When you buy a pressure washer, you know you’re going to be using it on a wide range of different terrains—most of which will be totally filthy. Some of these surfaces, like brick walls, may have mold or similar issues with them. You will need to get rid of that mold if you want to keep your area livable. Bleach kills mold.
Can you use bleach in a pressure washer? Though it may seem like a good way to get rid of mold and clean things faster, you shouldn’t put bleach in a pressure washer. It will damage your equipment. Using a bleach solution might be doable, but even then, it’s tricky.
Even if the walls are dirty and grimy as can be, putting bleach in your pressure washer is not a wise choice. If you’re thinking about bleaching your stuff, here’s what you need to know….
Can You Use Bleach In A Pressure Washer?
If you were hoping to jettison out pure bleach through a pressure washer, think again. This will corrode the pressure washer and likely render it unusable within a matter of months. It’s so bad for your washer; many companies will void a warranty over it.
The ideal cleaning solution for a pressure washer is water, pure and simple. It works well with all surfaces and will be able to get most washable stains out with ease. Should you choose to risk using your washer with bleach, it’s important to know that you will need to use a dilute solution.
Is It Possible To Use A Bleach Mix While Pressure Washing?
If you are like many other people who pressure wash items, you might think that adding bleach makes sense in most situations. The rationale is that you would get the cleaning power of bleach to further improve your final results.
Truthfully, you don’t need to have bleach in most cases. High-pressure water alone can make a concrete wall or the side of a house look brand new. Adding bleach can be overkill, or just plain unnecessary.
Certain materials won’t take kindly to bleach at all, and should never be washed with bleach unless there are unusual circumstances at play. If you’re cleaning wood, there’s a chance that adding bleach may harm its varnish or cause your wood to dry.
When Would Using Bleach With A Pressure Washer Make Sense?
Though many might consider it overkill, there are some specific situations where power washing with bleach makes sense. These include:
- Deep Mold Treatments. If the area that you’re power washing has been affected by mold, water alone will not be enough to treat the area. Water may remove visible sights of mold, but will not prevent it from regrowing. Bleach will kill the mold, making it a good option to consider.
- Moss Treatments. Much like mold, moss can grow on the side of buildings and walls. Power washing it off can work if there’s only a faint layer of it on your area. When power washed off with water, there’s a chance that you might not get all the greenery off your wall or that it may come back. Bleach can prevent it.
- Biohazard Treatments. If the area that you’ve been washing has been exposed to germs or bodily fluids, power washing should be done with protective gear as well as a mixture of water and bleach. This is the only way to safely sanitize the area.
- Heavy Discoloration. Many surfaces grow discolored without regular pressure washing, but a single session will remove most discoloration. That being said, some surfaces might be permanently discolored after too many years of neglect. If you have tried to pressure wash a surface with little change, you might want to give bleach a try.
Could Regular Pressure Washing With Bleach Hurt More Than It Helps?
It all depends on the surface that you’re trying to wash. If you were thinking of bleaching down a driveway or a stone wall, adding bleach won’t necessarily hurt your surface. It might be a waste of bleach, though.
Other surfaces, such as marble or wood, do not handle bleach well. Depending on how much bleach these surfaces are exposed to, you could potentially shorten their usable lifespans. Should you decide to use bleach on these surfaces, make a point of reducing potential damage by adding protective coating to the surface shortly after, you wash it.
Will Pressure Washing With Bleach Void My Warranty?
If your pressure washer came with a warranty, you better think twice before you add any bleach into its water supply. Most power washer warranties get voided if you use anything other than water as a fuel.
Worried about your pressure washer’s warranty? Take a look at what it says about what can void it. Most warranties will be voided if bleach is used, but some will allow you to use soap mixtures without voiding the guarantee. Soap might be enough to offer the same level of cleanliness, so it’s worth a shot.
How To Pressure Wash Using Bleach
Before you try to pressure wash anything, make sure that you wear protection for your eyes and that your pressure washer is angled in a way that will hit your target. Once you have your pressure washer set up, it’s time to mix the solution…
- Add four parts water to one part bleach. This assumes that you will be using a 5.25 to 6 percent bleach mix. If you’re using a three percent mix, you can stick to a three to one ratio.
- Place the bucket of bleach solution, and prep your hose. You want to make sure that there’s no gunk or jams in your hose or its filters. If you notice any sort of jam or residue in your hose, clean it out completely before you start washing.
Once you’ve checked the hose for clogs and ensured it’s ready, you can start setting up your rig. Place the filtered part of your siphon into the bleach bucket and put together the hoses for your pressure washer per your washer’s instructions.
- When putting together the rest of your pressure washer, use a soap tip on your lance. Soap tips tend to work best with bleach mixes. Once you’ve connected everything, connect your pressure washer lance to the hoses and the hose to the washer.
- When using the washer, keep the pressure on low. The pressure from the washer hose will also work to mix the bleach solution, even more, giving you a consistent solution that will evenly coat the surface of your cleaning area.
- Once you’re done, clean out your pressure washer by switching to a pure water bucket. This helps remove bleach that could potentially harm your washer.
When Should You Ask For A Professional’s Advice?
If you’re considering using bleach on a surface that could potentially see damage or as a result of an unusually difficult mess, take a step back. Bleach is extremely caustic and can wreak havoc on certain surfaces like wood or even marble. If the surface in question is expensive or potentially reactive to bleach, take a step back.
Experts agree that you should ask a professional before pressure washing any surface that could be negatively impacted by bleach. Not knowing what could happen (or if the surface can handle it) can lead to serious property damage you don’t want to deal with.
If you can’t find a professional who is willing to answer your pressure washing question, it’s best to avoid using bleach (or even pressure washing as a whole) when cleaning your surface/