How to clean with a pressure washer

3 tips to maximize your pressure washing this spring, and how to clean with a pressure washer in an efficient and time effective manner!
AVA Smart Outside

With spring (and spring cleaning) right around the corner, its probably time to dust off that pressure washer you have had in your shed all winter long. With effective use, a pressure washer can cut the time you spend outside cleaning in half, and leave your home looking brand new. AVA has 3 easy tips for you to get the most out of your pressure washer. Here is how to clean with a pressure washer in 3 easy steps:

Bonus: always test in a small area before washing. If you see damage or something not quite right, swap to a wider nozzle.

After picture of stairs
Before picture of stairs


1. Always foam first:

We’ve all heard the saying “work smarter, not harder”. When it comes to pressure washing, we agree! Oftentimes tough messes that have built up over months or years need a bit of loosening before you can wash them away with your regular water spray.

With a foam cannon and the appropriate soap for the surface you’re cleaning, spray a thick foam that covers the entire area you’re cleaning. Different soaps come in different concentrates, so be sure to check the recommend mixing ratio. If your foam cannon allows you to adjust the amount of soap and water, we recommend using the lowest setting first. Large areas require more soap, and you don’t want to run out halfway!

Let the soap work for as long as possible. This can vary from a few minutes to a few hours or even days depending on the project. The important thing is to not let the soap dry out. On hot days soap dries out faster, so don’t wait too long if you’re out in the sun.

2. Choose a wide nozzle:

Now that the foam has loosened the dirt from the surface, its time to remove it. Usually, you would want a narrower spray to maximize your power to physically remove the dirt, but since we used foam first the dirt and grime should be loose. All we need to do now is just sweep it away!

There is another benefit to a wider nozzle, and that’s efficiency. If you compare the spray pattern of a 60 degree spray vs. a 20 degree spray, you’ll quickly see how much more area the 60 degree covers. With a wider nozzle, you’ll be able to cover more ground. Depending on the surface, you might still want to size down to a smaller nozzle if the dirt is really built up.

3. Get closer:

When the water exits the pressure washers nozzle, it runs into a fair bit of air resistance. Air blocks the water particles, spreading out the spray and reducing its effectiveness. The best way to get around this would be to remove the air, but unless you’re pressure washing in space that’s going to be a tough one to do.

The best way to get around this issue here on planet earth is by getting as close to the surface as possible. When you’re up close, you get the full force of the water and don’t need to go over the surface as many times as you would have if you’d sprayed from a far away distance. AVAs zoom lance is perfect for this, letting you get up close when you need to, adjusting to the perfect length for all situations.

Premium Patio Cleaner nozzles visible
AVA Telescopic lance on facade