Pressure Washing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Pressure Washer
  • Before pressure washing make sure to always fog or presoak the surface with a detergent, degreaser, or chemical presoak. Presoaking reduces wash time and chemical cost.
  • Hot water is a better solvent than cold water.
  • Always rinse detergent off the surface before it dries.
  • Commercial contractors generally use 4 to 6/gpm at 1500 to 3,500/psi for most cleaningapplications. An exception to this is wood cleaning. Here 500 to 2,000/psi is preferred with chemical cleaning to reduce the furring of the wood. Water flow rates of less than 4 gallons per minute – found on general consumer (homeowner) units – are not high enough to be competitive because of increased cleaning time, which raises labor costs.
  • Chemical dilution is largely a matter of personal preference. For most mobile power washing work, chemical costs run from three to five percent of gross sales, labor accounts for 30 to 45 percent, and fuel for heat is two to four percent. If chemicals and heat costs are reduced, labor costs increase because of increased work time. A slight increase in chemical and fuel costs actually reduces labor costs, because work time decreases.  Work smarter – soap and heat are cheaper than labor – not harder.
  • Washers with chemical injection before the pump, start out with the metering valve open 1/4 turn. Then adjust as needed.
  • W-200 Spray Wax is similar to spray wax used in coin-operated car washes. Apply the wax hot and follow with a cold rinse for fine surfaces like cars and pickups. On heavier surfaces, like homes and trailers, the cold rinse is not necessary. The application of wax extends the life of the wash job, makes subsequent cleaning easier, and enhances the overall appearance. Note: Because the application of wax will extend the life of a wash job, some contractors choose not to use it because they prefer to wash more often. Thereare two sides to this. While the use of wax may reduce your income because of the extended life of your cleaning, the enhanced appearance and extended life may generate more business because of the perceived quality of the work.
  • For fleet washing, wax in the rinse water reduces dirt adhesion and lessens subsequent washing time. In heavy concentrations, wax reduces cement adhesion on concrete trucks.
  • The tips provided in this section will reduce brushing to about five percent of the total workload. Typically, contractors only brush in the spring or the fall, or as needed.
  • Brushing once or twice per year at a specified time allows the contractor to prepare and schedule extra, short-term, help for those designated times.
  • For Environmental Power Washing Techniques read Report 507.


Service Question(s) of the Day!?

Pressure Washing
Pressure Washing

Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

We go beyond to give 110% when it comes to quality customer service and fully satisfying our customers.


What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What’s your answer?

Our customers usually ask us, “Does your company sell and service pressure washers?” and our answer is always “Yes, we sell and service all forms of industrial equipment”.

How do I add the anti-freeze and water solution to a pressure washer?


If you must store your pressure washer in a location where the temperature is below 32°F, you can minimize the chance of damage to your machine by utilizing the following procedure:

1. Shut off the water supply and relieve pressure in the spray gun by depressing the trigger.
2. Disconnect the garden hose from the pressure washer, but the leave the high-pressure hose connected.
3. Tip the unit on its side with the inlet connection pointing up.
4. Insert a small funnel (to prevent spilling) into the inlet and pour in a 50/50 solution of antifreeze* and water.
5. Disconnect spark plug wire.
6. Without connecting the garden hose, pull the recoil several times to circulate the antifreeze in the pump system.
7. Continue to add antifreeze and pull the recoil until the antifreeze is expelled when the trigger is pulled.
8. Turn the unit upright.

Pressure Washer Nozzle Usage


0º – red nozzle: Narrow and powerful stream of water. Used for very difficult to remove stains, caked mud, tough dirt.
15º – yellow nozzle: Uses a small angle of spray for focused cleaning. Good for somewhat difficult to remove dirt.
25º – green nozzle: Uses a medium angle of spray for washing sensitive and soft surfaces (deck, fence, aluminum etc.)
40º – white nozzle: Largest angle of spray used for cleaning surfaces quickly and for rinsing.
65º – soap (black) nozzle: Soap tip is used in conjunction with the cleaning fluid. This is the only nozzle that can be used with cleaning solutions.

How do I clean clogged nozzles in pressure washers?


1. Always disconnect your spray wand from the gun before cleaning your nozzles!
2. Clear the nozzle with a small rigid piece of wire such as a paper clip.
3. Flush the nozzle backwards with water.
4. Reconnect the wand to the gun
5. Restart the pressure washer and depress the trigger on the spray gun.
If the nozzle is still plugged or partially plugged, repeat number 1-4.

If the previous procedure does not clear the nozzle, replace with a new nozzle.

What is Power Washing?


Power washing, or pressure washing, is the growing application of high pressure water spray. Produced by specially designed pumps, this spray is a hundred times more powerful than the typical garden hose. On concrete it is used to remove unsightly mold, bubble gum, and other dirt stains. Wooden decks are returned to the look of new wood, void of graying and fatigued finishes. And on houses, the appearance of siding (namely aluminum and vinyl) is greatly improved by removing pollution, mildew, and other signs of neglect.

Service Question Of The Day!?


What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

How much experience does their machine technicians have on working on certain products? Can I have a quote on the cost? How long will fixing certain machines take or how long will it take for certain parts or machinery equipment take to come in?

Pressure Washers Storage During the Winter Season

Hot Water Pressure Washers
Hot Water Pressure Washers

If you store your pressure washer during the winter months, make sure you properly prepare it. Here are some simple steps to take before closing down for the off-season that will ensure your equipment is ready to go once the temperatures warm up.

Antifreeze your pressure washer as described in the Freeze Prevention Tips section, using automotive antifreeze for storage of your pressure washer. I have personally seen units stored over five years with automotive antifreeze with no problems except to pop the pump inlet valves.

Get a fuel stabilizer from an auto parts store and add it to the fuel tank to keep your fuel from turning into varnish and to prevent the gaskets in the carburetor from going bad. An even better practice is to drain the tank and run the unit until it is out of gas.

Remove the spark plug wires and spray WD-40 into the carburetor while turning over the engine to coat everything with oil.

Remove the spark plugs and spray WD-40 into the cylinders or put in some “Marvel Mystery” brand oil. Turn the engine over a few times to coat the cylinder walls.

Change the engine oil, oil filter, and fuel filter. If you do not change the engine oil, the sludge will collect on the bottom of the oil pan and solidify. If there is any water in the fuel filter, it may freeze and break.

Top off the fuel tank to keep moisture from condensing inside the fuel tank. This will prevent steel fuel tanks from rusting and keep water out of the fuel.
Disconnect the battery to avoid a trickle discharge.

Preventing your Bay Doors from Freezing

  • If the doors have steel rollers, change them to magnesium-type rollers
  • Install proper weather stripping around the doors
  • Make sure the doors are well lubricated and serviced
  • Insulate doors with Styrofoam panels
  • Install a heater at the threshold of the door.
  • Keep only one door open at a time to avoid a creating a wind tunnel

In the spring, put in fresh fuel, replace the spark plugs, and start your pressure washer. If it is hard to start, spray WD-40 into the carburetor intake the same way you would starting fluid. This makes ignition easier than using fluid. When reconnecting the battery, clean and apply an ample supply of grease to the connections to prevent corrosion.

In the spring, de-lime the coils with Scale Away Deliming Acid and add Red Devil Soot Remover to the diesel or kerosene used for your burner. Put a trickle charge on your battery for a couple of hours to assure a full charge before starting, and use WD-40 when starting to help establish fuel flow.

Service Question of the Day!?


What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

 What we recommend to customers looking for a provider like us is to check our website out “” and give us a chance to satisfy their chemical and machinery needs. We strive for performance, quality, and customer service, so even though we may not be as big as some companies out there we get the job done right the first time. We give customers a positive and memorable customer experience that strongly sets us apart from our competition.


Generator Fun Facts

Portable Generator
Portable Generator

–If you actually want to plug something in to your generator which lives more than 20 feet away, prepare to spend as much on heavy gauge power cords as you would for yearly passes to the water slide park for a family of four.


–They are every bit as heavy as you feared. Luckily, they have wheels. This is when you’ll discover that the place you want to put your generator does not have pavement.


–You apparently need about a million watts of generator capacity if you plan on actually using a major appliance–like, say, your electric razor. That’s because–at least according to the “sizing charts” that accompany generators–even the most innocuous appliances are given to wild streaks when–like the Hulk when you make him angry–they surge to 20 times their original power. That fridge you’ve been monitoring at 22 watts all year? According to lore, it can surge up to 1750 watts when something (the defroster?) sets it off. Consider yourself warned.


–GFCI outlets and computers don’t mix. This is the big one, and really the whole excuse for writing this post. You see, a GFCI outlet (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is standard on most portable generators, and is used to make sure you don’t kill yourself by taking the genny with you as you take a quick dip in the pool. The idea is, if it ever sees even a tiny disparity in the generated power vs. What it senses on the neutral wire, it’ll throw the breaker so that your loved ones will be safe as they fish your body out of the shallow end.