How to Use Soap with Pressure Washer: The Ultimate Guide

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Ever wanted to get the best out of your pressure washer? Perhaps, you should switch to using soaps. Soaps are known to be the best and recommended washers for your pressure washers for various reasons.

  • They are non-corrosive
  • Biodegradable
  • Environmental friendly
  • It does not leave residue behind.

No matter how long you’ve been washing with water, it’s just a matter of time before you hit the stain that water alone cannot remove. While that day is yet to come, we advise you to get prepared in advance. In this guide, we show you the best soaps to use for your pressure washers, the pros, and cons, things to consider before choosing the right soap, e.tc.

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Guide to Choosing the Right Pressure Washing Soap and Detergent

As a seasoned pressure washer user, you are surely not new to the black 65-degree soap nozzle or a pressure washer with a detergent tank. But then, as a newbie starting, knowing where to look as far as choosing the right soap or detergent can prove to be a difficult task. But look no further, we are here for you.

A pressure washer works best when used with the right detergent. Pressure washer soaps are specifically designed to help in your cleaning tasks to remove tough stains and dirt. Nonetheless, there are different types, and they all have different effects on the way your pressure washer handles different kinds of stains and dirt. So then, what do you do before making your choice? In this guide, we took our time to break the differences between them all and those things you need to know before making your choice.

There are different labels, chemicals, and types of pressure washer soaps. Knowing the difference will make making your choice more comfortable and faster, especially when you are on a budget.

Commercial-Grade Soaps

The commercial-grade soaps are stronger than the consumer-grade soaps but use similar chemical components. Due to its nature, you have to dilute it in more water before you can get the ideal mixture that’s ideal for your usage.

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To avoid it running into problems, do not mix with hard water. This is because they are more concentrated than your regular detergents. In terms of the package, they are commonly packed in bulks. This makes them ideal for professional and commercial purposes as against a single home use.

Consumer-Grade Soaps

Soaps are made from the saponification of fats and oils. They are natural additives and have less damaging effects on the environment. This makes them ideal for cleaning metals or woods that are prone to rusting or rotting quickly.

In terms of harmfulness, they are biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and won’t cause harm to pets, grass, and the environment in general, even if you are washing in an open space. The soapy water can quickly drain into gutters and sewages without any extra worry on your part about the environment being damaged.

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But then, the consumer-grade soaps are ideal for home use and not for commercial purposes. Go for a stronger commercial-grade soap if your usage is for more difficult stains, grease, and dirt. Like the commercial-grade soaps, the consumer-grade soaps don’t easily foam with hard water, and you have to avoid this if you want to get a perfect result.

Detergents

Detergents work wonders, especially in removing tough stains, oils, mildews, e.t.c. They are synthetic and made from the combination of different chemicals. This allows them to break down tough and stubborn stains with effortless restrain.

Due to their nature, they blend effortlessly with any kind of water, be it hard or soft. In terms of use, detergents are the best in removing stains, grease, oils, and other types of tougher-than-life stains from industries. With specialized agents, the dirt and stains are torn apart and removed faster than soaps, thus creating a sparkling look that is admirable to all.

Though they are corrosive and toxic in most cases, they won’t damage surfaces if rightly used with the surfaces and purposes they are meant for. Detergents are less biodegradable. While being used, you have to be careful so as not to come in contact with pets and little children. However, if you follow all the instructions on the manual, detergents will serve your purposes just the way you want it.

The Delivery System

When it comes to the delivery system, pressure washers can use soaps and detergents in two ways—downstream (after the pump) and upstream (before the pump).

The upstream delivery system allows you to spray the chemical with more force. As for the downstream delivery system, you get to use more chemicals and abrasive without any fear of the internal parts being damaged. The two delivery systems depend on the model you are using. What this means is that some models do not have an integrated detergent tank while others do. Also, depending on the pressure washer’s model, there are certain soaps and detergents you cannot use. Above all things, the key to enjoying your pressure washer is to carefully read the manual to know the type of soaps or detergents that best fit it.

Environmental Implication

Sure, we are always careful when using our pressure washer, but sometimes, it goes beyond being careful. The damages caused to the environment can be deadlier than we can imagine.

You need to be careful when using detergents with our pressure washers so as not to incur the wraths of necessary authorities who won’t hesitate to slam hefty fines on you. The Clean Water Act, for example, can come for you if you fail to dispose of your wastewater correctly. Ensure you follow the necessary discharge instructions in your locality or province.

What kind of soap can you use with a pressure washer?

Ever cared about getting the best out of your pressure washer? Sure! I know you do. However, you can’t get the best without using the right detergents and soaps. In simple terms, you should consider using soaps for your pressure washer.

Pressure washers are portable cleaning tools that are used for different cleaning purposes. If you are a first-time buyer, you might want to check out the different types of pressure washer to consider before making a purchase. But then, for you to get the best cleaning result, it is essential you invest in a quality soap or detergents.

There are different types of soaps and detergents out there you can choose from. In this guide, we will show you around and help you make the right choice as far as choosing the right soap for your pressure washer is concerned. Before doing that, you must understand that there are differences between a soap and a detergent. This will help your decision making if you are at crossroads of whether to choose soaps or detergents for your pressure washer.

Top Best Pressure Washer Soaps or Detergents

Selecting the best soap for your pressure washer can be tricky. However, the good thing is, once you get the perfect one, you are guaranteed to use it for a more extended period. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to carefully select and make the reviews of the best soaps and detergents out there available for you.

1. Simple Green 13421 Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner

The Simple Green 13421 Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner is a degreaser. Like other degreasers, the Simple Green 13421 Pro HD Heavy Duty requires heavy chemicals to help remove grease. None the less, this soap is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and removes stains from a variety of surfaces. Be it your floor, engines, machinery, walls, the Simple Green 13421 Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner will break down hardened grease, grime, and remove stains.

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To decide whether to buy this soap for your pressure washer, it is ideal for you to know some of the characteristics.

  • It is non-corrosive, non-toxic
  • Clean car exteriors, engines, machinery, e.t.c
  • Safe for metal surfaces
  • Perfect for breaking down tough stains, grease and grimes
  • Safe for metal surfaces
  • Professional concentrated cleaner and degreaser
  • Developed for multi-purpose use

Direction for Use

  • Mix with water for the severity of dirt
  • Apply to the surface via spray, mop, or wipe.
  • Leave it for several minutes’ contact before rinsing.  For best result, rinse or damp wipe.

Dilution Instruction

For Heavy Cleaning Purposes
  1. Dilute 1 cup of Pro HD to 3 cups of water or use a 1:3 mix ratio.
  2. Use for items such as engines, tires, wheels, tools, bumpers, grease, oil stains, ovens, grills, range hoods, vents, and floor wax removal.
For Medium Cleaning
  1. Dilute 1 cup of Pro HD to 5 cups of water or use a 1:5 mix ratio.
  2. Use for items such as floors, finished wood, painted surfaces, polished marble, stainless steel, chrome, plastics, counters, stove-tops, refrigerators, sinks, showers, tubs, tile, and toilets.
For Light Cleaning
  1. Dilute 1 cup of Pro HD to 13 cups of water or use a 1:13 mix ratio.
  2. Use for items such as cabinets, colourfast carpets and fabrics, the exterior of cars, vans, trucks, RVs or boats, and dashboards.

Directions for Pressure Washing

  1. Water plants and lawns around the area to be cleaned.
  2. Drop siphon hose into bottle or pre-mix according to equipment instructions.
  3. Pressure wash vertical surfaces from bottom to top and rinse from top to bottom.
  4. Rinse plants and lawn with water again after cleaning is done.

2. Karcher Car Wash & Wax Soap for Pressure Washers

This type of pressure washing soap is made, especially for washing vehicles. Simple use of this soap to clean your vehicle will leave your mouth agape as your vehicle will not only be washed clean but sparkling. It is biodegradable, thus ideal for vehicle cleaning. It does not leave any residue after wash. Some stains on vehicles are so tough that ordinary soaps and detergents cannot remove them, but then, don’t worry, Karcher is the answer you seek. Experts suggest it for your vehicle cleaning.

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Other characteristics include;

  • It is biodegradable
  • Does not affect your vehicle colour
  • Does not leave residue behind after use
  • Highly concentrated
  • Combines wash and wax to give the perfect cleaning effect on your vehicle

Pros

  • Ideal for vehicle wash.
  • Removes all stains and dirt from metal surfaces.
  • Makes vehicles clean and sparkling
  • Long-lasting result.
  • Usable on all types of car cleaning.
  • Biodegradable
  • Concentrated enough to be used in multiple washing.
  • It helps to have a natural wash.
  • Highly environmentally friendly and does not leave any residue behind.

Cons

  • It won’t work well correctly with a few pressure washer
  • It sometimes requires scrubbing
  • Dirt might be found sometimes after use

3. Simple Green 18202 Concrete and Driveway Cleaner

The Simple Green Concrete and Driveway Cleaner, as the name implies, is specially made to clean grimes, oil, and greases from concretes such as driveways, patio, and other concrete surfaces. Its non-corrosive, environmentally friendly, and can remove any type of tough stains from your concretes. Before making your decision, the further features below will help you to decide faster on buying it.

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  • Safe for pressure washing machines
  • Non-corrosive or non-degrading
  • Ideal for concrete surfaces such as patio, driveway, etc.
  • Cleans oil stains, grime and grease effectively
  • Comes in a 1-gallon bottle
  • Doesn’t harm plants or trees
  • The developed and potent formula is used
  • Environmental friendly

Direction for Use

Before Use
  1. Ensure you wear eye protection.
  2. Sprinkle water on your shrubs, plants, and grass
  3. Keep kids and animals away from the worksite.
  4. Test pressure washer for surface compatibility, with and without the cleaner, in an inconspicuous area. Rinse and allow the surface to dry before proceeding.
  5. If working on a vertical surface, apply the solution from the bottom up.
  6. Pressure washing alone may remove old paint and stains and should be tested on the surface before cleaning.
  7. For incredibly light stains, pre-dilute this product 50/50 with water and follow the instructions above.
  8. Ensure the product does not dry on the surface before you rinse it.
  9. By all means, do not allow contact on any deteriorated painted, sealed, or stained surfaces unless you intend to refinish.
Application Direction
  1. Put pressure washer siphon tube into solution.
  2. Use a low-pressure spray nozzle to apply the solution to the surface.
  3. Remove the siphon tube from the container.
  4. Rinse with a high-pressure nozzle.
  5. Before storage, rinse pressure washer parts thoroughly.
  6. Saturate plants, shrubs, and grass with water after cleaning.
Manual Cleaning
  1. Dilute 1-measure of Simple Green with 10-measures of ambient water (Example: In a clean bucket, add 2 cups of Simple Green to 1 gallon + 1 quart of water).
  2. Clean in sections using a soft bristle brush.
  3. Allow the cleaning solution to remain on the surface for several minutes, without drying up.
  4. Rinse with a garden hose at the highest pressure possible.
  5. Move to a new section and repeat.

4. Krud Kutter DF01 Deck and Fence Concentrate

When it comes to pressure washer soaps and detergents, Krud Kutter is a household name you can trust. They produce some of the most recommended pressure washer soaps, including the Krud Kutter DF01 Deck and Fence Concentrate. This pressure washer soap is manufactured to be odourless and to ensure your deck and fence are sparkling clean.

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The soap is biodegradable and can quickly get rid of all the algae, mildew, and mold growing on your fences and wooden decks.

Instruction of Use

  1. Wet the dry floor before applying the DF01 Deck and Fence Concentrate
  2. Place the detergent application siphon tube directly into the container
  3. Pour the concentrate in the pressure washer tank and dilute it with water
  4. Spray the cleaner solution on the wet deck and fence and wet for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Do not let this to dry up before cleaning it up
  6. Ensure you do not mix the concentrate with any other chemical

Pros

  • Unique “Sporex” formula.
  • Covers 2000 square feet area.
  • Applicable on composite decks.
  • Biodegradable formula.
  • Non-toxic and non-abrasive.
  • Fruitful result.
  • Removes stains from deck and fence.
  • Cleans any mildew, mold, algae, fungus, moss stains.
  • Best for residential use.

Cons

  • Sometimes the result won’t be satisfactory.
  • Not applicable to the metal surface.

5. Krud Kutter HS01 Green Pressure Washer Concentrate House and Siding Cleaner

Another favourite product from Krud Kutter is the HS01 Green Pressure Washer Concentrate made for cleaning houses and sidings. The soap comes with an additive that removes any kind of tough stains, no matter how tough they are. 

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Experts recommend this for you if a shiny dirt-free surface is what you want in your home. Waste no time in getting this today. The further characteristics include;

  • It is Effective and ideal in cleaning mold, algae, fungus, moss, etc.
  • Its mixing ratio is 1:10 which provides a large amount of solution
  • The unique additive cleans tough dirt and stains with ease
  • It comes in 1-gallon size bottle
  • It penetrates the surface mildly and quickly dissolves the stains
  • It does not contain any petroleum solvent
  • Above all, it is cost-effective
  • Perfect for cleaning all kinds of walls and sidings
  • It does not have a bad odor or leaves residue after use but contains an appealing fragrance

Instruction for Use

  1. Dilute the concentrate in the water of your pressure washer tank.
  2. Spray the solution with nozzle after making the surface with water
  3. Wait for 3-5 minutes and wash off the whole surface

Pros

  • House and siding cleaning concentrate.
  • Sporex formula.
  • Non-toxic, non-abrasive.
  • Removes stains from exterior siding, roofing, gutters, stucco, and other hard surfaces.
  • It does not contain any petroleum solvents.
  • Cleans any mildew, mold, algae, fungus, moss stains.
  • It gives an impressive result.
  • Cleans 2000 sq. Ft. the area with one container concentrate.
  • Safe to use.

Cons

  • The mild odour may be unbearable to some users.
  • It sometimes requires scrubbing
  • It sometimes leaves streaks

6. Krud Kutter PWC01 Purple Multi-Purpose Pressure Washer Concentrate

As the name implies, it is a multi-purpose pressure washer soap. It is biodegradable, non-abrasive, non-corrosive, and leaves your surface clean and sweet-smelling after each cleaning effect. Judging from its name, it can remove stains and dirt from any kind of surface.

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From your stairs, fences, decks, walls to sidings, you are guaranteed a maximum cleaning effect. Other kinds of surface you can apply it include, walkways, driveways, stucco, pool areas, engines, all types of roofing, etc. It is quick and easy to use. Other characteristics include;

  • A very strong commercial formula is used
  • Ideal for wood, vinyl or aluminium surfaces
  •  Easy to use
  • It takes only 2 to 5 minutes
  • It comes in 1-gallon container
  • Can be used for your driveway and patio as well
  • Petroleum, ammonia or bleach is not used
  • Water-based solution
  • Safe for any kind of cleaning issue
  • Safe for humans, pets and plants
  • Highly environmentally friendly

Instruction for Use

  1. Mix up the concentrate with water and make a solution.
  2. Spray the solution on the surface
  3. Wait for 3-5 minutes
  4. Wash off the surface

Pros

  • It is a multipurpose cleaner.
  • Cleans tough stains.
  • Remove stains from metal, wood, vinyl, etc. surfaces.
  • Leaves no residue.
  • Biodegradable, non-toxic, non-abrasive.
  • It contains no bleach or ammonia.
  • Perfect for home and industrial use.
  • Cleans 2000 sq. Ft. the area with one container concentrate.

Cons

  • It requires scrubbing sometimes.
  • Sometimes cleaning can’t be satisfactory.
  • It may not work well with some pressure washers.

Can I use a DIY Soap Mixtures for My Pressure Washer?

Of course, you can use your DIY soap mixtures for your pressure washer. However, this comes with some levels of expertise and research. If you have the right chemicals, it is possible to make your pressure washer soaps.

Using your self-made pressure washer soaps helps you save money. Vinegar solutions and bleach are common, but we recommend vinegar. Be careful with the usage of bleach, as this might damage your pressure washer nozzle.

Vinegar is perfect for your pressure washer. Apart from being a potent solution in killing mold and mildew, it is safe for your plants. You don’t have to worry about covering your plants. No matter the type of DIY soaps and detergents you wish to use with your pressure washer, ensure you read and follow the instructions on the labels so as not to use the wrong soaps which will end up damaging your pressure washer.

What are the Differences Between Soaps and Detergents?

Soaps

Soaps are made from natural ingredients such as fats and oil. On the other hand, detergents are synthetic and are more versatile. Soaps, since they are natural, are biodegradable and are less harmful to the environment.

  • They are less effective in saline and hard water
  • They are gotten from natural resources such as animal fats and vegetable oils
  • They are highly environmental-friendly, thus biodegradable
  • They can form scum in a hard water environment

Detergents

Unlike soaps that are made through saponification, detergents are made from the combining of different chemical compounds.

  • They are synthetics and gotten from the mixture of different chemicals
  • Less environmental friendly and the thick foams can cause the death of aquatic lives
  • They do not lose their effectiveness in either saline or hard water.
  • The compounds do not form scum
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Things to Consider Before Buying Pressure Washer Soap

Soaps and detergents can’t be ruled out from our daily routine as some dirt can never be cleaned with ordinary water. Imagine an oil stain on your white singlet. It’s more or less impossible to make it sparkling clean with just water.

Ideally, we either use soap or detergent to wash the oil stain off. Before buying your pressure washer soap, there are a few things you need to consider so as not to make a wrong choice.

Some of the things to consider include;

  • The type of surface
  • The Biodegradability
  • The delivery system
  • The intended use of the soap or detergent

The Type of Surface

The type of surface and setting is very important in making your decision before buying a pressure washer soap. For example, if you clean your car in your driveway, it is ideal for you to choose soap for your pressure washer.

The soap will be more effective in removing the dirt, and the soapy water can run off into the gutter. On the other hand, a detergent is ideal when cleaning a siding. But then, soap is perfect as the soapy water won’t harm plants and the environment.

The Intended Use of the Soap or Detergent

Certain soaps and detergents are made specifically for cleaning certain surfaces. These can range from cleaning a wood deck to cleaning sidings. Your understanding of this will give you the clue of the type of soap to buy for your pressure washer. Using soap or detergent for the purpose it wasn’t made for can be devastating.

The Delivery System

The type of soap or detergent to use also depends significantly on the delivery system you choose. Using a downstream injector gives you more options, unlike the upstream delivery system that is capable of causing harsh chemicals to damage the internal components of the pressure washer pump.

The Biodegradability

Is your soap biodegradable? Does it use biodegradable ingredients? If your answer is yes, then go ahead with the use. Biodegradable soap is environmentally friendly. It is perfect for any outdoor washing. Not just that, your pets, plants, and the environment, in general, are not at risk of being contaminated.