How To Use A Pressure Washer With Detergent?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
31 min read

It is possible to use pressure washers with detergent tanks to clean a variety of surfaces. Premixed cleaning chemicals are the best option for most home users, although industrial cleaners may prefer to make their own solutions.”

For a variety of purposes, detergents are available, from cleaning concrete to creating the perfect foam for a car wash.

We’ll walk you through the many sorts of washers you’re likely to encounter and show you how to use them in this section.


Can You Use Soap With A Pressure Washer?

For pressure washers equipped with detergent tanks, the answer is yes: you can use soap in a pressure washer. Pressure washers that include detergent are becoming more and more commonplace as we realize the importance of detergent in our cleaning routines.

How to Use a Pressure Washer

In the event that your pressure washer lacks a detergent tank, you’ll need to obtain a wand attachment that enables the addition of soap to the nozzle’s end. Detergent can be used with either a cold or hot water pressure washer to enhance the cleaning process.

Should You Pressure Wash With Soap?

Should you use soap in your pressure washer now that you know it’s possible? The question is whether or not it’s really required. When it comes to deciding how best to clean up a mess, the answer is simple: it depends.

Soap may not be essential if you are simply sprinkling down your patio or balcony to remove some dirt and dust. You can, however, use a detergent with your pressure washer if you need to remove more stubborn stains, such as oil or grease.

Nevertheless, what kind of soap do you need to use? Using dish soap as a cleaning solution while using a pressure washer is a common practice, but we advise against it. As for dish soap, you have no way of knowing whether or not your machine will work with it.

As far as detergent is concerned, we’ll get right to it.

What Type Of Soap Should You Use With Your Pressure Washer?

Which soap to use with your pressure washer will be determined by the type of cleaning you need and the pressure washer you’re using, in significant measure..

Only use pressure washer certified detergent with your equipment, that much is evident. When used with a pressure washer, these detergents provide you with the most effective and efficient cleaning option.

Start by looking at a couple of the Hotsy Detergent options we have to assist you figure out which one is best for your needs.

When should you use soap and when detergent with your pressure washer?

Soap is created from plant and animal fats and oils, and is therefore a natural product. As a result, most of it is biodegradable and safe to dispose of in storm drains and other waterways. Check first if your drains go to a river, lake, or the ocean if you want to be sure your detergent is biodegradable. Fish can be harmed by some detergents.

Soap acts as an emulsifier, combining the greasy waste with water. Surfactants are used in detergents, which are chemically synthesized. Surface tension is reduced by surfactants, which allow water to interact with oily residue.

To use a detergent, you must have a water source that is either hard or soft. In the case of hard water, soap will leave a calcium carbonate residue.

The pump of your power washer will be damaged if you use bleach-based detergents.

Basic Types of Pressure Washer Detergents

Detergents used in high-pressure washers are typically categorised as cleaners, sanitizers, or disinfectants, depending on the application. Dirt and bacteria are not killed by cleaning products. Cleaners that destroy 99.99% of bacteria are called sanitizers. It can take up to ten minutes for disinfectants to destroy all microorganisms. Always choose a cleaning solution that has been specifically formulated for the task at hand, and be sure that the detergent you use is biodegradable. The paint on your car is too delicate to be cleaned with a harsh solution meant for washing concrete.

Cleaning Using a Pressure Washer with Onboard Tank

In most high-pressure cleaners, the detergent tank is located outside of the machine itself. All you have to do is follow the directions on the detergent container if your cleaner comes with one. When using your pressure washer and detergent, avoid utilizing an extension cord. Set the pressure at a low setting and turn it on only after checking your instruction booklet to see what sort of nozzle you need. You can gradually raise the pressure from a low setting until you can clearly see and feel the soap suds forming.

Foamers and Cleaning Attachments

Attachments like foamers and sharp shooters are your best bet if you don’t want to put detergent through your pump. Foamer attachments can be purchased independently or as part of a high-pressure washer package. A thick foam is produced by these cleaners, which operate at a lower temperature.

Some foamers use a spray nozzle which is attached to a tube which then siphons detergent from a bucket. The head of high-quality foamers attaches to a detergent tank. Also included is a valve that allows you to alter the spray pattern. A siphoning tube is used by soap shooters, another related attachment. It’s as simple as filling your soap shooter with detergent and spraying the surface you want to clean.

Basic Cleaning Procedure

The best way to apply the solution is by spraying upward in overlapping strokes. Allow the detergent to settle for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with a high-pressure hose and a suitable nozzle. Dirt and grime can remain persistent for long periods of time, therefore it may be necessary to reapply detergent to remove it completely. Start at the top and work your way down as you ascend Soap that has built up around plants and leaves should be thoroughly diluted to prevent any damage.

Mixing Your Own Solution

It’s common for people who have used the same car wash detergents for a long time to continue with them. It’s a problem that most of these detergents are formulated for hand washing, so you’ll have to do some conversion work to figure out how much to use in your washing machine. A typical 10-minute car wash requires no more than 10 buckets of water, which equates to 2.5 gallons of water every bucket. Hand wash detergent requirements can be simply calculated using this relative measure.

A Plant-Safe Detergent

You may always use vinegar as a plant-safe cleaning solution while cleaning the outside of your home. White vinegar and water should be mixed together and added to your detergent tank. This mixture is safe for plants and insects, and it aids in the removal of mold and mildew while you clean.

Avoid Bleach Solutions

Sodium hypochlorite, a highly corrosive chemical found in bleach, can void the warranty of many pressure washers as soon as they are used. To extend the life of your pressure washer, avoid using bleach and bleach-based solutions, regardless of the type of washer you have.

Pressure Cleaning Preparations

When cleaning with a pressure washer, always cover walls and doors, sweep surfaces clear of excess dirt and debris, and use the appropriate cleaning chemical for the job. Before attaching the spray wand tip for detergent, degrease the surface.

Using a foamer is a time-saving method. For best results, let your detergent sit for a few minutes before using an all-out blast of water to rinse it away. However, don’t undervalue the importance of detergent. A detergent tank is a necessary for every high-pressure washer, as its cleaning power is beneficial when used properly.

Best Pressure Washers in 2021

The Different Pressure Washer Soaps Available At Hotsy

Pressure washers can be used for so many various things.

Hot water pressure washers are frequently used to clean automobiles and large machinery. If you’re in the food service industry, you might be cleaning up spills and messes.

When it comes to removing oil, grease, and road grime from these conditions, using hot water and pressure alone isn’t enough. That’s why we have a variety of detergents to choose from for this type of cleaning.

As an example, our Power-Shine, which is a concentrated vehicle cleaner, produces rich suds to allow for optimum dwell time of the cleaning ingredients.

Road film and corroded paint are both safe. Our Breakthrough detergent may be a better option if you’re trying to remove wheel oil. With this method, you may restore any type of oxidized paint surface and take on crude oil.

With the Ripper I non-caustic cleaner, you may clean heavy machinery, machinery, and trucks without damaging them. Whether you’re cleaning a tractor-trailer or off-road equipment, it will remove even the toughest road and oil stains.

Stainless steel, aluminum, glass, and painted surfaces will all be brought back to their original luster with the Transport Detergent.

You’ll need our Hotsy Brown Detergent for the most challenging tasks. Fast and complete cleaning of carbon-based deposits including road film, exhaust stains, dirt, and grease can be achieved using our most powerful soap.

Reach out if you’re unsure which cleaning product is best for you! We’ve been in the pressure washing business for more than 40 years, and we can assist you choose the proper product for the job at hand.

How To Use Pressure Washer Soap: The Complete Guide

Knowing what kind of soap to put in your pressure washer is only the beginning of learning how to utilize pressure washer soap.

As each pressure washer is unique, this will only serve as a general guide. Always consult your manufacturer’s instructions or contact them directly if you’re unsure. The first step is to locate your detergent tank without further ado.

Locate and Fill Your Detergent Tank With Soap

As previously said, most modern pressure washers come equipped with a convenient detergent tank that you can fill with any soap of your choosing. You won’t have to worry about hauling around a bucket of soap when you get a high-quality pressure washer.

Using the pressure washer detergents you’ve chosen for the job, locate and fill your detergent tank. then close up tank and switch to “on” position of nozzle.

When you spray, the soap will be drawn into the pump by this mechanism. If you use the pressure washer without flipping this switch, your detergent will sit there.

Choose The Right Nozzle For The Job

When using a pressure washer with detergent, many people fail to notice the sort of nozzle they’re using.

When you’re actively applying the detergent, a low-pressure nozzle is better than a high-pressure one. If you don’t do this, the suds won’t stick to the surface of the object you’re cleaning.

The chemicals in pressure washer detergents are able to combat the stain because of this dwell time.

Spray In An Upward Motion To Prevent Streaking

As soon as you’ve filled your detergent tank and turned on your pressure washer, the fun begins: spraying.

Using an upward motion, spray your detergent over the surface you’re trying to get clean. This will help to keep your soap from staining or dripping. Again, the dwell time is critical!

Overlap the detergent you’ve already applied over the surface a few times to ensure that the mess is completely covered. It’s impossible to use soap too liberally.

Let The Soap Sit For 10-15 Minutes

For best results, wait at least 10-15 minutes after you’ve sprayed the surface with your pressure washer before moving on to the next area.

Soap breaks down the molecules of your problem into more manageable stains as you rest and await the next step. Reapply the detergent on bright or windy days to keep it from drying out on the surface.

Which detergent to use?

For most cleaning needs, an all-purpose detergent is sufficient. To get the greatest results, use a detergent specifically intended for the task at hand. Cleaning a certain surface may necessitate the use of one or more of the following:

  • Grass stains and debris can be removed from wood surfaces with deck and fence detergents.
  • Cleaning detergents are safe for use in the home, and they don’t alter the color of the fabric. Pressure cleaning sidings can be done using it.
  • Algae buildup on your boat may be removed with boat detergents.
  • Dirt and dead bugs must be removed off a car’s exterior with a detergent.
  • Oil stains on the driveway of a garage necessitate the use of a detergent.
  • If you have a concrete driveway, foamy pressure washer detergents might work, but you don’t want to use them on your car.
  • Keep in mind that dish soaps might irritate your eyes, as well as the eyes of pets and youngsters who may be in the vicinity.

Water should be used to dilute concentrated cleaning products.

Detergent Tank or Water Bucket

If you don’t have a detergent tank in your pressure washer, you’ll need a bucket to hold the hose.

Detergent Tank

  • Detergent should be added to the tank.
  • Activate the cleaning solution by turning the on/off switch.

Water Bucket

  • If you’re using a pressure washer, make sure the cleaning solution injection tube is connected to the pump.
  • Using the other end, dip it into the pail of diluted dishwashing liquid.

Detergent Brush or Gun

  • Some pressure washer brushes allow you to put the cleaning solution straight to the brush for a more thorough cleaning experience.
  • As with a detergent tank, attach the cleaning solution bottle to the pressure washer gun’s side.

Clean With The Pressure Washer

  • Use a pressure washer to remove loose dirt and debris before using detergent. After that, the cleaning solution works its magic on the tougher stains.
  • Use a nozzle with a low-pressure setting.
  • Avoid streaks and missing regions by spraying upward and slightly overlapping.
  • Allow it sit for a few minutes, but don’t let it dry out completely.
  • The detergent valve should be set to “” now.
  • Using a pressure washer, remove any residual detergent from the machine.
  • Clean the surface with a high-pressure nozzle now.
  • To avoid streaks, always rinse from the top to the bottom.

It’s a good idea to spray the surrounding environment with clean water, even though most detergents and soaps are biodegradable. Soap and detergent will be removed from the plants in the immediate vicinity.

Put On A High-Pressure Nozzle And Rinse The Mess Away!

In order to use soap with a pressure washer, the final step is to switch out the low-pressure sprayer for a high-pressure one.

Then, using only high-powered water, you’ll remove the detergent and filth from every inch of the surface. Use a hot water pressure washer for extra points! The higher the temperature, the better the cleaning power.

There’s one more thing to keep in mind when you’re cleaning: soap runoff. Spraying the suds into a drainage area or diluting them so that they aren’t visible may be necessary.

Where Is The Best Place To Find Pressure Washer Detergents?

Well, that’s a wrap! It’s simple and effective to use soap with a pressure washer. You’ll be able to get back to doing the things you enjoy – assuming that operating your pressure washer isn’t one of them!

When it comes to purchasing pressure washer soap, where is the best place to go? Earlier, we talked about our catalog, which may have obscured the point a bit, but the truth is that Hotsy is the only place to go for everything related to pressure washing. Without a doubt, the greatest place to buy a pressure washer online is right here.

We also offer a wide variety of detergents to ensure that you get the most out of your pressure washer. However, we also have a wide selection of commercial pressure washers for sale on our website. The following are some of our most popular cleaning products:

  • Pressure washers using hot water for commercial use
  • Pressure washers for commercial use using cold water
  • Machine Washers for Parts
  • Sprayers for Commercial Disinfection
  • Trailers for pressure washers
  • And there’s more!

We’ve probably got the pressure washer you’re looking for. When it comes to cleaning, there is nothing better than a Hotsy! You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Customers rely on us to offer high-quality pressure washers and other cleaning equipment, and we have thousands of them.

There are many Hotsy pressure washers for sale or rent in the south Texas area, so if you’re seeking to take your cleaning to the next level, visit a local merchant or give us a call today. our offices can be found in:

  • St. Anthony’s
  • It is located in New Braunfels.
  • Laredo
  • The Rio Grande Valley.
  • shale formations such as the Eagle Ford

Sound Level of Ryobi 2300 PSI Brushless Electric Pressure Washer (it's very quiet) - YouTube

10 Things to Know about Pressure Washer Soaps & Detergents

1. The difference between soap and detergent.

  • Natural fats and oils from plants and animals are used to make soap, which is a sort of detergent. Steam is used to separate fatty acids and glycerine from the raw ingredients. Soap is what comes out of the process.
  • Both bar soap and liquid soap include sodium as a salt.
  • Using this soap and water, filth, grime, and stains can be broken down and dissolved on a microscopic level.
  • Detergents are not natural fats and oils, but man-made compounds.
  • To clean your clothes, you need detergents.

When to use soap and when to use detergents pressure washing?

Biodegradability is one of the advantages of soap, which is made from natural ingredients and may be flushed down storm drains without fear. With untreated water like rain water, however, you cannot use pressure washer soap since that water is hard. Why? This is due to the fact that it will precipitate a calcium carbonate solid, which you do not want floating around.

This isn’t a problem with detergents. In addition to being more effective on specific surfaces like wood and concrete, detergents are also made to be more effective.

Synthetic detergents and natural soaps are frequently used to create a powerful cleaning agent.

2. How a pressure washer soap nozzle, injector and dispenser work.

Prior to or after the pump, soap detergent can be added to the water flow of a pressure washer.

The downstream injectors provide you more alternatives because only a limited number of chemicals can be pumped through the pump.

Soap nozzles must be utilized with the downstream soap injectors. There is an adapter that may be used to transfer detergent from the detergent bottle to an application hose.

3. The difference between residential and professional pressure washer detergent, soap, chemicals and cleaning solutions.

Pressure washing is either a hobby for you or a full-time career for you, depending on your situation.

When it comes to pressure cleaning chemicals, there is a big difference between those used in home cleaning and those used in professional cleaning.

Pre-mixed solution in a gallon can be purchased at Home Depot if you don’t want to use it every day. Because you only need a small amount, you end up spending more per gallon of solution for that one.

4. The types of chemicals used in the different types of power washer soaps and detergents.

Chemicals are labelled according to their intended use and suggested surface by manufacturers. In addition to cleaning products, there are disinfectants and sanitizers that can destroy 99.99% of bacteria in less than 30 seconds (10 minutes).

  • When it comes to cleaning, vinegar is a go-to solution. Surfaces ranging from brass door handles to bronze antiques can be cleaned and polished.
  • Cleans concrete driveways and wood decks with citric acid.
  • Oxalic Acid: For cleaning and removing rust.
  • Sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide are the active ingredients of bleach, which is an extremely powerful disinfectant.
  • Sodium hypochlorite is a potent disinfectant and stain remover.
  • Sodium Hydroxide, also known as caustic, is a degreaser for glass and steel that quickly dissolves grease and fats.
  • A common household cleaner for glass and stainless steel is ammonia.
  • Potassium Hydroxide is a chemical compound used in the production of liquid and soft soaps.

5. If pressure washing with soaps and detergents is harmful to your pet or garden.

To ensure the safety of your pets and the environment, all pressure washer detergent soaps sold in stores should be environmentally friendly. Even if professionals are aware of the dangers, they may nonetheless use chemicals that are harmful to humans and animals.

6. If pressure washing with power washer soap and other cleaning solutions is harmful to the environment if let down storm drains.

Biodegradable cleaning products should be used to guarantee that they are safe. You may find this information on the label.

7. How much easier it will be to pressure clean surfaces with soapy cleaning solutions compared to without.

Using a Pyrex glass baking dish, have you ever made lasagna at home before? In addition to the sides and bottom, place the cheesecakes.

Try rinsing it with with ice-cold water now. Now, wash it with soap and warm water.

Fast and efficient cleaning can be achieved with detergent and soap and high-pressure water.

8. What everyone else is saying about using pressure washer detergent and soap.

A car wash/detailing shop is located on my way to the train station. There are four specialists on-site Monday through Saturday, and business is brisk at all hours. I came in this morning to inquire about the products they use to clean their clients’ vehicles.

Aside from pressure washing the outside, they also do inside detailing and grooming. An image of their cleaning solution bottles was all that I needed to capture. There are at least ten distinct products on display, each serving a distinct function.

Lachlan, the guy I was conversing with, laughed when I asked him whether they tried to perform their work with just one or two answers. No, he insisted: “We’re going to need every single one of them to get the work done quickly and easily.”

Additives are necessary if you want to speed up your pressure cleaning and get a more thorough clean.

9. The best electric and gas pressure washer to buy out-of-the-box with the ability to add soaps and detergents easily.


Blue Clean AR390SS AR390SS 2,000 PSI 1.4 GPM AR Blue Clean

The AR Blue Clean is the greatest electric pressure washer with a downstream injection system.

You’ll save water and time by using this method when cleaning your home. How? So long as you use the right detergent and the right water pressure, you can clean your driveway, house siding, back deck, shed roof, and a whole lot more.

Pressure Washer Detergent | 2021 Review - Pressure Washer

It’s pre-assembled with a detergent tank and soap nozzle, so you can start using it right away. It’s now on sale at Amazon, so take a look at it here:.


You can use any old milk jug or water jug to carry the cleaning detergent solution if you don’t have an onboard tank. The Simpson MegaShot 3,100 PSI is the best gas-powered pressure washer with a detergent injection system.

A black-tip soaping nozzle and a siphon hose are included in the system. The black soap nozzle is attached to a hose that is inserted into the cleaning solution. The soap will be introduced into the system once you begin spraying and you will clean with it.

If you’re willing to pay a little extra for a Honda engine, you’ll get a lot more power in return.

Amazon is the best place to buy

10. The best pressure washer soap and detergent for each surface.

Best Boat, Car, Motorcycle or RV Vehicle Pressure Washer Soap

This 1 gallon bottle of pressure washer detergent is essential if you want to get the most out of your pressure washer when cleaning your boat, car, motorcycle, or RV.

One cup of this concentrated detergent should be mixed with around 10 cups of water. This bottle is good for 20 hand washes.

Karcher (the manufacturer) recommends a retail price of $24.99.

Best Concrete Power Washer Detergent Soap

If you have concrete areas such as a driveway, patio, or pathways that need to be pressure cleaned, try this pressure washer soap.

It comes in a gallon jug, and depending on the size of your concrete surfaces, you can get 11 washes out of it.

It’s designed to get rid of grease, oil, and other gunk.

Best Wood Deck or Fence Pressure Washing Cleaning Solution

Instead of bleach or ammonia, “sporex,” a fancy name for a chemical that removes mildew, mold, algae, and moss from wood surfaces, is used in this deck and fence cleaning.

After saturating the wood surface with water, spray it with the sudsy water from the Krud Kutter added to the pressure washer detergent bottle and leave it for 5 minutes. On vertical surfaces, be sure to use it top down. You’ll have a brand new fence or deck if you pressure wash it now.

Best House Siding Cleaner

Clean 6,000 square feet with one bottle of Oxy Solve Simple Green concentrate and a 1:20 water ratio.

It is meant to keep mold and mildew at bay while also removing it quickly and effectively. Vinyl siding benefits greatly from this treatment.

There are no petroleum solvents in this product, therefore it’s good for the environment.

Best Multi-purpose Power Washer Soap

This product from Simple Green is the greatest all-purpose cleaner on the market. It’s easy to see why it’s a best seller on Amazon after using it to clean my car and garage floor.

Awnings, floors, walls, and metal surfaces are all good candidates for this product.

This product has a lot of positive reviews and customers appreciate how it cleans and degreases their concrete, car, and metal parts when they’re working on their vehicles.

It’s A Wrap!

Now you know how to wash with detergent in a pressure washer. Make sure to follow the cleaning instructions to the letter. Preparation is the key to maximizing the power of the pressure washer. Instead of using bleach, use a detergent that is safe for plants. Thank goodness for cleaning attachments and foamers as well!

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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