Below you will find how to tips and advice for using a pressure washer. Be sure to follow all of your local government safety precautions when operating a pressure washer or using a ladder. Always lean towards the side of caution before beginning any type of project. Also, most pressure washers, can spray degreasers and other dirt removers. Check with a hardware store or home improvement center regarding the type of cleaner that will work best for the job your doing and what size of washer to purchase (or rent) for the the project or job your doing.


There are a number of brands of pressure washers and I find most to be the same other than a few features. When it comes to the amount of power or pressure the pump of a washer puts out, more is not always better. Some grime can be difficult to remove but having more water pressure tends to also remove the surface along with the dirt. I prefer to use a machine that puts out around 1500 psi, it gets off most dirt yet leaves the surface of what I'm spraying alone. More pressure will also have a tendency of blowing debris or flaking paint off the surface in one area and back onto another.

A pressure washer that sprays hot water is very expensive. Even so it does do a nice job of removing grease and caked on dirt. If you need to remove grease or caked on dirt, it's probably best to rent a machine. In most cases you will have little use for a hot water pressure washer unless you work in a garage or something along those lines.

I use a gas powered pressure washer for most situations. Gas washers have the convenience of going anywhere, but do tend to cost a little more than electric.

For the home owner an electric powered pressure washer, in the 1500 psi range is the best choice. Most electric washers are reasonably priced and powerful enough for the projects one tends to do around the house. Also hears a tip, plug your machine directly into a receptacle. When plugged into an extension cord then a wall outlet, some electric washers tend not to work very well. Or in a few cases the cord has caused the motor to burn out. Be sure to follow all manufacture operating instructions.


Having a few tips for using a pressure washer will help immensely in getting your project completed with the least amount of grief.

1). Be sure to read all of the instructions supplied with your sprayer before beginning. If you can't find them or don't have instructions try and locate a set on the internet. Just do a search for the manufacturer who made your machine.

2). Make sure your pressure washer is as close to your project as possible. This doesn’t mean in your way, or when using an electric type sprayer water is running down onto the system or the outlet it's plugged into. For example if your washing down the house you will need enough spray hose to get as much of the house you can done with out having to continually move the machine.

3). If it's cool outside you will need some rain gear. I have found there is no way to keep dry, other than rubber boots and waterproof outerware. On the other hand, if it's hot maybe you would like to get wet.

4). Cover all areas that you need to protect with drop cloths. Tie them down with ropes, bricks, rocks, or tent pegs. A flower bed and other areas can look somewhat dismal coated in debris and dripping with water.

5). If you require the use of a ladder make sure to follow all of your local government safety instructions regarding the type of ladder your using. Most areas around houses are uneven and with the water from the washer running onto the ladders rungs they can become very slippery. Handling the gun while a few feet off the ground or more can also be cumbersome and dangerous. Always use caution when spraying with a power pressure washer.

6). To get used to how your pressure washer works spray down the side walk or drive way. Never spray your self or some one else with your washer.

7). Now that your use to how your machine operates, start from the top of a project and spray accross and down in one direction. As an example, if your washing the house, hold the gun with both hands (as per manufacturer instructions) then pull the trigger just before the edge of where the fascia begins. Spray from left to right. Step down the ladder then spray the soffit from left to right. Keep moving down until you have to move the ladder. Go to the next section and do the same. Once the top is done, start on the siding, just don’t have the ladder as high up. Move down the siding or stucco of the house until one section is done. What your trying to accomplish is to move all the dirt, debris, and grime in one direction and down to the ground. Once your done a side, move onto the next

8). So that I stay on the ladder when spraying, I wrap a rope around myself high up on my back then attach the rope to either side of the ladders rungs using very securely attached climbing hooks. Pole climbing style. I do not lean back on the rope, it is only there as a percussion. A ladder should be set high enough and angled in such a way that you do not need to lean back when spraying. Be sure to follow all regulations regarding the proper use of ladders.


Looking for painting technique solutions other than how to pressure wash siding or stucco, click the home link. You should be able to find an idea or project to do by reading the text. If I've missed something or you’d like to ask a question, e-mail me. Your address will be held in the strictest confidence. I'll also try to answer you in as prompt a manner as possible.