10 Pressure Washer Hacks Tips for Beginners


Pressure washing can be a very efficient way to clean surfaces around your home, but it requires some know-how to get the best results without causing damage. Ready to elevate your cleaning skills and achieve professional-level results? Check out these ten tips and discover how to make your pressure washer your new favorite tool.

Start Slow and Test First


When washing for the first time, it’s important to start with the lowest pressure setting and hold the wand 12-18 inches away from the surface. Slowly move closer and increase the pressure until you find the perfect setting that effectively cleans without damaging the material. Always test in an inconspicuous area first.

Use the Correct Nozzle

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You can find pressure washer nozzles in a variety of spray patterns, from a narrow 0-degree “pencil” stream to a wide 65-degree fan. Use a narrow nozzle for tough stains and a wider nozzle for large, open areas. A 25-degree nozzle is a good all-purpose option for most cleaning tasks.

Clean Top to Bottom


When pressure washing multiple surfaces, always start at the top and work your way down. This prevents dirty water and debris from dripping or splashing onto already-cleaned areas.

Avoid Sensitive Surfaces


Pressure washers can easily damage delicate materials like windows, softwood, and vinyl siding. Use extreme caution or avoid these surfaces altogether. Stick to sturdy materials like concrete, brick, stone, and metal.

Use Detergent Wisely


Many pressure washers can apply detergent, but be selective about which cleaners you use. Opt for detergents specifically formulated for pressure washers and apply them with a low-pressure nozzle. Rinse thoroughly to avoid streaks.

Mind the Weather


Pressure washing is best done on a calm, sunny day. Windy conditions can blow water and debris around, while rain can dilute or wash away cleaning solutions. Avoid washing in extreme heat, as the water may dry too quickly.

Protect Nearby Plants


Cover or move any nearby plants, flowers, or shrubs before washing to prevent damage from the powerful spray. The water pressure can strip leaves and damage delicate greenery.

Start High and Work Down


When pressure washing vertical surfaces like siding or fences, begin at the top and work your way down. This prevents dirty water from dripping onto already-cleaned areas.

Use Sweeping Motions


Use long, overlapping sweeping motions when pressure washing for the most efficient and even cleaning. Avoid holding the wand in one spot, as this can damage the surface.

Clean Regularly


Make pressure washing a regular part of your maintenance routine to keep your home’s exterior looking its best. Aim to pressure wash at least once a year or more often for heavily soiled areas.


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