Things You Should Never Clean with Your Pressure Washer

Pressure washing is a powerful clean way to remove dirt quickly, grime, and other debris from any surfaces.

It efficiently removes stubborn stains from driveways, sidewalks, house exteriors, outdoor decks, etc.

But there are some things that you should never use a pressure washer to clean. If you use a pressure washer on these fragile surfaces, it can cause permanent damage.

8 Things You Should Never Clean With the Pressure Washer

There are many different cleaning methods to wash. A pressure washer is one of the tools that uses high-pressure water to clean.

Washing things with the tool, both have pros and cons. Let us know the things we should not wash with the tool.

1. Don’t use a pressure washer to clean asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are a common roofing material found on many homes nationwide.

Pressure washing is a good way to clean outdoor surfaces, but you shouldn’t use it to clean asphalt shingles.

Using a pressure washer on asphalt shingles can cause serious damage to the roof.

The water’s high pressure can destroy the shingles’ protective granules.

These granules reflect the sunlight and keep the roof from getting damaged by UV light.

If you need to clean an asphalt shingle roof, use a low-pressure washer. This will help to remove dirt and debris without causing any damage to your roof.

2. Don’t Use High Pressure to Clean Electric Meters or Panels

Electric panels and meters are important parts of your home’s electrical system. It’s important to clean and take care of them properly.

However, pressure washing is inappropriate for cleaning these fragile and sensitive components.

Besides, the electricity can flow in water. So, Pressure washing on electric panels or meters can be dangerous and cause short circuits or fires.

This can not only destroy the panels or the equipment, but it can also put you and your family in danger.

To clean your electric panels or meters, it’s best to use a dry cloth or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or debris gently.

If you notice any issues with your electrical system, it’s important to contact a professional electrician for maintenance.

3. Don’t Use a Pressure Washer with Old Mortar

Old mortar is more fragile than new mortar. The high-pressure water triggers it further.

A high-pressure washer can weaken the wall’s structure and cause it to collapse or become unstable.

At the same time, pressure washing can effectively remove dirt, grime, and stains from many types of walls.

But water can also get into the tiny spaces between the bricks, which can lessen the damage.

So when cleaning old mortar, it is important to be cautious. Using a gentle cleaning method with a soft-bristled brush or a low-pressure sprayer is best.

This will let you clean off specks of dirt without hurting the mortar or the wall’s structure.

4. Don’t Use Pressure to Clean Painted Porches or Other Surfaces.

Painted Porches and no pressure washer

They are excellent for clean driveways, minimizing that effort with their power and precision, making it an excellent investment for your around-the-house duties.

However, cleaning porches or other painted surfaces with a pressure washer is not a good idea.

High-pressure water can strip away the top layer of paint from painted surfaces, leaving an unattractive and uneven surface appearance.

This can be even worse if the paint has already started cracking because pressure washing can speed up this process and do more damage.

Besides, mold can grow on surfaces that will be even more costly to repair.

So, cleaning the porches or painted surfaces with low water flow with a brush will be great.

5. Don’t Use Pressure To Clean Stained Wood

You should use a pressure washer to clean a stained wood deck, fence, or other outdoor structure.

Stained wood is more delicate than other types of outdoor surfaces. Staining wood with pressure washing can cause significant damage .

It can strip away the protective layer of stain that leaves the wood exposed to sunlight and moisture.

As a result, the wood may warp, split, or crack, which can be expensive to fix or even replace. A pressure washer can also force water into the wood’s tiny pores, creating mold in the wood.

This can be a big problem for buildings that may dry out partially after being washed with pressure.

6. Don’t Pressure Wash Surfaces Coated in Lead Paint

Lead paint is often used in homes and buildings. If the surface is painted coated with lead paint, you shouldn’t use a pressure washer.

The high-pressure water can make the lead paint flake off and get into the air.

Pressure washing can also push the lead paint into the soil, contaminating the groundwater and harming the environment and health.

If you need to remove lead paint from a surface, a specialized removal method, such as chemical stripping or sanding, is recommended to remove lead paint from a surface.

These methods are more effective and safer than pressure washing and will help to reduce the risk.

7. Don’t Use a Pressure Washer to Clean Gutters

Gutter washing demands a difficult cleaning process. Many people think to wash it with a pressure washer.

Pressure washing your gutters may do more harm than good, though it seems a more efficient and efficient cleaning.

If your gutters are made of a fragile material like plastic or aluminum, the high-pressure water from a pressure washer could damage them.

The water can make dents, cracks, or holes, leading to leaks or even complete failure of the guttering system.

You may clean your gutters with a  safer and gentler method, such as using a scoop or trowel to remove debris by hand.

This will protect your guttering system and prevent any potential damage.

8. Don’t Use High Pressure To Clean Your Garden Lights

To clean outdoor lights like garden lights, it’s important to be careful.

Even though pressure washing might seem like an easy cleaning solution, it can damage electrical components such as lights, wires, etc.

This could make the lights stop working or even start a fire, creating a dangerous situation.

If you need to clean your garden lights, it’s best to use a soft brush or a dry cloth instead of chemicals or water.

This will let you clean up dirt without damaging the electrical parts. So, it’s important to be careful when working with outdoor lighting, especially if it’s connected to an electrical source.


Although a pressure washer is an excellent way to clean, some things are not pressure washer-friendly.

After understanding the important risks and limitations of your pressure washer, you can ensure a safe and effective cleaning way for your home and property.

Remember that if you need help cleaning something, it’s best to ask an expert.

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