5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business (2024)

​​There’s something so satisfying about pressure washing something and seeing it look like new again. But if there’s anything more enjoyable, it’s earning a 6-to-7-digit income through it.

With low start-up costs and high-profit margins, starting a pressure washing business can be a perfect fit for many entrepreneurs. However, just like any other business, there’s a lot you need to consider—investments, insurance, strategies, and more.

To get you started on the right track and build a stable income flow, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide on how to start a pressure washing business.

Why Starting a Pressure Washing Business is Worth It

A pressure washing business grows with you. You can start with a small budget and expand over time.

There are markets for pressure washing, no matter where you live. You can target homeowners, commercial establishments, or specialize in cleaning building exterior or driveways, decks, and patios. Offering window and chimney cleaning services is another option.

The good news is that once you develop a great working relationship with your clients, they’re likely to contact you every time they need cleaning services. Therefore, establishing customer loyalty is also easy.

Making money with the pressure washing business can be a breeze, thanks to low start-up costs and favorable pricing. You can earn between $40,000-$50,000 a year from your business at the beginning, with the potential of making upwards of a six-figure income over time.

Plus, you don’t have to train extensively to qualify or earn a degree to pressure clean. All you need is basic business management skills and a few tools, and you can be your own boss.

The Investment Needed to Start a Pressure Washing Business

Hands down, the most significant benefit of starting a pressure washing business is that you don’t need much money to get up and running. You can get started with as little as $10,000, and while this isn’t a trivial amount, it isn’t big enough to make you lose sleep. It will be much less than that if you already own some of the equipment.

To get started, you’ll need a pressure washer, pumps, nozzles, engines, chemicals, surface cleaners, and so on. This will cost at least $2,000, going up to $25,000, depending on whether you buy new or used ones, or rent them.

You’ll also need a truck or van—one with your business name and contact details for promotional purposes—to haul your equipment. This will cost around $450 per month, plus money for gas and vehicle maintenance.

Next, you have to figure out where you’ll do business.

Unless you’re thinking of starting from home, you’ll have to rent an office or retail space for your pressure washing business. Depending on your location, this will cost about $500-$2,500 monthly. Paying for a business phone service/number is another crucial expense that can be as little as $20 per month.

You have to pay for insurance, permits, and licenses, which costs approximately $500 upfront and then $60 per month. Then you have to figure out the cost of marketing your business and hiring employees.

Some companies spend tens of thousands per year on marketing, while some pay less than $1,000. Considering you’re just starting, we recommend starting small (maybe $200-$400 per month). If you plan on hiring employees, it’s advisable to budget $1,000 or more for labor expenses.

You’ll also need other tools to streamline your daily operations. For instance, it makes sense to have software for accounting to keep track of your expenses. We highly recommend trying out QuickBooks. It can double as an invoice and accounting software and even manage your bills and maximize tax reductions. QuickBooks also offers a 30-day free trial so you can try before you buy.

5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business (1)

5 Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business

Let’s take a look at the steps involved in starting a pressure washing business.

Step 1 — Learn to Pressure Wash Like a Pro

Although easy, you have to be careful when pressure washing. The water pressure is powerful enough to clean any surface debris, which also means one wrong blast from your washer’s jets can shatter your customer’s car window.

To avoid this, you need experience, skills, and knowledge.

You can sign up for a local pressure wash training course or get some on-the-job experience by working for another company. The other alternative is to seek online help by watching YouTube tutorials from professionals.

It’s really one of those things you learn by doing. Someone who knows what they are doing can finish a house in half the time it takes someone who is pressure washing for the first time.

While you’re at it, make sure you get your hands on all the necessary equipment and space we discussed above to start your business. As you begin investing money into business needs, make sure you keep a complete record of all your expenses on QuickBooks or any other accounting software to streamline tax filing and prevent errors.

Step 2 — Create a Solid Business Plan

Developing a good business plan will help you map out the specifics of your pressure washing business and discover unknowns, allowing you to maximize opportunities and eliminate bottlenecks.

What’s more, a business plan makes it easier to secure business support or a loan—or even get a partner on board. It should typically include the following sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market research
  • Product/Service description
  • Management and operational structure
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Financial projections

When preparing a business plan, you have to figure out your scope of services and set your prices.

Think about what you want. Do you want to stick to pressure washing exclusively? Or do you want to offer additional services, such as general maintenance, cleaning drains, and window washing?

Next, figure out how much you’ll charge for your services.

After calculating your break-even point (where total revenue equals total expenses), check out what your competitors are charging. Here’s a rough pricing list for pressure washing:

  • Residential exterior: $250-$800
  • Commercial exterior: $200-$1,000+
  • Driveway: $50-$250
  • Deck or patio: $150-$500
  • Vehicle cleaning: $50-$200

Rates will vary depending on the size of the project. Look out for specific areas that are going to take extra time or attention. Are you going to have to purchase a taller ladder or more hose to get the job done?

Keep good records for how long jobs take so you can get a sense of what makes sense for you to charge.

Step 3 — Set Up Your Pressure Washing Business

Starting a washing company involves many steps. You have to choose a name and a legal structure and acquire the correct licenses, permits, and insurance. Let’s discuss each step in more detail.

Choose Your Business’s Name

Select an attractive and relevant name for your pressure washing business, complete with a matching domain. You can check out our guide What’s in a Name? How To Use Naming Conventions To Convert for more tips on choosing a good business name.

Register Your Pressure Washing Business

You can run your business as a sole proprietor, in which case you don’t need to register it. But registering your business will give you access to legal benefits, tax benefits, and personal liability protection, making it well worth the effort.

When selecting a business structure, you have five options:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • C Corporation
  • S Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Each option has its share of pros and cons. It’s why you should do your research before making any decisions. You can learn more and setup your business in minutes online at ZenBusiness.

Sort Out Legal Formalities

You have to understand the legal requirements for doing business as a pressure washer to stay on the right side of the law. This includes getting the proper licenses, permits, and insurance.

For the right business documents, get in touch with your city’s licensing office or county clerk’s office to find out the exact requirements for your area. Here’s a list of documents one needs to start a pressure washing business:

  • Business License — Register your business with the state.
  • Bond — Pay a bond to get a license to operate a pressure washing business in your area.
  • Sales Tax Registration — Register your business with the IRS for that purpose. Go to the IRS website to file for your EIN (Employer Identification Number).
5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business (2)
  • Specific Permits — Get a contractor permit to pressure wash in your area, plus an environmental permit to ensure you discharge your wastewater carefully.

You’ll also need insurance. Every pressure washing business usually requires three types of insurance:

  • Equipment insurance to cover damage or if they get stolen.
  • Liability insurance to cover damage that may be caused when pressure cleaning.
  • Workers’ compensation to cover injuries to you or your staff members while on the job.

You can visit insurance agents to get customized reports and advice when making insurance-related decisions.

Step 4 — Open a Business Bank Account

A business bank account enables you to separate your personal assets from your company’s assets.

This is especially important if you want to retain your personal asset protection. The other advantage of having a separate business bank account is that accounting and tax filing becomes a lot easier.

You can get a business credit card to separate your personal and business expenses too. Not only will this help with your company’s credit history, but it’ll also keep you in the IRS’s good books.

Remember that you’ll need specific documentation and information to open a business bank account, including an EIN, business formation documents, and proof of business address.

Step 5 — Strategize Your Marketing Plans

Brainstorm effective marketing strategies to find new clients for your pressure washing business and earn more revenue.

Assuming you’ve already chalked out your brand identity (business name, logo, tagline, brand colors), you can start implementing a combination of online and in-person marketing tactics to get the word out about your pressure washing business. Here’s how to go about it:

Create a Website

5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business (3)

Having a website for your pressure washing business is a no-brainer. It’s probably the most effective way to attract clients while simultaneously establishing a method for prospects to contact you and prove your credibility.

You can create a professional website using a free website builder like Wix, where all you have to do is select and customize a template using its drag-and-drop interface.

It’s easy, secure (meeting the highest grade of industry security standards), and reliable. Your company website will always be available to potential customers because of Wix’s strong infrastructure, zero-downtime maintenance, and managed monitoring and optimization.

5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business (4)

Leverage Social Media

Create business accounts on leading social media platforms to promote your services to potential clients.

Facebook is likely your best bet for the pressure washing industry due to its broad user base and extensive reach. Many Facebook users are likely to own houses or commercial establishments, making it an excellent place to advertise your pressure washing services.

Post pictures of your services, customer testimonials, and offers to boost engagement and gain exposure for your company. You can also ask your existing customers to share your post or post reviews to generate word-of-mouth publicity.

Make sure to create an account on other platforms, too, like LinkedIn, Google, and more.

Don’t Dismiss Offline Marketing

Online is the way to go today. But that doesn’t mean you cannot employ offline marketing tactics and reach out to local people to bring in more business.

Start by getting the word out there. Tell your friends, families, acquaintances, colleagues—and anyone who listens—about your pressure washing business. Ask them for references and recommendations.

You can also distribute flyers, use vehicle wraps, or opt for the classic door-to-door advertising tactic. You never know what may work and get you your next client!

Next Steps

Once you get the ball rolling for your pressure washing business, your next priority should be to increase profits. This means growing and expanding your business.

When you start taking on more customers and scaling operations, you can’t be a one-person show anymore. You’ll need to hire additional staff to let you take on more clients or allow you to step back and focus your attention on other aspects of the business, such as marketing and customer service.

You’ll also have to ramp up sales and marketing, which means spending more money to acquire more customers.

To help you figure out the specifics of expanding a business, we’ve compiled the following Crazy Egg guides:

  • The 6 Most Effective Ways To Drive Sales With Social Media
  • How to Create a Website Conversion Funnel
  • The 5 Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Beginners
5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business (2024)


5 Easy Steps to Start a Pressure Washing Business? ›

What PSI pressure washer do you need to start a business? For most residential and light commercial applications, pressure washers with a PSI (pounds per square inch) rating of 2,500 to 3,500 will suffice. However, for heavy-duty commercial jobs, a higher PSI rating of 4,000 or more may be necessary.

What materials do I need to start a basic pressure washing business? ›

It's time to go shopping—head over to your local hardware store with this pressure washing equipment list and get the tools you need:
  1. Pressure washer.
  2. Pressure washer pump.
  3. Surface cleaner.
  4. Water hoses.
  5. Ladder.
  6. Nozzles.
  7. Telescoping wand.
  8. Downstream injector.
Jun 29, 2023

How much psi do I need to start a pressure washer business? ›

What PSI pressure washer do you need to start a business? For most residential and light commercial applications, pressure washers with a PSI (pounds per square inch) rating of 2,500 to 3,500 will suffice. However, for heavy-duty commercial jobs, a higher PSI rating of 4,000 or more may be necessary.

How much does pressure washing cost? ›

How much does pressure washing cost per hour? Pressure washing typically costs between $60 to $100 an hour, according to Fixr.com. For example, a 1,200-square-foot home takes about six hours to pressure wash and costs between $360 to $600.

Is pressure washing a good side hustle? ›

If you're looking for a profitable and easy business, you should consider getting into the business of pressure washing. It is a business you can begin with minimal money. It doesn't require special skills or training.

How to start a local pressure washing business? ›

How to Start a Pressure Washing Business in 6 Steps
  1. Create your business plan. The first thing you need is a business name. ...
  2. Set up your business structure. ...
  3. Get the right business licenses, permits, and insurance. ...
  4. Get an EIN and open a business bank account. ...
  5. Buy equipment and supplies. ...
  6. Strategize your marketing plan.
Oct 14, 2022

Will 2000 psi clean concrete? ›

Medium Duty 2000-2800 PSI

They're great for cleaning concrete, brick, and wood. They work especially well for cleaning patios, sidings, roofs, decks, and fences. The medium-duty power washer is best for getting rid of stubborn stains and dirt that a low-duty pressure washer can't clean.

Is 2000 psi safe for washing a vehicle? ›

You should also never set your pressure washer above 2,200 psi when washing your car. 1,500 psi is really all you need to get a good deep clean; any pressure higher than that won't make a noticeable performance difference.

Is 1800 psi enough to clean deck? ›

For cleaning a wooden deck, you'll be best served by using the lowest pressure setting that's still effective. For soft woods like cedar or pine, this is usually about 500 to 600 psi. For harder woods, it can go up to 1200 to 1500 psi.

How do I get customers for pressure washing business? ›

The best ways to get pressure washing jobs:
  1. Try traditional advertising tactics.
  2. Build a pressure washing website.
  3. Invest in digital advertising.
  4. Use lead generation websites.
  5. Offer customer incentives.
  6. Build relationships for repeat customers.
  7. Attract new customers with word-of-mouth marketing.
Jan 11, 2023

How successful are pressure washing businesses? ›

Making money with the pressure washing business can be a breeze, thanks to low start-up costs and favorable pricing. You can earn between $40,000-$50,000 a year from your business at the beginning, with the potential of making upwards of a six-figure income over time.

Is pressure washing easy money? ›

Consider that the average pressure washing costs between $192 and $401 per job. If you did two jobs a day at $250 each, you'd make $130,000 a year working 260 days per year. That's good money and a lot of time off to enjoy it.

How many PSI Do I need to clean concrete? ›

Concrete cleaning calls for powerful pressure washers featuring high pressure levels of 3000 PSI. However, if you will be using the power cleaner to maintain a range of surfaces in addition to concrete, choose one with adjustable pressure levels and set it to about 3000 PSI when you need to clean concrete.

What's the difference between pressure wash and power wash? ›

The main difference is that power washing uses highly pressurized steam to do the cleaning while pressure washing just uses unheated tap water, without the help of a heating element.

What are the cons of pressure washing? ›

The downside to using pressure washers is that they tend to cause damage to surfaces that are too delicate. In addition, the high pressure of the water spray can cause damage to surfaces you don't intend for it to reach, such as brick or stone surfaces.

What are the disadvantages of pressure washer? ›

Negatives – Using a pressure washer to clean your home may not be all that it is cracked up to be. The pressure can blast through wood, asphalt and even concrete if close enough. So, you're forcing water behind the siding which could cause problems within your walls and you wouldn't even know until it's too late.

What is the profit margin for pressure washing? ›

The average profit margin for a pressure washing service is typically between 25 to 40 percent depending on the services being provided. The size of the job, the cost of labor, and the equipment and supplies used can all have an impact on the profit margin.

Is power washing hard? ›

Pressure washing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to clear away dirt and grime from your home's exterior. Pressure washers are very powerful machines that spray water at a pressure so high that it can cut through skin and cause injury or damage to your home if you're not careful.

How much PSI to clean brick? ›

Pressure washing using 500 to 1000 PSI is recommended for cleaning masonry. Many professionals use 100 to 1500 PSI to avoid damage. 2,000 PSI is the absolute maximum, and that's for experienced pressure washers only.

How long after pouring concrete can you pressure wash? ›

If your concrete has been newly poured, make sure to wait until it has fully cured. The curing process, if done correctly, typically takes around thirty days to properly dry and set to its full strength.

How much PSI can car paint handle? ›

Too much pressure (generally anything more than 1,900 PSI) can damage the paint job on your vehicle. If you're determined to do so, keep the following tips in mind. In addition to using the right pressure (1,000 to 1,200 PSI), make sure you use the correct nozzle.

What will 1600 psi clean? ›

You have to know its capabilities, 1600 PSI is good for most home jobs (general siding cleaning/gutters, car washes, cleaning furniture) Don't expect it to clean a whole concrete driveway in one smooth pass.

Can you use car soap in a pressure washer? ›

Foam it up

If you're using a foam cannon, fill it with a car wash soap that has been formulated specifically for this purpose and connect it to your pressure washer using the quick disconnect. We recommend M.A.X. Power Car Wash, which was recently reformulated to be foam-cannon-ready, or Cherry Snow Foam.

What PSI should I remove paint from my deck? ›

How to strip your deck using a pressure washer. First of all, you need the right pressure washer. We recommend around 2400 PSI for the average deck. This makes the job easy without damaging most woods.

Can you pressure wash with just water? ›

When you are looking to clean the exterior of your home, you may be wondering if you can power wash with just water. The answer is yes – you can power wash with just water!

Why is my deck fuzzy after pressure washing? ›

Pressure washing removes the outer layer of dead wood, and can sometimes make it look like it has short fuzzy hairs. This is caused by the tearing of the wood fibers. This is normal, and does not indicate damage. These fuzzies will generally go away in 2 or 3 weeks.

What are the benefits of pressure washing? ›

Why You Need Pressure Washing
  • 1: Prevents Damage. What harm can some grime and moss do to a house? ...
  • 2: Saves Money. ...
  • 3: Saves Time and Energy. ...
  • 4: Cleaner is Safer. ...
  • 5: Boosts Your Curb Appeal. ...
  • 6: Increases the Value of Your Home. ...
  • 7: Primes Surfaces for Renovation. ...
  • 9: Access to the Correct Equipment.
Mar 10, 2021

What are the risks of starting a pressure washing business? ›

Running a pressure washing business involves a lot of liability, which means the cost for insurance premiums may also be high. Over the years, your equipment can get damaged, break down, and may need repairs which can be expensive.

Is pressure washing a good investment? ›

Increases property value. Pressure washing your home can immediately increase curb appeal and property value. It is a simple task that can really go a long way. It is also a necessary task before painting or renovating the exterior of your home, so you can be one step ahead when preparing for updates to your home.

Can you pressure wash in the winter? ›

Done effectively, pressure washing can be done year-round. No matter what the weather, you may need your pressure washer for your cleaning and maintenance needs. However, pressure washing during winter can present some unique challenges. Snow-covered roads may coat your fleet vehicles with dirt, ice, sand, and salt.

How many PSI is a good pressure washer? ›

Mid-Range Power: 2,000 to 3,200 PSI

The most versatile category of pressure washers, those ranging from 2,000 to 3,200 PSI effectively clean cars (including the most well-used off-road vehicles), home siding, fences, boats and grimy garage floors. Those closer to 3,200 PSI work effectively on tough stains, too.

What PSI is a decent pressure washer? ›

What is a good PSI for a power washer? A model that creates anywhere between 1300 to 1700 pounds per square inch of pressure is decent. The higher the pressure, the more powerful it is.

What is the best PSI for a pressure washer? ›

2,000 to 3,000 PSI

The most common range for commercial pressure washers. Good for cleaning concrete surfaces with light to moderate oil stains, most automotive cleaning, pools, many industrial applications.

What are the lowest paying for pressure washing a house? ›

There are two types of pressure washers: electric and gas. Electric pressure washers are the cheapest of the two, costing $35 to $65 to rent per day, according to Home Advisor. Renting a gas residential power washer costs $70-$110 per day.

Why is pressure washing so expensive? ›

Pressure washing utilizes cold high-pressure water to do the job, while power washing uses heated high-pressure water. Since power washing uses heated water, it requires more expensive equipment, meaning you'll pay more for power washing.

Is pressure washing over saturated? ›

Grout on interior surfaces and point on exterior surfaces can be removed by pressure washing. Grout and point can become soft, weak, and crack with age. Using a pressure washer accelerates this process through over-saturation.

Will 1500 PSI clean a driveway? ›

You need 3000 psi (pound per square inch) to clean a driveway. Some will say that 1500 psi will do the job, as most pressure cleaners sold for domestic use can only go up to that. If you want to make sure that the pressure cleaner will clean your driveway thoroughly, an industrial pressure cleaner is what you need.

Is 4000 PSI too much for cleaning concrete? ›

Our recommendation ranges from as low as 3,000 PSI to as high as 4,000 PSI.

What is the best PSI to clean a driveway? ›

You need a high-quality pressure washer that can deliver about 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). The higher the PSI, the faster and more effectively you can clean your driveway.

Is softwashing better than pressure washing? ›

Soft washing is the better option since the risk of damaging your home's vinyl material becomes much lower. In this case, soaps and detergents prove more important to the cleaning process than pressure. High water pressure will dig into vinyl and aluminum sidings, significantly decreasing its visual appeal.

What is another name for pressure washing? ›

The terms pressure washing and power washing are often used interchangeably.

Do you need a license to pressure wash in Louisiana? ›

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a business license with the state of Louisiana. Residential house cleaning businesses must apply for a business license at their city or parish clerk's office.

What tools do you need for soft washing? ›

  • Soft Wash Brushes.
  • Diaphragm Pumps.
  • Pressure Washer Swivels. Swivels for Surface Cleaners. Surface Cleaner Swivel Repair Parts. Hose Reel Swivels. Swivel Repair Parts for Hose Reels. Inline Swivels.

What kind of pressure washer do I need for commercial use? ›

You'll want to use at least 3,000 PSI for most commercial projects. This will give you enough power to clean surfaces quickly and easily. If you're working on a particularly tough project, you may need to use even more PSI. Most professional pressure washers are gas-powered, allowing for higher pressure and flow rate.

Is a pressure washing business worth it? ›

This could be a lucrative side gig or a full time operation. Consider that the average pressure washing costs between $192 and $401 per job. If you did two jobs a day at $250 each, you'd make $130,000 a year working 260 days per year. That's good money and a lot of time off to enjoy it.

How many GPM do I need for a pressure washing business? ›

Most commercial hot water pressure washers can be used for any cleaning situation with the application determining the nozzles and chemicals used. 90% of the successful commercial operators use a flow volume of 4 gpm or more. Below 4 gpm there is not enough water volume to clean efficiently.

Do you need to pressure wash using your own water? ›

Do Power Washing Companies Use Your Water or Their Own? Most power washing companies hook up to your water spigot or well to get the cleaning water. Since the water is on site, the power washing company won't need to bring water to your house which simplifies the process and cuts costs.

Do you need training to use a pressure washer? ›

Overview: High pressure water jetting can be extremely dangerous. It is therefore essential that all staff expected to use this type of equipment receive appropriate and adequate training in accordance with the High Pressure Water Jetting Association's (HPWJA) Code of Practice.

Do I need a license to clean houses in Louisiana? ›

Louisiana does require a business license for general house cleaning businesses.

What chemical is best for soft wash? ›

When professionals think of soft washing roofs and siding, the top cleaning chemical used is a professional-grade 12.5% sodium hypochlorite, or bleach, mixed with water.

What is the difference between power wash and soft wash? ›

Pressure washing can dislodge deep-rooted contaminants within the surface, making it ideal for hard and porous surfaces like concrete. Soft washing has lighter pressure, which can reduce the cleaning effectiveness while making it easier for softer surfaces to handle.

What is the formula for soft wash? ›

Sodium Hypochlorite @ 15% divided by 6 parts gives you 2.5% softwash recipe. So find the required % recipe you want to work with, then take that figure away from the litres you want to make. 80L of water + 20L of Sodium Hypochlorite = 100L of 3% softwash recipe.

What psi is typically used for commercial use? ›

3,000 - 6,900 PSI: These high pressure models are what professional pressure washers and contractors usually use. They are commonly used in commercial and industrial settings, and can run on either gas or diesel.

What psi pressure washer to clean concrete? ›

To get the job done right, you need a pressure washer rated at least 3,000 PSI with a flow rate of at least four gallons per minute (GPM).

What is the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer? ›

The main difference is that power washing uses highly pressurized steam to do the cleaning while pressure washing just uses unheated tap water, without the help of a heating element.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Chrissy Homenick

Last Updated:

Views: 6133

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Chrissy Homenick

Birthday: 2001-10-22

Address: 611 Kuhn Oval, Feltonbury, NY 02783-3818

Phone: +96619177651654

Job: Mining Representative

Hobby: amateur radio, Sculling, Knife making, Gardening, Watching movies, Gunsmithing, Video gaming

Introduction: My name is Chrissy Homenick, I am a tender, funny, determined, tender, glorious, fancy, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.