Cleaning With a Pressure Washer, Works Great But Be Careful!

Welcome to Yeah, We Do That’s tip of the week. Now that the weather is finally starting to warm Weekly Tipsup I’m going to discuss spring related tips for the next several weeks. This first week in the series I am going to talk about cleaning by pressure washing. I am already starting to receive calls and questions about this so I thought it was a perfect time to cover it.

After winter and the wet spring people are saying that their driveways and decks are extremely dirty and need to be cleaned and sealed. This is something that you can do yourself with a little bit of caution. Some pressure washers, especially ones that you rent are extremely powerful and can easily damage your decks and even concrete if not used properly.


There are 5 standard tips that come with most pressure washers. Each tip sprays water at a different angle or degrees and pressure, I will cover them here along with their recommended uses.

  • The Red Tip is a 0° zero angle concentrated spray. This is the most powerful tip and must be used with caution and should only be used on concrete and metal with care. If you get this tip too close to metal not only will it strip paint off but it may actually scratch or etch the surface. Likewise if your concrete is not an excellent shape it may chip or pit your concrete, use care when using the red tip and make sure you do not hold it to close to what you are cleaning. I do not recommend using any cleaners with this tip as it is powerful enough to embed the chemicals into the surface of what you’re trying to clean.
  • The Yellow Tip sprays water at a 15° angle. This is the tip I like to use when cleaning IMG_00000065concrete driveways, garage floors, metal garage doors and similar surfaces. Again this is a very powerful tip and you should be careful not to hold it too close to the surface of what you are cleaning as damage may result. I do not recommend the yellow tip for cleaning of decks, this nozzle is still far too powerful and will most likely end up pulping and shredding your wood.  I do not recommend using any cleaners with this tip as it is powerful enough to embed the chemicals into the surface of what you’re trying to clean.
  • The Green Tip sprays water at a 25° angle. The green tip is very suitable for cleaning wood decks, brick and stone surfaces, boats and cars. Even when using the green Deck Stain-JH-Before (1)tip on decks make sure that you do not hold the end of the nozzle too close to the wood. If you get your nozzle too close to the wood or the pressure is too high it can actually tear the wood apart. I have seen decks that have been pressure washed with too much power and it has damaged the wood so bad it cannot even be corrected by sanding. This tip is safe to use with most cleaners such as detergents and auto soap. If you would like step-by-step instructions on cleaning a deck you can read it in my “How to Clean and Seal Your Deck” blog post..
  • The White Tip sprays water at a 40° angle. This tip is excellent for cleaning more fragile surfaces such as aluminum and vinyl siding, patio furniture and stucco walls. This tip is safe to use with cleaners, detergents and soaps.
  • The Black Tip sprays water at a 65° angle. This tip is not generally used for cleaning as the spray angle is so wide there is very little pressure behind it. This tip is mainly used for the application of cleaners and detergents as well as a final rinse.


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