How to Pressure Wash Your House

Keep your home's exterior clean with a pressure washer.
Keep your home's exterior clean with a pressure washer. (Image: Images)

Pressure washing removes dirt, mold, insects and other debris from the exterior of a home or structure. Areas of the house that are made from soft materials such as wood or stucco should be spared pressuring washing. For best results, pressure wash annually or every other year, depending on the weather conditions. If you prefer not to buy a pressure washer, rent one from a local home improvement or equipment rental store.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Detergent
  • Plastic tarps (if needed)
  • Duct tape (if needed)

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Turn off the circuit breaker switches that control the home's exterior power outlets. Shut all doors and windows and move furniture or planters away from the walls. Use plastic tarps and duct or another waterproof tape to cover any lights or electronic items that may be damaged by the pressure washer's spray.

Attach one end of the pressure washer's water supply line to an exterior faucet. Attach the other end to the pressure washer's inlet valve. Fill the detergent tank according to the owner's manual. Some pressure washers do not have a built-in tank for soap, so insert a siphon hose directly into the detergent container. Attach a low-pressure tip to the nozzle. If the pressure washer is adjustable, select a low-pressure setting without using an extra tip.

Plug the power cord into an outlet if the pressure washer is electric. For a gas-powered washer, fill the gas tank according to the manufacturer's instructions. Turn on the pressure washer and pull the trigger to spray detergent on the house. Start from the bottom and work your way up to keep the detergent from dripping onto the dry areas of the wall.

Disconnect the detergent tank and switch to a high-pressure tip for rinsing. For adjustable washers, select a high-pressure setting. Rinse the house from the top down to remove all traces of detergent.

Turn off the pressure washer and allow any remaining water to drip out of the nozzle. Disconnect the water supply line from the washer and exterior faucet. Turn on the circuit breaker switch to restore power to the exterior outlets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hold the wand at an angle to spray near windows and doors. This prevents the water from damaging the glass or any joints around the window.
  • Do not use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder. The force from the washer may push you off the ladder.
  • Try not to spray any surface of the home while it is directly in the sun. The sunlight may cause the cleaning solution to dry before it can be rinsed away.


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