Can You Use Dish Soap In A Pressure Washer?

can you use dish soap in a pressure washer

Pressure washers are fantastic cleaning machines that help you quickly and easily tear through spills, discoloration, and stains that other machines couldn’t.

Yet, its possibilities are not limitless. One day, you will encounter something too tough to deal with your pressure washer.

Some people may recommend dish soap in your machine. So can you use dish soap in a pressure washer? What dish soap can you use in your machine?

Keep reading to get the correct answer!

Can You Use Dish Soap In A Pressure Washer?

Dish soaps are quite similar to most pressure washer detergents. So you can use one of them in your pressure washer.

You can expect dish soap can increase the grime-cutting power of your machine. After a cleaning session, your surface will look as great as new.

We recommend diluting it with hot water to ensure it will not clog the pressure washer. No matter how effective your diluted mixture is, it is far from replacing other commercial soap specifically made for pressure washing.

So you should only consider it as a temporary solution when you do not have a special detergent for pressure washers.

What Dish Soap Can You Use in Your Machine?

Sun Joe pressure washer detergent

This detergent is an excellent option for cleaning the deck of houses. It is a bleach-free product, making it entirely safe for use for cleaning your house deck.

Karcher pressure washer detergent

Karcher detergent will work well in pressure washing a car as this product is made especially for cleaning cars.

Therefore, you can rest assured that it will not damage your vehicle’s paint, but keep an eye on the pressure you’re using.

Moreover, Karcher detergent comes with car washing wax and foam to give the car a shiny look once you have washed it.

Simple Green cleaner for house and siding

One of the most significant advantages of this cleaner is that it will not damage your sidings.

As its name suggests, this cleaner is the perfect solution to clean the sidings of houses. This product is biodegradable and peroxide to improve the sidings of your house.

Simple Green detergent

We recommend Simple Green for outdoor cleaning tasks, such as driveways and concrete surfaces.

This detergent uses peroxide to clean surfaces and is totally safe to use. It has no adverse side effects and meets the US EPA’s safety standards.

If you want to clean any outdoor house surface, this formula will be your best bet.

How to Make DIY Pressure Washer Soaps?

It is easy to make DIY pressure washer soap with the proper ingredients. Remember that your formula varies depending on the surface you want to clean.

So ensure you obey the following steps to make the soap that matches your cleaning requirements.

For Cleaning Your Vinyl Sidings

Here are the steps to prepare DIY soap for cleaning vinyl sidings:

Step 1: Mix Trisodium Phosphate (1/3 cup) and laundry detergent powder ( 1/3 cup) in water (one gallon).

Step 2: Mix your solution carefully to avoid suds.

For Cleaning Your Car

You can prepare soap for cleaning your car by following these steps:

Step 1: Mix laundry detergent (12 tablespoons) in hot water (one gallon) and stir gently to avoid suds

Step 2: Add phosphate (1/3 cup) to this solution

Step 3: Stir your solution evenly and gently to avoid suds. Once your solution is ready, it is time to use it to clean your car.

For Cleaning Floor and Decks

If you want to create DIY soap to clean floors and decks, this guide is for you:

Step 1: Mix all-purpose cleaning powder (200 ml) and laundry detergent (100 m).

Step 2: Leave your mixture to rest overnight.

Step 3: Mix five liters of water and one liter of bleach.

Step 4: Add the prepared dry mixture at the beginning to this solution.

Step 5: Stir your solution evenly and gently to avoid suds.

For Cleaning Concrete Surfaces

Follow these steps to create DIY soap you can use to clean your concrete surfaces:

Step 1: Pour water (one gallon) into a bucket

Step 2: Add washing soda and borax, half a cup each.

Step 3: Add dish soap (one tablespoon) to your bucket

Step 4: Mix the solution. Then leave this mix for thirty minutes before putting it into your pressure washer for handling concrete surfaces.

What Can Make You Not Want to Use Dish Soap?

Using dish soap is not great for your car

Using dish soap in your pressure washer is convenient and safe because it is non-toxic and biodegradable.

However, you should know that it has some downsides you might want to consider before using them:

  • It is not great for your car
  • It may not be a cost-effective solution
  • It can get beyond sudsy and soapy
  • It does not work as well as some other cleaners
  • It may leave a film or a residue on some surfaces
  • If utilized improperly, it can gum up or damage tubing or other parts of pressure washers

Why Should You Use Pressure Washer Cleaners?

While dish soap allows you to clean multiple surfaces with a pressure washer, you should prioritize pressure washer cleaners for the following reasons:

They Are Inexpensive

Many people think that using dish soap will be a more cost-effective solution. The fact is that pressure washer cleaners are not as expensive as they think.

So for a one-time task, it is okay to use dish soap as an alternative. However, we recommend investing in a specialty cleaner for a job you will do regularly.

They  Are Specialized

As their name suggests, pressure washers are specially designed to work well with any pressure washer. They are available in various types, including:

  • Mold cleaner
  • Siding cleaner
  • Vehicle cleaner
  • Concrete cleaner
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Deck and fence cleaner

Multipurpose pressure washers work efficiently with all pressure washers and can handle most cleaning tasks.

It will help you complete the house maintenance routine simply and efficiently.

Less Likely to Damage Your Belongings

Using dish soap can be risky for some sensitive surfaces. For example, you wouldn’t want to spray old cleaner on a car as it could damage or build up your paint job.

Is It Okay To Put Bleach in a Pressure Washer?

Bleach does more harm than good when used with a pressure washer

Bleach is effective at cleaning, but it does more harm than good. Specifically, it can damage the wand, hoses, and O-rings of pressure washers.

If you still want to use bleach in your machine, we recommend diluting it with water to lower the risk of damage.

If you want to use bleach in your pressure washer, start by making a mixture and adding substances to minimize the chances of damage.

Here are the steps to prepare bleach for pressure washing:

Step 1: Wear goggles. You don’t want to have the bleach near the eyes.

Step 2: Mix water with bleach in a ratio of 4:1.

Step 3: Check out the hose to ensure it is still working well.

Step 4: Put your mixture into the pressure washer.

Then, you are ready to pressure wash, just ensuring to keep the pressure low.

If your machine is still under warranty, you need to consider it carefully, as using bleach can void your machine’s warranty.

Can I Use Vinegar in My Pressure Washer?

Many people are concerned that vinegar will damage their pressure washer. But vinegar is safe to use in these machines.

Many people are making their DIY pressure washer soaps with vinegar.

In some cases, it is possible to use vinegar in your washer. It even effectively cleans dirty surfaces. However, we recommend diluting the vinegar first to reduce the acidity.

If you make a DIY pressure washer cleaner by mixing soap with vinegar, you should check out the ingredients of the soap. If the soap contains bleach, you should not use it as it may harm you and your pressure washer.

To protect your machine, you must dilute the vinegar to reduce the acidity by mixing it with water. Therefore, mix this diluted solution with your soap.

Mixing vinegar with the wrong substance can harm you. For instance, the mix of bleach and vinegar is harmful, so you should never avoid mixing them.

So if your soap has bleach, avoid mixing it with vinegar. Also, vinegar is safe for most other ingredients.

Tips on Using Dish Soap in Pressure Washers

  • Remember that using the wrong detergent may void your pressure washer’s warranty.
  • Always dilute your dish soap with water before using it in a pressure washer.
  • While dish soap is probably safe to use on concrete surfaces, it can damage the surface of your car. For example, it can remove wax and other protective coatings.
  • Dish soap can leave a filmy or cloudy residue on surfaces if leaving it for too long.
  • You can avoid this by rinsing your surface immediately after cleaning it with dish soap.
  • You should thoroughly clean your machine after each use to avoid gumming or clogging it. All you need to do is remove the siphoning tube from the detergent reservoir. Then, let the water run through it at lower pressure for minutes.

Do You Need Soap With a Pressure Washer?

We recommend using soap in your washer to do your cleaning job efficiently. The soap makes your cleaning job a lot easier as it allows you to remove tough stains.

Also, if you use soap with your washer, you will need to use less pressure to clean, reducing any risk of damaging your objects and surfaces.


Can I Use Laundry Detergent for My Pressure Washer?

Yes. Mixing half a cup of laundry detergent and one gallon of water is okay. Laundry detergent is stronger than dish soap and allows you to do a better job.

We recommend using phosphate-free laundry detergent as it is an eco-friendly option.

Is It Okay To Use Dawn For My Pressure Washer?

Most users find Dawn detergents effective. That is why these detergents are pretty popular. They are ideal for beginners who want to start cleaning dirt off the patios or walls of their houses.

Dawn detergent is very safe to use with your washer. This detergent has the strength of soap that is pretty close to dishwashing soap.

​No matter how you use this detergent, you will not have to worry about damaging your pressure washer as the Dawn detergent does not feature the strength of a heavy-duty cleaner.

When Do I Need to Use Soap for Pressure Washing?

In some cases, using clean water is enough. For example, if you just want to loosen debris or dirt to clean off, using soap might not be necessary.

However, the soap comes in handy in many other cases, such as:

  • Do a deep clean
  • Clean off Stubborn stains
  • Remove grime and grease

What Makes Pressure Washer Cleaners Different From Dish Soap?

First, unlike pressure washer cleaners, dish soap is not made to withstand extreme water pressure.

Second, dish soap does not feature the necessary components to remove stubborn stains on concrete, wood, or disinfected surfaces.

The ingredients that pressure washer cleanser and dish soap have in common are surfactants and water that are not enough to clean various surfaces effectively.

Wrapping It Up

Can you use dish soap in a pressure washer? Yes, you can. Pressure washer cleaners should be the first choice as they are made for pressure washers.

Pressure washer cleaners are more effective in terms of cleaning power and cost. There are also some eco-friendly options available on the market.

Thanks for your time!

Read more: How To Convert A Pressure Washer Into A Sewer Jetter?

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