Vinegar is a household item that serves a wide variety of purposes. Vinegar is a common home remedy for many things. One way we use vinegar around our home is for cleaning. Unlike most cleaning solutions on the market, vinegar is a natural substance without all of the harsh/toxic chemicals.
Can I use vinegar in my pressure washer? Yes, you can use vinegar in a pressure washer. White vinegar is best. Using vinegar will not harm or damage your expensive equipment. Vinegar is an effective cleaner for removing dirt, mildew, and other debris. You can dilute the white vinegar with water, but you need to be cautious when mixing vinegar with other cleaners. Mixing vinegar with chemicals like bleach can cause toxic chemical reactions and be very dangerous to your health.
When it comes to adding alternative liquids to our pressure washer, we will take a closer look at why vinegar may just be the solution you have been looking for. We’ll help you learn how to harness the natural cleaning power of vinegar!
Can You Run Vinegar Through a Pressure Washer?
Is it ok to use vinegar in a pressure washer? The answer is a firm: “yes!” White vinegar can be used in a pressure washer for cleaning purposes. Though it is an acidic liquid, vinegar will not harm a pressure washer. Compared to most cleaners out there, it is actually gentler on your equipment than a chemical-based cleaner.
A great bonus of using vinegar over cleaners is that because it is not full of chemicals, it is a green choice. The natural choice of vinegar allows you to take control and responsibility for what you are spraying out of a high-pressured machine. If you read the fine print on a bottle of cleaner, you may be surprised at the ingredients and the warnings on the label.
Overspray from a pressure washer can cover a wide area. Not only is it covering the ground and our plants, but the overspray is also sending chemicals through the air we breathe. When you are out there using your power washer, remember that the overspray is getting on you, too.
Typical pressure washing liquids often include harsh ingredients. The great thing about using a pressure washer is that simply the amount of pressure put out by the machine actually does a lot of the work for you. Even if you ran the machine with only water, it would still remove dirt and debris.
What Kind of Vinegar Can Be Used for Cleaning?
You may have noticed that there are many different types of vinegar out there. Most of them are used in cooking and food preparation. Vinegar makes a tasty salad dressing and helps to make the perfect pickles.
For this purpose, we will be focusing on the vinegar that is most commonly used for cleaning purposes, white vinegar. It is made through a process called fermentation. Typically made with an alcoholic starter base, like wine. It is then fermented and filtered.
Did you know that you can actually make your own vinegar at home! Though it is much easier to buy a gallon of it from your local grocery store, it is more gratifying to make your own. It can take a while to ferment, and most of us don’t want to wait that long to power wash the driveway. For cleaning purposes, vinegar is often diluted with water.
When to Use Vinegar in a Pressure Washer?
Can vinegar be used for every single pressure washing cleaning project? No, but it is perfect for most of the jobs that homeowners wish to tackle. For the jobs it is qualified to take on, it is the best choice to fill your pressure washer tank with.
The typical uses for pressure washing include removing dirt, mold, and debris from the exterior of your home, driveway, outdoor furniture, and sidewalks. There are plenty of things that vinegar cleans effectively and gently.
Can you use vinegar on your house’s vinyl siding? Absolutely! Vinegar is a natural and gentle cleaner, that will have your home sparkling after a nice power washing.
When you have close neighbors, small children or pets around, you should be mindful of what kinds of chemicals you are using. If you have a vegetable garden or flowers, you should also be careful about which chemicals you are spraying near them. You could kill your plants, and chemicals could get all over the produce that you eat and serve.
What kinds of things would you not use vinegar to clean? Mainly chemical-based messes will not be adequately cleaned with vinegar. If you have a paint or oil spill, you will want to shop around for a cleaner that is made for chemical clean up.
How Much Vinegar Should I Use in a Pressure Washer?
You do not need to use vinegar at full strength to be effective. Even for serious jobs and tough stains, you can dilute the vinegar with water. That also means even greater savings on cleaners. White vinegar is very affordable, typically only a few dollars for an entire gallon. Diluting it stretches your gallon even farther.
How much water should you use to dilute the vinegar before capping the tank and turning on the power washer’s “ON” switch?
- For mild amounts of dirt, mildew, or stain, you can use a 10/1 ratio of water to vinegar.
- If you notice that there is heavy mildew or bad staining, you can up the amount of vinegar for a stronger cleaner, perhaps up to 6/1.
- A tough job may require a 3/1 ratio of water to white vinegar.
- Though it is not necessary, you could use full-strength white vinegar in your power washer.
Using vinegar at full strength will not harm the machine or the surface that you are cleaning.
Your power washer will benefit from a thorough internal cleanse as the vinegar runs through the hose, tank, and sprayer wand. When you are finished with the task at hand, you should run the tank until it is empty, or pop the cap off and dump the remainder of the water/vinegar solution.
What Can and Can’t Be Mixed With Vinegar?
When you are filling your power washer tank up in preparation to clean, you may be wondering if you can add something else in with vinegar. Perhaps you want to add a cleaner with a better smell to help cover up the pungent vinegar smell.
The first thing we should mention is that the vinegar smell will dissipate quickly and will not leave your home smelling like a jar of pickles. So, the smell factor is really only a mild issue.
- If you cannot deal with the vinegar smell, you can simply add a few drops of essential oils — eucalyptus or lemon work well.
- If you have a particularly greasy job on your hands, you can add a few drops of grease-cutting dish soap to help remove the grime.
Vinegar, on its own, will not break down grease. Mixing dish soap with vinegar is not harmful and will not cause any toxic reactions. But, be careful not to add too much, or you will have tons of tiny soap bubbles blowing out.
There are certain things that you should never ever mix with vinegar. Mixing certain chemicals with vinegar can cause a chemical reaction and be very dangerous to breathe in.
- Mixing vinegar with bleach causes a toxic reaction, and a chlorine gas is automatically released into the air. Inhaling this gas is very dangerous.
If you are not certain whether the cleaner you wish to mix with the vinegar is compatible or will cause harmful toxic fumes, read the label or look it up on the internet. Better safe than sorry.