How to use soap with a pressure washer

Pressure washing is a great way to clean away dirt, grime, oil, grease, and any other type of muck you come across. But a high-powered blast of water will only do so much – even if you’re using scalding hot water.

That’s where pressure washer soap comes in. By using the right detergent, you can take your cleaning to the next level! You’ll enjoy increased efficiency and cleaning effectiveness. With soap, you’ll easily cut through stains and messes that a regular pressure washer was no match for.

But how do you use soap with a pressure washer? Can you use just any old soap, such as dish soap? The last thing you want to do is damage your expensive pressure washer by doing this incorrectly.

That’s why today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know on this subject. You’ve got a lot of questions, and we’ve got the answers! Let’s dive right in.

Can You Use Soap With A Pressure Washer?

Yes – you can use soap with a pressure washer, provided your machine has a detergent tank where you can add your soap. Not every pressure washer does, but these days, they’re becoming more and more commonplace as we recognize the power detergent has in our cleaning regimens.

If your pressure washer doesn’t have a detergent tank, you’ll need to find a wand attachment that allows you to add your soap to the end of the nozzle. Whether you’re using a cold or hot water pressure washer, you can take things to the next level with detergent.

Should You Pressure Wash With Soap?

Now that you know you can use soap with a pressure washer, should you? Is it really necessary? The answer is that it depends entirely on the specific mess you’re trying to clean up.

If you are just spraying down your patio or balcony to get rid of some dirt and dust, soap may not be necessary. However, if you’re looking to clean for a more intense job – such as oil or grease stains – you will actually need a detergent to go with your pressure washer.

But what type of soap should you use? Many people try and use a dish soap cleaning solution in tandem with their pressure washer, but we advise against this. You don’t know for sure that your machine is compatible, and to be honest, dish soap won’t be that effective against tough stains.

So, let’s talk about choosing your detergent.

What Type Of Soap Should You Use With Your Pressure Washer?

The type of soap you should use with your pressure washer will largely depend on the type of cleaning you’re looking for, and the type of pressure washer you’re using.

Let’s make one thing clear right away though – only use pressure washer certified detergent with your equipment. These detergents are specifically made to work with pressure washers and get you the most effective, efficient cleaning solution possible.

We’ll start by looking at a few of the different Hotsy Detergents we offer to help you understand how to choose the right soap.

The Different Pressure Washer Soaps Available At Hotsy

There are so many different uses for a pressure washer.

Many times, people use hot water pressure washers for cleaning vehicles or heavy machinery. Or, maybe you’re cleaning up messes in the food service industry.

Whatever the case, these scenarios present tons of oil, grease, and road grime that is tough to remove through hot water and pressure alone. That’s why we offer a few different detergents for this type of job.

For example, our Power-Shine is a concentrated vehicle cleaner that produces rich suds to allow for a maximum dwell time of the cleaning agents.

It’s safe for road film and oxidized paint. If you’re trying to clean wheel grease in particular, you may be better off with our Breakthrough detergent. This is great for tackling crude oil as well – while restoring all types of oxidized paint surfaces.

Then, you’ve got the Ripper I – a non-caustic detergent perfect for use on heavy equipment, machinery, and trucks. It’ll clear up even the toughest road and grease stains – whether it be a tractor-trailer or off-road equipment you’re cleaning.

If you’re just looking to detail your vehicle fleet, consider the Transport Detergent – which will restore stainless steel, aluminum, glass, and painted surfaces to perfection.

For the toughest of jobs, you’ll want to use our Hotsy Brown Detergent. It’s our most powerful soap, and offers fast, thorough cleaning for carbon-based deposits like road film, exhaust stains, dirt, and grease.

If you aren’t entirely sure which cleaning solution is right for you, reach out! We have over forty years of experience in the pressure washing industry and can help you pick the right product for whatever task you’re facing.

How To Use Pressure Washer Soap: The Complete Guide

Now that you know which type of soap you need to use, we can get into the fun part – how to actually use pressure washer soap.

This will just be a general guide, as every pressure washer is different. When in doubt, always consult your manufacturer’s guidelines or reach out to them directly. Without any further ado, though, let’s get into the first step – finding your detergent tank.

Locate and Fill Your Detergent Tank With Soap

As we stated earlier, most modern-day pressure washers come with a handy detergent tank you can fill with the soap of your choice. This is the advantage of investing in a quality, versatile pressure washer – you don’t have to worry about lugging around a bucket of soap!

After you’ve located your detergent tank, fill it with the pressure washer detergents you’ve selected for the job. Then, close up the tank and turn the nozzle to “on”.

This is what will draw the soap into the pressure washer pump while you spray. If you forget to flip this toggle switch, your detergent will just sit there as you use the pressure washer.

Choose The Right Nozzle For The Job

One thing many people overlook when using a pressure washer with detergent is the type of nozzle they’re using.

High pressure is great – but when you’re actively applying the detergent, you’ll want to use a low-pressure nozzle. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the suds to dwell on the surface of what you’re trying to clean.

This dwell time is what allows the ingredients in pressure washer detergents to fight the stain you’re trying to clean.

Spray In An Upward Motion To Prevent Streaking

Once you’ve got your detergent tank filled, your pressure washer on, and you’re ready to clean, then comes the fun part – spraying.

We recommend you spray your detergent in an upward motion across the surface you’re attempting to clean. This will help to prevent the streaking and running of your soap. Again, it is all about the dwell time!

Do a few passes on the surface, overlapping the detergent you’ve already applied to make sure you adequately cover the mess. You can never be too liberal with the soap!

Let The Soap Sit For 10-15 Minutes

Once you’ve completely covered the dirty surface with your pressure washer, you’ll want to let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes to interact with the mess.

While you relax and patiently wait for the next step, that soap will be breaking up the molecules of your mess into weaker, more manageable stains. Keep in mind that on sunny or windy days, you may need to reapply the detergent to prevent it from drying on the surface.

Put On A High-Pressure Nozzle And Rinse The Mess Away!

Now comes the final step to using soap with a pressure washer – swapping out that low-pressure nozzle for a higher-powered one.

Then, you’ll clean the detergent and grime away from top to bottom using just high-powered water. For bonus points, use a hot water pressure washer! The heat will further the cleaning capabilities.

Depending on where you’re cleaning, there is one final aspect to take into account – the soap runoff. You may need to spray the suds into a drainage area or just dilute them enough to where they aren’t present.

Where Is The Best Place To Find Pressure Washer Detergents?

Well, there you have it! Using soap with pressure washers is easy, and most importantly, effective. You’ll clean tough messes faster, and you can get back to doing things you enjoy – because we’re assuming operating your pressure washer isn’t one of them!

Now the question becomes, where is the best place to find your pressure washer soap? We may have buried the lead a bit by talking about our catalog earlier, but the honest reality is that there is no better place to find all things pressure washing than Hotsy. We are the best pressure washer store online, bar none!

Not only do we have a full range of detergents to help you get the most bang for your buck when using a pressure washer. But, we also offer a full range of commercial pressure washers for sale. Here are some of our most popular offerings when it comes to cleaning:

No matter what type of pressure washer you need, chances are, we’ve got it. Trust us – nothing cleans like a Hotsy! And you don’t have to just take our word for it. We’ve got thousands of satisfied customers who rely on us to deliver exceptional pressure washers and cleaning equipment.

So if you’re in the south Texas area looking to take your cleaning to the next level, visit a local Hotsy retailer or give us a call today – we’ll help you buy or rent a pressure washer that fits your needs. We have locations in:

  • San Antonio
  • New Braunfels
  • Laredo
  • Rio Grande Valley
  • Eagle Ford Shale