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What are Pressure Washers Used For?

17+ Pressure Washer Uses

Pressure washers are powerful cleaning tools that use high-pressure water jets to blast away dirt, grime, and stains from various surfaces across residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

In this article, we’ll explore the many uses of pressure washers and discuss some important safety and environmental considerations to keep in mind when using these powerful machines.

Quick Answer
Pressure washers are ideally suited to a wide variety of cleaning and maintenance tasks around the home, including:

  • Cleaning driveways
  • Cleaning exterior walls and sidings
  • Cleaning sidewalks and walkways
  • Cleaning roof coverings
  • Cleaning gutters and soffits
  • Cleaning patios and decks
  • Cleaning awnings
  • Cleaning garage doors
  • Cleaning garden fences
  • Cleaning lawn equipment
  • Cleaning outdoor furniture
  • Cleaning garden tools
  • Cleaning garden ornaments
  • Cleaning garbage or recycling bins
  • Cleaning BBQ grills
  • Cleaning swimming pools and hot tubs
  • Cleaning vehicles such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats
  • Stripping paint


What are Pressure Washers Used For? – Common Pressure Washer Uses

Cleaning Hard Surfaces to Remove Dirt and Stains

One of the most common uses of pressure washers is cleaning hard surfaces around your home. These surfaces can accumulate a lot of dirt, grime, and stains over time, and traditional cleaning methods like sweeping and scrubbing can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. A pressure washer can quickly and easily remove these tough stains to leave the surface looking new.

You can use a pressure washer to blast dirt and grime away from your home’s driveway and walkways, for example, leaving these looking clean and inviting. You can also use the high-pressure water to remove stains and dirt from your patio or deck, making these outside spaces more enjoyable to spend time on. Using a pressure washer on other exterior areas around your home can also be a good idea, including roof coverings, gutters and soffits, garden fences, and even garage doors to remove the dirt, cobwebs, and other stains that can detract from your property’s curb appeal.

Completing Landscaping and Outdoor Maintenance Tasks

Pressure washers can also be handy for completing landscaping and other outdoor maintenance tasks, for example:

  • Cleaning lawn equipment – You can use a pressure washer to remove dirt, grass clippings, and other debris from lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other landscaping equipment.
  • Cleaning outdoor furniture – The high-pressure output from a pressure washer is ideal for cleaning patio furniture, outdoor cushions, awnings, and other garden items that may have accumulated dirt or stains.
  • Cleaning garden tools – Rakes, shovels, and other gardening tools can become caked with dirt and debris over time. You can use a pressure washer to remove this dirt and grime, making the tools easier to use and maintain.
  • Cleaning garden ornaments – Using a pressure washer is a quick and easy way to clean garden ornaments, such as gnomes or birdbaths that have lost their sheen.
  • Cleaning garbage or recycling bins – Using a pressure washer can make cleaning a garbage can or recycling bin easier and more efficient than manually scrubbing the inside with a hose, rag, or sponge. Cleaning these containers using high-pressure water can help prevent the build-up of grime which could otherwise erode the bottom of the cans and shorten their lifespan.
  • Cleaning BBQ grills – A pressure washer can be a helpful tool for quickly and effectively cleaning a gas or charcoal grill, removing the blackened crust and other built-up grime that a wire brush may not be able to remove. It’s essential to disconnect any sensitive electrical components and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, but using a pressure washer can save time and energy versus manually cleaning the grill and help to maintain its performance and longevity.
  • Cleaning swimming pools – A pressure washer can be an effective and efficient tool for cleaning a swimming pool, reducing cleaning time compared to brushing with a pool pole attachment. Using a pressure washer on concrete below-ground pools is safe, but we don’t recommend pressure washing vinyl or fiberglass above-ground pools as the high-pressure water may damage the walls. Chlorine in the pool can leave a resin-like coating on the walls and floor if left unchecked, and seasonal cleaning and winter storage can cause stains on the pool’s rim. A pressure washer can help remove these stains and keep the pool clean.
  • Stripping paint or prepping surfaces for painting or staining – Before painting or staining an outdoor surface, it is vital to clean and prepare the surface to ensure proper adhesion. You can use a pressure washer to remove any existing paint along with the dirt, grime, and other contaminants that could interfere with the new layer of paint or stain.

Overall, a pressure washer can be a helpful tool for completing various outdoor maintenance tasks, helping keep your landscaping and outdoor spaces looking clean and well-maintained.

Cleaning Vehicles

Another use for pressure washers is cleaning vehicles, including cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, and even boats.

Using a pressure washer alongside a detergent can help make these vehicles shine like new by removing hard-to-clean stains such as road salt or brake dust.

It’s also possible to clean a vehicle’s undercarriage or engine bay using a pressure washer (although we recommend checking with the manufacturer first, and it’s usually necessary to disconnect the electrical components before starting), and doing so can remove the dirt and grime from these hard to reach areas to give a more thorough clean.


Pressure Washer Safety & Environmental Considerations

When using a pressure washer for any of the above tasks, it is vital to keep safety in mind. These machines can generate an extremely high level of water pressure, so following proper the manufacturer’s usage guidelines and wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and earplugs is essential.

We also recommend taking some time to consider the environmental impact of using a pressure washer. While pressure washers typically use less water than a hosepipe, they can still lead to a significant amount of contaminants being released into the environment if misused. To minimize environmental impact while using a pressure washer, we recommend using eco-friendly cleaning products and properly disposing of wastewater per local laws and regulations.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Does a Pressure Washer Work?

A pressure washer uses a high-pressure water stream to blast away dirt, grime, and other debris from surfaces. It consists of a motor, a pump, and a hose with a nozzle attached.

The motor drives the pump, which forces water from a low-pressure inlet through a narrow passage and out the nozzle at high pressure. You can adjust the nozzle to produce a wider or narrower stream of water; on most machines, it is also possible to change the pressure.

When you use a pressure washer, you hold the nozzle and direct the water stream to the surface you want to clean. The high-pressure water removes dirt and debris from the surface, and the excess water and debris then wash away.

2. Are Pressure Washers Safe to Use?

Yes, pressure washers are generally safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines. You should always follow proper usage and handling guidelines to avoid injury or damage, including wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and earplugs.

3. What Are the Different Types of Pressure Washers Available?

There are two main types of pressure washers available on the market: electric and gas-powered.

Electric pressure washers are generally more lightweight and quieter, making them a good choice for residential use. They are also typically easier to maintain and operate.

Gas-powered pressure washers are more powerful and are usually better suited for commercial and industrial use on larger cleaning tasks or for use in areas without access to an electrical outlet.

4. Can I Pressure Wash My Own Home, or Do I Need to Hire a Professional?

You can pressure wash your home as long as you have the necessary equipment and take the proper precautions to avoid damaging the surfaces or causing injury to yourself or others. However, pressure washing can be time-consuming and physically demanding, and it may be more efficient and cost-effective to hire a professional pressure washing company.

If you decide to pressure wash your own home, here are a few things to consider:

  • Use the right equipment – Make sure you have a good-quality pressure washer appropriate for the surfaces you will be cleaning. The pressure washer should have adjustable pressure settings, so you can reduce the pressure as needed to avoid damaging the surfaces.
  • Follow safety guidelines – Wear protective clothing, including goggles and gloves, and avoid spraying yourself or others with high-pressure water.
  • Use the right cleaning solutions – Choose appropriate solutions for the surfaces you are cleaning and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and use.
  • Test a small area first – Before washing the entire surface, test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure the pressure and cleaning solution will not cause any damage.

If you are not comfortable pressure washing your own home or do not have the necessary equipment, it may be best to hire a professional.

Pressure washing companies have the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively clean a wide range of surfaces, and you can get multiple quotes quickly and easily by clicking the button below.

You Could Save Up to 40% By Comparing Pressure Washing Quotes.


In Summary

In conclusion, pressure washers are versatile cleaning tools that you can use for various tasks, including cleaning hard surfaces to remove dirt and stains, completing landscaping and outdoor maintenance tasks, and cleaning vehicles.

Commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings, pressure washers are valuable tools for keeping surfaces clean and well-maintained, but it’s critical to follow proper usage and handling guidelines to minimize potential safety issues and environmental concerns. By following these guidelines, you can make the most of this powerful cleaning tool and keep your home or business as safely and efficiently as possible.

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toolcrowd expert writer profile image
Author: Jack Burton
Pressure Washing Specialist Writer, ToolCrowd
Jack's journey into the world of pressure washing began over two decades ago, driven by a deep-rooted passion for revitalizing properties and a commitment to delivering exceptional service.
In 1996, Jack embarked on his own venture in pressure washing, with a clear goal in mind: to combine top-quality workmanship with dependable reliability. He specializes in a wide array of pressure washing techniques, adept at handling projects ranging from quaint residential homes to extensive commercial properties. For Jack, pressure washing is more than just cleaning — it's about caring for and preserving each property with meticulous attention.
Jack's approach to business is simple yet effective: prioritize the client's needs above all. Whether it’s a single clean-up or regular property maintenance, he tailors his services to meet the unique requirements of each client. Recognized as a go-to consultant in the field of pressure washing, Jack is always ready to offer his expert advice.
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