pressure washing

Most of the time, cleaning tasks are all work and seemingly no reward. No one except you will notice or care that you wiped all the skirting boards, or that you vacuumed every nook and cranny of your property, including that back corner where nothing except the occasional dust bunny will reach.

However, some cleaning jobs are dramatic and oh-so-satisfying to do. And pressure washing would be one of the highest on this list.

When you use a pressure washer, it’s always on stubborn and tough outdoor grime, and the before-and-afters are clear. Nothing is more effective, and more satisfying, than using high-powered water to blast away all that dirt on your exterior surfaces and return them to their former glory.

But what exactly is a pressure washer? What is most suited to pressure washing? And what are the top do’s and don’ts to follow when using a pressure washer? Read on to find out.

What is Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing is exactly that: it uses highly pressurised water to help loosen and remove dirt and other materials from hard surfaces. Depending on the type of machine, the amount of pressure will vary. For example, a household unit will not be as strong or have as much pressure as an industrial machine.

You might have heard power washing being used interchangeably with pressure washing, but there is a key difference! Although they both use high-pressure water to clean, a power washer also has a heating element to heat the water up. By using a stream of high-pressured hot water, a power washer is more suitable to remove substances that are really stuck on. For example, salt, outdoor mould, chewing gum, and grease stains on garage floors will all be more easily blasted away by a power washer.

Which one’s better, power washing or pressure washing?

Even though it might sound like power washing is more effective, which one you choose really depends on where you want to clean.

For example, power washing is suitable for large commercial spaces that get extremely dirty. However, the force of highly heated water can do damage to a lot of surfaces, especially if you want to clean them regularly. It’s best to stick to concrete and other very durable surfaces if you want to use a power washer.

However, the non-heated water of a pressure washer is less harsh on surfaces, making it ideal for use on not only concrete but also masonry, brick, wooden surfaces, and even some glass surfaces.

If you are looking for regular cleaning and maintenance, a pressure washer is definitely the way to go.

With the absence of pressure, it’s hard to do great things.

Geno Auriemma

So… what can I clean with pressure washing?

Concrete and paved areas

Let’s start with the obvious one: concrete and paved areas are perfect for pressure washing. This isn’t news to anyone – it’s the most common way to use a pressure washer.

Footpaths, driveways, garden tiles and pavers, these will all be easily transformed by a pressure washer.

Property Exteriors

Similarly, the outside surfaces of your property are very appropriate for a pressure wash. They are made to withstand all sorts of weather conditions, so it is perfectly safe to blast them with a pressure washer to get rid of dust, cobwebs, mould, algae, or mildew. If you can get up there, your property’s roof can also be easily cleaned with a pressure washer.

If you have older surfaces, such as painted weatherboard or cracked facades, start with a lower pressure to prevent damaging your property.

And whilst you’re out there, don’t forget to clean any garage doors!


Many modern windows are made of stronger glass, which is perfectly safe to clean with a pressure wash. Depending on the type of glass, you might end up with water spots, so you may need to go back to polish them with a window spray to keep them in tip-top shine. But now that you’ve gotten rid of the dirt, that should be a quick and easy job!

To be safe, start with a lower pressure to begin with and use a nozzle that fans out the water to prevent hitting the glass with the full force of your pressure washer.


Pressure washing works on all sorts of fencing, but it is especially effective for metal fences.

For wooden fencing, if you want to repaint your fence, a higher setting on your pressure washer could help you blast away the surface paint and reduce the amount of sanding you have to do before you start repainting. Just make sure your paint is not lead-based before you start blasting!

Wooden Decks and Outdoor Furniture

Timber decking is particularly susceptible to growing moss and algae and becoming discoloured from being outside 24/7. A pressure wash will transform it back to how it was when it was new.

Be aware that if you use too much pressure, paint or stain could be stripped from the boards. If you plan on re-staining or re-painting after cleaning it, that’s great! But if you just want to refresh your decks, be sure to use a lower-pressure setting.

And whilst you’re cleaning your decks, give your outdoor furniture a quick blast as well. They are designed to withstand the elements and can easily be pressure washed to rid of mould, algae, dust, dirt, and any bird droppings.

Rubbish Bins

Rubbish bins, no matter how carefully you keep your bin bags closed and tear-free, will develop an unpleasant odour over time. A pressure washer can quickly and easily spray your entire bin down to get rid of any smells, stains, and stuck-on gunk. Just be mindful that you are highly likely to get splashback like this, so be sure to put your bin in an open area and stand well back to avoid being covered in bin juice.

pressure washing uses

Pressure Washing: The Do’s

  1. Always start pressure washing on a low setting, and gradually increase the pressure as you go. Pause the machine to change the water pressure to prevent accidents. As you increase the pressure, inspect the area each time to check that it’s effectively cleaning your area without causing surface damage.
  2. Keep your arms and hands steady to prevent accidentally blasting something you didn’t intend to clean, and stand at a distance of at least 1m away from the surface you’re cleaning.
  3. Clean your surfaces from top to bottom, and always keep the pressure washer in motion! Don’t hold it in one spot for more than two or three seconds to prevent surface damage.
  4. Remove/unplug any electrical fixtures that are not water-resistant. Cover any outdoor outlets with waterproof tape.
  5. Clear the area around the surfaces you want to pressure wash, especially of any fragile items. Use makeshift stilts and/or plastic sheets to protect any flower beds, plants, and vegetation.
  6. Stick to an environmentally friendly cleaning solution as opposed to toxic cleaners.

Pressure Washing: The Don’ts

  1. Don’t stick to the same nozzle on every area. The different pressure washing accessories are designed to clean each surface most effectively. Make your job easier (and safer!) by changing the nozzle as you clean different areas.
  2. Don’t use the pressure washer to clean windows or glass surfaces if you are not confident! Although many glass surfaces are safe to clean with pressure washing, it’s better to feel safe than either wasting time with ineffective washing or accidentally breaking the glass.
  3. Don’t angle the spray too much because this decreases the pressure applied to the surface. Grime should be sprayed head on and/or perpendicular to the surfaces for the most effective results. When cleaning areas where the pressure washer cannot be held straight, consider using a pivot nozzle or increasing the pressure as needed.
  4. Don’t use excess cleaning products and needlessly covering your properties in harsh cleaning chemicals. As long as you are using the appropriate water pressure, a mild cleaning solution will be enough.

Feeling pressured? We get it!

Pressure washing is one of the most satisfying cleaning tasks to do. However, it can be daunting to think about using such a powerful cleaning machine, not to mention the time it takes to learn to use a pressure washer and all its different accessories.

That’s why professionals like Star PM exist: we give you the best results in the quickest time with the least amount of stress.

Contact Star PM for a quote and consultation and enjoy a beautiful, clean, and sparkling property easily.