Sometimes, sheer water pressure coming from a pressure washer just isn't enough to remove the toughest of stains.
In such cases, you'll want to use a compatible detergent to improve your cleaning power.
However, this process isn’t as simple as throwing it into the mix right at the beginning of a cleaning job; you should know exactly when to add the soap to get the most use out of it.
Certain types of detergent for these machines can come at a high price, so you're going to want to know how to properly use it so that you don't waste a drop.
Ready-to-Use or Concentrated
Detergents can come in concentrated forms, which require dilution with water, or as ready-to-use varieties, which can be added directly to the detergent tank of a pressure washer.
Often, you’re better off choosing the concentrated forms of cleaning fluid, as you’ll get more for your money with the majority of brands.
Step One: Choosing the Right Detergent
You'll not only want to make sure that the detergent in question is compatible with your pressure washer, but also that it's the right type of cleaner for the job at hand.
It’s worth bearing in mind that some cleaners are only compatible with washers up to a specific level of PSI, so you should be sure that these match first.
Next, choose a cleaner that is designed for the surface you're cleaning. Vehicles require an automotive cleaner, which do away with harsh chemicals to protect paintwork, whereas other fluids are suited for other tasks.
Alternatively, you can pick up a range of detergents that are suited for any type of task (multi-purpose cleaners).
Step Two: Loosening the Dirt
Before you even consider using detergent, you should endeavor to loosen the dirt and debris first. If you don't remove the upper layer of sediment first, then the cleaning fluid can't fully reach the core of the problem, which is the staining left behind.
Such debris might include leaves, twigs and soil; you can remove all this using one of the regular spray nozzles on your pressure washer and plain water.