Sometimes people tend to overcomplicate things.
Starting a business, especially a business like pressure washing, isn’t rocket science.
I’ll share with you the four pieces of equipment you need to start your pressure washing business. This does not include some form of transportation, but this is the bare minimum you need to get started. Having a successful business doesn’t mean having all the fanciest equipment. Equipment will only get you so far. It is more meaningful to just start. Learn the basics, and just start.
Some people start by working for a pressure washing company, and I don’t think this is a bad idea. But even that is not necessary. There are so many resources online that can help you get started. Just like this list here. So without further ado, here are the 4 bare minimum must-haves to start a pressure washing business.
1. You’ll Need A Pressure Washer.
The first thing you need is a pressure washer. This may seem obvious, but here are some things to consider here.
First of all, start small. The best pressure washer is the one you already have. The one your dad bought ten years ago and is just sitting in your garage. If you don’t have one, find out if one of your friends has one. Ask them if you can borrow it for a few months. Use that time to save up and buy your rig. By then, you’ll know if this business is for you.
Once you decided to invest in pressure washing, you should also consider:
- GPM is probably the most important thing. Many people focus on psi, but GPM is how much water can pass through the hose, and you’ll want to aim for a 4 GPM pressure washer. Again, only invest in one of these after you’ve done a few jobs and know you want to continue in this business.
- Buy used. Start by buying a used unit off of Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, or online pressure washing forums/Facebook groups.
- Stick to Honda engines. Honda engines are the most reliable, so try to stick to Honda engines to reduce repair costs as much as possible.
2. You’ll Need a Good Pressure Washing Hose.
You’ll need the right pressure washer hose for your business. The right hose will allow you to perform even the most intricate cleaning projects safely. You’ll need a commercial-grade pressure washing hose that has been designed for commercial use. Pressure washers with this level of durability are not easy to find, but they are very affordable and they can last for years if properly maintained and used correctly.
When you’re first starting in the pressure washing business, you want to start with the stock hose that comes with your pressure washer. After you get a few pressure washing jobs under your belt, then you want to look at investing in a pressure washing hose.
The two things that you want to look for in a pressure washing hose are length and durability. By working those first few jobs with the hose that you already have, you’ll come to understand the hose length that you need for the types of jobs that you like to do.
In general, hoses are 25 ft, 50 ft, or 100 ft in length. The 100 ft hose will give you the most flexibility due to its longer length. In terms of durability, a dual braided pressure washing hose made of steel and polyester and a polyurethane jacket is what you should be looking for.
Also, most hoses are either ¼ inch or ⅜ inch. When starting, the ¼ inch hose will work just fine. However, when you upgrade your pressure washing to a 4gpm rig or higher, you’ll want to upgrade the hose from a ¼ inch to a ⅜ inch hose.
3. You’ll Need A Wand For Your Pressure Washer.
Like your pressure washing machine and your hose, you want to start with the pressure washing wand that comes with your pressure washer. After you’ve gotten some jobs under your belt, you can upgrade your wand as well.
Just like the hose, you want to upgrade your wand to match the performance of your pressure washing rig. All the pressure washing wands come with max-rated psi and GPM. They also come with different tips and extensions lengths.
These choices are 100% based on your preferences. It all depends on the kind of jobs that you like to take. In general, you’ll want a longer wand extension so you can reach higher areas and lower areas with more ergonomic ease. Just take into account all the different situations you’ve faced in your first few jobs to make your decision. It’s hard to go wrong here.
4. You’ll Need To Pick A Pressure Washer Detergent And Cleaner.
A pressure washing rig generates enough psi that you would be surprised how much you could clean with just water by itself. However, for more intense jobs, you’re going to need a cleaning solution to tackle more difficult jobs. The two main chemicals that are used for pressure washing are sodium hypochlorite and degreasers.
If you’re using a pressure washer to clean vehicles, you don’t want to use either of these. For vehicles, you can just use a regular car washing detergent.
However, for cleaning roofs, driveways, and commercial properties sodium hypochlorite (SH) aka bleach is what professional pressure washing companies use. For really hard-to-remove oil stains that end up on driveways and parking lots, the same pressure washing professionals turn to degreasers.
SH is used widely in 2-5% of solutions to clean people’s roofs and homes. To keep plants safe, you’ll want to set up a second hose to water the plants below the area where you are applying the SH. This will protect the plant life and you’ll still be able to complete your job.
The following are four items that you need to start a pressure washing business.
- Pressure washer
- SH and degreaser
With these four items, you are ready to start your pressure washing business. As you can see, there is no rocket science behind this business. All it takes is a little equipment, a strong work ethic, excellent customer service, discoverability, and a touch of luck to get going.