If you’ve noticed that the outside of your house doesn’t look as good as it used to, learning how to pressure wash a house could be the key to a clean exterior without having to spend hours with a bucket and sponge.
Pressure washing can quickly take off layers of dirt from the outside of your building’s siding, making it an easy way to clean. There are some things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t hurt anything, so we’ve broken down in simple terms how to pressure wash a house.
The siding on a house doesn’t need to be washed very often to look clean and nice. One time a year should be enough. Once you know how to power wash a house, it should be easy to clean it once a year.
Take the stress out of learning how to pressure wash a house with our list of the tools you’ll need before you start, tips from a garden care expert on how to deal with stains, and our step-by-step guide that shows you how to do it. You can also look at the best pressure washers (opens in a new tab) to help you find the right one for your needs. So keep reading to find out how to use a pressure washer to make your house look better.
Table of Contents
How to clean a house with a pressure washer
Before you start, make sure you have everything you need and are wearing protective gear. To pressure wash a house, you need the following:
- Attachment for a pressure washer with an extension arm
- Window coverings made of plastic
- Pressure washer soap that works with your house’s siding
- Work boots with rubber soles or rain boots
- Eyewear for safety
- Coverings for your arms and legs
How to prepare for pressure washing a house
Before you learn how to pressure wash a house, you should also know how not to pressure wash a house. Some parts of a house can’t handle the force.
We don’t think you should use pressure to clean your windows. It might be tempting to use a pressure washer to reach high windows and speed up a job that takes a lot of time but don’t. Most windows aren’t made to handle the force of a pressure washer’s jet spray, even at a low PSI setting. You could end up cracking your window pane inwards, making a much bigger and more dangerous mess to clean up. Also, stay away from gutters and roof shingles, which are easy to knock off and can let water into the house.
Gather all of your tools and run water through the pressure washer for a minute to clean out the line and even out the pressure. If your pressure washer is electric, plug it in, making sure to use waterproof wiring.
We talked to garden care expert Nathan Stafford, whose @nathanslawnsandgardens TikTok account has more than 1.1 million followers who watch the videos he posts of his work (opens in new tab). He often uses pressure washers to clean his clients’ outdoor spaces in a big way. He tells us which cleaning method is best to use with a pressure washer. Nathan suggests getting a liquid detergent from a local gardening store for general cleaning. For tougher stains, he has a neat trick you can try with things you might already have at home.
How to wash a house with pressure
Pressure washing can give your home a new look, but it’s not good for all homes and can cause damage if it’s not done right. Most American homes are made of treated wood or vinyl, so the siding can be cleaned with a low-pressure setting on a pressure washer as long as the right safety steps are taken. If you’re not sure, check to see what your siding is made of. If your house has brickwork, you shouldn’t use pressure washing because it could loosen the mortar and cause the bricks to fall apart.
Let’s talk about how to pressure wash a house safely:
Use waterproof cable extending points and cables to get rid of any electric wires. If you have AC or an electric meter, you should also stay away from any wires on the back of your house. You can really only use this method to clean parts of your house that are completely clear of anything, like windows that are covered with plastic sheeting.
Set your pressure washer to a very low setting (no more than 1200 PSI) and a wide-angle spray. Spray the outside to get rid of any loose surface dirt.
Step 3: Spread the detergent all over the siding of the house. Most pressure washers have a place for the detergent to go. Most of the time, you can let this sit for a few minutes to work on stains and grime, but we don’t recommend leaving it for longer because it could change color. Always do what the company that makes the detergent says.
Spray the house again with a low-pressure, wide-angle spray to get rid of any soap.
We don’t recommend using ladders to get to higher places because the wet ground could make you fall. Instead, carefully tilt your pressure washer up and use an extension wand while staying away from gutters, windows, and roof tiles.