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Tips and Tricks

What Soaps To Use For Pressure Washing

February 10, 2021

A pressure washer on its own is already a great way to clean up around the home or other properties. The powerful spray of water is often enough to loosen dirt and grime. However, if a cleaning project requires a little something extra, you might be asking what soap to use in your pressure washer. What to choose should depend on what you’re trying to clean and why. If you’re wondering what kind of soap goes in a pressure washer, read on to learn more.


Soap vs. Detergent

Although many people use the terms interchangeably, there are some significant differences between soaps and detergents. Soaps are produced with natural ingredients that make them biodegradable, while detergents are manufactured with chemicals.

When determining what kind of detergent to use in a pressure washer, consider whether you’re trying to kill mold or mildew or simply remove dirt. Certain products include agents that cut through molds and prevent them from growing back, but take care when using these around plants because they might cause damage. If you’re not trying to remove mildew and are working around landscaping, then an all-natural soap will be the best bet.


Knowing Your Chemicals

Perhaps the most important thing to know when trying to choose what kind of soap to use in a pressure washer is what it contains. Commonly available products use different chemicals whose effectiveness depends on what you’re cleaning and why. Here is a list of some frequently featured ingredients in cleaners and what they do:

  • Citric acid: Effective for removing stains, especially on concrete and wood
  • Bleach: Best for disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces because it kills bacteria and viruses
  • Potassium hydroxide: A gentle cleanser typically found in dishwashing liquids, good for washing the car or other light-duty jobs
  • Sodium hydroxide: Powerful degreasing agent that dissolves oils and grease that may accumulate on garage floors and other areas
  • Oxalic acid: Works well for removing rust stains, such as those left by patio furniture
  • Sodium hypochlorite: Disinfects and removes stains on multiple types of surfaces
  • Ammonia: Highly effective at cleaning glass and stainless steel


Choose the Right Equipment

Once you’ve chosen what detergent to use in a pressure washer, it’s time to think about the hardware. Certain cleansers are meant to be added before the pump, while others should be introduced after the pump. Those made for use after the pump require a soap nozzle that connects to the bottle and siphons the cleaning agent into the nozzle so it can be mixed with water.

Using a pressurized washer is a great way to get a deep clean just about anywhere, but there are times when you might need to add a cleanser for further help. What kind of soap do you use in a pressure washer? Review the information above to get the best results. To learn more about getting the most out of your pressure washer, click here.