15 Pressure Washer Uses + 37 FAQs

Published by: | Updated: July 1, 2023
JCS Refresh What is a Pressure Washer Used For

Pressure washers are versatile machines that can be used in several ways, but how?

Some of the most common applications for a pressure washer include cleaning the driveway, cleaning the patio, cleaning the car, and cleaning the windows. 

However, you can also use a pressure washer for more specialized tasks, such as removing paint from a wall or cleaning mold from a deck.

In this article, we have outlines five common uses, five unusual uses, five fun uses, and 37 FAQs that answer, can I use a pressure washer to {fill in the blank}. Let’s begin!

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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. 

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5 Common Things to Pressure Wash

What are pressure washers used for? 

Here are five everyday things at your home that you can pressure wash away.

The driveway

The driveway can become stained from dirt, oil, rain, and dust on nearby roads. Pressure washing your driveway can help eliminate dirt, oil, and other organic materials. 

In addition, it can help maintain your property’s value and keep stains away from your garage floors and walkways.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Driveway


You can use a pressure washer to clean dirt, leaves, and other debris built up on your patio.

Additionally, pressure washers can also prevent moss, other unwanted organic matter, and slip hazards from growing between the bricks and tiles.

Your car

Our vehicles are constantly in contact with dirt and grime, no matter if they’re on-road or solely on bitumen. 

Pressure washers are a quick and easy way to keep the factory finish of cars, as it can be impossible to reach them with the typical soap n’ sponge technique.

Under a low setting, you can use them to access hard-to-reach areas such as door jams and inner wheel wells. Next, rinse the entire vehicle, starting at the top, and then dry it with a chamois.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Car

The deck

You can also clean your deck

However, it would be best to be cautious and only use a low PSI setting

Decks are stained to enhance their appearance and protect them from the elements. However, a pressure washer set too high can cause damage.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Deck

5 Unusual Uses for a Pressure Washer

Aside from the things listed above, there are other unique things outside the norm that you can use a pressure washer for. 

Here are some of them.

Cleaning garbage cans

Your garbage cans can get stale from all that meat scraps, rotten veggies, and other smelly waste.

It is tempting to let this chore go, but you will eventually have to give your garbage cans a thorough cleaning. 

Use a pressure washer to do the job quickly – run it under a low setting, apply detergent, preferably with a scrub brush, and then rinse off.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Garbage Cans
Photo courtsey of SocalFreshBins

Cleaning birdbaths

Bird droppings and other stains can cause birdbaths to develop difficult-to-remove stains. 

Fortunately, you can remove these stains easily with a pressure washer. Set the pressure high enough not to damage the paint.

Removing paint

It is much easier to strip paint with a pressure washer than using a scraper and sandpaper

You can also use them to remove spray paint; however, you might need first to spray the surface with stain remover. As a word of caution, do not use a pressure washer to remove lead-based paint.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Removing Paint

Removing wasp nests

To remove a nest of wasps from your roof, use a pressure washer to blast it with high-pressure water. The water pressure should be sufficient to bring it down. It is best to perform this task right after sunset as the wasps will be most relaxed.

Cleaning gutters

Gutter buildup can be a severe problem. It can block water flow from your house due to leaves, silt deposits, or even small toys. 

You can use a pressure washer to remove all that debris so you don’t have overflowing gutters. This action will prevent basement flooding, structural problems, and other issues.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Cleaning Gutters
Photo courtsey of JustPressureWashers

5 Fun Things To Do With a Pressure Washer

Cleaning everyday things at home can be a bit boring. 

So here are some exciting ways to use a pressure washer for entertainment!

Remove fish scales 

You could clean your fish like everyone else, but that’s not fun. So instead, use a pressure washer on a low setting to quickly remove scales from the fish before gutting it.

Carve pumpkins

You can carve a pumpkin with a pressure washer, just like with fish. This method is not ideal for cutting intricate details. However, a pressure washer will work fine if you need to add a mouth and eye holes to your pumpkin.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Carving Pumpkins
Photo courtsey of TheFamilyHandyman


You can even use a pressure washer to push you on a skateboard, as absurd as it may sound. The procedure is straightforward: stand on the skateboard and point your pressure washer at the ground behind; the pressure should propel you along. Adult supervision is recommended as improper use can result in injury.

Slice fruit

You can slice grapefruit with a pressure washer attached to a zero-point nozzle, although it’s not practical. If you want to do this, keep your hands away from the point of fire of the pressure washer to avoid causing injury.

JCS Refresh What Is A Pressure Washer Used For - Slice Fruit

Peel potatoes

Another fun way to use a pressure washer is to peel potatoes. As seen in this video, you can place the potatoes in a basket or cart and then spray with the pressure washer to remove the skins.

What else can I pressure wash?

Some people may not know how to use a pressure washer or what it can do. This section will answer some frequently asked questions about things to pressure wash.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s mentioned:

  • Cars
  • Engines
  • Motorcycles
  • Indoor Furniture
  • Couches
  • Mattresses
  • Rugs
  • Grills
  • Windows
  • Stucco
  • Aluminum siding
  • Roofs
  • Brick
  • Vinyl siding
  • Shingles
  • Trex
  • Solar panels
  • Composite decking
  • Pools
  • Rust stains
  • Sunbrella cushions
  • Boats
  • Wrapped cars
  • Flagstone
  • AC coils
  • Gutters
  • Bounce houses
  • Refrigerators
  • Lawn mowers
  • Wicker furniture
  • Pavers
  • Wash soffits
  • Asbestos
  • Grill grates
  • Houses

Can you pressure wash a car?

Yes, you can pressure wash a car. The pressure washer can eliminate dirt and debris from your vehicle’s roof and undercarriage. Be careful, though – you must set your pressure washer low to avoid damaging your car’s paint.

Can you pressure wash an engine?

Yes, you can pressure wash an engine. Dirty oil and road grime can build up underneath the hood, causing it to become blackened, so get rid of all that filth.

Can you pressure wash a motorcycle?

Yes… but with caution.

Although pressure washing your motorcycle is technically safe, it’s best to use caution and common sense. Motorcycles have many exposed parts, such as seals, bearings, and electronics. These components are water-resistant but can be damaged by water pressure.

Can you pressure wash indoor furniture?

Yes, you can pressure wash indoor furniture. 

It can seem overwhelming to clean indoor furniture using a pressure washer. But, with the proper techniques, you can accomplish it quickly and easily. 

The key to success is choosing an appropriate pressure washer for your job. For example, high-pressure washers are best for furniture made from wood, while moderate-pressure washers are ideal for cleaning plastic furniture.

Can you pressure wash a couch?

Not really. 

Doing so can penetrate deep into the upholstery, and contaminants like allergens or dust particles can be difficult to remove without the right equipment. 

A combination of a pressure washer and cleaning solution can remove mold and mildew. 

However, certain surfaces and fabrics may not be able to dry out before they develop mold or bacteria thoroughly. This aspect is why it is better to hire professionals and certified cleaners.

Can you pressure wash a mattress?

Yes, you can pressure wash a mattress. It’s an excellent method to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Use the lowest setting to avoid causing damage to your mattress. Let it dry thoroughly.

Can you pressure wash a rug?

Yes, you can pressure wash a rug. A pressure washer can brighten your rug if they look dull and dingy. The high-pressure water will help loosen dirt and grime and make your rug look great.

Can you pressure wash a grill?

Yes, you can pressure wash a grill quickly and safely. 

To ensure your power washer cleans well, ensure it produces at least 1.35 GPM (gallons per hour) and 2,000 PSI. Start by unplugging the propane tank or gas line from any gas or propane grill to ensure safety.

Can you pressure wash windows?

Yes, you can pressure wash windows on a low PSI setting. 

To learn more about doing this properly, check out our guide, what soap do I use while pressure washing windows?

Can you pressure wash stucco?

Yes, you can use a pressure washer to clean stucco

A pressure washer is powerful enough to blast away stains and give your walls a new look. You can use the 1,500 PSI or a 25- 40-degree nozzle. Make sure you keep the nozzle from touching the surface. 

Can you pressure wash Aluminum siding?

Yes, you can pressure wash aluminum siding, but it is not recommended for novice users. 

Too much pressure can cause more harm than good, damaging the aluminum or pushing it away from the structure. So instead, either opt for the lowest setting on the pressure washer or use a traditional garden hose for cleaning.

Can you pressure wash a roof?

There are conflicting answers if you can pressure wash a roof. 

For example, you can pressure wash it on a low setting to remove moss and other lichen growth from your roof. 

However, we don’t recommend pressure washing shingles or tile roofs as they can cause more damage than good while possibly voiding your warranty.

Can you pressure wash brick?

Yes, you can pressure wash brick buildings and homes.

However, it is essential to remember that brick can’t withstand constant pressure like concrete can. In addition, brick homes older than 80 years may not be capable of sustaining high pressure at all. 

On the other hand, if you are careful, pressure washing brick can be viable. You should use 800 PSI or less to clean brick.

Can you pressure wash vinyl siding?

Yes, you can pressure-wash vinyl siding

Contrary to what you might have heard, pressure washers are very easy to use and safe for cleaning your siding. However, it is essential to use low water pressure to avoid water getting behind your siding or causing damage.

Can you pressure wash shingles?

No, it would be best if you did not pressure wash shingles. 

To clean dirt and leaves off shingles, it is unnecessary to pressure wash them as it can cause damage to their protective grit coating.

Instead, a light sweep or a quick rinse with the garden hose is sufficient for most roofs.

Can you pressure wash Trex?

For early-generation products, Trex recommends against using a pressure washer. Using a pressure washer on deck surfaces could cause damage to the surface and will invalidate the warranty. 

On the other hand, for the Transcend, Select, and Enhance variations, make sure to use a pressure washer with no more than 3100 PSI with a fan attachment and a soap dispenser for cleaning.

Can you pressure wash solar panels?

No, it would be best if you did not pressure wash solar panels. You risk damaging your solar panels if you blast them with high-pressure water, eventually causing them to fail.

Can you pressure wash composite decking?

No, you should not pressure wash composite decking.

Composite decking is not recommended for pressure washing as it can lead to severe damage if done wrongly. Your deck can be damaged if you pressure wash too close to the surface or under too much pressure. Composite decking material has a softer texture than natural wood, so it can be “etched” easier.

Can you pressure wash a pool with water in it?

No, it would be best if you did not pressure wash a pool with water in it. 

The volume of water in your pool can hinder your pressure washer’s strength and power and make it unable to clean. Although it seems like a quick and easy way to touch up the pool’s surface, you will need to drain the pool to give it a thorough clean.

Can you pressure wash an above-ground pool?

Maybe. Only concrete, plaster, and exposed aggregate pools can withstand the force of a pressure washer. You can clean other pools like vinyl and fiberglass using chemical treatment or non-abrasive cleaning methods.

Can you pressure wash an epoxy floor?

Maybe. Although it might be unnecessary, you can use a pressure washer for filthy epoxy floors. Otherwise, you can clean your floors with a standard hose. 

Can you pressure wash rust off metal?

Yes, you can pressure wash rust off metal. 

Pressure washing is the best and easiest method to get rid of rust. A power washer can effectively remove rust from metal surfaces without sanding or scraping them.

Can you pressure wash Sunbrella cushions?

No, it would be best if you did not wash Sunbrella cushions as you can damage them. Instead, a simple soap and water wash will suffice.

Can you pressure wash a boat?

Yes, you can pressure wash a boat. 

Pressure washing is a great way to get rid of dirt, grime, and algae from the exterior surface of vessels. Because of its strength, you can do professional pressure washing on boats made from steel without causing any damage.

Can you pressure wash a wrapped car?

Yes, you can pressure wash a wrapped car. However, keep it below 2000 PSI with a spray nozzle with a 40-degree wide-angle spray pattern to ensure that the wrap will not be damaged.

Can you pressure wash flagstone?

Yes, you can pressure wash flagstone patios, but you must use the right tools and cleaning solution. Low pressure is best to prevent damage to your flagstone.

Can you pressure wash AC coils?

No, it would be best if you did not pressure wash AC coils.

A pressure washer is too powerful for an AC system’s coils. In addition, sensitive fins may be subject to immediate damage by high water pressure. This aspect is why it is highly recommended to only wash the outside of your unit with a pressure washer.

Can you pressure wash the outside of gutters?

A pressure washer may be a good option if your gutters are incredibly filthy. 

However, it would be best if you were careful not to direct the nozzle too close to your aluminum gutters, as high pressure could cause them to rust. Instead, stand on the ground and aim at the gutters with the pressure washer.

Can you pressure wash a bounce house?

Yes, you can clean a bounce house by using pressure washing. Adjust the pressure washer to the lowest setting, and do not let the pressure washer get too close to the bounce house material to avoid damage.

Can you pressure wash a refrigerator?

Yes, you can pressure wash a refrigerator. However, you should use a low setting and be careful in cleaning the fridge as you can damage and break it if you misuse the washer. You can look at this video to see how to pressure wash a refrigerator properly.

Can you pressure wash a lawn mower?

Yes, you can pressure wash a lawn mower and eliminate grass clippings after mowing. However, ensure the water pressure is low enough not to damage the mower’s paint.

Can you pressure wash wicker furniture?

Yes, you can pressure wash wicker furniture. 

Outdoor wicker furniture is resistant to wind and moisture so it can withstand pressure washing well. You can use the low-pressure setting of your pressure washer to get between 1,200 and 1,350 lbs of pressure per square inch (psi).

Can you pressure wash pavers?

Yes, you can pressure wash pavers. 

The pressure washing process can remove all dirt, grime, dirt, and other debris from pavers quickly and efficiently. You don’t need chemicals or cleaning products because high-pressure water is strong enough.

Can you pressure wash soffits?

Yes, you can pressure wash soffits. However, it would help if you used a soft washer and a low-pressure nozzle to prevent damage.

Can you pressure wash asbestos siding?

No, do not pressure wash asbestos siding because it’s made of asbestos. This action can cause water to seep through the thread and damage your siding.

Can you pressure wash grill grates?

Yes, you can safely wash grill gates. However, your pressure washer should produce at least 1.5 GPM and 2,000 PSI to clean efficiently.

Can you pressure wash a house?

Yes, you can pressure wash a house. Your house is designed to withstand rain or other moisture and can withstand low PSI when used with a pressure washer. 

However, it would be best if you were careful not to use too much pressure. If you use pressure washers to their full potential, they can cause damage to your sidings or paint.


Pressure washing is a memorable way to clean all sorts of surfaces around your home. 

From the patio pavers to the siding a pressure washer can blast away dirt, dust, and grime from the patio pavers to the siding. Before you start washing everything in sight, knowing what you can and cannot fly with a pressure washer is essential.