top of page

Pressure Washing Mistakes: How to Avoid Common Errors

Pressure washing is an excellent way to give your home exterior a fresh and clean look. However, if you’re not careful, it can also cause damage to your property. In this section, we’ll walk you through some common pressure washing mistakes that homeowners make and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Avoid using the highest pressure setting on your pressure washer, as it can cause damage to your surfaces.

  2. Remember to use the correct nozzle for the surface you’re cleaning, to prevent any unnecessary harm.

  3. Don’t neglect safety equipment when pressure washing to prevent personal injuries.

  4. Never point the nozzle at people, pets, or delicate landscaping.

  5. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a pressure washer and follow them correctly for best results.

Common Pressure Washing Errors

Pressure washing is a powerful tool for cleaning your home exterior, but it’s essential to understand the common errors that many homeowners make before starting your project. These mistakes can lead to inadequate cleaning and damage to your property. Here are some of the most frequent errors you should avoid:

1. Using the wrong pressure setting

Not all surfaces require the same pressure level. Failing to use the appropriate pressure setting for a specific surface can lead to damage. For example, using high pressure to clean delicate surfaces like wood can cause splintering, while low pressure may not be sufficient for concrete driveways. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions or consult with a professional to ensure you use the correct pressure setting.

2. Starting too close to the surface

Starting too close to the surface is another common mistake that can lead to damage. The ideal distance from the surface will depend on the pressure washer’s power, the surface material, and the nozzle’s type. In general, it’s recommended to start at least three feet away from the surface and gradually decrease the distance until you achieve the desired cleaning effect.

3. Neglecting protective gear

A pressure washer produces a powerful stream of water that can cause serious injuries. Neglecting protective gear is a common mistake that can lead to accidents and injuries. Always wear eye protection, hearing protection, gloves, and appropriate clothing when using a pressure washer.

4. Using the wrong cleaning solution

Using the wrong cleaning solution or not using any at all can result in poor cleaning performance and incomplete removal. It’s important to choose the right cleaning solution for each surface. For example, using an acidic cleaner on a concrete surface can cause etching, while using a harsh detergent on delicate surfaces can cause discoloration. Always read the instructions and test a small area before applying the cleaner to the entire surface.

5. Rinsing inadequately

Thoroughly rinsing the surface after cleaning is vital to avoid streaks and residue. Many homeowners skip this step, leading to poor results. Take the time to rinse the surface thoroughly with low pressure to remove all cleaning solution and dirt.

Avoiding these common pressure washing errors can help you achieve better cleaning results and protect your property from damage. Keep them in mind and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of your pressure washing project.

Pressure Washing Do’s and Don’ts

If you are planning on pressure washing your home, it is essential to know the do’s and don’ts beforehand. Following these guidelines will help you avoid unnecessary damages to your property and ensure a successful pressure washing experience.


  1. Do use the appropriate pressure washing nozzle for the job. Different nozzles produce different spray angles and pressures. Using the wrong nozzle can cause severe damage to your surfaces.

  2. Do test the pressure washer on a small and inconspicuous area first. This will allow you to determine the appropriate pressure and ensure that the surface can handle it.

  3. Do wear protective gear, such as goggles and gloves, to avoid injuries to your eyes and skin from debris and chemicals.

  4. Do always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your pressure washer carefully, including assembly, use, and maintenance.

  5. Do use an appropriate cleaning solution for the surface you’re cleaning. For example, use a mild detergent for home siding and surfaces and a degreaser for driveways and garages.

  6. Do keep a safe distance from the surface you are cleaning. Depending on the pressure, getting too close can cause damage or injury.


  1. Don’t use high-pressure settings on delicate surfaces, such as wood or painted areas. This can cause severe damage and even strip off the paint.

  2. Don’t aim the pressure washer toward electrical outlets or wiring.

  3. Don’t use hot water for pressure washing unless specified in the instructions, as this can also cause damage and warping to some surfaces.

  4. Don’t leave the pressure washer unattended while in use.

  5. Don’t pressure wash on a ladder or other unstable surface. Always work on a stable and level surface.

  6. Don’t use a pressure washer near children or pets, or aim it at them. High-pressure water can cause serious injuries.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure a successful pressure washing experience while maintaining the integrity of your property. Always take the necessary precautions, read up on the manufacturer’s instructions, and be aware of the potential risks of pressure washing.

pressure washing do's and don'ts

Frequently Made Pressure Washing Mistakes

If you’re planning to pressure wash your home, it’s important to be aware of the frequent mistakes that homeowners make during the process. Avoiding these errors will ensure that your home exterior looks clean without any unnecessary damage. Here are some of the frequently made pressure washing mistakes:

Not Preparing the Surface Properly

One of the most common errors is not preparing the surface for pressure washing. This includes removing any debris, plants, or items that may obstruct the cleaning process. Failure to do so can lead to uneven cleaning and may cause damage to the surface you’re cleaning.

Using the Wrong Pressure Setting

Another mistake is using the wrong pressure setting for your surface. Too much pressure can cause damage, while too little pressure may not be effective in cleaning the surface. Be sure to adjust the pressure setting to the appropriate level for the specific surface you’re cleaning.

Using the Wrong Detergent

Using the wrong detergent can also be a mistake. Some surfaces require specific detergents or none at all. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before using any cleaning solution for your pressure washer.

Standing Too Close to the Surface

Standing too close to the surface while pressure washing can cause damage or injury. Always maintain a safe distance and adjust your position accordingly to avoid any accidents.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Finally, ignoring safety precautions can be a costly mistake. Wear protective clothing such as goggles and gloves, and avoid pressure washing near electrical sources or while on a ladder.

Frequently Made Pressure Washing Mistakes

Common Blunders in Pressure Washing

Pressure washing can do wonders for removing dirt and grime from your home exterior, but if you’re not careful, you can also make some costly mistakes. Here are some of the most common blunders to avoid:

Overusing Pressure

One of the biggest mistakes people make when pressure washing is using too much force. High-pressure settings can cause damage to delicate materials, such as wood, vinyl, and stucco. Be sure to adjust the pressure settings based on the surface you’re cleaning. For instance, if you’re washing your deck, use a lower pressure setting than you would for your driveway.

Using the Wrong Nozzle

The type of nozzle you use is also important. Using a nozzle with too narrow of a spray pattern can damage surfaces, while a nozzle with too wide of a pattern can be ineffective. To get the best results, choose a nozzle with a spray angle that matches the surface you’re cleaning. For instance, a 25-degree nozzle works well for most surfaces, while a 15-degree nozzle is best for tougher jobs.

Skipping the Cleaning Solution

Using a cleaning solution can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your pressure washing. Some homeowners make the mistake of thinking that water alone will do the job, but a cleaning solution can help break up and remove stubborn dirt and grime. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and use the appropriate cleaning solution based on the surface you’re cleaning.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Pressure washing can be dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Always wear protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and closed-toe shoes. Be sure to also secure any loose clothing and tie back long hair. Additionally, be careful when working on ladders or other elevated surfaces, and never point the pressure washer at yourself or anyone else.BlunderSolutionLeaving StreaksKeep the nozzle moving and overlap each pass to prevent streaks.Starting Too CloseBegin with the nozzle at least 3 feet away from the surface and move closer as needed.Not Cleaning GuttersUse a specialized attachment to clean gutters and prevent clogs.

Avoiding these common blunders can help you achieve the best results with your pressure washing project. Remember to take your time, follow safety guidelines, and use the appropriate pressure and cleaning methods for each surface.


Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the article and now have a better understanding of the top pressure washing mistakes to avoid. Remember, by following the proper techniques and avoiding these common errors, you can achieve a clean and beautiful home exterior without any unnecessary problems.

Additional Tips for Successful Pressure Cleaning

Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, here are some additional tips to help you achieve the best possible outcome:

  1. Always read the instructions on your pressure washer carefully before use.

  2. Wear protective clothing and eyewear to avoid injury.

  3. Test the pressure washer on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won’t damage your surfaces.

  4. Ensure that you’re using the right nozzle and spray pattern for the surface you’re cleaning.

  5. Take breaks to avoid over-exerting yourself and causing unnecessary fatigue.

  6. Clean your pressure washer after each use to prolong its lifespan.

By following these tips and avoiding the common power washing mistakes outlined in this article, you can ensure a successful and efficient pressure washing experience. Good luck!


What are some common pressure washing mistakes?

Some common pressure washing mistakes include using too much pressure, using the wrong nozzle for the surface being cleaned, not prepping the area properly, and neglecting to use protective gear.

What are the do’s and don’ts of pressure washing?

Some important pressure washing do’s include using the appropriate pressure for the surface, using the correct cleaning solutions, and wearing safety goggles and gloves. Don’ts include aiming the pressure washer at people or pets, using excessive pressure on delicate surfaces, and neglecting to test a small area first.

What are frequently made pressure washing mistakes?

Frequently made pressure washing mistakes include leaving streaks on the surface, causing damage to delicate surfaces like wood or paint, and not cleaning from the bottom up. Additionally, not rinsing the surface thoroughly and neglecting to use proper cleaning solutions can also lead to unsatisfactory results.

What are some common blunders in pressure washing?

Some common blunders in pressure washing are leaving marks from the pressure washer wand, using the wrong cleaning solutions, and not taking into account the weather conditions. It’s also important to avoid pressure washing electrical components or using excessive pressure near windows or doors.

What are the top pressure washing mistakes to avoid?

The top pressure washing mistakes to avoid are using too much pressure, neglecting safety gear, using the wrong cleaning solutions, and not prepping the area properly. It’s also important to avoid pressure washing delicate surfaces without caution and not following the manufacturer’s guidelines for your pressure washer.

What are some common errors in pressure cleaning?

Some common errors in pressure cleaning include causing damage to surfaces by using too much pressure or the wrong nozzle, leaving streaks or residue behind, and not properly maintaining the pressure washer equipment. It’s also important to avoid pressure washing without proper training or knowledge.

What are common power washing mistakes?

Common power washing mistakes include not adjusting the pressure for different surfaces, using excessive pressure on delicate materials, and not using the appropriate cleaning solutions. It’s also important to avoid power washing without protective gear and not following proper safety guidelines.

0 views0 comments


bottom of page