Powerwasher and pressure washing detergents and Soap

by jared

Choosing the right detergent or pressure washer soap is one of the most important things when using a pressure or power washer. The right detergent greatly adds to the ability of the process to loosen dirt, stains, mildew, or whatever you are trying to clean off. For example, if mold is a big issue, then moldzyme works the best. Having the right chemical for the job means better success. Just like having the right pressure and temperature.

For pre-mixed soap packs and detergents for any washing job, check out karcher SoapPacs (We especially love the degreaser).

power wash roof

Think about it, certain stains or items that you are trying to clean off have certain chemical makeup. So wouldn’t it just make sense that the detergent would be created to greatly add to the cleaning process for that particular job? Just like soap that cuts grease of your hands after working no your car, power washer soap acts as the same thing.

There are several different types of pressure washing detergents, most generally there are powder and liquid forms. Liquid comes either in concentrated or ready to use containers whereas powders are pre-packaged packages that dissolve once their dropped into your power washer’s water tank. The premixed formulas allow you to add the soap or detergent directly to the surface you are cleaning before or while you are spraying. A 10:1 dilution is the norm for concentrated detergents and should be mixed according to the manufacturers suggestions.

Powder power washing detergents or soaps

Powder detergents (soaps) are most often degreaser tabs. There are many types on the market and we've had great success with all of the karcher SoapPacs products. They're supper easy to use! These generally come in a 12-pac and works on brick, vinyl siding, windows, garage doors, decks, everything. The nice thing about these packs is they're already pre-measured so you know you're getting the right amount. (Plus, there's really no better known brand in the business than Karcher)

So check out the easy to use Karcher soap packs

Liquid pressure washing detergents

The range of liquid washing detergents is large. There are tons of brands out there for all different types of needs. Most brands make all sorts of cleaners for different purposes. Such as Campbell Hausfeld which makes Car & Boat Wash, Concrete Cleaner, Deck & Fence Wash, General Purpose Cleaner, Heavy-Duty Degreaser, and House & Siding Wash.

Some other popular brands are: Karcher, Simple Green and Central Wash.

Different applications require different formulas for things such as fences, decks, vehicles, house exteriors and siding, concrete driveways, etc. Choosing the right detergent will make your pressure washing job a lot easier.

Remember how pressure washing works? Making it important to have the correct chemicals and detergents present for the right job. If you are trying to clean off dirty car oil from the driveway with a detergent made for dirty siding, chances are it’s not going to work very good because you’re missing one of the key ingredients. The right detergent!

Making You're Own Pressure Washer Detergent

You’d be amazing at how easy it is to create your own pressure washer detergent. Here’s a great all-purpose detergent you can make for using with most pressure washer jobs around your home. The use of bleach in this solution is the key in killing the mold or mildew that begins growing on most wood surfaces that are exposed to moisture and outdoor elements.

What you’ll need: 1/3 Cup of laundry soap (powered), 2/3 cup all purpose household cleanser (again powered), a quart of bleach (liquid) and a gallon of water. One large bucket.

Mix all the ingredients in the bucket (obviously it will need to be larger than a gallon, five gallon buckets work the best). Make sure to mix slowly so you don’t just end up with a bucket full of suds. This mixture will be your actual pressure washer detergent.

I like to use hot water and pre-wash any surface before hitting it with the detergent or chemical mixture. This loosens most dirt and mildew and gets it nice and wet so the detergent can really go to work. It’s also a good idea to cover up and flowers or shrubs as the bleach may have a negative affect on these types of plants that are more susceptible to harsh chemicals. I’ve never had too much trouble with grass and generally don’t worry about covering it up.

Now you’re ready to go! Just pour the pressure washer detergent into the chemical dispenser of your pressure washing equipment and wash away! Be sure to thoroughly rinse the chemical dispenser when through and go back over the surface again with just water to rinse off residual bleach and soap. The water should start running free of suds and a soapy look once the rinse is complete.

Clearing Mold from Wooden Fences with Pressure Washing Detergent Mixture of Oxygen Bleach and H2O

For clearing mold from wooden fences or siding, I use a simple oxygen bleach water mixture (I don’t like chlorine bleach as it can be harsh on stains and color). Oxygen bleach works best for actually killing the mildew and keeping it from returning too quickly. Simply using water only temporarily washes the mildew off, but it’s still there. I use a simple mixture of ¼ cup powered oxygen bleach to a gallon of water.

If if you're looking for a new pressure washer, check out our pressure washer reviews.

Most power washer soap dispenser are in the power washer themselves. Usually within the container attached to they have a feed tube with a filter that sits in a bucket. Either one works fairly well. Personally, we like the soap dispensers that are tubes running quite a long length; that way you're able to only use power washing soap when you really need it and the container isn't always in the way.

{ 4 comments }

Bill LaPlante April 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

My Karcher pressure washer manual says bleach may damage the pump. I have not maintained my deck properly over the years and want to remove mildew. Is there a pressure washer detergent that is good for mildew that does not contain bleach?

Rob April 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I’ve heard MoldZyme is pretty good. I’ve never used it myself, but would give it a shot… actually I may try some next time I tackle my fence.

Katie July 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm

I have added my detergent and hose and turn on the pressure washer, but it does not suck the detergent out of the container. How do I do that?

Rob August 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Katie,
The suction is created automatically by the pressure moving past the detergent intake hose. Much like the garden attachments for your garden hose. At least that’s the way most of them work. It depends on your model, but I would bet that’s how it works. If it’s not pulling in the detergent (and it’s been some time since you used detergent) the best guess is that the hose is clogged. Those detergent intakes also usually have some type of filter on them possibly that is clogged as well.

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