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Expert Shopper Lawn & Garden

Everything you need to know about power-washing your house in the fall

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Prep for winter

Fall is a great time to power-wash your home. The warm temperatures, rain and wind from spring and summer may have left some unwanted reminders on your siding in the form of mildew, dirt and debris. Giving your house a thorough washing in the fall prepares it for winter and extends the life of its exterior. 

There is a variety of  equipment available to make the process less taxing and more convenient. The size of your house and the extent of your cleaning project will help you decide on the best pressure washer for you.

Shop this article: Simpson Cleaning Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer, Karcher TruPressure Electric Power Pressure Washer and Westinghouse Electric Pressure Washer.

Which PSI is best for your house?

Pressure washers deliver 1,200 to 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. If your house has stucco walls or aluminum or wood siding, 1,200 to 1,500 PSI is recommended. For vinyl siding and brick, steel or stone, you should use 2,500 to 3,000 PSI. 

How do you prepare your house for power-washing?

There are several important steps to take before you turn on the pressure washer. 

  • Close all doors and windows. If you have doors and windows that may leak, use duct tape to cover them in a plastic sheet.
  • Place drop cloths over your plants to keep your flowers and bushes protected from the pressure washer surface cleaner.
  • Remove yard ornaments and decorations that might blow over from the force of the pressure washer. 
  • Mix the mildewcide according to the manufacturer's instructions in a large bucket, and pour it into the holding tank on your pressure washer. 

What is the best way to power-wash the house?

When power-washing, start at the bottom of the siding and work toward the top. This keeps suds from running down the siding, which can obscure dirt and grime. 

Work in 10-foot wide sections that keep you focused on one area. Make sure the brush you're using to scrub the siding has been manufactured specifically for siding to avoid scratching or damaging your exterior. 

The pressure washer wand should be kept at least 3 feet from the side of the house. If this distance doesn't remove the dirt and debris, move closer in 6-inch increments until it is effective.


Q.  Should I wear protective eyewear when power-washing?

A. Yes, protective goggles are recommended. Rocks and debris are often hard to see and can easily ricochet off the siding toward you.

Q.  How do you power-wash the second story of a taller house?

A. Professional cleaners discourage the use of ladders. Instead, use scaffolding. The scaffolding should be close enough to the side of the house that you have between 1.5 and 3 feet of distance for the washer wand. 

Best pressure washers for exterior house cleaning

Simpson Cleaning Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer

This Simpson pressure washer has impressive cleaning power, delivering 3,400 PSI. It has an easy-start engine and a sturdy steel frame with a protective powder coating. It comes with a 25-foot hose, ergonomic spray gun and four pressure washer nozzles.

Karcher TruPressure Electric Power Pressure Washer

This compact, affordable pressure washer is easy to use and delivers up to 1,700 PSI for blasting away grime and dirt. The Karcher pressure washer has a telescopic handle and 26-foot high-pressure hose. The manufacturer's app provides instructions for setup and use. 

Westinghouse Electric Pressure Washer

This powerful Westinghouse pressure washer has a pro-style steel wand and a 25-foot hose with four quick-connect nozzles. It weighs under 20 pounds for easy transportation. The portable pressure washer has locking wheels and an anti-tip design. 

Champion Low Profile Gas Pressure Washer

With a powerful 3,100 PSI output, this gas pressure washer comes with an ergonomic grip trigger pressure washer gun, 25-foot hose and five nozzles. It's backed by a two-year warranty and lifetime technical support.


Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer

The 1,800-watt motor on this Sun Joe pressure washer delivers 2,030 PSI with a 20-foot hose and 40-ounce detergent tank. It has an automatic shut-off and an onboard pressure washer hose reel for keeping the hose intact. It's easy to transport and store. 

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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