Pressure washer safety tips

You've got a big mess, but before you set the power washer to blast take time to learn a few tips that might help prevent damage to what you are washing.

A man pressure washing a patio

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

What should I wash with a power washer?

As tempting as it is to pressure wash everything, some surfaces are not able to handle the force. You should avoid pressure washing these surfaces:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Outdoor fabrics
  • Resin or plastic furniture
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Painted surfaces (unless you want to remove the paint)
  • Roof
  • Car (if you need to use the pressure washer, set to a lower PSI level)

How should I clean and store my power washer?

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.
  • Don't 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.

How to use your pressure washer safely

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 three to four 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® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
Start a Quote
Select a product to start a quote.
Agents Near You
Contact Us

Also Important

Summer Home Maintenance

Summer home maintenance can be done by checking appliances, caring for the house's exterior, being safe in the garage and caring for your landscaping.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall home maintenance tasks can be dangerous — know the risks and follow these safety tips as you get your home ready for fall.

Related Articles

Preparing to Sell Your Home

When preparing to sell your home, these updates/tips/improvements can help entice buyers. Learn more about how to stage a house while living in it.

Home Maintenance Ideas To Improve Curb Appeal

Eager to spruce up the front of your home? Even a few simple touches will improve first impressions and curb appeal.

Steps for Maintaining Your Washing Machine

Regular washing machine maintenance can help reduce breakdowns and costly water damage. Keep reading to see what steps you can take.