What Kind of Chemicals Are Used In Commercial Pressure Washing?

Pressure washing is an excellent method for maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of your home or business. However, relying solely on high-pressure water may not always suffice for stubborn dirt and grime.

That’s why pressure washer soaps and detergents are indispensable for achieving a thorough cleaning. Nevertheless, in a market flooded with numerous chemicals, it can be challenging to determine which ones are safe and effective for your specific needs.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of pressure washing chemistry to explore the commonly used chemicals, their benefits and drawbacks, and the scenarios that require specific cleaning agents. So, let’s dive right in!

10 Things to Know about Pressure Washer Soaps & Detergents?

Here are ten important things you should know about pressure washer soaps and detergents:

  1. Not all cleaning agents are created equal: Some pressure washing chemicals may be too harsh for certain surfaces or may cause environmental damage.
  2. Always read the label carefully before using any pressure washing product: Labels provide crucial information such as dilution ratios, safety precautions, and usage instructions.
  3. Choose a soap or detergent that is specifically formulated for the surface you intend to clean: Different cleaning products are designed for various materials such as concrete, wood, or asphalt shingles.
  4. Avoid using regular household cleaners with your power washer: Standard household cleaning solutions can clog your machine’s pump or injectors over time.
  5. Exercise caution with bleach-based products, as they can be toxic to vegetation and animals.
  6. Pay attention to the concentration of the chemical in relation to water ratio, as it affects the potency when applied.
  7. Pressure washers have unique soap tanks that require special formulations; only fill them with compatible chemicals.
  8. Pre-soaking heavily stained areas can break down grease buildups, making them easier to clean later.
  9. Trust reputable brands instead of cheap alternatives, as cheaper options may contain low-quality formulations that could cause more harm than good.
  10. Consider purchasing concentrated solutions to reduce waste; they last longer, resulting in fewer empty bottles in landfills.

A List of Common Chemicals Used for Pressure-Washing

  1. Sodium Hydroxide: Also known as lye or caustic soda, this chemical is excellent for removing grease and oil stains.
  2. Bleach: Effective at killing mold and mildew on surfaces such as decks and fences.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide: Another option for eliminating mold and mildew, hydrogen peroxide is less harsh than bleach but still effective.
  4. Citric Acid: A natural alternative to harsher chemicals, citric acid can be used to remove rust stains from concrete.
  5. Phosphoric Acid: Great for removing mineral deposits on surfaces like brick or stone.
  6. Ammonia: Known for its ability to cut through grime and dirt on outdoor surfaces like siding or patios.
  7. Potassium Hydroxide: Similar to sodium hydroxide, this chemical is also effective at cutting through grease and oil stains.

It’s essential to understand that different cleaning solutions are better suited for specific types of surfaces. Therefore, always conduct thorough research before applying any chemical solution with your pressure washer to achieve the best results without causing any harm to the surface being cleaned.

Why Do I Need Special Pressure Washing Chemicals?

Using a pressure washer alone is not enough to achieve the desired level of cleanliness for your property. This is because different surfaces require different cleaning agents in order to remove stubborn dirt and stains effectively. Special pressure washing chemicals are formulated with specific ingredients that cater to each surface’s unique needs, making them more effective than regular household cleaners.

For example, using bleach on certain surfaces can cause damage while some tough grease and oil stains may require specialized detergents or solvents. It’s important to understand that not all cleaning solutions are suitable for use with a pressure washer, as they may damage the equipment or even pose health hazards.

Specialized chemicals designed explicitly for power washing provide several benefits such as improved efficiency in cleaning time and effectiveness in removing the most challenging dirt buildup without damaging surfaces. Moreover, these chemicals also help reduce water consumption by speeding up the process of removal of debris from areas and reducing wastewater runoff.

Investing in special pressure washing chemicals will save you time, money and effort compared to just relying on plain water or generic household cleaners when it comes to restoring the beauty of your property’s exterior surfaces.

Will Any Chemical Get your House Clean?

When it comes to cleaning your house with a pressure washer, you may be wondering if any chemical will do the trick. The short answer is no. While some chemicals may remove surface dirt and grime, they won’t necessarily clean your home thoroughly or protect it from future damage.

Different types of surfaces and materials require different cleaning agents to ensure effective cleaning without causing damage. For example, using a harsh chemical on delicate siding could result in discoloration or even erosion of the material.

Furthermore, certain types of stains require specific chemicals for removal. Oil stains won’t be removed by an all-purpose cleaner alone; instead, they need a degreaser specifically formulated for oil removal.

In addition to the type of stain and surface material requiring attention, environmental considerations are also important when choosing which chemical to use. Some substances can harm plants and animals surrounding your property if not used properly.

Selecting the right cleaning agent for pressure washing requires careful consideration based on several factors such as surface materials, type of stain needing removal, and environmental impact, among others.

Can I Just Paint Over the Dirt on My House?

It’s tempting to think that painting over the dirt on your house will solve all your problems. After all, a fresh coat of paint can make anything look new again, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when it comes to pressure washing.

Paint won’t stick to dirty surfaces, no matter how many coats you put on. The dirt and grime will prevent the paint from adhering properly, leading to peeling and flaking in a matter of months – or even weeks.

In fact, painting over dirt and grime can actually trap moisture underneath the surface. This moisture can lead to mold growth and rotting wood – two things you definitely don’t want anywhere near your home!

So what should you do if you’re tempted to skip pressure washing and go straight for the paintbrush? Invest in a quality pressure washer soap or detergent instead. These products are specially designed to remove stubborn stains without damaging your home’s exterior.

Different Situations That Call for Different Cleaning Agents

Different situations indeed call for different cleaning agents when it comes to pressure washing. Here are some examples:

  1. Vinyl Siding: Vinyl siding requires a different cleaning agent than surfaces like brick or stucco.
  2. Wood Surfaces with Mildew: Sodium hypochlorite is effective for removing mildew from wood surfaces because it kills the spores responsible for mildew growth. However, it should not be used on painted surfaces, as it can strip away the paint.
  3. Concrete Surfaces: Alkaline-based cleaners are recommended for concrete surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. They can effectively remove oil stains and stubborn dirt marks.
  4. Rust Stains: For cleaning rust stains from concrete or metal surfaces, oxalic acid is the go-to solution. This powerful chemical breaks down iron oxide molecules found in rust stains.

Top5. the Best Pressure Washer Soap and Detergent for Each Surface.

Are you tired of using the wrong soap or detergent on different surfaces while pressure washing? Not all cleaning solutions are created equal, and using the wrong one can lead to unsatisfactory results. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 5 pressure washer soaps and detergents for each surface. From boats to concrete, wood decks to house siding, we have got you covered! Keep reading to find out which products made our list and why they are the best for each application.

Best Boat, Car, Motorcycle or RV Vehicle Pressure Washer Soap-Chemical Guys CWS20764

Chemical Guys CWS20764 stands out as the best pressure washer soap for a wide range of vehicles, including boats, cars, motorcycles, and RVs. It is meticulously designed to deliver safe and effective cleaning while preserving the integrity of various surfaces.


This soap boasts a unique formula that rapidly breaks down dirt, grime, and contaminants. What sets it apart is its inclusion of lubricants, which play a crucial role in preventing scratches on your vehicle’s surface during the washing process.

A notable feature of Chemical Guys CWS20764 is its versatility. It can be used with both foam cannons and traditional wash buckets. The dense foam it produces ensures maximum coverage and cleaning power with every wash.

Furthermore, this soap is environmentally conscious, as it is biodegradable and eco-friendly. So, not only does it leave your vehicle looking impeccable, but it also cares for the planet.

If you seek a high-quality pressure washer soap that guarantees a sparkling clean for your boat, car, motorcycle, or RV without causing any harm, Chemical Guys CWS20764 is an excellent choice!

Best Concrete Power Washer Detergent Soap-Karcher Pressure Washer Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap Concentrate

When it comes to finding the best pressure washer detergent for cleaning concrete surfaces, look no further than Karcher’s Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap Concentrate. This soap concentrate is expertly formulated to make cleaning any concrete surface easy and thorough.


One of its standout features is its versatility, as it can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including wood, brick, stone, and even metal. It effortlessly removes deeply embedded dirt and grime without causing harm to the surface or leaving any residue behind.

This concentrated solution is compatible with various pressure washers, making it a versatile choice for homeowners with different types of power washing equipment. Moreover, its eco-friendly formula contains biodegradable ingredients that are safe for pets and plants.

Packaged in a 1-gallon bottle, it can yield up to 20 gallons of cleaning solution when properly diluted. The low-foam formula ensures maximum coverage during application, ensuring that every inch is cleaned evenly.

For a potent yet gentle cleaner for your outdoor surfaces, Karcher Pressure Washer Multi-Purpose Cleaning Soap Concentrate is the ideal choice.

Best Wood Deck or Fence Pressure Washing Cleaning Solution-SIMPSON Cleaning 88283


When it comes to cleaning your wood deck or fence, you want a pressure washing solution that is effective yet gentle enough not to damage the wood. That’s where SIMPSON Cleaning 88283 comes in.

This concentrated cleaner is specifically designed for use on outdoor wooden surfaces. It is safe for use on all types of wood and can be used with both cold and hot water pressure washers.

One of the key features of this detergent is its ability to remove dirt, grime, and stains without harming the natural beauty of your wooden deck or fence. It also contains anti-corrosive agents that prevent rusting and other forms of corrosion from occurring.

Additionally, SIMPSON Cleaning 88283 has a low-foaming formula that makes it easy to rinse off after cleaning. This prevents any residue from being left behind, which could attract more dirt in the future.

If you are looking for an effective yet gentle cleaner for your wooden deck or fence, then SIMPSON Cleaning 88283 should definitely be at the top of your list!

Best House Siding Cleaner-Oxy Solve House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner


When it comes to cleaning the siding of your house, you need a product that can effectively remove dirt and grime without damaging the surface. That’s where Oxy Solve House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner comes in.

This powerful cleaner is specially formulated to work on all types of house siding, from vinyl to brick. It uses oxygenated bleach technology to penetrate deep into the pores of the surface and lift away tough stains and contaminants.

One of the best things about this cleaner is that it’s safe for use around plants, pets, and people. You don’t have to worry about harsh chemicals harming your landscaping or causing harm to your family or pets.

To use Oxy Solve House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner, simply mix it with water according to the instructions on the label. Then apply it using a pressure washer or sprayer. Allow it some time to sit so that it can work its magic before rinsing thoroughly.

If you want a powerful yet safe solution for cleaning your home’s exterior surfaces, look no further than Oxy Solve House and Siding Pressure Washer Cleaner.

Best Multi-purpose Power Washer Soap-Simple Green Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner Concentrate 1 Gallon Bottle


There you have it, our top 5 picks for the best pressure washer soap and detergent for each surface. From boats to concrete, wood decks to house siding, and even multi-purpose options like the Simple Green Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner Concentrate.

Remember that using the right soap or detergent can make all the difference when it comes to getting your surfaces clean without causing damage. So be sure to choose a product that is specifically designed for the surface you are cleaning, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

With these top-rated products in your arsenal, you’ll be able to tackle any outdoor cleaning project with ease. Happy pressure washing!


Pressure washing is an effective way to keep your home or business clean and well-maintained. However, it’s important to use the right chemicals (HOME MADE SOAP) for the job in order to achieve optimal results without causing damage. Always read labels carefully and follow instructions closely when using pressure washer soaps and detergents.


  • Lucas

    Hi I am, a passionate and self-sufficient ‘USA’ resident who never depends on others to clean cars, other vehicles, decks, patios, driveways, sidewalks, and the exterior of my house. When I’m not busy always love to research new techniques to improve my cleaning skills and spend time maintaining pressure washers to keep them in top condition.

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