How To Use Jet Washing: Tips & Tricks


Jet washing, also known as pressure washing, is a highly effective method for cleaning various surfaces, from driveways and decks to vehicles and outdoor furniture. Harnessing the power of high-pressure water, jet washing can quickly remove dirt, grime, mold, and other contaminants, restoring surfaces to their former glory. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of jet washing, covering everything from machine types to safety precautions and environmental considerations.

Introduction to Jet Washing

Jet washing involves the use of a high-pressure water spray to clean surfaces. It’s commonly used for outdoor cleaning tasks such as removing dirt, moss, algae, and mildew from driveways, patios, and exterior walls. Additionally, jet washing is employed in industrial settings for heavy-duty cleaning applications.

Types of Jet Wash Machines

There are various types of jet wash machines available on the market, each designed for specific purposes:

Electric Jet Washers

1. Ideal for light to medium-duty tasks such as cleaning cars, patio furniture, and small outdoor areas.

2. Environmentally friendly as they produce zero emissions.

3. Generally more lightweight and portable compared to gas-powered models.

Gas-Powered Jet Washers

1. Suitable for heavy-duty cleaning tasks such as large driveways, decks, and industrial equipment.

2. Offers greater mobility as they don’t rely on electrical outlets.

3. Provides higher pressure and flow rates compared to electric models.

Hot Water Jet Washers

1. Utilizes hot water in addition to high pressure, making them more effective for removing stubborn stains and grease.

2. Commonly used in commercial and industrial settings where grease and oil buildup are prevalent.

Commercial and Industrial Jet Washers

1. Designed for professional use in commercial cleaning applications such as graffiti removal, building facades, and fleet washing.

2. Available in various configurations, including trailer-mounted and skid-mounted units for added mobility.

Setting Up the Machine

Proper setup of the jet wash machine is essential to ensure efficient operation:

1. Select a Suitable Location: Choose a flat, stable surface with access to water and power sources.

2. Assemble the Components: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the machine, including attaching hoses, nozzles, and accessories.

3. Connect Water Supply: Connect the garden hose to the machine’s water inlet, ensuring a secure connection to prevent leaks.

4. Power On the Machine: Plug in the electric jet washer or start the gas-powered engine according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

5. Prime the Pump: If necessary, follow the instructions to prime the pump to ensure proper water flow.

Operating Procedures

Once the jet wash machine is set up, follow these steps to operate it effectively:

1. Adjust Pressure Settings: Use the pressure control knob or wand to adjust the pressure according to the surface being cleaned. Lower pressure is suitable for delicate surfaces, while higher pressure is needed for tough stains.

2. Select the Appropriate Nozzle: Choose the nozzle that best suits the cleaning task. Narrow nozzles provide higher pressure for stubborn stains, while wide-angle nozzles cover larger areas.

3. Begin Cleaning: Hold the wand at a consistent distance from the surface, typically 6-12 inches, and move it in overlapping passes to ensure thorough cleaning.

4. Keep Moving: Avoid concentrating the spray on one spot for too long to prevent damage to the surface.

5. Turn Off the Machine: Once the cleaning is complete, switch off the machine and release any built-up pressure by squeezing the trigger on the wand.

Safety Precautions

Safety should always be a top priority when using a jet wash machine to prevent injuries or damage:

1. Wear Protective Gear: Use safety goggles, gloves, and appropriate footwear to protect yourself from flying debris and chemical splashes.

2. Avoid Contact with Electrical Outlets: Keep the power cord and electrical components away from water to prevent electric shocks.

3. Use Caution on Surfaces: Exercise caution when cleaning delicate surfaces such as wood or painted surfaces to avoid damage from high-pressure water.

4. Beware of Recoil: Gas-powered jet washers can have recoil when starting, so ensure a firm grip on the wand and maintain proper balance.

5. Keep Children and Pets Away: Jet wash machines can be dangerous if mishandled, so keep children and pets at a safe distance during operation.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your jet wash machine in optimal condition:

1. Clean the Filters: Periodically clean or replace the inlet filter to prevent clogs and ensure proper water flow.

2. Flush the System: After each use, flush the system with clean water to remove any debris or detergent residue.

3. Inspect Hoses and Connections: Check hoses, fittings, and connections for leaks or damage, and replace any worn components.

4. Store Properly: Store the jet wash machine in a dry, well-ventilated area away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight.

5. Follow Maintenance Schedule: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes, spark plug replacement, and other routine tasks.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Despite proper maintenance, you may encounter occasional issues with your jet wash machine:

1. Low Pressure: Check for clogged nozzles, hoses, or filters, and clean or replace them as needed.

2. Leaks: Inspect hoses, fittings, and connections for leaks, and tighten or replace any damaged components.

3. Engine Won’t Start: Ensure the fuel tank is adequately filled, the spark plug is clean and properly gapped, and the choke is set correctly.

4. Uneven Spray Pattern: Adjust the nozzle or clean any obstructions to ensure a consistent spray pattern.

5. Overheating: Allow the machine to cool down if it overheats, and check for obstructions blocking airflow to the engine or pump.

Environmental Considerations

While jet washing is an effective cleaning method, it’s essential to minimize its environmental impact:

1. Use Eco-Friendly Detergents: Choose biodegradable and environmentally friendly detergents to minimize harm to aquatic ecosystems.

2. Avoid Wasteful Water Usage: Use water-efficient nozzles and techniques such as sweeping surfaces before cleaning to minimize water consumption.

3. Proper Disposal of Wastewater: Dispose of wastewater properly to prevent contamination of storm drains and waterways, following local regulations.

4. Consider Water Recycling: Investigate water recycling systems that capture and filter wastewater for reuse in jet washing operations, reducing overall water consumption.

5. Educate Users: Provide training on environmentally responsible jet washing practices to promote sustainability and conservation efforts.

DIY vs. Professional Services

Deciding whether to tackle jet washing tasks yourself or hire a professional depends on various factors:

1. DIY: DIY jet washing is suitable for small to medium-sized projects such as cleaning driveways, decks, and vehicles. It allows for greater control over the cleaning process and can be cost-effective for homeowners.

2. Professional Services: Professional jet washing services are recommended for large or challenging cleaning tasks, such as commercial or industrial cleaning projects. Experienced professionals have access to specialized equipment and can ensure thorough and efficient cleaning results.


Mastering the art of jet washing requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and proper equipment. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can safely and effectively clean a wide range of surfaces while minimizing environmental impact and maximizing results. Whether you choose to tackle the job yourself or enlist the help of professionals, jet washing offers a powerful solution for keeping surfaces clean and well-maintained.

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