct, but exploring further leads to the advice that I cite above.
At this URL
http://trex.com/care/default.asp
clicking on "Warranty and Care", you will find advice about weathering and about painting/staining.
Following the links, you will come to the Painting bulletin.
Personally, I think putting paint or stain on composite is nuts.
Each to their own. But as the Trex advice implies, untreated composite can look ugly. My little stair treads are already all blotchy with various drips & such. I will wait the recommended "fade" period and then clean off the treads as well as possible and finish them with "solid" rather than "semi" stain.
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aspasia writes:

Yeah, did that. Same result. No where does it actually recommend that you paint.
Do what you want. No way I'd be painting composite.
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