How to Use a Pressure Washer Safely

Pressure washing is more than just rinsing a little dirt off of a surface. Using a gas or electric-powered machine that amplifies the force of water, a pressure washer can clean a wide variety of outdoor surfaces quickly and thoroughly.pressure washing

It also helps prevent the growth of destructive mold, mildew, and moss that can cause later problems. It’s also the best way to prep a building for new coatings like paint. Click to learn more.

Pressure washing relies on a gas or electric motor to power a pump that forces water at high pressure through a concentrated nozzle. This blast of water can remove years of grime accumulation from surfaces like decks, driveways, and patios. It can also clean other items, like outdoor chairs and some types of siding, in a fraction of the time it would take with a scrub brush and hose. Pressure washers typically produce a spray of water at around 3000 PSI.

In addition to its esthetic benefits, pressure washing can be vital for maintaining the integrity of your home or business’s exterior materials. Over time, dirt, mold, mildew, and other debris can cause serious damage if left unattended. Regularly cleaning these areas with a professional-grade pressure washer will help you avoid costly repairs and renovations.

Another reason to choose a professional pressure washing service is their ability to use the right level of power for each surface type. For example, a wood deck may require lower pressure than a paved area or concrete patio. Using the right PSI ensures that your cleaning job is done correctly and without damaging any of the materials underneath.

If you’re considering DIY pressure washing, it’s important to remember that a first-timer can easily damage a surface with too much water or force. It’s best to leave any delicate areas, such as painted materials, rooted or planted areas, or soft woods, to professionals who know how to handle high-powered pressure washing.

In addition to its visual appeal, regularly removing grime from outdoor surfaces helps prevent slips and falls. It also makes your home or business less attractive to vermin and bacteria, and can reduce allergens, such as pollen, that can make life miserable for allergy sufferers. And while it might seem counterintuitive, a clean exterior is actually more valuable than many people realize. It’s one of the top factors that buyers look for in a home or commercial property, and can even increase its resale value. So if you’re ready to give your property the clean-up it deserves, here are 12 reasons to consider hiring a professional pressure washing service.


Pressure washing uses a pump to force water at high pressure through a nozzle, blasting away grime and sanitizing surfaces. It’s a quicker and more effective way to clean building exteriors and outdoor equipment than scrubbing. It also removes bacteria and vermin spores that can pose health risks, especially for people with asthma or allergies. And because it can reach crevices where dirt and debris can hide, it can prevent these organisms from taking root and causing additional damage.

A pressure washer hose is designed to handle intense amounts of water pressure, and it comes in different lengths and diameters to suit the application. It’s important to choose a hose that can withstand the amount of water and pressure you plan to use, and it’s also recommended to choose one with a flexible material to prevent kinks or dents that may decrease its durability and efficiency.

Most hoses are made from PVC plastic, but you can also find ones that are rubber or polyurethane. The type of hose you choose will affect how flexible and durable it is, and whether or not it leaves markings on your driveway or sidewalk when you’re using it.

Before you start using a pressure washer, it’s important to prepare the area by removing anything that could get wet or damaged. Clear the area of any furniture or other items that might be moved by spraying water, and cover plants, light fixtures, outlets, doorbells, and air conditioning units with tarps and duct tape to protect them from spray and moisture. Also, shut off power to any electrical outlets in the area you’ll be cleaning to prevent water and electricity from mixing.

When you’re ready to use your pressure washer, begin in an inconspicuous spot and gradually increase the amount of water pressure you apply. You can also experiment with different nozzles and pressure levels to find the right combination that doesn’t damage or degrade the surface you’re cleaning. If you’re using a pressure washer to clean vinyl siding or other delicate materials, try to use a soft wash technique that incorporates special low-pressure nozzles.


The nozzle that attaches to the end of the hose is what determines how much pressure the washer generates. Different nozzles produce different spray patterns, and some serve specific purposes. The nozzles are usually color coded to help you choose the right one for your job.

When choosing a nozzle, it’s important to consider the surface you’re cleaning and how delicate or rough it is. Using the wrong nozzle can result in damage to surfaces like cars, boats and wooden decks. The nozzle size also determines the amount of force that is applied. For example, a smaller nozzle will produce less pressure but will cover a larger area than a narrower nozzle.

Red nozzles are the most powerful and often used for blasting hard to clean substances like tar, caked mud or stubborn stains. They have a very narrow, high-pressure stream that could easily cut through skin or other surfaces if you’re not careful.

Yellow nozzles have a wider pattern than red nozzles but still pack quite the punch. They can be effective for removing tough dirt or muck from concrete but can scar wood and vinyl siding if you’re not careful.

Green nozzles have a wider, gentler spray that can be useful for most surfaces around the house. They can be effective for rinsing and sweeping but are too soft to remove debris, dirt or stains from most surfaces including shingle roofs and siding.

Black nozzles are typically used alongside a detergent dispenser to apply soap along with the water being used for washing. They have the widest spray pattern and lowest pressure of all the standard nozzles and are good for rinsing glass, ceramics or vehicles without risking damage from the high-pressure water stream.

Other nozzles are available such as the brass nozzle that reduces the nozzle opening and allows the nozzle to be turned off for lower pressure applications. It’s especially useful for applying chemicals and detergents as it greatly decreases the pressure of the hose while maintaining adequate flow. These nozzles are usually used on specialized cleaning equipment and commercial pressure washers.


When used correctly, pressure washing can be a powerful cleaning tool that can rejuvenate surfaces and remove unsightly grime. However, like any power tool, it demands respect and care in order to be used safely. By understanding the machine, taking appropriate precautions, and religiously adhering to safety guidelines, it is possible to harness the power of a pressure washer without risking injury.

It is imperative to carefully inspect the equipment and workspace before each use, especially when you are unfamiliar with the machinery. It is also important to read and understand the operator’s manual for each type of pressure washer. Depending on the model, there are many different ways to operate each, and the instructions will provide important information regarding safe operation. For example, the manufacturer may recommend using a specific detergent for certain types of surfaces, and this is vital to ensure optimum results while reducing risks.

During the process of pressure washing, it is essential to wear protective gear, including a pair of sturdy rubber gloves, safety goggles, and sturdy shoes with anti-slip soles. It is a good idea to also cover any exposed skin with sunscreen and/or bug spray, as the high pressure of the water can cause severe burns. In addition, the stream of water can ricochet off heavier objects, such as furniture, plant pots, vehicles, and electrical panels, potentially injuring someone in its path.

The high pressure of the water can also damage the surface that is being cleaned. For example, if the pressure is too high on wood, it can splinter the material and create a safety hazard, while cracking vinyl siding can lead to costly repairs. The high pressure can also strip paint, damage tires, and break the granules in asphalt shingles.

It is essential to move and store all equipment away from any direct walking paths. This can prevent accidents and other hazards from occurring, such as tripping or falling over the hose or pressure washer while in motion. It is also important to properly clean and store all nozzles, extension lances, brushes, attachments, and other tools after each use in order to maintain proper hygiene and prevent cross-contamination. Additionally, all unused or hazardous materials should be disposed of in accordance with local and federal regulations.