How to Use a Pressure Washer

Use a pressure washer to refresh your deck, patio or driveway

Over time, the surface of your deck or patio can become dull and dingy. Harsh weather, debris, pollen and various other factors can all prompt an outdoor cleaning session. With the right pressure washer accessories and a little guidance, your space can look fresh and tidy for the season. See below for detailed instructions on how to use a pressure washer.

Read our buying guide for help choosing the right pressure washer for your needs. If you'd rather rent, The Home Depot rents a variety of gas and electric pressure washers. Call or visit your local store or stop by for more information.

What You Need

1
CLEAR THE AREA
REMOVE DELICATE ITEMS

• Start by removing fragile or delicate items from the area you’ll be washing.
• This includes planters, decor accents, rugs and other patio accents.

2
Assemble the Gun and Hose
ASSEMBLE THE GUN AND HOSE

• Fasten the pressure hose to the gun.
• Make sure it’s tight and secure.

3
Choose a Nozzle Tip
CHOOSE A NOZZLE TIP

Pick a pressure washer nozzle tip that will best suit your needs:

• Red – straight and narrow spray pattern, ideal for tough stains and discoloration
• Yellow – 15-degree spray pattern, offers optimal pressure for concrete, brick and stone surfaces
• Green – 25-degree spray pattern, great for standard siding and decks
• White – softer, 35-degree spray pattern, designed specifically for windows
• Black – wider mist, for use with soap solutions

4
Attach the Garden Hose
ATTACH THE GARDEN HOSE

• Attach one end of your garden hose to the base of the pressure washer.
• Secure the other end to your outdoor water spigot.
• Make sure both ends are tight and secure, then turn on the water.

5
Crank the Pressure Washer
CRANK THE PRESSURE WASHER

• After you turn on the water, it will begin to flow through the pressure washer.
• Turn on the pressure washer pump and insert the appropriate nozzle tip into the pressure washer wand.

6
Test a Small Area
TEST A SMALL AREA

Get comfortable with the intensity of your pressure washer by testing a small area first.

7
Hold Nozzle and Spray
HOLD NOZZLE AND SPRAY

• Once you’ve gotten a feel for the pressure, hold and aim the nozzle in the area to you plan to wash.
• Step back 4- to  inches and spray.
• Step closer to remove stubborn stains.

8
Pressure Washing Tips
PRESSURE WASHING TIPS

• For an even clean, follow a grid pattern.
• Spray wider for faster cleaning tighter for a more thorough wash.
• Work from the highest point down.