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Start a Pressure Washing Business in 2023

Updated: Jan 11

Affiliate Marketing Disclosure

If you're one of the thousands of Americans looking for a side hustle, a pressure-washing business might be right for you. And while the business may only be seasonable, depending on where you live, it can be a great opportunity for you to bring home some extra money each week.

Here's how to start your pressure washing business in 2023.

A man pressure washing his deck

What is a pressure washing business?

A pressure washing business is a business model in which you'll visit customers' homes, offices, or places of business to pressure wash and clean a surface to free it from dirt, mud, mold, or other contaminants. This cleaning is done via a pressure or power washer, a machine that uses a very high-pressure stream of water (and maybe soap or another disinfectant) to remove contaminants from a surface.

Depending on where your expertise and experience are, you may opt to power wash surfaces like decks, house siding, driveways, windows, or other surfaces.

Power washing is a low-cost way to start your own business, given the low costs to get started and the ease of earning revenue from the onset. This doesn't mean it is easy, but the potential to earn a good living certainly is there.

How to start a pressure washing business

One of the major advantages of starting a pressure washing business is that your start-up costs are low. You'll

Use the following simple steps to get your new business off the ground:

  1. Learn the skills needed to pressure wash

  2. Acquire your equipment

  3. Get licensed and insured

  4. Market your services

1. Learn to pressure wash

Before you begin working paying jobs, you'll want to become really comfortable and proficient with pressure washing homes, driveways, sidewalks, and other services. Experience is important, especially since you're using a machine that can cause property damage.

As you learn, pay special attention to the edges of surfaces. Grazing the end of a patio could ruin a flower bed, for instance. You'll also want to be careful with wooden trim on houses, which could chip or be rotted out.

This will also help assure that your customers are satisfied.

Another benefit to practicing your skills ahead of time? You be better able to estimate how long each project will take you.

2. Purchase your pressure washing equipment

You'll next need to purchase or acquire your equipment. Most beginners can get away with just four basic :

  • A power washer

  • Surface cleaners and chemicals

  • Pressure washing nozzles

  • Machinery to transport equipment

Purchase a pressure washer

You'll want to get a decent power washer that will last for a while and do good work. Home improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot have their fair share of offerings, but as a beginner, you can find a great selection on Amazon too.

A decent pressure washer will cost you $225-$450, depending on whether you opt for a gasoline or electric-powered device. Gasoline-powered devices will cost you more on average but are oftentimes better quality.

Surface cleaners and chemicals

You'll also need a mixture of surface cleaners or disinfectants, depending on the services you'll offer. There are many products on the market for a variety of pressure-washing applications, including:

  1. Car washing

  2. Home washing

  3. Deck cleaning

  4. Concrete cleaning

  5. Masonry restoration

Do check the suitability of any chemical for your intended result. Many jobs may not need anything more than a cleansing soap or detergent. All of the most popular brands of pressure-washing chemicals are available directly through Amazon.

You'll likely encounter products containing bleach (for concrete), citric acid (for concrete and wood), or potassium hydroxide (often used as a cleaning solution).

Better yet, most products can be purchased for less than $25.

Nozzles and attachments

Depending on what type of machine you purchase and what type of surfaces you plan on cleaning, you may need to buy some extra attachments to help make your job easier.

For example, if you're going to be cleaning driveways, you may consider a surface cleaner attachment. Remember - you'll get paid based on the number of jobs you complete, so spending a few dollars extra on some equipment now may be a good investment if you can complete jobs more quickly.

You may also consider having an array of nozzles and extra hoses on hand.

A truck or trailer

You do not need to buy a vehicle to bring to and from each pressure washing job.

A good option is a small trailer, which you may be able to find on Craigslist, eBay, or another local community site. You may be able to attach it to an SUV or truck you already own.

You may also consider using the vehicle you already have, particularly if you can fit your equipment in your trunk.

A third option available to you is to try leasing a truck, though this strategy will likely cost you $400 or more per month.


All in, you can expect to start your pressure washing business for less than $1,000.

3. Get licensed and insured

You'll also need to make sure you meet all licensing and insurance requirements in the state(s) where you'll operate. In most areas, you will need to register your business with your state and city/town.

Check with your state's Secretary of State website to get started.

And while I cannot provide legal advice to you, you may consider establishing an LLC.

Some other documents you may need are:

  • A business license

  • Bond

  • Permits

You'll also want to purchase general liability insurance, in the event that you cause damage to a customer's home, property, or business.

Market your pressure washing services

Starting your pressure-washing business is all for naught unless you are able to find paying clients. Thankfully, marketing efforts can help you find these clients.

You'll want to consider the following approaches as a starting point:

  1. Mailers/pamphlets

  2. Lawn signs

  3. Web marketing

1. Send mailers and pamphlets out

You may consider creating a professional brochure with appealing pictures and headlines to entice potential clients. Include your contact information and maybe even offer some sort of sale or promotion.

It's basic buyer behavior - your services are perceived to be more in demand when customers perceive value.

A great place to make an awesome brochure is Canva. Their premium services are cheap and unrivaled in the design marketplace.

If you feel like it is appropriate where you live, also consider going door to door.

2. Utilize lawn signs

Word of mouth can spread like wildfire. Draw attention to the excellent work you've done. If you've done any obvious cosmetic upgrades to a home or driveway after pressure washing it, ask the homeowner/business for permission to put up a lawn sign when you leave.

Of course, this will advertise your services and also show others the quality of the work you perform. The busier the area, the better!

Again, you can also work on designing your signs in Canva.

3. Start web marketing

We're not advocating that you start spending hundreds of dollars on Google or Facebook advertising, though you absolutely should start to build a social media presence.

Another thing that should be at the top of your list should be to build a Google Business profile. That way, when somebody takes to Google to search for pressure washing in your area, you'll show up like these companies below.

pressure washing services near me

The third item that you should consider is starting a website and a blog (like this one!). By writing about various aspects of the pressure washing process in your area, you'll continue to build a web presence in your area.


Once you've built a client base, word of mouth can become your best lead generation source. Since most people will only pressure wash things once a year at most, repeat customers are a little hard to come by in this business.

What you should do at the conclusion of every job, however, is leave a business card or two behind with your client. You'll also want to continue to build your web presence, so don't be afraid to ask them to leave a Google review too.

Bid on pressure washing jobs

Once you've got an interested potential client, you'll be asked for a quote, or how much you will charge for a certain job to be completed.

Bidding pressure washing jobs is definitely one of the more difficult aspects of winning business. There are a few main strategies that you can use in order to price jobs:

  1. Price by square footage

  2. Price by time estimate

  3. Price by overall job

No matter which approach you use, make sure that you remember to take into account the costs of materials you're using, the time in which the job will complete, and the fact that you need to turn a profit.

Also, if you quote based on the anticipated completion time, make sure that you estimate conservatively. At least initially, projects will take longer than you think to complete, and you don't want to spend five hours at a site for a $100 job.

How much money can you make?

Your earnings will depend on a number of factors - the type/size of your projects and the number of projects you complete among the most influential.

This said, it is not unusual to earn $40-$50 an hour while you pressure wash. Once you have a number of jobs in your queue, this could translate to $300-$500 per day in earnings.

Pros and cons of a pressure washing business

There are a number of pros and cons to starting a power washing business.

My favorite pro has to be the low startup costs. As I mentioned earlier, it is not unrealistic to get started for less than $1,000. If you’re starting with a limited budget, you can get away with just a cheap pressure washer and some chemicals. Just make sure you can get the results needed to leave your customers happy.

Then, as you start to earn some revenue, you can buy new equipment and products accordingly.

Another notable pro of the power-washing game is the ability to generate referrals. Impressed clients tend to pass along your contact information to others looking for similar services to be completed. To maximize your chances of getting more pressure washing jobs, ask each homeowner or business if you can put up a yard sign with your contact information before you leave the job site.

The only real con I can think of is the competition you may face in your area. Pressure washing services are competitive, and there may be multiple companies in your area already established.

Frequently asked questions

Here, I'll answer a few of the questions that are likely to be on your mind.

1. Do I need a license to start my business?

It depends on where you live. But I highly recommend that you make sure you are compliant with all federal, state, or local laws that you may be subject to. Plus, general liability insurance probably isn't a bad idea either.

2. Is it hard to get started?

Like any other business or side hustle, you will face challenges and obstacles along the way. But oftentimes, what differentiates successful businesses and failed businesses is the owner's ability to overcome adversity.

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About Nathan Zarcaro

Nathan Zarcaro is the founder of The Student Debt Destroyer and is passionate about personal finance related causes.  A 2018 graduate of Providence College's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Nathan studied Finance, and worked for one of the world's largest asset management firms before starting his own consulting practice.  In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife Brigid.

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