Here Are the Top 10 Uses for Your Pressure Washer

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated February 10, 2022
woman cleaning bike with pressure washer
Photo: Javier Pardina / Stocksy / Adobe Stock


  • Pressure washers are great for cleaning driveways, patios, and garages.

  • You can also use them to scrub vehicles and strip paint.

  • Some items, like glass and electrical objects, are off-limits.

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So you’ve been thinking of getting a pressure washer. It’s a fun tool, for sure. But before you pay a few hundred dollars for the cost of a pressure washer, you may wonder if it’s a practical tool to own.

The answer is yest—a pressure washer comes in handy in many ways. Here are 10 of the best ways to use a pressure washer (as well as a few things you should not use a pressure washer for).

1. Blast Your Driveways Clean

Driveways collect all sorts of impurities, from dirt to automotive fluids. Over time, they can collect and make your driveway look dirty. A few quick sweeps with a pressure washer, however, and your driveway will look as good as new.

2. Shine Up Cars, Trucks and Other Motor Vehicles

person using pressure washer to clean car tires
Photo: Andrii / Adobe Stock

Instead of going to the car wash, you can use your pressure washer to clean your vehicle. A pressure washer can cut through dirt and debris both on top of your car and underneath. However, be very careful here: your pressure washer needs to be set to a low setting, otherwise you risk doing damage to your car.

3. Prettying Up Your Patios

Patios are another prime candidate for pressure washing because they're outdoors and made out of sturdy materials like brick that can handle a pressure washer. Also, you can use the pressure washer to clean the patio furniture, depending on its material. Considering the cost to clean and reseal pavers on your patio is about $425 on average, a pressure washer could pay for itself over time.

4. Rinsing Stairs and Walkways

cleaning outside steps with pressure washer
Photo: jpldesigns / Adobe Stock

Stairs and walkways can get caked in dirt from a lot of foot traffic, as well as Mother Nature. Blasting it with a pressure washer should clean it up thoroughly and leave the surface gleaming, adding a lot of curb appeal to your home.

5. Dash Your Decks Clean

A deck is another outdoor surface you can clean with a pressure washer. However, you'll want to be careful and use a low setting. Many decks are stained for both appearance and to protect them from the elements, and a pressure washer on too high of a setting can strip that protection off. Many decks are stained for both appearance and to protect them from the elements, and a pressure washer on too high of a setting can strip that protection off. When choosing a pressure washer, be sure to find one with the appropriate settings for the jobs you most want to do.

6. Give Your Home’s Facade a Facelift

man using pressure washer to clean home exterior
Photo: ronstik / Adobe Stock

The exterior of your home can get a nice facelift from a good, thorough pressure washing. Again, be sure to use a low setting to avoid causing damage, and avoid doing it at all if you have wood siding (see below). Doing it yourself might save you from having to hire a pressure washer pro to clean your house—though it’s not a bad idea if you aren’t up to the task.

7. Glamorize Your Garage

Pressure washers do an excellent job on dirty garage floors, instantly sweeping up debris and oil stains. You'll want to clear the garage first of any loose objects, as the pressure washer will send anything not nailed down flying.

8. Revitalize Your Roof

You can pressure wash your roof on a low setting to get rid of moss and lichen growth that can damage your roof. But you'll need to be careful using a pressure washer for this purpose. A sudden burst from a pressure washer could knock you off balance. You could also damage your shingles or cause water to leak into your home.

9. Strip Away Paint

Pressure washing paint is a lot easier than using a scraper tool. A pressure washer will efficiently scrub any surface of most types of paint.

They’re particularly good at removing spray paint, though you may need to spray it with stain remover or apply turpentine first.

Safety note: Don’t use a pressure washer if you suspect the paint is lead-based.

10. Polish Sturdy Miscellaneous Objects

man using pressure washer to clean grill
Photo: Ozgur Coskun / Adobe Stock

Just about any heavy object that gets dirty and grimy could benefit from a pressure-washing. That could include a bike, an old car engine, or a playground set that needs a good spring cleaning, or even a barbecue grill that has become caked in grime.

As long as there are no components that a pressure washer can damage, you should be able to pressure wash it. And if it's something that's kept outside, usually that's the case.

What You Should Not Pressure Wash

Now that we’ve covered ways you can use your pressure washer, it’s time to go over what you should avoid pressure washing.

Wood Siding

If your home has wood siding, don't use pressure washing to clean your home's exterior. Water can get under the siding and damage insulation and wiring, and it could even cause damage to the siding itself.

Anything Electric

If an object is wired to anything, do not pressure wash it. Water and electricity are not a good combination. Even electrical equipment built for the outdoors may not be able to keep water out when it comes from a high-powered pressure washer.

Painted Surfaces

As noted above, pressure washers are good at stripping off paint. So if you want to keep a surface painted, use other gentler cleaning methods.


Pressure washers are powerful enough to break glass, so do not use them to clean your windows no matter how sturdy you think they are.

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