5 Tips to Avoid Leaving Streaks When Pressure Washing

Published by: | Updated: January 21, 2023
JCS Refresh How To Not Leave Streaks When Pressure Washing

So you’ve put in a good amount of time and effort pressure washing, only to discover that after rinsing, your surfaces still have lines and streaks.

Annoying, right?

In this article, we’ll cover ways to prevent streaks from appearing, how to get rid of them, and answer frequently asked questions you may have so you can clean properly next time.

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About The Author

Meet the expert behind this article. 



Co-owner & Service Director

Hey there, I’m Cody. 

A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you. 

Reading from Washington State?

As a top Seattle pressure washing company, we look forward to refreshing your home or business in the near future.

How to not leave streaks when pressure washing

Streaks are common when cleaning driveways, siding, windows, and sidewalks. 

These are frequently caused by applying soap incorrectly, sweeping in the wrong direction, or doing the task too quickly. 

Here are our top five pressure washing tips and tricks so you can avoid streaks:

1. Apply soap from the bottom to the top

Using soap with a pressure washer can be challenging. 

Be sure to use a horizontal sweeping motion prevents the cleaning solution from running down, which causes streaks.

In addition, it works well on siding because applying soap from the bottom up gets the soap under the panels, making rinsing much easier.

When it’s time to rinse, go from top to bottom so you won’t miss any sections.

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2. Utilize a slight overlap when cleaning with your surface cleaner

It’s best to slightly overlap each run with your surface cleaner to prevents missing any dirt.

Be careful to keep an overlap of around .25-.50 inches to help with a consistent cleaning.

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3. Go slow and work in small sections

When cleaning concrete, windows, or other large surfaces, you don’t have to go back and forth on the same spot, which causes streaks. 

We understand how tempting it is to finish it immediately, but doing so doubles the time spent on the job if the dirt isn’t properly removed.

4. Rinse before the soap can dry when pressure washing your windows

Regarding windows, streaks are caused by soap residue left on the glass for too long. 

The suggested period is only 10 to 15 minutes. Rinsing it off in less than 10 minutes, on the other hand, will not break down as much dirt and is a product waste. 

You can read more in our article on what soap to use when pressure washing windows.

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5. Invest in a high-quality squeegee

When you’re finished washing and rinsing your windows, you can use a squeegee to remove any excess soap and water from the glass. 

If you don’t have this, you can use a microfiber cloth or a lint-free rag.

Frequently asked questions

The following are some frequently asked questions homeowners have about pressure washing.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, don’t hesitate to contact us, and someone from our team will get back to you.

How do I get rid of pressure washing lines?

You can remove pressure washing lines by using your surface cleaner again, but this time in the opposite direction.

So, if you used vertical motions on the first pass, use horizontal motions on the second pass. This can be time-consuming, but very effective.

If you want to do it quickly, apply a layer of bleach or sodium hypochlorite to the concrete, making it whiter and removing the marks completely.

Avoiding plants when using this method is critical because the chemical can be toxic to them.

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How do you get good at pressure washing?

You’ll become an expert at pressure washing by learning how your machine works, how cleaning differs from surface to surface, what soaps to use, and what safety precautions to take while doing the job, among other things.

If you’re a beginner, you can read our complete guide on how to use a pressure washer.


Streaks can be avoided if you use the proper pressure-washing method, take time on each sweet spot, and follow the soap application guidelines.

Thanks for reading!