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what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete

Clean concrete is important for all types of businesses – whether you are worried about your retail storefront, your corporate headquarters, or an apartment complex you own. 

It isn’t just about sending the right message to all who visit – it’s about protecting your concrete for the long haul. And, there’s no better approach to keeping your concrete clean and pristine than pressure washing concrete.

But, we see a few common questions asked about this process – like what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete. Today, we’ll give you our advice on the best chemical for pressure washing concrete so you can unlock the safest, fastest, and most effective cleaning solution possible.

You have so many options to choose from here at Hotsy Equipment Company – the #1 choice for all things pressure washing in San Antonio. But really, the right chemical for your job will depend on what type of mess you are dealing with. We’ll help you make the right choice below. First, why does choosing the best chemical for pressure washing concrete matter so much? 

The Importance of Using the Best Chemical for Pressure Washing Concrete

There are two reasons finding the best pressure washing soap for concrete should not be overlooked. First and foremost, it speeds up the cleaning process by helping you make quick work of even the toughest messes. But beyond that, it protects your workers, the environment, and the concrete itself.

Speed Up the Cleaning Process Dramatically

Learning how to use a pressure washer with detergent will dramatically speed up your cleaning process – helping you reach peak productivity. But, this benefit is only attained through careful detergent selection. 

The right chemical for cleaning oil stains off concrete will vary greatly from the right choice for concrete that’s covered in just leaves and debris. If you don’t make the right selection, you will end up fighting an uphill battle. On the other hand, having the perfect chemical will allow you to blast through even the toughest messes effortlessly.

Keep the Concrete, Operators, and Environment Safe

What is in pressure washing soap matters more than you think. It’s not just about quick, effective cleaning. It’s about protecting the surface being cleaned, the operators, and the environment itself.

Some chemicals do a great job cleaning – yet, they’re dangerous. Here are a few examples of that in common detergents:

  • Phosphates: They can cause excessive growth of algae and other plants in bodies of water, leading to oxygen depletion, which can harm aquatic life.
  • Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda): It can cause skin and eye irritation, and if ingested or inhaled, it can cause severe damage to internal organs.
  • Chlorine bleach: It can be harmful to aquatic life and can also cause skin and eye irritation, as well as respiratory problems if inhaled.
  • Petroleum-based solvents: They can contaminate soil and water, harm aquatic life, and cause health problems if inhaled or ingested.
  • Sodium hypochlorite: It can release harmful chlorine gas when mixed with other chemicals, and it can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as respiratory problems if inhaled.

The good news? There are chemicals you can use while cleaning that are 100% safe for the environment. Not only that, but these detergents allow you to use less water when cleaning – so you can really do your part to protect the climate. And, you’ll enjoy this level of cleaning with no compromise in efficacy or efficiency. 

Ready to discover the best chemical for pressure washing concrete? Keep reading…

What Chemical to Use When Pressure Washing Concrete

So, what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete makes the most sense for your unique situation? First, consider the specific type of mess you are dealing with. Then, compare your situation to the recommendations that are to follow.

Consider the Mess on Your Concrete Along With the Type of Concrete Itself

Are you just doing a routine cleaning to get mud and dirt off your concrete sidewalks? Or, are you looking to clean years of grease off a concrete shop floor? This is an important consideration because the specific mess you’re looking to clean will influence the ideal chemical for your cleaning process.

Some common chemicals used for cleaning concrete include alkaline cleaners, acid cleaners, and enzymatic cleaners. Alkaline cleaners are effective for removing general dirt and grime, while acid cleaners are used for removing rust stains or mineral deposits. Enzymatic cleaners are effective for removing organic stains, such as those caused by food or mildew. 

But it’s not even about the type of mess in question – you also need to consider the type of concrete. For example, colored or stamped concrete may require a gentler chemical than plain concrete.  

Here Are a Few of the Best Chemicals for Pressure Washing Concrete…

So, what soap to put in the pressure washer is right for your unique situation? At Hotsy, you’ll find the best chemical for pressure washing concrete no matter what type of mess you’re facing. 

Our detergents are safe for the climate so you can enjoy peace of mind using them. And they’re cost-effective because they’re super concentrated – less is more. Meanwhile, you’re enjoying the fastest, most effective cleaning solution possible. Our soaps also save your equipment from the problems that can arise from using cheaper detergents or even homemade pressure washer soap.

The best part, though, is that we have over 50 different chemical solutions on hand – you won’t have to worry about finding the right choice at Hotsy. Here are some recommendations for different circumstances:

  • Shop Floor Cleaner: Specially designed to break up and lift petroleum-based, greasy soils commonly found in equipment repair shops. It won’t harm epoxy finishes either.
  • Floor Wash: Designed for use as a floor cleaner for food, automotive, and manufacturing industries.
  • Fat Cap Graffiti Remover: If you’re pressure washing graffiti off a concrete commercial building exterior or another concrete surface, this is the solution for you. It’s deep penetrating and fast acting for loosening spray paint from a surface.
  • Breakthrough!: You can use this for general cleaning purposes, but it still has the ability to tackle crude oil and caked-on grease build-up on a variety of surfaces. 
  • Ripper: A versatile choice for heavy-duty cleaning and degreasing needs. It can remove tough grime and grease from all sorts of surfaces, including concrete. Petroleum, plant & animal-based grease, and oil all stand no chance against Ripper I or Ripper II!

Still not sure what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts here at Hotsy – we’ll give you a personalized recommendation!

More Tips for Pressure Washing Concrete With Chemicals

Now that you know the best chemicals for pressure washing concrete, the only thing left to do is get yours and get to work! Below, we’ve provided a few more tips for getting started if you’re not confident in your next steps.

We have a complete guide on how to actually put detergent in the tank of your pressure washing machine – but it’s fairly straightforward. You should also consider the right soap nozzle for pressure washers – as this will help you spray the detergent in an efficient pattern and maximize its potential.

Of course, if you don’t know how to use a pressure washer, we recommend you do a bit of research on the basics here on our blog. You can also explore some of these more advanced pressure washing tips and tricks to perfect your craft. From there, just follow this advice:

  • Prepare the area: Remove any furniture or debris from the area that you want to clean. Cover any plants or delicate items nearby with a plastic sheet. Get on the proper pressure washer clothing and any other PPE you need. This is a key aspect of pressure washer safety.
  • Sweep the surface: Use a broom or leaf blower to remove any loose dirt, debris, and leaves from the concrete surface.
  • Connect the pressure washer: Connect your pressure washer to a power source and attach the appropriate nozzle to the wand. A 25-degree nozzle is recommended for most concrete surfaces.
  • Test the pressure: Before you start washing the surface, test the pressure washer PSI and pressure washer GPM on a small, inconspicuous area of the concrete to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  • Apply the detergent: Apply a concrete cleaner or detergent to the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and let the detergent sit on the surface for several minutes to loosen any stubborn stains or dirt.
  • Start washing: Hold the pressure washer wand at a slight angle and move it back and forth across the concrete surface. Keep the nozzle about 6-12 inches away from the surface and work in small sections to ensure the detergent doesn’t dry out.
  • Rinse the surface: After washing the surface, switch to a 40-degree nozzle and rinse the area with clean water. Start at the highest point of the surface and work your way down to prevent streaking. Repeat if necessary.

Now, maybe pressure washing by hand makes the most sense for you. But if you have a large concrete floor to clean, we recommend investing in an automatic floor cleaner – this will dramatically speed up the process. In fact, this is one of the best pressure washer accessories. Investments in productivity and effectiveness are always worth it!

Wrapping Up Our Guide on What Chemical to Use When Pressure Washing Concrete

We hope you feel more confident in choosing the best chemical for pressure washing concrete after reading this article. Now that you know what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete, it’s time to head over to Hotsy and get the detergent you need to get the job done! 

You can also find the best commercial pressure washer selection online – with hot water pressure washers for sale and cold water pressure washers alike! We even have pressure washing trailers for sale for those remote cleaning jobs. And if you aren’t sure about investing in your own unit at this time, that’s ok – we have commercial pressure washer rental options too.

So, visit one of our South Texas locations today and supercharge your concrete cleaning process with the help of Hotsy chemicals and machines!

pressure washing farm equipment

We don’t have to tell you how messy farms can get. Whether it’s the dust accumulation from plowing fields or mud and grease from tractors themselves – your equipment is going to take a beating. And to a certain extent, that’s fine – this equipment is built to withstand the rigorous, intense conditions that working on a farm entails.

However, at a certain point, pressure washing farm equipment is a necessary part of your operation. It protects your investment and keeps your farm a safe place to work. But how do you pressure wash farm equipment? What is the best pressure washer for a farm? Do you need a detergent, too?

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here at Hotsy, we’ve helped countless farmers supercharge their cleaning process and extend the life of their equipment through our pressure washers and detergents. As such, we’ve come to be known as the premier choice for farmers seeking a commercial pressure washer in TX.

Today, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about pressure washing farm equipment. First, let’s talk about what farm equipment and areas need to be cleaned regularly – and why a pressure washer is the premier choice.

What Farm Equipment & Areas Can be Cleaned With a Pressure Washer?

From commercial agriculture to dairy farming, the use cases for pressure washing are seemingly endless on farms. Here are the types of equipment and buildings that can benefit from the addition of a pressure washing solution:

  • Barns
  • Tanks
  • Machinery
  • Tractors
  • Milking Parlors
  • Out Buildings
  • Cattle Pens
  • Greenhouses
  • Plows

While dirt, mud, and much are a part of your day-to-day life, that doesn’t mean they don’t pose a liability over the course of time. Here’s why pressure washing farm equipment is so important…

Why is Pressure Washing Farm Equipment Necessary?

Farmers have been using pressure washers to clean their farm equipment for many years. Because of how pressure washers work, there is no solution as fast or effective. There are several reasons why pressure washing is necessary.

Obviously, it helps to remove dirt, dust, and other debris from the equipment. This can help to keep the equipment in good condition. It also helps to remove grease and oils from the equipment, keeping the equipment functioning properly and reducing the risk of fires or other accidents. 

Overall, keeping your farm equipment and machinery clean preserves the initial investment you made in it. And you already know how expensive some of this equipment can be. Keeping it running smoothly for as long as possible is paramount to your farm’s profitability. It’s also essential for eliminating downtime and lost productivity. On a farm, timing is everything. 

Say you’re harvesting walnut trees – and the time for harvest is rapidly approaching. As you prepare, you notice your shakers aren’t working properly as bearings have become locked as a result of grease messes. This can lead to missing your window of opportunity to harvest trees at the perfect time. All of this could have been avoided through regularly scheduled cleaning and maintenance! 

The second reason to keep your equipment clean is to prevent the transmission of bacteria and other microorganisms on the equipment onto your trees or animals. The last thing you want to do is kill off trees or part of your herd through contamination that could have easily been avoided.

All things considered, farm equipment needs routine cleaning – and a pressure washer is the fastest, most effective way to get the job done safely. So – let’s talk about what you’ll need for the process.

What Equipment is Needed to Pressure Wash Farm Equipment?

Of course, you can’t get started pressure washing farm equipment without the pressure washer itself. But with all the different pressure washer types, making the right decision can feel overwhelming. 

Don’t worry – we’ve got this. We’re going to help you choose the best pressure washer for a farm below. Then, we’ll talk about everything else you’ll need to really get the most effective, efficient cleaning process possible – including a pressure washer degreaser soap and PPE. 

What is the Best Pressure Washer for a Farm?

Choosing the right pressure washer comes down to a few key considerations. First, do you need a hot water or cold water pressure washer? A cold water pressure washer certainly has its place – but on the farm, you need the extra cleaning power of a heated unit. This will cut through grease, mud, and other grime much faster than a cold water unit would.

Another important criterion to consider when seeking the best pressure washer for a farm is the PSI. What is a good PSI for a pressure washer used on a farm, though? We recommend a unit with right around 3,000 PSI. This is powerful enough to make quick work of even the toughest messes with little risk of damaging expensive farm equipment.

You should also consider the GPM your unit is rated at. Wait – what is GPM on a pressure washer? This metric speaks to the flow of water – in other words, how fast the unit can clean. And for farm equipment, we suggest a GPM of around 3-4.

One of the most overlooked elements of choosing the right pressure washer for agriculture or dairy farms is the water source. Do you have a water source nearby your equipment? If not, you’ll need to either build a DIY pressure washing trailer or invest in a reliable pressure washer trailer for sale at Hotsy. 

One final consideration is the operation of your unit – should you go with an electric vs gas pressure washer? For cleaning farm equipment, gas is superior. This style is more versatile since you aren’t restricted by cords – you can clean in the field, at the warehouse, or anywhere in between. Moreover, these units tend to be more powerful.

And if you’re looking for a quick recommendation, our article on the best commercial pressure washer is a great starting point! Otherwise, reach out to the experts at Hotsy – we’ll get you taken care of with exactly what you need for your unique farm equipment. 

Our hot pressure washer for sale are the #1 choice among not just farmers – but everyone who needs the most reliable, efficient cleaning solution. Nothing cleans like a Hotsy, after all! Except, of course, a Hotsy paired with the right degreaser…

Make Sure to Pair Your Pressure Washer With a Specially Formulated Detergent

Along with the best pressure washer for farm equipment, you need the best pressure washing soap. Not just any detergent will do – and we certainly advise you against using a DIY pressure washer soap! Instead, trust the specially formulated products we offer at Hotsy. These are designed to address specific messes you face on the farm for the fastest, most effective clean possible.

But the real benefit of our detergents is the advanced formula HCC additives. These help prevent scale build-up and fight corrosion in your equipment – further extending the life of your investment. And, they’re highly concentrated getting you the most bang for your buck. A little goes a long way!

Think about what you’re up against most – caked on dirt and mud, grease, and oil. Depending on your specific type of farm, you may also deal with regular animal-based messes – like blood, feces, and more. 

All of this is to say that you need to make sure you use the right soap. But what kind of soap do you use in a pressure washer? Chances are, you’ll need a few different types on hand for tackling different types of messes on different types of surfaces. For example, what you’ll use to clean wheel grease and mud off your tractors is different from what you’ll use to clean the inside of your silos and fertilizer tanks. 

This is why we recommend getting in touch with us at Hotsy. We can talk about what your exact cleaning needs are and which solutions are engineered for that particular use case. With that said, here are some of the most common detergents we see farmers using:

  • Breakthrough!
  • Floor Wash
  • Advanced Formula Aluminum Brightener
  • Polished Aluminum & Stainless Steel Cleaner
  • Yellow Fever
  • Carbochlor
  • Power Shine

Other Pressure Washing Necessities for Your Farm

Using a pressure washer with detergent is going to change the way you clean your farm equipment. But, you can’t neglect other necessities – like the PPE gear needed for high-powered jets of water and strong chemical cleaning agents.

You should stock up on safety goggles, rubber boots (non-slip), and pressure washing suits/gloves. These should be waterproof and insulated to protect against powerful hot water jets.

Along with PPE, you may want to look into other cleaning products we have in store at Hotsy. We have automatic parts washers for sale to help you clean small parts from equipment fast and effectively. You should also stock up on hot water pressure washer parts and accessories to supercharge the process. This includes things like extra long hoses, wand extensions, foamer attachments, flat surface cleaners, soap tips for pressure washers, and more. 

Of course, it’s always a good idea to keep some manual scrub brushes on hand too just in case you come across something your pressure washer is incapable of cleaning – although that occurrence is rare. 

How Do You Pressure Wash Farm Equipment? Step-by-Step Recommendations 

Now that you’ve got all your equipment on standby, it’s time for the fun part. How do you pressure wash farm equipment, though? Recommendations will vary depending on what exactly you’re cleaning. The specific process for cleaning tractors will vary from the specific process for cleaning cattle pens.

However, the principles for efficient, effective, and most importantly, safe cleaning are universal. Start by learning how to start a pressure washer in our blog. You’ll want to clear the area of any people/animals, or equipment that you don’t want to get washed. It may be worth covering up glass windows depending on how powerful your pressure washer is.

Then, check out our article on how to use soap with pressure washers. This will guide you through the ins and outs of adding detergent to your unit’s tank – including the specific concentration you should follow. 

At that point, it’s time to get to cleaning. We always recommend starting with a sudsy soak. Spray the detergent onto the surface and let it sit for at least 5-10 minutes (longer if the weather allows – but you don’t want to let the soap dry on the surface). This soak allows the detergent to work its magic on the caked-on dirt, grease, oil, or other muck you’re cleaning. 

After that, you can follow up with a powerful blast of pure water to rinse away the suds and – hopefully – reveal a beautiful, like-new surface underneath. There will be times, however, when you need to repeat the process. You may even want to manually agitate the mess with a scrub brush if the first pass is ineffective.

When using your pressure washer, spray in a top to bottom sweeping motion. Don’t let the jet sit on one area for too long – this can lead to damage. And, you should also be sure you don’t let the nozzle get too close to the surface being cleaned. This can also cause damage. 

We have an article discussing more advanced pressure washer tips and tricks that we encourage you or whoever is going to be operating the pressure washer to read. And for a more broad overview, our guide on how to operate a power washer is a great entry-level resource. 

Closing Thoughts on Pressure Washing Farm Equipment

Agriculture farms, dairy farms, poultry farms, and cannabis farms all vary greatly in what they’re raising/growing. One thing is consistent across all these types of farms, though – things get really dirty out there!

Keeping your farm equipment and buildings clean is not something you can overlook – which is why pressure washing farm equipment is so important. And now that we’ve taught you what all you need to buy and how to actually go about pressure washing your farm equipment, there is only one thing left to do – grab your necessities and prepare for that first cleaning cycle. With the right supplies and equipment, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is!

Just need to clean equipment a few times a year? It may make more sense to look into commercial pressure washer rental – which we can help with, too! No matter what your pressure washing needs are, you can count on Hotsy to guide you through the process. Reach out to our team today – or visit one of our many South Texas locations!

Pressure Washer Safety: Are Pressure Washers Dangerous?

At first glance, a pressure washer in action doesn’t look all that dangerous. After all, it’s just a blast of water, albeit more powerful than what you get from a regular garden hose–right?

Wrong.

A pressure washer–just like any other power tool in your garage–can become dangerous with improper use. Think about it: if a pressure washer can remove paint from a surface, just imagine what it can do to bare skin! You’re lucky if all you get is a bruise or a wound. But with a pressure washer’s powerful spray, it is very likely to have water injected into your skin, which can easily cause a deep-layer infection.

As a business, you are responsible for your employees’ safety and your own. With that in mind, knowing about pressure washer safety is crucial before you attempt to use a pressure washer without prior experience.

Keep on reading to learn more about the potential dangers of using a pressure washer and–more importantly, how to prevent serious injuries or damage from happening.

Are Pressure Washers Dangerous?

The short answer is yes, pressure washers can be dangerous. But the real question you should ask is, how dangerous are pressure washers?

A pressure washer can be just as dangerous as any other power tool, but the injuries that they can cause are definitely less severe than, say, a power saw. However, this doesn’t make them any less hazardous. At the very least, getting hit by the spray of a pressure washer can cause minor bruising or wounds on your skin. In worse cases, however, the pressurized water can penetrate deep into the skin and where it’s not supposed to be, which can lead to an infection. Let’s say you get sprayed in the eyes – you could be at risk of losing your vision permanently.

We say all this not to scare you, but rather to make you aware of the reality you face when you use a pressure washer.

These types of deep-tissue injuries can appear to be no big deal at first glance, which can increase the risk of not seeking medical help until it’s too late. In the absolute worst cases, a pressure washer injury where the water ended up deep inside the skin can lead to disability and even amputation.

So, to answer the question, “are pressure washers dangerous?” Yes, they can be–unless you employ proper pressure washer safety practices. This brings us to our next topic:

At What Pressure Are Pressure Washers Dangerous?

To be able to use a pressure washer safely, you must know the level of pressure at which pressure washers can become dangerous. More specifically, you need to know the pounds per square inch (psi) level at which the jet of water can cut through the outer layer of skin, which is 1,160 psi.

General cleaning applications call for 1,500 to 1,900 psi of pressure. Pressure washers that can emit pressure between 1,500 to 1,900 psi are considered “light-duty”. That said, an average pressure washer with a “light” spray can be strong enough to cause serious injury if you’re not careful.

Having said that, just imagine how much damage a higher psi level can cause (pressure washers can go up to 3,300+ psi!). In any case, it is important to practice proper pressure washer safety at any pressure.

Speaking of psi, check out this guide on how much water pressure psi you need for different types of applications!

Pressure Washer Safety Tips

Before you attempt to use a pressure washer, take note of these important safety tips to minimize the risk of accidents:

Learn How To Use a Pressure Washer Before Using One

It is imperative that you know the correct pressure washer techniques before even touching an actual machine. A pressure washer is a very powerful tool that can easily cause serious injuries and damage to property when placed in the wrong hands. Therefore, if you are inexperienced, it is crucial that you know how to use a pressure washer properly, at least in theory.

Pro tip: Watch video tutorials on how to use a pressure washer, ideally with the same type of washer that you have. There are plenty of sources online that you can use to learn before you give your pressure washer a go.

Once you learn what you need to do, you can start practicing with your pressure washer at a low psi. Set your pressure washer at the lowest psi it can go, then work your way up as you learn how to maneuver the nozzle properly. In any case, work in an abandoned area where there is less risk of injuring someone or damaging property. 

Wear PPE

When using a pressure washer, be sure to wear clothing that covers your skin i.e. pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Similarly, wear shoes that cover your entire foot; work boots with metatarsal guards are the best option, but regular sneakers will do as long as they are thick enough. 

Eye and ear protection are also an absolute must. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the mist and other particles, as well as to prevent accidents caused by something flying into your eye. If you are using a gas-powered pressure washer, which can be very loud, don’t forget to wear ear protection, too. 

It is also recommended to wear waterproof safety gloves to protect your hands in case they accidentally get in the way of the pressurized spray. Waterproof gloves will also prevent your hands from getting wet, which minimizes the risk of you losing grip on the nozzle gun. 

Another important tip: if you are using a hot water pressure washer, opt for insulated waterproof gloves!

Clear The Area Before Spraying

The powerful spray of a pressure washer can not only pose a risk to humans but inanimate objects as well. That said, always make sure to clear the area before you start working. Get rid of any obstacles that can get in the way of your spray; cover up windows; barricade the walkways (if you are working in a public area), and cover surrounding greenery with a tarp if necessary.

Never Aim The Wand at Anyone

How dangerous are pressure washers? Dangerous enough that you should treat your pressure washer wand like a firearm! Never aim it at anyone or anything that you don’t intend to clean. When the water is off, always point the wand downward and keep your fingers off the trigger.

Don’t Use a Gas Pressure Washer in an Enclosed Space

A gas-powered pressure washer emits fumes as it burns fuel for power. As a result, it is only ideal for outdoor use. If you try to operate a gas pressure washer inside an enclosed space, the carbon monoxide can remain trapped indoors, and you will be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. If a cleaning job needs to be done indoors, use an electric pressure washer instead.

Cover Electrical Outlets

Before cleaning an area, make it a point to check for and cover electrical outlets. You already know what can happen if you accidentally spray water into one.

Start With a Wide Nozzle

All pressure washers come with 3 to 4 nozzle tips. The widest angle nozzle tip is the 40-degree nozzle, which sprays a gentle fan of water on a surface. The smallest and strongest nozzle tip is the 0-degree nozzle, which sprays a jet of water the size of a quarter. Whenever you work on a new surface, always start with the 40-degree nozzle first, then work your way down until you find the nozzle tip that is strong enough to do the job.

Maintain Your Equipment Properly

This is a safety tip that a lot of business owners tend to forget. Proper maintenance is not only necessary to save money on your pressure washer–it’s also important for the safety of whoever uses it.

To illustrate, a poorly-maintained pressure washer has a higher risk of failing, which can lead to accidents. In the unfortunate event that it does cause an accident, you are legally obligated to pay for damages and medical expenses because maintaining the machine is your responsibility as a business owner. If it is your employee that sustains injuries, they are also entitled to workers’ compensation.

Final Thoughts On Pressure Washer Safety

With all the points that we’ve made here, you should be able to understand how important it is to employ all the necessary safety precautions when using a pressure washer. Don’t put your workers, yourself, and your business at risk–always make safety your #1 priority!

More than that, invest in a top-quality commercial pressure washer san antonio that has all the features you need to increase user safety. With a reliable unit from Hotsy Equipment Company, you won’t have to worry about your hot water pressure washer spraying scalding water everywhere for no reason–or perhaps your electric pressure washer suddenly malfunctioning. As long as you do your part in maintaining your machine, you can rest assured that a Hotsy pressure washer will remain fully functional and safe for years to come.

pressure washer techniques

A pressure washer can clean almost anything you can think of. Be it a filthy car, a heavily-stained pavement, grimy house siding, or even a corroded metal fence – these machines are up to the task. If you want to clean effectively and efficiently, however, you need to know how to use a pressure washer the right way.

Understanding the basic pressure washer techniques is a must for any new user. And let’s face it – sometimes, even the most seasoned of pressure washing experts could use a refresher.

And today, that’s exactly what we are here to provide – a detailed explanation of how to use a pressure washer, including advanced pressure washer techniques for faster, more efficient cleaning. But before all of that, let’s go over some of the mistakes we see people making when using a pressure washer.

What Are The Common Mistakes People Make With A Pressure Washer?

Cleaning with a pressure washer is not rocket science. However, there are quite a few mistakes we see people making with them. Learn how to avoid these so that you can pressure wash safely, efficiently, and effectively.

Not Using Safety Equipment

While pressure washers are not inherently dangerous, the high-pressure spray of water can be hazardous. That said, always wear protective equipment when pressure washing. Wear closed-toe shoes, work gloves, eye protection, ear protection (if you’re using a loud pressure power washer), and clothes that cover your entire body.

Not Angling The Spray

When pressure washing, the goal is to lift the dirt up from the surface so it can be washed away by the water. If you spray directly onto the surface instead of angling your nozzle, you will only drive the grime deeper and make the surface even harder to clean.

Using Too Much Pressure or Not Enough

If you use too much pressure when pressure washing, you risk damaging the surface of whatever it is you’re cleaning. On the other hand, not using enough pressure will simply be ineffective and inefficient.

For light cleaning tasks, 1,500 to 1,900 psi should be enough. If the dirt is more stubborn, use 2,000 to 2,800 psi except for soft and fragile surfaces. And if you need more power than that (e.g. for cleaning pavement or when prepping a surface), heavy-duty pressure washers that can go up to 2,900 to 3,200 psi should do the trick.

Not sure how much pressure washer psi you need? Check out our previous blog post where we discuss the different levels of psi and their correct applications.

Cleaning With a Gas-Powered Pressure Washer Indoors

Gas pressure washers are loud and produce harmful emissions. That said, they should not be used in enclosed spaces. Electric pressure washers, on the other hand, are quiet and produce no fumes because they do not run on gasoline, making them the safer choice for indoor cleaning.

The Top Pressure Washer Techniques, Tips, & Tricks For Faster Cleaning

Pressure washing is an easy job if you know how to do it right. Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, let’s move on to some pressure washing tips to help you clean faster, safer, and more effectively.

Choose The Right Pressure Washer

First things first, you should be using the right type of pressure washer for the job. There are two main options you can choose from; cold water pressure washers and hot water pressure washers.

Cold water pressure washers are great for cleaning dirt, mildew, mud, and other sorts of grime from almost all types of surfaces. But if you’re cleaning oil, grease, and tougher grime, you will need to use a hot water pressure washer. Hot water cuts through grease and oil easily, agitating them at the molecular level so that they can be washed away. You can learn more about the difference between hot water and cold water pressure washers in our blog.

Use The Correct Nozzle

Pressure washers spray water in a V-shape from the tip of the wand. Nozzles dictate how wide that V is, depending on the angle it is built to spray at. There are five different nozzles to choose from:

  • Red (0 degrees) – creates a small yet extremely powerful jet of water (in an O-shape), best for removing deeper stains from hard surfaces.
  • Yellow (15 degrees) – emits a narrow fan of water that can remove dirt, rust, paint, and other contaminants, usually to prepare a surface for repainting or re-sealing.
  • Green (25 degrees) – the most common nozzle for general use; creates a wider spray for pressure washing dirt, mud, debris, and other grime–as long as they are not deep-seated.
  • White (40 degrees) – produces a wider and gentler spray for light cleaning; best for fragile and soft surfaces such as glass and cars, or for washing away detergent.
  • Black – used for applying soap quickly and efficiently.

Use a Detergent

Pressure washer detergents make pressure washing a whole lot easier. They help eliminate grease and oil, and they help soften dirt, mud, mildew, and other types of grime for easier cleaning.

All hot water, cold water, gas, and electric pressure washers can use soap or detergent. But, it is important to choose the right type of detergent. Always read the label of your pressure washer detergent to make sure that it is appropriate for the surface that you are cleaning. For instance, some detergents are used for specific substances like motor oil, while others are not to be used for certain types of paint.

Be sure to read our article on how to use soap with a pressure washer for more information on picking the right detergent and using it effectively.

Aim From a Distance

If you spray the water too close you risk damaging the surface you’re trying to clean. Similarly, you won’t clean effectively or efficiently if you stand back too far from the surface. What’s the right distance, then? We recommend keeping the tip of your nozzle at least 18 inches away from the surface. When estimating the correct distance, do a test spray first and see if you are too close or too far.

Spray in The Correct Motion

When pressure washing a sidewalk or a driveway, direct the water towards the drain, making sure to spray at an angle. If you’re pressure washing a wall or siding, move the wand in short, downward motions, starting at the top. This will prevent dirty water from splattering upwards and ruining your hard work.

Also, make sure not to direct the spray of the water on a single spot for too long. Doing so can cause damage to the surface due to the high pressure.

Use Both Hands

If you are a beginner, it’s safer to use both hands when power washing so you won’t lose your grip. Also, make sure that your hands are dry. This will help prevent the wand from accidentally slipping out of your hands.

Lay Down Tarps

You don’t want paint chips or dirty water to splatter all over the area you’re trying to clean. To prevent this, lay down tarps to protect the surrounding area, including plants, furniture, and other objects in the way.

Maintain Your Machine

Keeping your pressure washer in good shape is crucial to extending its lifespan and maintaining its effectiveness. Aside from cleaning your machine regularly, replace your high-pressure nozzles every 6 months; check your oil levels (if you’re using a gas power washer); remove burner soot and scale from the heating coil annually; clean the water filter screen weekly, and replace parts as soon as they get worn.

If your pressure washer is acting up, take it to the service center or call a professional before attempting another power washing session. You should also learn about winterizing your pressure washer – this is an important form of maintenance in freezing cold regions.

Final Thoughts On Pressure Washer Techniques

And there you have it! Commercial pressure washing is not as hard as it seems, right? However, it’s important that you take note of these pressure washing tips not only to make cleaning faster and more effective – but to also avoid causing damage to the surface you are cleaning. No one wants to clean a surface only to have it crack under the pressure of the spray!

For efficient and safe power washing, choose Hotsy pressure washers. We have come to be known as the #1 pressure washer store in all of Texas. You can either buy or rent a pressure washer through us, and you’ll have access to the most extensive catalog out there. We even offer pressure washer trailers for mobile cleaning needs!

Trust us – nothing cleans like a Hotsy. And after 35 years of service in this industry, you don’t have to just take our word for it – we’ve got the reputation to back it up. For a specific recommendation, take a look at our list of the best commercial pressure washers of the year.