What Can I Clean with a Pressure Washer?

Got a pressure washer? We're here to help. Learn all the things you can clean with a pressure washer

The lowdown on all the things you can clean with a pressure washer

When you’re dealing with stuck-on dirt and grime that just won’t go away, a pressure washer may be the perfect solution. Pressure washers work by spraying water at a high enough pressure that it can loosen dirt on tough-to-clean surfaces, taking off years of mold, caked-on mud, and other forms of debris. There is no end to the things you can clean with a pressure washer!

Whether you own a pressure washer or are just renting one for the day, you can get a lot of use out of this portable machine. Below you’ll find some of the most common things you can clean with a pressure washer.

1. Pressure Wash Outdoor Furniture

One of the most common items that can be cleaned with a pressure washer is outdoor furniture. This includes the likes of patio chairs, tables, and whatever other type of furniture you have stored outside during the more pleasant seasons (or year-round!). Just be sure that the furniture that you’re washing is plastic, vinyl, wood, or metal. You do not want to pressure wash fabric unless you know that it is non-sensitive to water and able to withstand heavy pressure.

2. Pressure Wash Cars and Vehicles

If you like to go off-roading, or if your vehicle has simply seen its fair share of dirt, mud, and splattered bugs, then a pressure washer can be a major help. Instead of spending hours hand-scrubbing your car, you can use a pressure washer to quickly give your car a cleanup.

Along with cars, other types of vehicles can also be safely cleaned with a power washer. This includes boats, tractors, jet skis, snowmobiles, and ATVs. If it’s made to take you somewhere, it can most likely handle the intensity of a pressure water cleaning.

Before you pressure wash a vehicle, make sure you close all windows to prevent the inside of the vehicle from accruing water damage. Similarly, you’ll want to be extra careful when power washing soft top Jeeps and convertibles.

3. Pressure Wash Decks and Fences

Decks and fences acquire grime quickly, and it makes sense. After all, both of them remain outdoors year-round weathering the elements, no matter how harsh they may be. Using a power washer on decks and fences may surprise you when it comes to the outcome. A good power wash can leave your surfaces looking like they are brand new, removing layers of mold, slime, algae, dirt, and mud. Another added bonus? Your deck will be less slippery after a power wash, thanks to the water pressure’s ability to clear off mildew.

4. Pressure Wash Driveways and Concrete Paths

While we may not think of concrete driveways and paths as being particularly dirty, the truth is that they can acquire quite a bit of sludge over time. Because concrete is such a durable material, you can really go to town when power washing your driveway and concrete pathways.

5. Pressure Wash Glass Windows

It’s amazing what a pressure wash can do when used on glass windows. If your home’s windows have been looking dull lately or in need of a good cleaning, skip the ladder and pick up a pressure washer instead. Along with giving your windows a nice shine, a pressure washing should also remove enough grime to bring in more sunlight through the windows, making your indoor space brighter and warmer.

As when washing a vehicle, you’ll want to make sure your windows are completely closed before you begin the pressure washing process. Remove window air conditioners or any outdoor decorations such as wind chimes or window decals before starting your pressure cleaning.

Should I Pressure Wash?

If you’re ever unsure of whether or not a surface can handle a pressure cleaning, it’s best to start with a small area of the surface. If you’re afraid that the intensity of the water pressure will damage the material, hold off on using the pressure washer until you’re certain it’s safe, and follow basic and sensible advice on pressure washer dos and don'ts.

Generally speaking, wooden decks, concrete walkways, driveways, and vinyl siding are all safe surfaces for pressure cleaning. However, stained wood, painted surfaces, electrical panels, meters, asphalt roofing, plants, and mold-vulnerable surfaces should never be pressured washed. Pressure washing these surfaces could damage them, or worse, lead to long-term problems with stability or functionality.

Resources— Consumer Reports, We Keep It Clean, Pressure Washr