How to Choose the Right PSI For a Pressure Washer? A Ultimate Buying Guide for 5 Categories

Most of the time, people, with the intention to buy pressure washers, are unaware of what is the right PSI for a pressure washer. This guide is going to help you decide which PSI pressure washer do you require for the specific task.

Generally, Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI. The PSI may differ depending on the strength of the chemical bond between the surface and the stain. To remove stains from the stronger bonds, you need to use high pressure washers. You can easily determine which PSI you need if you know the chemical bond between the stain and the surface. Additionally, depending on the type of project you are working on with a pressure washer will determine the PSI you need.

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It can be tricky to find the right PSI for a pressure washer while making the purchase. Pressure washers with gas engines usually have a pressure between 2000 and 2800 PSI, and those with electric engines have between 1300 and 1700 PSI.

It may come as no surprise to you that a pressure washer is useful for a variety of different occasions. Some of the most common usages include:

  • Pressure washing your home– 1600 to 2000 PSI
  • Pressure Washing of Automobiles – 1300 to 2000 PSI
  • Cleaning Decks and docks of the boat – 2600 to 4000 PSI
  • Maintaining Concrete and Asphalt driveways – 3000 to 4000 PSI
  • Pressure washing of Wood, decking and Fencing – 1300 to 2300 PSI

What is the Right PSI for a pressure washer? Buyers Guide

Depending on the task at hand, the level of pressure varies. I will describe a number of different common tasks you can perform with your pressure washer, and what pressure you need. If you intend to do any of the following tasks, you’ll get complete information on how much PSI is needed for a pressure washer.

Good PSI for Pressure washing your home

It is important to be aware of the state of your property and the type of material your home is made from when pressure washing. For example if your house is made from bricks, you should be mindful of washing the mortar between the bricks. It is recommended that you use a pressure between 1600 and 2000 PSI. You will want to use a hard brush and some detergent or bleach if you happen to have a stain that will not come up with the pressure washer. When you are done using the pressure washer, you should rinse it off with an air hose.

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PSI Needed for Pressure washing of Automobiles

Vehicles like cars, vans, and trucks are quite delicate and are susceptible to pressure washer dents if the correct pressure is not used. Generally, 1300-2000 PSI is a good setting to ensure you don’t damage your vehicle. There is a way to alter the flow of water coming out of the wand of a pressure washer. You can turn the wand to make a fan instead of a stream, and this is the used while cleaning the vehicle due to its less damaging nature and larger surface area. But when it comes to the getting rid of suborn dirt or to access the area that is hard to reach, you can use the stream function of the pressure washer.

Is 2000 PSI safe for washing a Vehicle? Click to know the facts

Pressure washing Decks and Docks of the Boat, Yacht and Jet Ski

They are designed to go onto the water, which makes them waterproof and able to handle quite heavy pressure. You can clean any of these surfaces using pressures of up to 4000 PSI but a standard 2600 PSI should be more than sufficient, and they are relatively cheap to purchase. It is worthy to consider that pressure washer can remove paint, so a standard 2300 PSI is a best way to choose while washing the water vehicles.

Pressure washing of Concrete and Asphalt Driveways

By pressure washing and sealing an old concrete driveway, you can bring new life to it. As you wash the under layer, you need to be aware that there won’t be damage to it, since extreme pressure can push water into the porous under layer, resulting in problems later on in the year when the temperatures drop. A driveway should be pressure washed at a setting of 3000-4000 PSI. When pressure washing pathways, especially when cleaning the grout between the stones, be sure to be careful and it may be damaged due to very high pressure. For walkways, the ideal pressure should range from 1500 to 2000 pounds per square inch. 

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Pressure washing of wood, decking, and fencing

It is important to prevent damaging the wood itself when pressure washing wooden surfaces such as decks. If this is not possible, pressure wash on a warm summer day to allow the wood to dry out properly after the pressure washing. Make certain that the wooden surface has been treated before washing it; this will prevent the wood from becoming rotten during the process. For wood surface areas, a pressure of 1300-2300 PSI is ideal. Because of the brittle nature of this sort of wood, it is recommended that you avoid using a pressure washer on it and instead use a hose and stiff brush to clean it instead.


As can be seen, selecting the appropriate pressure for the object or area to be cleaned is critical. Check your owner’s handbook for instructions on how to change the PSI on your power washer, and keep in mind that you can change the radius of the jet wash by twisting the end of the power washer wand, but make sure the power washer is turned off first.

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