When to use a pressure washer

When it comes to cleaning equipment, a pressure washer is something you need to have in your cleaning arsenal. Why? Simple – the instances when you can use a pressure washer are endless! This will be one of the most versatile cleaning tools you own.

Dirt, grime, oils, and other messes can be extremely challenging to get rid of. You can try to scrub your mess with baking soda, vinegar, or borax as much as you want—but nothing cleans as efficiently and effectively as a pressure washer does. And, pressure washers aren’t limited just to “cleaning up messes” these days. They can also help you with restoring your deck, stripping paint off the wall so you can start fresh, sterilizing areas, and much, much more.

However, don’t just grab the pressure washer and start cleaning anything in sight. There are some instances where a pressure washer might do more damage than good. Keep reading to learn when to use a pressure washer – and how to use it properly.

Why Every Homeowner Should Have A Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are incredibly diverse. They can be used in both commercial and residential cleaning jobs. They also come in hot and cold models. If you’ve been holding back on getting a pressure washer all this time because of its price—we get it. But it will pay for itself tenfold over the course of its life.

You won’t have to spend as much on cleaning chemicals or other cleaning equipment. A pressure washer gets the job done much faster and easier than the traditional scrub and brush. But money is not the most important thing you’ll save by investing in a pressure washer – it is time. You can blast through even the toughest jobs much quicker through pressure washing.

Plus, there are tons of different uses for a pressure washer. From cleaning your house to cleaning your car, and everything in between. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at all the different instances when you can use a pressure washer.

The Different Instances When To Use A Pressure Washer

You can adjust a pressure washer’s power to fit different cleaning tasks. To ensure that you use your pressure washer properly and avoid damaging your property, we’ve included tips and advice for each instance. Let’s start with cleaning your sidings.


A yellow 15-degree nozzle is best for cleaning sidings. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom. Stay 3 to 4 feet away and use the low-pressure setting to avoid damage. This applies to wood, aluminum, and vinyl siding. Higher pressure can strip paint and accidentally damage the siding – so you use caution.

To get rid of heavy grime and dirt build-up, you may need to use detergent. If so, switch to the black pressure washer nozzle and apply the detergent to the siding starting from the bottom. Remove the detergent from the injector and switch back to the yellow nozzle. Rinse the detergent in the opposite direction to avoid streaking.

Make sure to rinse off all the detergent, especially for wood siding. You want to avoid drenching your wood sidings. If they soak up too much water, it may become a breeding ground for mold. It may also damage your insulation and your electric wiring. This can all be avoided by keeping the pressure low.

Soffits & Gutters

Our soffits and gutters can get easily clogged by leaves, dirt, and all kinds of debris. This can lower the value of your property and lead to damages that require expensive repairs. To keep your home in tip-top shape, maintain and clean your soffits and gutters regularly. Good news – you can rely on your trusty pressure washer here, too!

Like sidings, soffits and gutters are delicate surfaces. So, make sure to use a low-pressure nozzle here too. Using high pressure will damage them and cause water to leak into your attic.

Avoid standing directly under your soffits and gutters while they’re being cleaned. And, wear protective gear to prevent falling debris from getting onto you. Stand a few feet away and aim the pressure washer nozzle ahead and away to one side to keep yourself dry.

Be cautious when using a ladder and avoid placing them on slippery surfaces. It’s best to have someone assist you and hold the ladder as you clean.


The deck is probably one of the most satisfying areas to pressure wash. When cleaning wood decks, you can use a gas or electric pressure washer. Just make sure to use a 25-degree or 40-degree nozzle. Spray two to three feet away from the surface and try not to get closer than 6 inches to avoid chipping the wood.

Use a sweeping motion as you clean the deck and keep the distance of the spray wand consistent. Start cleaning nearest to the house and move outwards. Spray along the grain parallel to the deck boards. This approach will help avoid leaving any noticeable cleaning edges or hot spots on the wood.

To remove tough stains, you can use a chemical stripper to brighten up your wooden deck. Make sure to read the manual of your pressure washer and only use a chemical stripper fit for your model. Remember to rinse the chemical stripper and sand your deck once it’s dry if needed.


Enhance your curb appeal by getting rid of any caked-on dirt on your driveway. A pressure washer with 1,300 to 2,300 PSI is enough to wash a driveway. But using a 3,100 PSI pressure washer will get the job done faster.

Use a 25-degree pressure washer nozzle and attach it to your garden hose. Go over your driveway once with plain water to loosen any debris. Switch to a low-pressure soap nozzle and spray your driveway with detergent. Again, make sure to use a cleaner fit for your particular machine.

Let the cleaning solution sit to break down any mildew and built-up dirt. Once the cleaning solution has worked its magic, blast it away with your pressure washer using a 15-degree nozzle.


The garage is probably one of the dirtiest places in your home. This is especially true if you actually use your garage beyond just parking your car and storing things. Many people use this space for hobbies and crafts, or for work.

As such, all kinds of oil stains and dirt accumulate on the garage floor. Hot water pressure washers are ideal for getting rid of oil stains as they can break up the oil molecules more effectively than a cold pressure washer. For more tips, read our guide on the best uses for hot water pressure washers.

You should give your garage floor a good cleaning with the pressure washer at least once a year. You might as well include your garage door while you’re at it. If a hot pressure washer still isn’t enough to eviscerate the oil, don’t lose all hope just yet. You might have to use degreasers to get rid of stubborn stains. Use a 15-degree nozzle for the garage floor and a 25-degree or 40-degree nozzle for the garage doors.


If your white picket fences are starting to look a bit off-white, or even gray, a good pressure washing might be able to restore their original color. For wooden fences, make sure to use a 25-degree nozzle and stand at least two feet away to avoid damage to the wood itself.

A cold water pressure washer is safer for wooden fences. If you plan to use a detergent, make sure that it’s safe for wood. Use the black 65-degree nozzle for spraying the soap and rinse with the 25-degree nozzle afterward. Let your fence dry before adding sealer, if needed.


Brick chimneys get dirty very quickly, but they’re also extremely delicate. Before you do any pressure washing to a brick chimney, make sure to inspect the brickwork, both external and internal.

If there are any cracks in the brickwork, you have to use low-pressure—no higher than 400 PSI. Use a fan spray or a 40-degree pressure washer nozzle. Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom with a side-to-side motion.

Outdoor Furniture

Although outdoor patio furniture is built to withstand the elements, it still needs some routine cleaning now and then. If you have metal patio furniture with rust, a power washer is strong enough to blast away the rust. Some people advise against power washing outdoor patio furniture made from wicker as this can cause the wicker to warp. But, sturdy wooden furniture will survive with low-pressure cleaning.


Pools require regular maintenance, and there’s no better way to clean pool tiles than with a pressure washer. Before you begin to pressure wash your pool, make sure to drain it out completely. Go over the entire pool with a low-pressure wash using a 25-degree nozzle to loosen up any algae build-up on the tiles.

After going over it once, use a 15-degree nozzle to go over smaller surfaces that need extra attention. A pressure washer with 1200 to 2600 psi is ideal for washing pools. Anything over that may damage the tiles. Make sure to wear protective clothing and shoes when cleaning a pool. A long spray nozzle may come in handy for cleaning pools.


Pressure washing your windows can leave them looking squeaky clean. But, you must be careful in selecting your pressure and nozzle. If you don’t use the correct nozzle and pressure level, you could end up breaking your windows.

When pressure washing your windows, make sure to use a 40-degree nozzle or fan spray. Use a second-story nozzle kit or extension wand when cleaning a second or third-floor window to avoid using a ladder.


Cleaning your outdoor grills every two months can help them cook better and last longer. You can use both gas or electric pressure washers for grills. Just make sure the pressure washer is around 2,000 PSI.

Make sure to disconnect your grill’s gas or tank line before doing any pressure washing. If you’re using an electric starter, unplug it. For charcoal grills, remove the charcoal and remove the grill from the stand.

Pressure washing a grill can become messy. To avoid getting gunk everywhere, you can move your grill to the driveway or yard and clean it there. If your grill is built into one spot, cover the surrounding floors with a tarpaulin or paint drop cloth. Cover any surrounding furniture and plants as well.

Grills are most definitely going to be greasy, so you may end up needing a degreaser. Let the degreaser sit for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it off with a 40-degree nozzle spray wand.

Vehicles, Bikes & Boats

When it comes to vehicles, bikes, and boats, you need to use a pressure washer with a PSI below 2000. Anything higher than that will chip the paint. When washing cars, use a 25-degree nozzle for the wheels, then switch to a 40-degree nozzle when washing the rest of the car’s surface. Keep in mind the six-twelve rule—stay at least six inches away from the paint and 12 inches away from trim to avoid damage.

For bikes, only use a 40-degree nozzle for the entire bike. Make sure to dry and lubricate your bike to avoid rusting. Wipe off any excess lube as it can cause more dirt build-up, which will only take you back to square one.

Outdoor Play Area

If you have an outdoor play area at home for your kids, pressure washing it at least once a year can help get rid of any debris and dirt that may have accumulated over the months. It also protects your child from any possible microorganisms or fungi that might be growing on the surface. Contrary to popular belief, fungi don’t only grow on wood. They can survive on any surface—even plastic. To avoid giving your child ringworm, give their outdoor play area a good pressure wash.

Looking For Your Next Pressure Washer?

Now that you know all the different uses for a pressure washer, you’re probably sold on the idea of owning one yourself. Fortunately for you, we know just the place. For the best online pressure washer store, look no further than Hotsy Equipment Company!

Both homeowners and businesses alike love our collection of Hotsy Pressure Washers. Whether you’re looking for a pressure washer for your residence or your business, our pressure washers are sure to leave you satisfied.

We have cold water pressure waters and hot water pressure washers for sale. Want to know the difference between the two? We have a complete guide on the different uses for a hot and cold pressure washer.

Get a Hotsy pressure washer today and experience easy and faster cleaning. Not sure which pressure washer to get? Contact us, and we’ll gladly give you a recommendation to best fit your budget and your needs.

All Hotsy pressure washers are backed by a 7-year warranty on the high-pressure pump & a 5-year warranty on the heating coil. Get yours today!