Pressure Washing 101

Pressure Washing Safety 101

A man pressure washing a patio

Did you know a pressure washer can spray water up to 4,000 pounds per second (PSI)? That's 80 times the force of a garden hose. These pressure washer safety tips will help you handle that extra power.

Can I Wash This?

Not everything can stand up to the pressure washer's force. Avoid using it to clean:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Outdoor fabrics
  • Resin or plastic furniture
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Painted surfaces (unless you want to remove the paint)

Equipment Care

Keeping your pressure washer in good condition can help improve safety. Always check it before use and follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure your model has been approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Never attempt to repair a damaged hose. Always replace it.
  • Do not clean the machine with its own gun — water can damage the machine and increase risk of electric shock.
  • Have a qualified electrician check the unit if it trips a circuit breaker.

Safe Use

Use the tool responsibly by following these important pressure washer safety tips.

  • Never operate a gas model indoors.
  • Use only extension cords designed for wet conditions, and always plug the unit into a grounded outlet.
  • Wear safety glasses, gloves and rubber boots for protection.
  • Do not spray others, animals or yourself — power washers can easily penetrate skin.
  • Don't let children operate the machine, and keep them a safe distance away when you're using it.
  • Use only cleaners approved for your model, and never use chemicals such as pesticides.
  • Be cautious around power lines, service feeds and electric meters.
  • Stand 3 to 4 feet from the surface you are cleaning to prevent harmful ricochet.


The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.