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5 Mistakes Everyone Makes With Power Washers

Power washers are a great way to give your car, deck, or home exterior a remarkable clean. Using only the power of water, (with plenty of pressure, of course) you can lift years of grime in a relatively short amount of time.

But for as great as power washers are they do require a little bit of knowledge to use properly. There are common mistakes that many people make when they set out to use these remarkable tools.

What are these mistakes and how can you avoid making them? These are the questions that we will answer today. Read on to find out how you can avoid making mistakes with your power washer.

Mistake 1: Using too much power

It’s called a power washer for a reason, right? And that reason is so that you can use as much power as possible.

Pressure is definitely a good thing, but you will want to be a little bit nuanced about it. When you use too much pressure, it is going to leave unsightly watermarks on the thing that you were trying to clean. Which will, of course, lead to the need for more cleaning.

You don’t want that. It is pretty easily avoidable. The majority of good power washers are going to have adjust-ability settings. Every job will naturally require its own setting. We aren’t trying to say that you can never use the most powerful settings. If you have years and years of grime built up, you may need as much power as you can get to bust through it.

However, some jobs will allow for a little bit more nuance. Try using more moderate settings for jobs that can allow for it.

Mistake 2: Not using the right settings

If your water pressure doesn’t have multiple settings, it won’t be the end of the world. Though a little bit inconvenient, you can still use it successfully without making streak marks on your surfaces.

In situations where you need to use more pressure than is necessary, try to put a little bit more distance between the water nozzle and the surface.

This technique will decrease the force of the water upon the surface, and therefore lower your chances of creating streak marks.

Mistake 3: Not using the right equipment

Most commercial pressure washers are going to be right for most homes. However, there are minimum requirements to look out for. For instance, you want your washer to be able to output at least three gallons per minute.

This level of output is going to help you tackle most situations the way that they should be handled. A PSI of 3000 is also going to be handy for most tasks.

Mistake 4: Using the power washer places you shouldn’t

Forgetting that not everything is compatible with a pressure washer is a significant, but very common mistake.

For one thing, doors, and windows aren’t all sealed the same way. If your home has even small gaps in these areas, you are going to get water into the home.

The good news is that this issue can easily be avoided. Just inspect your doors and windows before you unleash the power washer on them. If you find significant gaps, avoid pointing the power washer at them. It’s easier to hand wash a window than it is to clean up a flooded living room, so be mindful.

Mistake 5: Cleaning Out of Order

Picture of roof

There is! This part of the process is important because if you don’t clean your home in the proper order, you will find yourself with a lot of tedious extra work.

Why? Well, let’s say you power wash the walls of your house first, and then you do the roof. What do you think is going to happen to the grime on your roof when you wash it? It’s going to slide ride down the walls of your home.

It sounds pretty obvious, but it’s also very easy not to think of. The best way to clean your home is to do it in descending order. Start with the roof, then the walls. Once you have done that you can finish with the sidewalks and the driveway.

Washing out of order won’t do any damage to your home, but it will make the process take far longer than it needs to. Why bother with all of that frustration?

Mistake 6: Not Using the Right Chemicals

The mistake that many homeowners make is not knowing when to enlist some chemical assistance.

If you have thick grime that took years to build up, you might not be able to get rid of all of it with cold water alone.

In these cases, you would have a much easier time using the detergent of your choosing.

On the flip side, you may not want to use cleaning agents for every job. Some people really like that chemicals are not necessary for using a power washer. If you want to clean your home using only water to avoid harmful chemicals, it is possible for some jobs.

The key is to be able to identify which tasks will need extra help. Caked on grime is going to be defeated much easier with soapy solutions.

Mistake 7: Using the power washer in ways that are unsafe

Picture of mold

Another really important thing to watch out for is mold or fungi. Not only will water not be able to fix these problems, it might make them worse.

Mold actually needs water to grow. So, when you spray it with a pressure washer, you are feeding the beast and spreading more mold particles while you do it.

If you spot mold on the exterior of your home, you may find it best to hire out for a mitigation service. They will be best suited to handle the problem.


Takeaway? Using a power washer is, for the most part, a safe and effective way to clean your home. Still, there are a few things you should watch out for.

Use an appropriate amount of pressure, wash smart, and know when to hire out for help and use detergent as needed.

Pressure washers are great, but they do demand a little bit of forethought. The good news? Using them the right way isn’t hard. Follow the steps that we have illustrated here today, and you won’t run into any problems.