What kind of soap to use for pressure washer?

A pressure washer works wonders when it comes to getting rid of heavy dirt. Usually, it just takes a good rinse with a pressure washer to loosen up the debris. But every now and then, you will encounter a stubborn stain that just doesn’t want to budge—even when you are using the highest pressure level possible.

When dealing with stubborn stains, using pure water might not be enough. You will need some extra help from soaps and detergents to really cut through extreme gunk and grime. But finding the right kind of soap for a pressure washer is another complicated task. Using the wrong kind of soap might end up damaging your pressure washer.

If you aren’t sure what type of soap to use for your pressure washer, keep reading! We will provide you with everything you need to know about pressure washer soaps, including the best pressure washer soaps to use for your personal cleaning job.

Why Does It Matter What Kind Of Soap To Use For A Pressure Washer?

Before you even think about using soap in your pressure washer, you first need to identify whether your pressure washer has a detergent tank. Not all pressure washers come equipped with a detergent tank. Make sure to read your pressure washer’s manual before using soap in your pressure washer.

To answer the question, though, using a soap that isn’t specifically built for a pressure washer can hinder its performance. If you were wondering if you can use dish soap, laundry detergent, or bleach in your pressure washer, you might want to think again. Here’s why:

What Happens When You Use Dish Soap In Your Pressure Washers?

There have been many instances when people have tried to use Dawn dish soap or laundry detergent to create their own pressure washer soap. Although it is possible to use the two in your pressure washer, you risk clogging it if you don’t dilute them. And even if you do dilute the Dawn dish soap or detergent, their cleaning power still isn’t as strong as actual pressure washer soap.

You’ll notice that dish soap and laundry detergent are less effective and efficient at getting rid of gunk. It might not even make a big difference compared to when you’re using plain water. That’s why it’s important to use specialized pressure washer soaps. They’re made to enhance the cleaning capacity of the pressure washer—not hinder it.

What Happens When You Use Bleach In Your Pressure Washers?

Another thing people try to use in their pressure washers is bleach. This is incredibly risky since bleach contains harsh chemicals that can damage your pressure washer’s O-ring, wand, hoses, and pumps. The worst part is, if your pressure washer gets damaged by the bleach it often voids the warranty of your pressure washer.

So, Why Does It Matter What Kind Of Soap You Use In Your Pressure Washer?

If you want to keep your pressure washer operating at optimal performance and get your cleaning job done as efficiently and effectively as possible—you should use soaps and detergent specially formulated for pressure washer use. It’s that simple.

Why risk damaging your pressure washer with homemade pressure washer soaps when there are plenty of pressure washer cleaners on the market? Not to mention, they’re also specifically made to effectively clean surfaces without damaging your pressure washing machines.

The Right Kind Of Soap To Use In Your Pressure Washer Depends On The Situation

Pressure washer soap is not one size fits all— every cleaning job requires a different type of pressure washer soap depending on the scenario. Much like when you’re choosing the pressure washer itself, choosing the right pressure washer soap all boils down to the type of material you’re cleaning and how heavy the dirt or stains are on that surface.

The type of pressure washer soap used on a vinyl siding would be different from the one you would use on a concrete driveway. Different types of materials and stains require different pressure washing chemicals. What works for one material or situation might not work efficiently for another and it might even damage it.

To avoid wasting money and time on the wrong pressure washer soap, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the right pressure washer detergent for your needs. For the best pressure washer soaps on the market, continue reading below.

What Are The Different Types Of Pressure Washer Soap?

There are tons of specialized pressure washer detergents available on the market, but the best pressure washer detergents can be found right here at Hotsy Equipment!

We have a wide range of pressure washer soaps fit for every type of material and stain. No matter how dirty or delicate the surface you’re cleaning is, you’ll definitely find a Hotsy detergent best fit for your personal cleaning project.

Here’s a rundown of the differences between each one, so you can choose the right Hotsy detergent for you:


This pressure washer concentrate is typically used for breaking through crude oil and caked-on wheel grease. If you’re using this on painted surfaces, this pressure washer detergent can restore oxidized paints and make them look good as new. It’s great for cleaning vinyl sidings, soffits, gutters, garage floors, and driveways.

Ripper I

Looking for a powerful detergent that can cut through grease without damaging or corroding the surface of your property? The Ripper I is a non-caustic detergent specially formulated for cleaning heavy equipment, machinery, and trucks. It works its magic to clean off-road and grease-clogged equipment while handling hard-to-remove road film on tractor-trailers with ease.


Over time our vehicles start looking dull and aged. To bring them back to their original bright and glossy state, use our Power-Shine pressure washer detergent. This concentrated vehicle cleaner produces rich suds that increases the dwell time of the cleaning agents and maximize its cleaning capabilities. Say goodbye to road film and oxidized paint.


For tough cleaning jobs, such as food and grease build-up, engine degreasing, parts cleaning, road film, and hard-to-clean vehicles – Hotsy’s Carbon-Ate pressure washer detergent is a perfect choice. This detergent works well even with a hot water pressure washer so you can thoroughly clean and get rid of tough stains on different surfaces.


As you probably already assumed, our Transport pressure washer detergent is the perfect soap for all types of vehicles—cars, trucks, busses, RV’s, trailers, tractors—you name it! There’s no vehicle this Hotsy detergent can’t clean. It’s formulated specifically to help restore stainless steel, aluminum, glass, and painted surfaces to their original condition.

Hotsy Brown

The Hotsy Brown is our most powerful pressure washer degreaser and offers fast thorough cleaning for carbon-based deposits such as road film, exhaust stains, dirt, and grease. It’s the best pressure washer detergent for getting rid of really stubborn stains and deeply embedded dirt.

How To Use Pressure Washer Detergent Properly

Now that you know the different types of pressure washer detergents available, it is time you learn how to use them properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a pressure washer with detergent:

  1. Locate your pressure washer’s detergent tank. Most modern pressure washers should have their own built-in detergent tank and it’s typically a rectangular container with a bottle cap on top.
  2. Once you’ve successfully located the thank, pour in your chosen detergent in the pressure washer detergent tank.
  3. If you aren’t already using the black soap nozzle, switch out your current nozzle. The black nozzle is the most efficient pressure washer nozzle to use for applying soap onto surfaces because of its large orifice and low-pressure water spray.
  4. Spray the detergent using an upward motion to prevent streaking.
  5. When you’ve completely covered the surface with power washer detergent let it sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes before using rinsing it away with a higher pressure nozzle.

It’s that easy! For more tips to keep your pressure washers in tip-top condition, here’s a guide we wrote to help you understand how to use soap with a pressure washer safely and effectively.

Find All Your Pressure Washing Essentials At Hotsy!

Whether it’s pressure washers or detergents you’re looking for, there is only one place to get all the best pressure washing essentials—and that’s at Hotsy Equipment.

Hotsy is the number one online pressure washer store to date. With over 40 years of experience in the industry and thousands of customers served, we trust that our pressure washing equipment will not disappoint.

Aside from providing a wide range of pressure washer detergents, we also offer over a hundred different Hotsy Pressure Washers in San Antonio. We have one of the largest collections of pressure washers online and they’re great for all kinds of use such as commercial and residential.

You can find both gas-powered and electrical hot water pressure washers with PSI ratings ranging from 1000 to 4000+. With this many options, you’re sure to find the perfect pressure washer to complete your cleaning job!

Not sure which Hotsy pressure washer is best for you? Feel free to contact us through email, send us a chat, or call our number directly, and we’ll gladly give you a recommendation. Get your very own Hotsy Equipment or avail of our rental service today and say goodbye to any dirt or debris that’s been getting in your way!