Pressure Washing Dos and Don’ts for Beginners

Pressure Washing Dos and Don’ts for Beginners

Pressure washing is an effective and time-saving technique to clean various outdoor surfaces. Whether it’s your patio, driveway, deck, or the exterior of your house, pressure washing can restore their beauty and remove stubborn stains, grime, and mildew. However, like any powerful tool, pressure washers can be dangerous if not used correctly. In this article, we will explore the dos and don’ts of pressure washing for beginners to ensure a safe and efficient cleaning process.

Pressure Washing


What is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing, also known as power washing, involves using high-pressure water spray to clean surfaces. The pressure washer pumps water at a high force, allowing it to remove dirt, mold, algae, and other contaminants effectively. The water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and the right PSI varies depending on the surface being cleaned.

The Benefits of Pressure Washing:

Before diving into the dos and don’ts, let’s briefly touch upon the benefits of pressure washing:

  • Enhanced Curb Appeal: Pressure washing can instantly improve the appearance of your property, making it look well-maintained and inviting.
  • Preventive Maintenance: Regular pressure washing can prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, which can lead to long-term damage to surfaces.
  • Saves Time and Effort: Pressure washing is a quick and efficient cleaning method, saving you time and energy compared to traditional scrubbing.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Pressure washing generally uses less water than traditional cleaning methods, making it environmentally friendly.

Dos and Don’ts of Pressure Washing for Beginners:

4.1 Safety Precautions:

Safety should always be the top priority when using a pressure washer. Follow these safety guidelines:

  • Do: Wear protective gear, such as safety goggles and closed-toe shoes, to shield yourself from debris and splashing water.
  • Do: Familiarize yourself with the pressure washer’s manual and operating instructions.
  • Don’t: Point the pressure washer nozzle at people, pets, or yourself.

4.2 Choosing the Right Pressure Washer:

Selecting the appropriate pressure washer for the job is essential for optimal results:

  • Do: Assess the cleaning needs and choose the PSI accordingly. Higher PSI is suitable for tough stains, while lower PSI is safer for delicate surfaces.
  • Do: Rent or purchase a pressure washer from a reputable supplier.
  • Don’t: Use a pressure washer with an excessively high PSI for light cleaning tasks, as it can cause damage.

4.3 Selecting the Appropriate Nozzle:

The nozzle determines the spray pattern and intensity of the water:

  • Do: Use a wide-angle nozzle for lighter cleaning and a narrow-angle nozzle for stubborn stains.
  • Do: Test the nozzle on a small inconspicuous area before starting the main cleaning.
  • Don’t: Use a narrow-angle nozzle on delicate surfaces, as it can cause etching or gouging.

4.4 Cleaning Surfaces Properly:

Knowing how to clean different surfaces is crucial to prevent damage:

  • Do: Hold the pressure washer nozzle at a 45-degree angle to the surface to avoid direct impact.
  • Do: Move the nozzle in even, overlapping strokes to ensure uniform cleaning.
  • Don’t: Use the pressure washer too close to the surface, as it can cause surface gouging.

4.5 Avoiding Sensitive Areas:

Certain areas should be avoided during pressure washing:

  • Do: Cover electrical outlets, outdoor lights, and exposed wires to prevent water damage.
  • Do: Keep a safe distance from windows, as high-pressure water can crack or shatter them.
  • Don’t: Pressure wash painted or loose wood, as it can cause splintering and damage the paint.

4.6 Using the Right Cleaning Solutions:

Some surfaces may require additional cleaning solutions for optimal results:

  • Do: Use environmentally-friendly cleaning agents designed for pressure washers.
  • Do: Pre-soak surfaces with cleaning solution for tough stains.
  • Don’t: Use bleach or harsh chemicals, especially on plants and vegetation.

4.7 Maintaining Proper Technique:

Mastering the proper pressure washing technique is essential:

  • Do: Keep a consistent distance between the nozzle and the surface for even cleaning.
  • Do: Take breaks to avoid fatigue and ensure better control over the equipment.
  • Don’t: Pressure wash in a sweeping motion, as it can cause streaking.

4.8 Cleaning Frequency:

Knowing how often to pressure wash can extend the life of surfaces:

  • Do: Pressure wash surfaces annually or as needed to prevent extensive buildup.
  • Do: Regularly clean high-traffic areas to keep them looking their best.
  • Don’t: Overuse pressure washing, as excessive force can damage surfaces over time.

4.9 Avoiding Pressure Washing in Certain Conditions:

There are certain conditions when pressure washing is not suitable:

  • Do: Avoid pressure washing during windy weather to prevent debris from flying back at you.
  • Do: Postpone pressure washing if the surface is extremely hot to avoid streaking.
  • Don’t: Pressure wash during freezing temperatures, as water can freeze on surfaces and cause damage.

4.10 Protecting Surrounding Plants and Objects:

Protecting your surroundings during pressure washing is crucial:

  • Do: Cover delicate plants and shrubs with plastic or wet them before cleaning.
  • Do: Move outdoor furniture and objects away from the cleaning area.
  • Don’t: Allow cleaning solutions or debris to come into contact with plants and objects.

4.11 Post-Cleaning Tips:

After pressure washing, follow these steps for proper clean-up and maintenance:

  • Do: Rinse away any cleaning solution thoroughly.
  • Do: Store the pressure washer and accessories properly.
  • Don’t: Allow water to remain on surfaces for extended periods, as it can lead to mold growth.

Pressure Washing


Revitalize your home’s outdoor spaces and witness the game-changing power of pressure washing with Crestview Window Cleaning in Portland! Our expert team is here to guide beginners like you on the dos and don’ts of using pressure washers safely and effectively. Prioritize safety, choose the right equipment, and be mindful of the surfaces you clean. Take the first step towards a cleaner and more appealing home today – contact Crestview Window Cleaning in Portland and experience the joy of happy pressure washing!


Is pressure washing safe for all surfaces?

Pressure washing is generally safe for most surfaces when used correctly. However, delicate surfaces like painted wood and certain types of siding may require lower pressure.

Can I use regular soap with a pressure washer?

It is best to use cleaning solutions specifically designed for pressure washers to avoid damaging the equipment and achieve optimal results.

Can pressure washing remove oil stains from the driveway?

Yes, pressure washing can effectively remove oil stains from driveways, especially when combined with suitable cleaning agents.

How often should I pressure wash my house’s exterior?

It is recommended to pressure wash your house’s exterior once a year or as needed, depending on the level of dirt and grime buildup.

Can pressure washing damage my plants?

Yes, high-pressure water can damage delicate plants. To protect them, cover them with plastic or wet them before pressure washing nearby areas.